Humanistic psychology


The Humanistic psychology is a branch of psychology that seeks to give support to the belief that human beings are unique and for that reason should be treated with respect by psychologists and psychiatrists who serve them . It is also known by the name of humanism and looks at individuals as a whole by observing their instincts and behaviors.


What is humanistic psychology?

Humanistic psychology is a science that is responsible for studying the individual as a whole because human beings, seen from an innate point of view , are always good . A science that observes the behavior of man through the person who acts or thinks.



The psychology humanist is a science that believes that all human beings are good by nature. It is a branch of psychology that defends that ethical values morals and good intentions drive the behavior of man and that also, social experiences or psychological conflicts are due to a series of deviations produced by natural tendencies.


Characteristics of humanistic psychology

Among its main characteristics are the following:

  • See the human being as a whole .
  • Consider the factors that can interfere with an individual’s mental health as well as personal growth.
  • Take into account the thoughts , the body , emotions and spirituality .
  • It ensures that people have the ability to make their own decisions and take responsibility for them.
  • It promotes the development of the human being.
  • For humanistic psychology, man has an important tendency towards self-realization .
  • It focuses on man from a global perspective .
  • He sees man as a responsible being , who can become aware of his actions in order to develop his potentialities .


Among its main antecedents is the publication of Abraham Maslow on the revision of semantics, the foundation of the newspaper based on humanistic psychology where there were texts written by important authors such as Carl Rogers and Charlotte Bühler . Some time later, in 1961, a journal of humanistic psychology was published for the first time. 


The history of humanistic psychology has its birth in the 1950s and arose as a response to the limitations that had been manifested by a group of psychologists on issues related to behavioral and psychoanalytic approaches . In 1957 , a group of psychologists met who had a common goal, to create an association of professionals with a more humanistic approach . It was in these meetings where issues were established that were considered of utmost importance to give a good humanistic approach, health , individuality , the self and self-realization.. Later, the American Association for Humanist Psychology was founded in 1951.

Who is the father of humanistic psychology

Abraham Maslow , the son of Jewish immigrants who was born in Brooklyn, New York, is considered the true father of humanistic psychology and is also considered one of the most important psychologists in the field. 

What is it for

This science serves to be able, in addition to observing the human being as a whole , to be able to study, investigate and determine which factors can intervene negatively or positively in the mental health of a person with the aim of being able to improve their personal growth and personal fulfillment . It also serves to be able to deeply analyze the way in which man behaves in order to improve general well-being and the balance between body and mind.

What do you study

This branch of psychology is responsible for studying the conflicts that at a certain moment can affect the mind , emotions or soul of a person. It seeks to establish the relationship that exists between the symptoms and the disease in order to be able to access with the mind and eliminate the internal conflict that causes them. It also studies all the possible causes that may interfere with adequate personal growth and with the fulfillment of the individual as a good person.


The main objective of humanistic psychology is to be able to obtain answers to the unknown related to the meaning of life , it looks for what reasons can lead a person to want to live and uses their knowledge to be able to improve and condition an environment that is consistent with the dignity of the human being so that in this way, he can develop freely while assuming his responsibilities as a social individual .


Among the main functions of humanistic psychology the following are mentioned:

  • Manage to maintain an understanding and empathic attitude towards people.
  • Respect the cultural values of patients as well as their freedom of expression.
  • Carefully explore all of a client’s expectations, including what he hopes to gain from therapy.
  • Stimulate personal motivation .
  • Negotiate contracts so that they are included in the therapies.
  • Help the client to find the weak points in their minds.

Areas of humanistic psychology

The areas in which humanistic psychology is based are mainly on human needs and the subconscious , aspects that can adequately explain the way in which the human being behaves using a series of methods that can intervene in the individual.


The main problem that humanistic psychology faces is the qualitative data that makes the measurements and the verifications of the theories impossible to quantify for this reason, their theories sometimes cannot be supported as they are mere empirical evidence . Some experts see science as incapable of treating severe mental problems because they reject various concepts related to human behavior.


The different theories that contributed information to the development of humanism as a science were the following:

  • Theory of vitalism : a philosophical position that was characterized by explaining the existence of a vital force that opposed the representation of life as a result of the organization of material systems.
  • Berlin School: which established the existence of an order that had been established in society and that was governed by laws through freedom and research.
  • Holism Theory : it considered that when a part of reality was taken into account, that part was already part of a larger whole in which it interacted and as a result there were consequences.
  • Theory of polarities : it stated that events began at a zero point and that opposites arose from that place.
  • Organismic theory of self-realization : for this theory, the organism was a single unit and when one of its parts suffered damage, all the other parts were affected.


The principles of humanistic psychology are as follows:

  • The human being is a whole . It has a holistic approach that aims to study the human being as a whole and not in fragments.
  • The human being has a well-structured central nucleus in which the “I” is “myself” and the structure of psychological processes.
  • The humans have a natural tendency to seek self – training.
  • The human being is an insert within a human context and also lives in a close relationship with other individuals.
  • The human being is aware of himself and of his existence. He guides himself by what was in the past and prepares for the future.
  • The human being has a large number of powers of decision, freedom and conscience to be able to make his own decisions.
  • The human being is intentional this means that his intentional acts are reflected in his own decisions or in his choices.


This type of psychology is important because it has the ability to provide a series of activities that can help promote the internal development of man, spiritual intelligence . It is a very important science in the field of education and psychotherapy as it has the ability to help meet a series of proposed goals.


The main representatives of humanistic psychology were Abraham Maslow , creator of the pyramid of human needs and Carl Rogers who opted for a more modern vision to make therapies in which there was a direct relationship with the patient. Both are also considered as its main precursors .


Examples of this type of psychology can be seen in people who seek psychological help in order to find the background of their problems, which considerably affect their self-realization as good people.

Books on Humanistic Psychology

Some important books that deal with the subject of humanistic psychology are the following:

  • The origins of analyst psychology.
  • Development of human potential.
  • Dynamics and exercises of Humanist Psychology.

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