The humanistic perspective is an approach to psychology that emphasizes empathy and stresses the good in human behavior. In politics and social theory, this approach calls for human rights and equality. In counseling and therapy, this approach allows an psychologist to focus on ways to help improve an individual’s self-image or self-actualization – the things that make them feel worthwhile.
Humanistic Perspective Approach
Here are some examples of humanistic perspective.
- A person feels like his or her life is bland and boring. A humanistic perspective would encourage the person to do some soul-searching and determine what is missing – a hobby? Friendships? A relationship? Whatever it takes for the person to feel fully self-actualized is what should be sought as treatment.
- The humanistic perspective encourages gestalt therapy, a special type of therapy that encourages an individual not to allow the past to affect the present, and focuses on the here and now rather than anything else.
- Family therapy is another example of the humanistic perspective. This type of therapy allows families to talk about their relationships with one another in order to encourage and strengthen those relationships, especially when families are going through difficult times such as periods of substance abuse or divorce.
- Another example of the humanistic perspective is for a person to focus on their strengths rather than their faults. The individual is encouraged not look past his or her flaws as he or she works toward a more satisfied, more complete life.
- In the humanistic perspective, it is generally regarded that all people have similar needs throughout the world, emphasizing the similarities between all members of the human race rather than the many differences. It is an approach that believes human relationships and interactions are of paramount importance.
- Cultural differences are not viewed in the humanistic perspective as being a result of the differences in human nature; rather, they are viewed as valid alternative ways of approaching life. This allows the humanistic perspective to underscore the value of all humans.
- The humanistic perspective includes the idea of self-help – that a person can be responsible for their own happiness, and that an unhappy or dissatisfied person can make changes to his or her whole life that will result in their eventual happiness and self-actualization.
- Sensitivity training at a place of employment is an example of the humanistic perspective, where individuals are taught to view those with whom they work as having the same needs and desires as themselves. It is a way of downplaying differences in physicality, culture, skin color, and belief, among other things.
- Instead of a medicine- or research-centered approach to therapy, the humanistic perspective encourages an approach that focuses on the individual person, and their individual needs and wants.
- The humanistic perspective believes that people seek value, meaning, and creativity in all they do. It understands that people have goals, and that reaching these goals is very important. It also understands that individuals are able to make choices that affect them and others, and so those choices carry with them a sense of responsibility.
Next time you see a problem or consider a solution, think about what someone with the humanistic perspective would do.