Humanistic psychology is one of the branches or studies related to psychology. It is basically a
branch of psychology which highlights the importance of an individual‟s thrust towards self
-actualization. It is a field of study which gained popularity in the 20th century, eventuallyestablishing its current place in psychology and the behavioral sciences. This paper will nowseek to provide a specific and in-depth assessment of humanistic psychology. It will evaluate itsrelevance to everyday life, its history, related theories, and philosophies; its methods will also bereviewed and discussed. A discussion on the definition of humanistic psychology will first bepresented, including its related theories. A history of the humanistic psychology shall also bepresented. This will be followed by a discussion on the latest theories, methods and philosophiesrelevant to humanistic psychology. The relevance of the field to daily life will also beconsidered. A conclusion and summary will end this essay. This essay is being carried out inorder to establish a clear and academic understanding of humanistic psychology, including itselements and applications.
Literature Review and History
Humanistic psychology is a “movement in psychology supporting the belief that hum
ans, asindividuals, are unique beings and should be recognized and treated as such by psychologists and
psychiatrists” (Britannica Encyclopedia, 2012). It is often considered as a third force in
psychology, very much different from the other known approaches to psychology
that of psychoanalysis and behaviorism. This school of psychology highlights a holistic approach tohuman existence and emphasizes creativity and human potential. This approach is popular inNorth America, and in areas of education and social work, including transpersonal psychology(Colman, 2009).
The Foundation and Early Beginning
The Foundation of humanistic psychology includes the phenomenological as well as theexistentialist principle (American Psychological Association, 2012). Eastern philosophical ideasare also considered significant to humanistic psychology, including the philosophies of personalism, which highlight related concerns on the foundation of human consciousness andhuman existence (Aanstoos, Serlin, and Greening, 2000). By the 1930s, various psychiatrists andmental health practitioners developed interest on human issues. Most of these issues includedself-actualization, health, hope, love, and becoming, aspects which are very much relevant inunderstanding human development and existence (Aanstoos, et.al., 2000). Interest was also builton the establishment of a professional association which would focus on the elements of humancapital and human consciousness.Theories and perspectives. Theories and perspectives related to this theory include five mainthoughts. These were first established by Bugental (1964) and later supported by otherpsychologists (Greening, 2006). These five principles point out that:
1. Humans “supersede the sum of their parts” (Bugenthal, 19
64, p. 19). They cannot therefore becondensed to their components or parts.