Pioneers of HumanisticExistential Psychology

Carl Jung (1875-1961)
Carl Jung is possibly one of the most important figures in psychology, and yet he remains controversial. For many psychologists he is little more than a historical curiosity. Someone who worked with Freud in the early days of the founding of psychoanalysis, and then went his own way, founded his own school of psychology, became rather eccentric, and is worthy of only the most cursory of mentions in introductory text books. To other psychologists, he is possibly the most complete psychologist that there has ever been. He made radical and significant contributions to all four of the major areas of psychology. A feat that is quite unequalled by anyone else. For example:- (i) in behavioural psychology, his research on word association, was fundamental to the development of the lie-detector test, and was recognized by the award of an honorary degree by Clark University, USA, on a visit in 1909; (ii) in psychodynamic psychology, he was second only to Freud in status, and was elected the first president of the International Psychoanalytic Association; he developed his own school of Analytical Psychology, and pushed the boundaries of psychodynamic theory much further than Freud ever could have expected, indeed further than Freud was prepared to accept; (iii) in humanistic psychology, it is clear that Jung’s work anticipated all of the major themes of the humanisticexistential approach, especially his concepts of "Self" (an integrating principle of the human psyche), active imagination and human consciousness; and (iv) in transpersonal psychology, Jung was a pioneer of this field for some fifty of so years before it was ever recognized as a new branch of psychology. Indeed, the work of some of the most important current researchers in the transpersonal field, i.e. Stanislav

He was an outspoken critic of his contemporaries. he . Any evaluation of Jung’s work needs to take into account the breadth of his scholarship and vision. Psychological Types (1921). Besides his medical training and life-long clinical work. After his struggle with the illness. etc. gnosticism. Answer to Job (1952). and after graduating from Oberlin College in 1930 he worked and travelled in Europe.Grof. archetypes and symbols. Returning to the USA he worked as a counsellor at Michigan State University. Some of his other major concepts include:. Taoism and medieval alchemy. introversion and extraversion. he was also influenced by such disparate fields as the paranormal. Rollo May (1909-1994) Rollo May. was a co-founder of the Humanistic Psychology movement. but contracted tuberculosis.the collective unconscious. the distinguished existential psychologist and existential psychotherapist. Man and His Symbols (1964). Turning away from the ministry. Dreams and Reflections (1961). Strange as these interests may be. psychological types. individuation. synchronicity. the "complex". and was largely responsible for integrating the humanistic and existential traditions. In 1939 he published The Art of Counselling. he studied at Columbia. Modern Man in Search Of A Soul (1933). and studied theology at the Union Theological Seminary. is almost entirely dependent on the theoretical ideas of Jung. they reflect Jung’s belief that modern psychotherapy was really only a re-discovery of what was a proven ancient tradition. during convalesence he had the opportunity to study the work of Kierkegaard and others. Psychology and Alchemy (1944). the model of the psyche. notable as both a present-day classic in the field and the very first text on counselling to be published in America. etc. Memories. On recovery. where he met and studied with Alfred Adler.. Michael Washburn. He was born in Ohio. Jung's major writings include: The Psychology of the Unconscious (1917).

essentially constructive in their fundamental nature. . published in an open letter to Rogers (J. but a challenge coming down through the centuries out of the fact that each of us can throw the lever toward good or toward evil. which are the source both of our constructive (i. 1982). Psychol. 1991. to which Buber had answered "Man is basically good . May does not mince words with Rogers when he concludes:. The individual's autonomy is achieved not by avoiding evil. as well as Carl Jung and Erich Fromm would have shared. For Rogers. He felt that anxiety was the key to selfhood.and evil". The Courage to Create. "Man is basically good". Power and Innocence: A search for the sources of violence. Man's Search for Himself. Existential Psychology. good) and our destructive (i."Life to me.completed his Ph. but damaged by their experience. there is a real danger that the humanistic movement colludes with human narcissism in failing to confront the issues of evil in ourselves.D. moderated by Maurice Friedman.e. . thesis on counselling psychology under the supervision of Paul Tillich. but by directly confronting it. he argued that human nature can only be understood by focussing on the individual's subjective experience.e. Psychology and the Human Dilemma. the human being is " . Rogers had said. One illustration of the tension between his ideas and those of Rogers is over "the problem of evil".. and his study of european philosophy. Hum. and proposed that the authentic self was only experienced when we assert ourselves take a stand against what we find unacceptable. 1989." May's major writings include: The Art of Counselling. evil) impulses. is not a requirement to live out a preordained pattern of goodness. a sentiment that May. 1953. evil was the result of cultural influences. 1960. Influenced by his own experience of fighting the illness. as well as vice versa. The Meaning of Anxiety. 1950. choice and responsibility in human existence. Love and Will. our society and world. May proposes that the evil in our culture is the reflection of evil in ourselves. In a dialogue with Martin Buber at the University of Michigan in 1951. The human being is an organized set of potentialities. 1967. 1975. 1969. 1972. The Cry for Myth. For May." In contrast. 1939. He emphasized the central role of freedom. since it sets us in search of ourselves.

Karen Horney of the psychoanalytic school. d-needs and b-needs. Kurt Goldstein. near Greenwich Village. Maslow was primarily a theoretician and researcher in the new movement. he was educated at the University of Wisconsin. with Carl Rogers and Rollo May. who had been largely trained in the behavioural school of psychology. He was president of the APA in 1967-68. 1964. peak experiences. who persuaded him to undertake some fieldwork with the Blackfoot indian tribe. where he studied primate behaviour under Harry Harlow and Clark Hull.selfactualization (a term he borrowed from Goldstein). His major concepts included:. metaneeds. 1970. human motivation and the hierarchy of needs. Born in New York. He also fell under the influence of Ruth Benedict. of the Humanistic Psychology movement. After teaching at Brooklyn College for fourteen years. 1968. 1954. which he now began to realize had little bearing on real world issues. together with many other recently arrived émigré intellectuals from europe. an inspired thinker. his change of direction was complete. a visionary. he left in 1951 to take up the new chair of psychology at Brandeis University. He returned to New York in 1935 by accepting a research position with Edward Thorndike at Columbia University. Maslow's major writings include: Motivation and Personality.Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) Maslow was a major American psychologist.Transpersonal Psychology. With the publication of Motivation and Personality in 1954. Max Wertheimer and Kurt Koffka of the Gestalt school of thought. This was a crucial and formative time for Maslow. Erich Fromm. near Boston. He was the co-founder. he came to know and study with:Alfred Adler. Religious Values and Peak Experiences. and could contribute very litte to solving social problems. etc. He coined the idea of a Third Force. The Farther Reaches of Human Nature. Through his contact with the New School for Social Research. . and in the late 60's instigated a Fourth Force . Towards a Psychology of Being. who radically altered the course of development of the discipline of psychology. 1971. an anthropologist at Columbia.

encounter groups. he was a co-founder of the Humanistic Psychology movement. and. and founded the Centre for the Study of the Person in La Jolla. and in the practice of a humanistic . the fully functioning person is regarded as the norm.client-centred/person centred counselling/therapy.) James Bugental is an important figure in the early development of humanistic psychology. After his Ph. Unconditional positive regard. he began working in child guidance."an organized consistent gestalt. he was educated at University of Wisconsin and Union Theological Seminary. 1980. Rogers regarded the self as an organizing principle . Client-Centred Therapy.D. etc. On Encounter Groups. Rogers' major writings include: Counselling and Psychotherapy. and the Core conditions:. leaving to study psychology at Columbia. 1951. Born in Oak Park." Thus a person is in a process of becoming. actualizing tendency. His main theoretical concepts include:. self.a non-directive technique that values the person themself. which lead to the development of his person-centred approach to counselling . such that the person can trust their own ability to deal with the world. Congruence.Carl Rogers (1902-1987) Rogers pioneered the development of client-centred therapy.. 1969.Empathy. 1961. Freedom to Learn: A view of what education might become. 1970. This work led him to seek better ways of understanding and helping his clients through their difficulties and suffering. California. and consequently show a high degree of spontaniety. He was president of the APA in 1946. A Way of Being. becoming. Illinois. crosscultural communication. James Bugental (1915. constantly in the process of forming and reforming. 1942. On Becoming a Person: A therapist's view of psychotherapy. with a basically optimistic view of humankind. compassion and self direction. A major figure in the history of psychology.

rejected the medical model as a guiding principle for psychotherapy." Bugental’s major writings include: The Search for Authenticity: An existential-analytic approach to psychotherapy. and became a full-time psychotherapist. He saw psychotherapy as a struggle. In his practice. Bugental’s vision was that humankind was on the verge of a new era because of the emergence of the new paradigm. He regards psychotherapy as a "philosophic venture". he published a manifesto for the new force entitled "Humanistic Psychology: A new breakthrough". understanding the person in terms of intentionality rather than causality. although influenced by psychoanalytical thinking. Bugental was the first president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology (1962-63). his leadership was critical in directing the new association in a positive direction. and saw practitioners rather than researchers as pioneers in advancing psychological knowledge. not be seen as the treatment of an illness.. Between 1948 and 1955. but "a daring to confront self and world" (1965). and subjectivity rather than drive theory. Intimate Journeys: Stories from life-changing therapy. who always saw himself as neo-Frudian in orientation. 1990. but became so disillusioned with the infighting and resistance to humanistic psychology he resigned.approach to psychotherapy. and that would foster a new evolution of human consciousness. Erich Fromm (1900-1980) Erich Fromm was a German psychoanalyst and social theorist. He helped to organize the conference at Old Saybrooke in 1964. the success of which ultimately depends on the client’s willingness to risk reconnecting with his or her "inner sensing. The Art of the Psychotherapist. he taught at the University of California at Los Angeles. He was born in Indiana in 1915. This paradigm viewed the person holistically. and completed the doctoral program in clinical psychology at Ohio State University in 1948. 1965. and educated Texas West Stae College and George Peabody College. Bugental adopts an existential perspective. 1987. but who .

Man for Himself. The Forgotten Language. he worked with Karen Horney and met up with Abraham Maslow. He withdrew from membership as he became discontented with a lack of consideration with the growth of human potential by Freud and .receptive. To Have or To Be. 1956. The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness. In Western culture. and in 1927. Particular character types develop to fit into the roles and functions that the society requires. Fromm's major writings include: Escape from Freedom. He trained as a psychoanalyst and was a member of the Freud Society in Zurich. 1976.relatedness. The Art of Loving. In 1929. began a psychoanalytic training at the Psychoanalytic Institute in Berlin. eventualy moving to New York a year later. Fromm proposed the idea of social character as a mediating process by which the individual is unconsciously molded by the social and economic order. In 1933. identity and frame of orientation. 1973. Fromm saw human life as basically a contradiction because we are both a part of nature and separate from it. He studied psychology and sociology at the Universities of Heidelberg. we are both animal and human being. he went to the United States at the invitation of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute. 1947. with Hans Sachs and Theodore Reik. Roberto Assagioli (1888-1974) Assagioli was an Italian psychiatrist and founder of Psychosynthesis. During this time. where he worked with Max Horkheimer and Herbert Marcuse. exploitative. Frankfurt and Munich. 1951. 1941. hoarding. Out of this arises five basic existential needs:. 1960. Psychoanalysis and Zen Buddhism. marketing and productive. rootedness. five basic types are found:.many regard as having occupied a key position on the periphery of the humanistic movement. and later in his career he divided his time between the National University in Mexico City and New York University. transcendence. he joined the Institute for Social Research (the neo-marxist oriented Frankfurt School). He set up a private practice in psychoanalysis.

and a charismatic figure. sub-personalities. Gestalt therapy does not try to "uncover the past". He met many of the key founders of Gestalt psychology (Kohler. He argued that the individual can integrate the seemingly different and conflicting parts of the self when they are able to engage in inner work with ease. with his wife he set up the New York Institute of Gestalt Therapy in 1952. paying particular attention to non-verbal behaviour as well as verbal . Fritz Perls (1893-1970) Perls was a Freudian trained psychoanalyst.D. Psychosynthesis methods include:. training the will. Assagioli placed high value on human intuition. Achieving our individual purposes. Only in the 50's and 60's was his work recognized outside of Italy.his followers. from Frederich Wilhelm University. honouring our true self. and he argued that therapy should be as much concerned with studying the higher unconscious (supercosciousness) as it was studying the depths of the unconscious. he received his M. the inventor of the term "holism". fantasy. 1974. creative thought and inspiration. Lewin) and worked as Kurt Goldstein's assistant. meditation. From 1964 to 1969 he was on the staff of Esalen. During his education he was encouraged to read and travel extensively. 1965. Moving to the USA in 1946. and during the 20's and 30's began to develop his own theory and methods. where he set up the Institute of Psychoanalysis. interpersonal and group work. but instead focusses upon what people are doing now. Assagioli's writings include: Psychosynthesis: A manual of principles and techniques. Wertheimer. will bring psychological health and spiritual fulfillment. free drawing. The Act Of Will. He went to South Africa in 1934. Transpersonal Development: The dimension beyond psychosynthesis. 1988.creative visualization. and was deeply versed in the philosophy and spiritual practices of both the Eastern and Western cultures. etc. the founder of Gestalt therapy. and met Jan Smuts. and then received a psychoanalytic training with Wilhelm Reich as his analyst. Born in Berlin.

and the existential choices that we make for ourselves. and balance of opposites. sociometry. 1969. unfinished business. Psychodrama. Perls' writings include: Ego. etc. dream work. a cult figure. as well as integrate with many other therapies. Laing (1927-1989) Ronald David Laing was a famous psychiatrist and Britain's foremost exponent of existential psychotherapy.D. Born in Glasgow. A critic of the dogmas of psychiatry and psychoanalysis. reponsibility for self. Vols. In the 20's he developed the "Theatre of Spontaniety" along with a group of actors. etc. He settled in the United States in 1925. Gestalt techniques include:. Hunger and Aggression. who originated and developed Psychodrama. group psychotherapy.behaviour. One important aspect of Psychodrama. R. where he studied philosophy and medicine. experimentation. 1947. Interested in understanding make-believe play in children. Gestalt Therapy Verbatim. Jacob Moreno (1889-1974) Moreno was an Austrian psychiatrist. Gestalt therapy emphasises:. and is credited with such innovations as the self-help group. he studied medicine at Glasgow . there are many who would regard him as a prophet. the principle of homeostasis. 1-3.the holistic principle that human beings are unified organisms and always function as wholes. or simply a flawed genius. Moreno's writings include: Who Shall Survive. encounter.the empty chair. he became convinced of the importance of spontaniety in the creative process of living. 1934. is that it is a therapeutic technique that can both stand alone. here-and-now awareness.1946-69. and concepts such as here and now. He was educated at the University of Vienna.

a partaking of the sacrament of every present moment . such as family dynamics. ECT. psychosurgery. Self and Others. He proposed that psychiatric illness was largely the consequence of social conditions. father. . He observed that suffering. 1973. and founder of Logotherapy." . place him squarely within any Humanistic-Existential approach to psychology. His mother. particularly suffering imposed by one human being . 1983. Sanity Madness and theFamily. 1967. and later became a specialist in Neurology and Psychiatry. " .that is the healing factor. . He pioneered the running of therapeutic communities where patients could "go with" their illness experience. The Voice of Experience. etc. He was greatly influenced by Existential philosophy and Phenomenology. 1959. 1961. or failure to conform to the dominant model of social reality in force. without the intervention of drugs. From these experiences in the Nazi concentration camps he reflected on how some people survived and some did not. He was a severe critic of modern psychiatric practice and the medical intervention with mental illness." He felt that the idea of therapy springs from the hope that authentic meeting between human beings is still possible. From 1942 to 1945 he was imprisoned in Auschwitz and Dachau. pathological communication. Laing is perhaps most insightful when describing the therapeutic relationship. He saw psychotherapy as. intolerable social pressures. Born in Vienna. and the special qualities of the "I -Thou" relationship in the therapeutic alliance.D. The great store he placed on subjective experience. from the University of Vienna. and observed that therapy involves:. brother and wife all perished in the camps." Laing's major writings include: The Divided Self. he received his M. The Politics of Experience. He ran the Youth Advisement Centre. Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) Frankl is an important existential psychotherapist. an obstinate attempt of two people to recover the wholeness of being human through the relationship between them.University. He survived (as only one in twenty-eight were able).

The search for meaning in one's life is the primary motivational force. Dublin. however harsh the circumstances. Jungian analyst and scholar. New Jersey. and opportunity for growth lies in the way the person bears their suffering. As the titles of his many popular books suggest. to give meaning to our lives. the unheard cry for meaning. who is foremost recognized as the originator of post-Jungian "archetypal psychology. and began to develop a philosophy of his own. Frankl had been strongly influenced by the existential philosophers. Frankl saw that each person's suffering is unique. but rather determines themself. Logotherapy is a therapy that seeks to bring to awareness the unconscious spiritual factors of the human personality. James Hillman (1926. often trivial ways. seemed so utterly meaningless." Born in Atlantic City. Finding meaning for life is central to individual growth and wellbeing. The Will to Meaning.) James Hillman is an internationally renowned psychologist. 1967. He earned his Doctorate from the University of Zurich in 1959. he graduated from Trinity College. pain and distress. We are free. Psychotherapy and Existentialism. 1987. or images. and became a Jungian analyst in Zurich in the 1950s. Logotherapy is concerned basically with meaning. 1981. 1963. Hillman rejects the simple Jungian notion of "archetype". and it was this meaninglessness that was so difficult to bear. . A human being is not determined. Frankl's major writings include: Man's Search for Meaning.on another. The Unheard Cry for Meaning: Psychotherapy and Humanism. the will to meaning. There are no archetypes as such. Heidegger and Jaspers. and became the Director of Studies at the Jung Institute in Zurich. Those who did survive created and held onto meaning in simple. himself. that may be archetypal. there are only phenomena. found meaning in helping others rather than concentrating on his own survival. Ultimately. In 1975. Logotherapy is an attempt to implement that insight in a therapeutic context. He.

values and security. But he is concerned less with the psyche of humanity and more with the soul that is at the heart of world. that is fragmented rather than holistic in perspective. Psychopathology is our most valuable ally. particularly with respect to the notions of the unity and essential "health" of the self. Hillman's major writings include: Re-Visioning Psychology. The Soul’s Code. he is critical of contemporary humanistic psychology. Hillman sees the goal of psychology as the deepening of meaning and experience per se. The soul makes all meaning possible. Hillman regards the soul as the imaginative possibility of our human nature. pathological moments when we experience the disintegration of our beliefs. Healing Fiction. the University of Chicago and the University of Dallas. Giordano Bruno. and the focus on self-actualization and spirituality at the expense of the chaos. The Force of Character. he moved back to Dallas. which emphasized a psychology of soul through a long celebration of its historical champions (people like Marsilio Ficino.Hillman wrote Re-Visioning Psychology. 1975. 1983. . In 1978. The soul. We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World’s Getting Worse (with Michael Ventura). where he continues as the publisher and editor of Spring Publications. in the United States. He has especially looked to classical myths for a polytheistic way of reading the psyche that involves a way of living that is multiple-minded rather than singleminded. and turns events into experiences. according to Hillman. 1996. 1999. Nevertheless. dogmas and beliefs. 1992. Furthermore. and is more likely to emerge in those chaotic. Syracuse University. Connecticut. The soul lies hidden behind our routines. He agrees with Otto Rank that there is an intimate connection between psychopathology and creativity. and later to Thompson. is the proper subject matter of psychology. He has held teaching positions at Yale University. multiplicity and the disintegrative aspects of the soul and the world (1975). and is the primary vehicle through which soulfulness is achieved. and is archetypal rather than moralistic. and Giambattista Vico).

an international organization dedicated to the relief of suffering in the world. 1964. The Only Dance There Is. In 1967. Ram Dass created the Hanuman Foundation which is responsible for many developments such as the Prison-Ashram Project and the Living Dying Project. He is a renowned speaker. compassionate action as a technique for spiritual growth. He was educated at Duke University and the University of Nebraska. From 1958 to 1963 he taught at the Department of Social Relations and the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.) Ram Dass is an American psychologist and spiritual teacher and an important figure on the periphery of the development of humanistic psychology. and because of the controversial nature of this research he was dismissed from Harvard in 1963. in 1931. How Can I Help (with Paul Gorman). and received his name Ram Dass (Servant of God). Dass's major writings include: Psychedelic Experience. 1970. In 1974. He was educated at Tufts College and Weslyan University. Neem Karoli Baba. He is co-founder and board member of the Seva Foundation (Seva is Sanscrit for "service"). studied yoga and meditation. 1988. Grist for the Mill. In collaboration with Timothy Leary. and conducted research into human consciousness. and received his Ph. he travelled to India where he met his spiritual teacher. from Stanford University in 1957. and is closely associated with the notion of service. Be Here Now.D. 2000.) Wilber has emerged as a leading contemporary thinker and transpersonal theorist. he was the son of the founder of Brandeis University. Ken Wilber (1948. Born as Richard Alpert. and the practical application of humanistic values and insights. Still Here. 1971. leaving the graduate program with an MA in biochemistry. and a disillusionment with .Ram Dass (1931. Aldous Huxley and Allen Ginsberg he pioneered the research with LSD and other psychedelic elements. 1985.

The Adventure of Self-Discovery. Levels: Personal/Centaur/Subtle/Causal. Some of his important concepts include: non-ordinary states of consciousness. demonstrating a remarkable capacity to integrate and synthesize across disciplinary boundaries.Basic Perinatal Matrices. sociology. holotropic breathing. 1990. Eye to Eye: The quest for the new paradigm. 1981. Eastern and Western religions. death and transcendence in psychotherapy. spirit. and is a practitioner of Zen meditation. Up From Eden: A transpersonal view of human evolution. Major writings by Wilber include: The Spectrum of Consciousness. 2000. anthropology and postmodern thought. His theories of consciousness and transpersonal experience encompass psychology. 1996. He is a prolific writer. evolution. Integral Psychology: Consciousness. Stanislav Grof (1931. The Holotropic Mind. pre/trans fallacy. therapy. The Marriage of Sense and Soul. psychology. transpersonal psychology and transpersonal therapy. Major writings by Grof include: Beyond the Brain: Birth. mysticism. 1983.) A Czech psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. No Boundary. 1977. spiritual emergence. 1998. 1985. spiritual emergencies. His key ideas and concepts include: the spectrum of consciousness.positivist science. 1980. He was chief of psychiatric research at Maryland Psychiatric Center. 1981. philosophy. 1990. who was a pioneer in the field of LSD research (began in the 50's). 1988. His most recent focus has been in the development of a possible fifth force in psychology: integral psychology. He was founder and former president of the International Transpersonal Association. and assistant professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. . The Atman Project. A Brief History of Everything. BPMs . He quickly became absorbed in Eastern philosophy and religion. The Stormy Search for the Self.

. a point that can be exploited in therapy. Kelly's theory has a cognitive orientation. 1 & 2.e. 1955. Constructs are bipolar. but is humanistic by virtue of its ability to describe an individual's personality ideographically. Kelly was born in Perth. Kelly defined a personal construct as the way in which an individual construes. Vol. Kansas.personal constructs. fixed-role therapy. PCT incorporates both a theory of personality and an approach to therapy. laddering. i. interprets or gives meaning to some aspect of the world. repertory grid. Some of the key concepts of PCT include:. Kelly's major work: The Psychology of Personal Constructs. and founder of Personal Construct Theory (PCT). and they develop by being validated and invalidated by experience. etc. and was educated at the University of Kansas and State University of Iowa. and not by some set of normative types or traits. by using their own set of constructs.George Kelly (1905-1966) Kelly was an American clinical psychologist.

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