Humanistic Approach To Psychology Essay Ideas

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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. 

Do you have a good example to share? Add your example here.

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Examples of Humanistic Perspective

By YourDictionary

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.  


The humanistic perspective is a way of evaluating an individual as a whole, rather than looking at them only through a smaller aspect of their person. It is a branch of psychology that relates to the idea of being entirely unique and your own individual. This theory is still relatively new and looks at the way the hierarchy of needs impacts what you do in your life and what you want for your own future as well.

What is the Humanistic Perspective?

This perspective relates to the way that an individual acts or behaves as well as the way that they think or feel related to those acts and behaviors. Psychologists under this perspective feel that a complete understanding of the needs of an individual is extremely important to understanding the reasons that an individual will continue acting in any particular way.

The humanistic perspective considers the hierarchy of needs that an individual has and then considers which are the most important. There are a number of different needs that an individual will have. Each of the needs listed below are important to the overall needs and wants of any member of the human race. They are listed below in order from the least important to the most important according to this hierarchy. These needs include:

1. Physiological

2. Safety

3. Belonging/love

4. Esteem

5. Self-actualization

Each of these needs is crucial to the happiness of the individual. Each one of these needs is slightly different in importance though each is necessary to some effect. First, physiological needs include hunger and thirst. These are very important to life however, they are actually less important to the individual than other needs. An individual will work towards getting food and liquid that they need in order to survive, however, they don’t find this as important to their wellbeing as other aspects on the hierarchy of needs.

Safety comes next in importance and refers to an individual being able to feel secure in their life. Belonging is next important because of an intrinsic need within the human race to belong and feel loved by someone. This is followed by the importance of esteem or feeling like one is recognized for the things that they are capable of and the things they have done. By feeling recognition as well as feeling positive about yourself, one can accomplish the esteem necessary for happiness.

The final aspect of the hierarchy of needs is the most important, self-actualization. This is where an individual will achieve their full potential and it is actually what an individual will work towards more than anything else. If an individual is able to reach self-actualization they will be better able to achieve happiness.

Who Founded the Humanistic Perspective?

The humanistic perspective was founded by Abraham Maslow as well as Carl Rogers. Maslow is best known for creating the hierarchy of needs which is used as a basis for the humanistic perspective. This theory was founded in 1943 and was actually published in a paper titled, A Theory of Human Motivation. This paper introduced the basic foundation of this theory.

Next, Carl Rogers considered the ideal of self-concept which pushes an individual to work towards self-actualization, the last step in the hierarchy of needs as founded by Abraham Maslow. The therapy aspect of this theory relates to focusing on unconditional positive regard and support of the client no matter what is said during the session. In this way, an individual is better able to feel self-actualized and better about themselves.

Examples of the Humanistic Perspective

Example 1:

Margaret is attending college in her town. She is trying to get a degree in nursing because she really wants to become a nurse. She has always felt like she could really help others and like she should try everything possible to become a better person. When she does become a nurse she plans to fulfill her dream of working with underprivileged people.

Margaret is working towards self-actualization and achieving her full potential. She is also working on helping her own self-esteem as well as her feeling of belonging. She wants to feel important but she really wants to make sure she’s helping other people.

Example 2:

Brandon is feels like there is nothing going well in his life. He goes to work and goes to school but he doesn’t do much of anything else. He doesn’t spend a lot of time with friends or going out and is very bored most of the time. As a result, his life seems to be very unfulfilling. He wants to do something about this but isn’t sure where he should start.

The idea that Brandon wants to change things in his life in order to get rid of the bored feeling is another point in favor of the humanistic perspective. He wants to make changes so that he can get the benefits of a happy and fulfilling life. The changes he makes will increase his self-esteem as well as his self-actualization.

Example 3:

Kelsey is new in her school. She is worried about fitting in and about making new friends. Her first day at the new school she decides to join a few clubs to help her meet new people. She steps outside of her comfort zone to talk to more people and finds a few that become her friends very quickly.

Kelsey is reacting to an intrinsic need for friendship, self-esteem and self-actualization. This requires her to reach out to other people and try to make new friendships as she gets used to the new place to live. The humanistic perspective says that in order to be happy, Kelsey has an inherent need to adapt her life and become even happier. She will work towards these changes because of those inherent needs.

Other Important Facts About the Humanistic Perspective

This perspective looks at the way an individual will look at their own future and their own hopes for the future. It considers children as well as adults when looking at these perspectives. For example, a child will create their own condition of worth by understanding behavior that they are the recipient of as well as behavior that they see. This helps them understand how they can deserve positive emotions and whether they deserve those emotions from others.

When children are younger they will view the ways that their parents treat them as well as how their parents or friends treat other people. This will increase the way that they feel about themselves for the rest of their lives. If they don’t get a good idea of themselves and what they can accomplish it could actually influence their own perception on themselves. This can affect them throughout the rest of their childhood as well as their adulthood.

Those who are not able to achieve all aspects of the hierarchy of needs will not be able to achieve true happiness in their lives. They will feel unhappy and unfulfilled no matter what they are actually able to accomplish. The important aspect of the hierarchy of needs is that they are absolutely necessary. Without every one of them being accomplished 100% there is no possibility of living a 100% fulfilled life. This requires continued achievement of each of these aspects.

If an individual feels self-actualized at one point but the feeling disappears they will not be achieving all of the aspects of the hierarchy of needs. As a result, they will not be able to be 100% happy and fulfilled.


The humanistic perspective considers the basic human needs of an individual and how important they really are to the overall happiness of that person. This considers aspects that are relevant to life and liberty.

1. The humanistic perspective considers physiological, safety, belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization needs.

2. This perspective was based on the hierarchy of needs by Abraham Maslow.

3. The humanistic perspective was also expanded upon by Carl Rogers’ theory of self-concept and its impact on self-actualization.

4. The humanistic perspective is still being used in modern times though it has been updated over time as well to reflect other changes in psychology.

This perspective is considered relevant even currently. It is related to the way that any individual will live their life. They will work towards a level of happiness as well as a new level of self-actualization and life in their life. Every one of us has an intrinsic desire to live a positive life and we will do everything we can to achieve that according to the humanistic perspective.

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