Humanistic psychotherapy is based on the firm belief in people’s ability to take charge of their own life and fulfil their potential.
It says that humans have an internal drive to maximise their creative choices and interactions in search of self-awareness, freedom, and life-affirming feelings.
Humanistic psychotherapy focuses on two main tenets: working in the here and now, and the relationship between personal responsibility and self-empowerment. Although it deals with present experiences, the role of past experiences and future possibilities also comes into play.
There are a broad number of therapeutic approaches which fall under the “humanistic” umbrella. What they all hold in common, is that this type of therapy can be short-term or long-term depending on the client’s issues and progress. It is a client-centred therapy that emphasises the importance of a very positive relationship between the therapist and client that is warm, accepting, and non-judgemental.
The therapist can use a range of different techniques depending on their particular therapy approach. However, the following techniques, to help the client feel safe to fully express him or herself, are common to all humanistic approaches:
Self-actualisation is at the heart of humanistic psychotherapy. This entails realising a person’s full potential, although the specifics of what that involves vary greatly depending on the individual. It might include things like the pursuit of success, happiness, knowledge, spiritual enlightenment, or creative expression. It is viewed as a continual process rather than a state that one reaches and stays in.
Humanistic therapies are a broad category encompassing a number of approaches that are focussed on growth, responsibilities, and self-development. Here are just a few of the therapies that fall into this category:
Humanistic psychotherapy can be helpful in treating a wide range of mental health or psychological wellbeing issues. It can also be useful in cases where individuals seem out of touch with themselves, even if they do not have a specific mental disorder or other problem. A few of the issues it can help with include: