Humanistic therapy – Intro to Psychology

Do you remember back in our lesson on motivation and emotion when we discussed Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and we talked the top level of the hierarchy, which was self-actualization? Well, our next type of psychotherapy was developed by Carl Rogers, and its purpose is to help a client reach their greatest potential. So, this top layer of the hierarchy. This is called client-centered therapy. This is a form of humanistic therapy where the therapist shows unconditional positive regard for the patient, meaning the therapist genuinely accepts the individual and empathizes with the client, no matter what the person has done. The basic idea behind Rogers’ humanistic therapy is that the mismatch between who people think they are and who they think they should be, or would like to be, is the source of their low self-esteem and problems. In other words, there’s a mismatch between the real and the ideal self. The job of the therapist, therefore, is to be so accepting of the person that their real self and ideal self becomes one and the same. That is, they like who they really are and they accept who they really are. The end result of a successful treatment would be that the individual develop a strong sense of self worth, and that he or she has the confidence to strive for self-fulfillment.

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