Critical Analysis of the Humanistic Approach and PersonCentred Therapy

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This approach originates from the concept of self actualization that is concerned with psychological growth, satisfaction and accomplishment in life. However, the concept has been approached in different ways by Rogers and Maslow, in terms of the manner in which human beings can achieve self actualization. This paper makes a critical analysis of the Humanist Approach and the Person-Centered Therapy by examining the related concepts, theory and scientific basis on which they are based. Main Body The fundamental aspects of Rogers’ and Maslow’s theories pertain to the subjective and conscious experiences of people. It is argued by humanistic psychologists that an individual’s subjective perceptions and understandings of the world are more important than objective realities. In view of such beliefs, Rogers and Maslow focused a great deal on scientific psychology, particularly in the context of using psychological concepts to explore human as well as animal behaviors. The humanistic approach clearly rejects scientific methodologies such as experiments and focuses on using methods of qualitative research such as unstructured observations, un-structured interviews and open ended questionnaires. This approach is very useful in conducting research at the individual level to determine the ways in which people think and feel. Human beings are viewed as being entirely different from animals in view of human consciousness that allows people to think, reason and to use language. The humanistic approach rejects rigorous scientific approaches in psychological studies because they are perceived to dehumanize and to be incapable in capturing the strength relative to the experience of the human conscience. The humanistic approach begins with making assumptions that all human beings have their own unique individual ways of understanding and perceiving the world and all human actions take shape in keeping with such perceptions and attitudes. Hence the questions asked by humanists are different from those asked by psychologists using other approaches. It is known that other theorists assume objective views about people while humanists prioritize on understanding people and their subjectivity. Consequently, they discard objective scientific approaches as a means to study and understand people. Humanistic psychologists are clearly in favor of endorsing ideas that people have a free will and are thus competent to choose what actions they will take, although this may not be done consciously always. They also believe that human beings tend to grow and achieve satisfaction in keeping with their potential. Most of the research in this regard has focused on the ways in which people can be assisted to achieve their full potential and to live satisfied and contented lives. The humanistic approach on behavior focuses on the self, which is the individual’s consciousness relative to his or her own identity. Humanistic psychologists believe that individuals can achieve their full potential of growth only if they have a positive viewpoint about themselves, which is possible only if they are able to command absolute and positive respect from others. They should feel they are respected and valued by others without any reservations. Humanistic psychologists feel that most people do not have perceptions about