Humanistic theory is a new stage in considering a person as a character striving for self-development and self-actualization. They assume that the individual is a highly positive and spiritual being, and negative emotions and traits appear under external factors. Two critical psychologists who have contributed to the development of this theory are Maslow and Rogers. They held a common opinion on whole humanistic theories of personality development. However, the meaning was sometimes expressed differently, which can be seen in their thoughts and analyzed in my own and Katharine’s example.
Maslow made a significant contribution to humanistic theory, putting forward the idea of considering a person as a whole and not a set of differentiated parts. The psychologist revised many views of previous research such as animal experimentation, inner nature, creativity, mental health, and motivation. He did not support animal experiments like behaviorists since he believed that humans are unique living creatures.
The inner nature is viewed from the optimistic side, and all negativity is due to unmet needs. Maslow noted that earlier psychological experiments were carried out only with sick people; therefore, now it is necessary to study healthy people and their positive emotions. The most rarely attainable point in the pyramid is the last step-self-realization. I chose the aspects below because when a person finds their way and fully realizes talents, opportunities, and potential, they can live the most fulfilling life. It is worth noting that implementation can be hindered by socio-cultural norms applied to a specific population group. Maslow came up with entirely new ideas about considering personality, which is of interest and can be further developed.
Carl Rogers worked on the same questions of personality research and became one of the founders of humanistic theory. At the heart of his assumption about the structure of personality is the “I-concept,” which reflects the aspect of the perception of the world. The psychologist maintained an unconditionally positive attitude that encourages people to be themselves, regardless of their character. He also came up with exciting ideas about non-directive or indirective therapy. It involves focusing on the client and bridging the boundaries between experience and self-concept (Goldfried, 2007).
A person can blur the line between two “I” components, how they are aware of themself now and their ideal version in the future. I chose these aspects because it is curious to compare his thoughts about self-realization with Maslow’s theory. Roger adhered to a cautious concept of freeing the individual from defensive reactions to move forward. Maslow spoke about dynamism; he considered self-actualization a continuous path to realizing the potential for the passage of a life mission. Both psychologists contributed to the humanistic theory and considered various aspects; the difference in their views gives ground for thought for the next generations.
My self-actualization process is now at the stage of need for development. I constantly want to learn something new and improve myself. My ideas about potential began to develop in school; then, I started with the simplest, Maslow’s pyramid. I thought I was at one of the highest levels, but after the test, I realized that only in the middle, of the need for involvement. The concept of success in my culture is wealth and prestige, which many now aspire to. I am unsure if this suits me because I like to communicate with people and listen to them. To conclude, I put my interest in communicating with people above money; therefore, I think that I do not meet the expectations of the success of society.
Katharine went through several stages of fulfilling her self-actualization needs. Self-concept theories can be used to explain her behavior and development. In marriage, the woman closed herself off from the whole world since she did not get the opportunity to develop what she was drawn to. After the divorce, she was suppressed and closed, and at the Women’s Support Group meetings, over time, she was able to let go of her defense. When Katharine did this, her life got better as she reached her potential.
Goldfried, M. R. (2007). What has psychotherapy inherited from Carl Rogers? Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 44(3), 249–252. Web.