Humanistic therapy is a form of talk therapy that contains a gestalt approach (focusing on the present). This approach to psychology emphasizes the mind and behavior as a whole, and that the whole of anything is greater than its parts. It digs deep into how a person feels right here and now. Thus, not focusing attention on past events that led to these feelings.
The humanistic approach provides a warm atmosphere filled with support, empathy, and trust. Many people living with a range of mental health conditions can benefit from humanistic therapy treatment.
At SoCal Empowered, we specialize in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. We have witnessed empirical evidence of the benefits that come from humanistic therapy on our clients. Our professional care team works hard to build relationships so that you can solely focus on recovery without the fear of judgment.
Based on humanistic psychology (humanism), this therapy is a fundamental belief that people are naturally good. The driving forces of behavior stem from morality, ethical values, and good intentions. Negative social or psychological subjective experiences disrupt these good, natural tendencies.
Humanistic therapy is an unconditional positive approach to psychotherapy that concentrates on understanding human behavior on an individual level. It does not put people in groups with similar characteristics and issues. This is because the ultimate goal is to emphasize the “exploration of self.”
Together, the humanistic psychologist and the client view and observe the client’s behavior, working together as equals. Emphasis is placed on positive behavior traits and the ability to use personal insights. These insights found internally consist of growth, healing, wisdom, and self-fulfillment. The client is looked at as the expert, recognizing what is best for them, and the therapist offers an empathetic environment.
The therapist will set specific goals to motivate positive change in their life. The continuous work in this therapy always focuses on current situations rather than past life experiences.
Moreover, humanistic therapy may be beneficial for people going through family or other interpersonal relationships. Like such, people with low self-esteem, lack feelings of “wholeness,” or are searching for their personal meaning, can benefit from this treatment.
During the late 1950s, psychologists started focusing on a new, more holistic approach to therapy. This centered around the positive side of human nature, rather than environmental influences or past experiences.
Around the same time, Abraham Maslow developed the human hierarchy of needs (a person-centered approach), which influenced the development of humanistic therapy. This approach emphasizes why humanistic therapists think people are naturally motivated to fulfill their individual needs to be self-actualized.
Forms of self-actualization can include:
The universal foundation of all therapy is self-exploration, empowerment to the client, and a supportive environment. Several widely practiced techniques used in humanistic therapy incorporate listening, accepting, understanding, and sharing.
Some forms of humanistic therapy that are commonly applied include:
The two most widely used forms of humanistic therapy are gestalt therapy and person-centered therapy. Dreamwork is one humanistic therapy technique used in gestalt therapy, by analyzing the meanings of images and feelings. “The empty chair” is another common technique, which involves an imaginary conversation with another person.
In person-centered therapy, the humanistic therapy technique used is “active listening.” The therapist remains non-judgmental and supportive, and also sets clear boundaries to ensure a safe environment. The therapist also remains genuine, accepts negative feelings that arise, and works from the client’s viewpoint.
There are essential qualities a good humanistic therapist must possess. A therapist should be non-judgmental, understanding, empathic, and inviting. They must be an experienced, licensed mental health professional with humanistic values. Furthermore, the next most vital quality is that they make the client feel comfortable to get the most out of therapy.
Not only is concern and respect for others an important theme for humanistic therapy, but for SoCal Empowered as well. We are a family run facility equipped with industry-leading mental health and addiction recovery professionals. We focus on meeting each client where there are, and work hard to create a respectful relationship.
If you or a loved one is battling a mental health disorder, give us a call today. Your journey towards personal growth and healing can start with us and humanistic therapy.