Humanistic school of Psychology

Humanistic school of Psychology

Humanistic school of Psychology was conceived during the 1950, as a reaction to the two dominant forms or ‘schools of psychology’ Psychoanalysis and Behaviourism.
Psychoanalysis focused on an individual’s subconscious process and it’s motivations that drove behaviour, while Behaviourism studied how in individuals were conditioned to behave and act out of punishment or reward.
Humanist thinkers believed that the theories were ‘reductionist’ and showed the human condition in a pessimistic light.


Humanism focuses on the potential of human beings, it stresses the importance of person development and emotional growth, most of all it valued personal choice and the notion of free will.
In the late 1950’s psychologists such as Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers began to research the idea that as Human beings we have a rich inner emotional  life which Rogers described as the ‘organismic self’.


During the 1960’s humanistic thinking influenced approaches in health care, education and social services. It even had its own society called the ‘Human Potential Movement of HPM’ contributors in included Aldous Huxley, who authored the books ‘Brave New World’ and ‘Doors of Perception’

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Counselling library pdf_downloadHistory of Humanistic Psychology