Humanistic Psychology is a school of psychology that dwells its concern on the human dimensions of psychology and the human premise for growth in the field of Psychology . This psychological theory evolved in the 1950s as a response to the dominating theories of Behaviorism and Psychoanalysis. Humanistic Psychology’s theories are derived from the principles of Existentialism. The principle’s main thought is based on contexts that rely solely on humans’ free will.
Ivan Pavlov, a renowned proponent of Psychology in academic practices, made it possible through his work with the conditioned reflex. The names of John Watson and B. S Skinner were also integrated for this School which was later known as The Science of Behavior. Abraham Maslow sooner dubbed the school as the “Second Force “. Following Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis which was part of the “First Force”. The objective approach of the first force resulted into application of effective methods in natural sciences and philosophical examinations.
Unfortunately, the first force neglected other aspects such as the subjectivity of consciousness and the complex state of the human personality. The second force on the other hand, also received contributions from Alfred Adler, Erik Erikson, Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, Carl Jung, Melanie Klein, Otto Rank and Harry Stack Sullivan. The focus of these proponents heavily relied and centered on the depth of the human psyche. The assertion of its contents and its implications to the conscious for the production of a healthy persona.
They are convinced that behavior is primarily influenced by events in the unconscious mind. In addition, the proponents of the Second Force conclude that the consciousness is too deep to be studied scientifically due to its subjective tendencies and its essence of seclusion. Humanistic Psychology 2 The 1950s saw the dawn of a new force. A convention of prominent psychologists spearheaded by Abraham Maslow and Clark Moustakes occurred in the city of Detroit, Michigan.
The convention tackled Psychology that was highly inclined in the context of human issues, mainly to focus on understanding the true essence of being human ( Aanstoos, Serlin & Greening, 2000 ). Their efforts soon bore fruit. After numerous discussions and theory applications, Humanistic Psychology was finally established as a “Third Force”. Theorists who paved the way for the third wave of psychology were Abrahan Maslow, Carl Roger and Rollo May.
Wilhelm Reichs “Character Analysis” was also credited for the advancement of Humanistic Psychology. Notable breakthroughs such as the Journal of Humanistic Psychology and the Association for Humanistic Psychology supported this “Third Force”. Many programs and courses that discuss Humanistic Psychology flourished in Educational Institutions. In 1971, the American Psychological Association recognized Humanistic Psychology as a field and gave the new field a division within the association (Bugental, 1964, p. 23).