Humanistic psychology is aperspective of psychology that says human nature is generally positive frombirth and naturally want to grow and get better.
This perspective was developedto challenge the two main perspectives of the time psychoanalysis andbehaviorism. Due to their focus on the purely negative side of psychology andthe way they tend to dehumanize the individual both Abraham Maslow and CarlRogers created a field to fit their beliefs. Although they both had theories aboutthe importance of one’s self, Rogers thought past Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, withself-actualization at the top, and believed that you would need the rightenvironment and self-concept to achieve your ideal-self. For this reason, Ibelieve Rogers was very influential in shaping the humanistic perspective ofpsychology. Rogershad a very different way of performing therapy with his clients compared to whatwas regularly practiced at the time.
This method of therapy was moreclient-centered and considered nondirective. The way this new therapy workedwas by eliminating all the negative thoughts about being considered a patientthat was only being helped because it was the psychologist’s job. Thepsychologist would use unconditional positive regard and concern to help the clientbecome more comfortable and more willing to openly react to things that aresaid to help the individual grow and make progress with their problems. CarlRogers believed that every human being is naturally good and will always striveto be a better version of themselves or their ideal self, which normally tends tobe their goal.
He said that a person would ‘flourish and reach their potentialif their environment is good enough’ (McLeod: “Carl Rogers,” 2014). Thisrequires two major factors that would influence anybody’s ability to grow. Asmentioned earlier the environment that someone tends to be in is one of them,similarly to behaviorism, it is assumed that where somebody is and who they arearound tends to shape their personality. The other factor being the how someonefeels about their self-concept.
Self-concept is the way you see yourself; your strengths,weaknesses, and behavior, Rogers thought that if these things corresponded withyour real-life behavior in your environment as much as possible, that you wouldbe able to come closer to achieving your ideal self. He also believed that “if yourself-concept was incongruent with your experiences in the world, it would resultin problems” (Licht, 2017)