Therapy provides a safe and secure environment for us to explore our issues, learn more about ourselves, and develop effective coping strategies to manage our struggles. In therapy, there are several effectives approaches and techniques used to help individuals get the most out of their session. Humanistic therapy, also known as humanism, is one effective approach and focuses on an individual person’s nature rather than categorizing the person with others who may have a similar problem. The American Psychological Association notes that Jean-Paul Sartre, Martin Buber and Soren Kierkegaard influenced humanistic therapy
According to Psychology Today, humanistic therapy is often used to treat depression, anxiety, panic disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia, addiction, relationship issues, and more. People who have low self-esteem, who have trouble finding their meaning in life, or who are not comfortable with who they are may also benefit from this form of therapy. Humanistic therapy is therefore a holistic approach, and is comprised of a few distinct characteristics:
- It promotes creativity, free will, self-expression, self-exploration and viewing oneself as a “whole” person. Lumen Learning Center identifies this as self-actualization.
- It involves gestalt therapy and/or client-centered therapy. Gestalt therapy helps a person focuses on their thoughts and feelings here and now instead of root causes. Client-centered therapy involves providing a supportive environment for the client to explore.
- The therapist is warm, empathetic, understanding, and a non-judgmental person.
- Both the therapist and client are considered equals – the therapist is not viewed as an authority figure.
Those who engage in this form of therapy should expect to explore themselves in a creative and free manner. Biographies, diaries, letters, observation, unstructured interviews are just a few tactics used in humanistic therapy. According to Good Therapy, humanism implies that a person is created with a certain priority of needs and drives and that each person must rely on their inner selves for wisdom and healing. From this, people can use therapy to help uncover their inner voice and discover what is needed from them to be truly happy and fulfilled.
Humanistic therapy has many benefits, but does not come without limitations. Due to the subjective nature of this approach, there is a lack of empirical evidence, making it difficult to monitor the success of this therapy. Good Therapy also notes that while humanistic therapy relies on free will and the conscious mind, our unconscious plays a key role in our decision making as well.
Making the decision to go to therapy is an important one. If you are considering going to therapy, call us at New Vista Behavioral Health today. We believe in treating the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and we view clients as individuals with unique needs. Take the first step towards your mental health recovery and call us at 866-855-4202.