The Psychological Approach Of Humanism And Human Empowerment

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The psychological approach of humanism and human empowerment


Humanism, also called "by third force", is a psychological approach that originates as opposed to behaviorism and psychoanalysis. He had great precursors, of which various arguments will be analyzed and among which we can mention Erich Fromm, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Viktor Frankl, among others. This clotter is often connected to Gestalt, and rescues several of the postulates of the same. Humanism came to revolutionize modern psychology, since it helped us to change the deterministic vision in which it was stagnant and made us highlight the human being as an individual being and capable of having control of their situation. This same highlights the human qualities and reminds us of the valuable experience of being and its role within the game of life.

Humanist psychology came to highlight the link between therapist and patient, thus creating a more enjoyable, sincere and open environment to change. The entable of this link is very effective, since the patient sees his therapist as an equal and not as an authority or an entity that will tell him what to do and how to do it. The humanist psychologist intends to accompany his patient while highlighting his qualities and strengths and makes him know his weaknesses so that he, by identifying them, can empower and reach a state of self-realization and / or a full state.

This work aims to emphasize the different postulates within humanistic psychology, as well as focus on defending why this approach is so effective and important so that the mental, emotional and social health of the human being. Humanism and human empowerment


As we already know, humanism is that psychological approach that treats the human being since its entirety, not fragmenting it in various situations, problems, conflicts, among others. In order to understand that there is a willpower and understand that he is the one who decides what position to take before the adversity of life and how to face the various situations for which he is going through. This occurs since the subjective experience that the individual has about life, gives him a unique and particular experience that Churchill (2017) comments on this approach is that: “Humanist psychology was characterized by relying on some conception of the human beingof a philosophical nature (with a history that go from Socrates to the phenomenology and philosophy of existence and existence)… ”which invites us to think that humanistic psychology is not something that has suddenly given this last century, but that it hasIts origins since ancient times and has had foundations from postulates of large and praised thinkers throughout history.

It is interesting to think about how throughout human evolution, there were already small flashes of what we were going to know today as humanism. This could be due to the human nature of seeking a state of fullness, of growth and importance, a state of self-realization. Being is always in search of pleasure (I do not mean an intuitive pleasure, but to that feeling of pleasure, satisfaction and fullness both emotional, physical and mental) and avoidance of suffering and disagreement.

From the point of view of Goldstein (1993) “self-realization is the main motive of the organism, the only real reason: ‘The tendency to perform itself as much as possible is the basic impulse… the impulse of self-realization’ is theTrue motivation.”(P. 44). This helps us infer the great impact that this desire for human being of the human being has. The human seeks to survive by nature, and self-realization not only gives him the motivation to do so, but helps him to overcome and put himself before any adversity that causes him discomfort.

The desire for self-realization with which the human being has is something fascinating, since this desire motivates us and drives us to act as we act, all this based on our free will. Many people are often blinded to this human quality, so they act destructively. They threaten themselves and against their peers, it is in these cases where humanism comes into action to ensure that these people realize their capacity and all the potential they have, causing them to retake the control and direction of their lives.

García, Díaz and Medina (2007) rescue that “Maslow defined in his pyramid the basic needs of the individual in a hierarchical way, placing the most basic or simple needs at the base of the pyramid and the most relevant or fundamentalsame, as the needs are met or achieved, others arise from a higher or better level.”(P. 289-296). What Maslow meant is that, when covering certain needs, the ability to aspire to new and more transcendental was acquired. Maslow shares the following proposal for the needs: physiological, security, affiliation, recognition and self-realization. Its pyramid begins with the most basic needs and reaches the self-realization. This makes sense, since a malnourished being or without a home hardly (almost being impossible) could reach a true and full self-realization.

Humanism is that approach that works with people in a somewhat personalized way, since it is based on the individuality of the human being as in their particular conflicts and experiences. This helps us to have greater control over the therapy and the process of our patient. Many people criticize the subjectivity of this current;However, I consider that this subjectivity is the fort of it, since it allows the individual to be the one who questions their perceptions and creates the change or modifies behaviors in a more active way within the therapeutic process, since it makes it aware of what it ispassing within your reality.

Another great exponent, Viktor Fangl, (1991), within his theory, the logotherapy, mentions that “the human being is responsible for his own finitude, is tight by many ties but these are precisely the support points on which they areYERGUE YOUR SAME FREEDOM."What Frankl means to us is that we are able to get to where we want and intend to arrive, and that all those situations that we often feel that they are doing the opposite, since they give us the foundations to reunite ourselves andFrom which we are going to find the strength to continue. Frankl is a great believer that the human being is able to meet and overcome himself based on his suffering. He argues that the one is so vulnerable, can fall into madness and hopelessness and perish or can continue to maintain that hope, which yes or if he were leading us to our happiness and would serve as motivation for our self-realization.

Many are the exponents that we find within the humanistic approach, each with their own theories and postulates, but they all lead us to the same thing: the human being is a whole and is designed, by nature, to seek their self-realization. Now, what is the advantage of the so -called "third force" over other currents such as psychoanalysis and behavioral cognitive?

Tubert (2000) comments that “psychoanalysis aims to investigate and the treatment of emotional problems from the point of view of the person’s childhood, the interpretation of dreams, failed acts and the free association technique, betweenothers.”(P.26-27). This affirms that psychoanalysis is going to focus on the person’s past and how it affects its present through the unconscious. Here is psychoanalysis fragmenting the individual and inferring that working the childhood traumas or traumas stored in the unconscious will be an improvement in our patient, not to mention that psychoanalysis loves to "label" patients with various problems.

On the other hand, we have behavioral cognitive. Phillip (2009) highlights that “it has been demonstrated useful dealing with some disorders and conditions such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, phobias, bulimia, schizophrenia, among others.) ”This is quite striking, but if we focus on the theory of this current we could realize how it reduces us to simple beings that are based on an almost automatic stimulus relationship- Answer. Again leaving aside the importance of active participant to our patient so that he has a feeling of achievement every time, since his own will, he manages to face some conflict that had great impact on his life.

With this it is not intended to collapse these two currents, since both have greatly marked today’s psychology, moreover, they even influenced the origin of the humanistic approach;However, it is necessary to recognize that not many times will be our best option to treat our patient and that they do not focus on helping the patient to achieve self-realization but help him solve problems, conflicts, behaviors or behaviors that are not consideredhealthy or acceptable.


From the above in this work, it can be inferred that humanism, when taking as a whole, can work more broadly and generally and without stopping and focusing on a single problem. This is useful to empower the human being and help him face and overcome a lot of conflicts at the same time. Obviously, the therapist can work with the patient the problems that most distress him, but at the same time the tools are being given to face a large range of situations that could be giving conflicts. Humanism, unlike currents such as psychoanalysis and behavioral cognitive which are considered as determinists, is an anthropocentrist current, focusing its tools, therapies, theories and techniques in the help of the search for self-realization by the individual.

The advantage that humanism has over other currents is that beyond concentrating on the problem or problems of the person, it puts their attention on the subject itself. Since, if we have a person aware of their potential and human capacity, we will have a person willing to face their different conflicts (whether internal or external). That is why I consider that the humanistic approach can be one of the most successful currents that are and can help us improve the quality of our patient’s human experience accompanying him in the search for his self-realization.


  • Churchill, s. (2017) «Society for Humanistic Psychology.»American Psychological Association (APA). 
  • Goldstein, cited by Arnold H. Modell, The Private Self (Harvard, 1993) P. 44.
  • García-Aurrecoechea, r.;Díaz-Guerrero, r.;Medina-Mora Icaza, M.AND. (2007). «Issue satisfaction deficit in treatment users of treatment for treatment». Addictions: Socidrogalcohol Magazine, Vol. 19, No. 3, p. 289-296.
  • Frankl v., The will to mean, Herder, Barcelona, 1991.
  • Tubert, s. (2000). Sigmund Freud: Fundamentals of psychoanalysis. Argentina: Edaf. pp. 26-27.
  • Pinto, Carmen (Trad.);Philip, Timms (ed.) (2009). Cognitive -behavioral therapy (TCC).
  • London and Spain: Spanish Society of Psychiatry and Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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