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Scottish Charity No: 12522
             
 
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What is therapy?

Integrative

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HUMANISTIC

Core Process

Psychodynamic

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HUMANISTIC

Humanistic psychology and its application in humanistic counselling and psychotherapy emphasises human uniqueness; a holistic need to balance intellect, spirit, emotions and the body; individual autonomy and responsibility; fundamental innocence; and the importance of the shadow side (unlived, unacknowledged human potentials which is not necessarily “dark”).

Humanistic counsellors and psychotherapists believe that it is important to apply the same criteria of respect, empowerment, authenticity, and so on, that we have for our clients, to ourselves personally and professionally.

Humanistic practitioners also believe that in counselling and psychotherapy the therapeutic relationship is the main agent of change that the practitioner has any influence on, so who we are is crucial to the well-being of our clients. We see the therapeutic relationship as one of shared responsibility and view unconscious processes such as transference and counter-transference as a valuable dimension of communication that takes many forms, including body language and non-verbal communication, and does not necessarily imply pathological aspects.

There are several sources of humanistic psychology, including the phenomenological tradition, the existential tradition, self-actualisation, abundance motivation, the person-centred approach, body-oriented approaches, group dynamics, peak experiences, eastern philosophy and transpersonal perspectives.

Being humanistic is a way of life, in that it includes being committed to one's work and having an awareness of competence, limitations, contextual awareness of social, political and cultural concerns, and so on. This necessitates maintaining one's authenticity and having and using a support network that includes supervision and personal and professional development. Although any person can foster self awareness in another, it requires having humility in relation to others' offerings; knowing we do not have the answers but are fellow searchers; being devoted to self vigilance; being willing to experience vulnerability and uncertainty.

Mike Wilson

 

Wellspring acknowledges the Association for Humanistic Psychology Practitioners for this material which has been modified for our specific use.

   
 

Wellspring Scotland Ltd, 13 Smith's Place, Edinburgh, EH6 8NT
Tel No: 0131 553 6660    Fax: 0131 553 4506
Company limited by guarantee reg no: 168948, Charity No: SCO 12522