Humanistic Therapy

NOTE: This page is for reference, definition, and information only. Wilopa Practitioners are not licensed medical personnel and do not practice the form of psychotherapy described herein.

Humanistic therapy is a psychological perspective emphasizing the client’s inherent drive toward self-actualization, the process of realizing and expressing one’s own capabilities and creativity.

Humanistic therapy helps the client gain the belief that all people are inherently good. It adopts a holistic approach to human existence and pays special attention to such phenomena as creativity, free will, and positive human potential. It encourages viewing ourselves as a “whole person” greater than the sum of our parts and encourages self exploration rather than the study of behavior in other people. Humanistic psychology acknowledges spiritual aspiration as an integral part of the psyche. It is linked to the emerging field of transpersonal psychology.

Primarily, this type of therapy encourages a self-awareness and mindfulness that helps the client change their state of mind and behavior from one set of reactions to a healthier one with more productive self-awareness and thoughtful actions. Essentially, this approach allows the merging of mindfulness and behavioral therapy, with positive social support.

One of the main goals of this therapy is to help the client gain self-awareness and work on self-improvement. This therapy emphasizes the importance of accepting responsibility for yourself and focusing on the present. It also focuses on your inherent positive traits, behaviors, and good nature. This approach emphasizes your ability to find fulfillment, healing, and maximum potential within themselves.

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Empathy is one of the most important aspects of humanistic therapy. This idea focuses on the therapist’s ability to see the world through the eyes of the client. Included in empathizing, unconditional positive regard is one of the key elements of humanistic therapy. This ensures that the therapist does not become the authority figure in the relationship allowing for a more open flow of information as well as a kinder relationship between the two.

A therapist practicing humanistic therapy needs to show a willingness to listen and ensure the comfort of the patient where genuine feelings may be shared but are not forced upon someone.

The Ideal Self

The ideal self and real self involve understanding the issues that arise from having an idea of what you wish you are as a person (ideal self), and having that differ from who you actually are (real self). The ideal self is what a person believes should be done according to  what their core values are. The real self is what is actually plays out in life.

Through humanistic therapy, an understanding of the present allows clients to add positive experiences to their real self concept. The goal is to have the two concepts of self become congruent.

Our version of humanistic therapy is neither a medical nor a clinical approach. It is a similar yet modified and enhanced holistic approach that far exceeds the capabilities and efficacy of the traditional medical counterpart.