The Humanistic Model of the Mind
"The aim of humanistic psychology is to help individuals become more fully human, to live lives of greater authenticity, creativity, and self-realization." -- Rollo May
In the humanistic model of psychology, you are seen as a person who can grow and change throughout life. This model believes that everyone has the ability to reach their full potential, and by doing so achieve a state of fulfillment. This model is different from other models because it focuses on positive things like personal growth, rather than mostly negative things like traumatic experiences.
This model says that people are motivated by their own goals and desires, and that they can make choices that affect their own lives. It also says that your experiences, thoughts, and feelings all affect the way you think and act.
There are a few important things to know about this model. One is that it emphasizes the importance of understanding your own experiences and feelings. It also emphasizes the importance of meeting your basic needs, like food and shelter, and your emotional needs, like love and friendship. Finally, it says that you have the ability to grow and change throughout your life, and that this can bring you happiness and fulfillment, which is a familiar message for anyone that’s grown up in Western countries where a large emphasis is placed on individual achievement and attainment.
Cameron Hanes, a seasoned ultrarunner and bow hunter, has spoken about the importance of having a growth mindset and a desire to constantly improve and push himself to the limits. This aligns with the humanistic emphasis on personal growth and self-actualization.
Similarly, David Goggins, a former Navy SEAL and ultramarathon runner, has spoken about the power of the human mind and how it can be trained and developed to overcome obstacles and reach new levels of achievement. This perspective is consistent with the humanistic focus on the potential for growth and self-discovery.
These are just a few of countless examples of people that have transformed via a humanistic emphasis on life. It's important to remember, however, that this is but one of many factors that influence our minds and how we perceive life.
Important People in the Humanistic Model
Here's a handful of the big names from the field of humanistic psychology:
- Abraham Maslow, who is considered the founder of humanistic psychology, and who developed the hierarchy of needs theory, which proposes that human beings have a hierarchy of needs that must be met in order to achieve self-actualization a.k.a realizing your full potential + living your best life. Something awesome like that.
- Carl Rogers, who developed the theory of person-centered therapy, which emphasizes the importance of empathy, unconditional positive regard, and genuineness in the therapeutic relationship. He was a friggin' giant teddy bear. A kind and compassionate person.
- Rollo May, who was a humanistic psychologist and a contemporary of Maslow and Rogers, and who wrote extensively on the humanistic approach to psychology.
- Viktor Frankl, who developed the theory of logotherapy, which emphasizes the role of meaning and purpose in mental health. He wrote the profound book titled Man’s Search for Meaning.
- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who is known for his work on the concept of flow, which describes the state of being fully immersed and engaged in an activity.
Questions for Self-Inquiry
- What are my core values and beliefs?
- How do I see myself and my place in the world?
- What are my strengths and weaknesses?
- What are my goals and aspirations?
- How do I interact with others and build relationships?
- Am I fulfilling my potential and living up to my personal standards?
- How do I approach challenges and obstacles in my life?
- How do I cope with stress and negative emotions?
- What do I need to do in order to grow and develop as a person?