Comparison Of Humanistic Theory With Other Similar Theories Essay

Length: 5 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Psychology Type: Essay Paper: #1658723 Related Topics: Psychodynamic Theories, Psychoanalytic Theory, Humanistic Psychology, Carl Rogers
Excerpt from Essay :

Humanistic Theory and Its Position Among Other Counseling Theories

Humanistic Theory

The obvious limitations associated with the Psychodynamic theories led to the adoption of the humanistic approach as a response to these limitations, especially in Psychoanalysis. People like Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers felt that the psychodynamic theories that were still in existence were unable to address certain important issues such as the nature of healthy growth and the meaning of behavior adequately. Nevertheless, the outcome was not just a new variation in the theory of psychodynamic, but rather, a new approach.

The Founders of the Accepted Theories

Carl Rogers

Carl Rogers wasn't just one of the several theorists who founded the Humanistic Approach, but possibly the most important therapist that lived in the 20th century. Several surveys, which include a number of surveys carried out after the death of Carl Rogers, discovered that several other therapists named Rogers as one of the most powerful therapists that influenced their way of thinking as well as their clinical practice more than any other human that has ever lived, including the famous Sigmund Freud. To have a good understanding of this, you must first understand something about Rogers as a person, and his hypotheses.

Abraham Maslow

Abraham Maslow, just like Carl Rogers is widely seen as one of the most influential founders of the Humanistic Approach theory. While he is far less influential than Rogers, Maslow enjoys far more popularity among the citizens than Maslow, most of his popularity came mostly from his application of the principles of psychology to important areas such as people's behavior in business settings. Subsequently, the order of his needs remain an important theory in organizational behavior and human resources for decades. The term, The Third Force originated from Maslow, and is used to make a clear description of the Humanistic Approach and a way of emphasizing its difference from the Behaviorists and Psychodynamic Approaches, which has dominated psychology (in North America) in the 50's (Glassman & Hadad, 2015).

Standard intervention for the chosen theories

The clients are encouraged by the Humanistic Approach to take full responsibilities of their thoughts and actions and think about their feelings. A client-oriented approach is used and it will be right to describe the approach as a very holistic one or considering the individual as a whole. Several aspects of the existential and humanistic approaches, which includes; encouragement of affect, reflective listening, empathy, and accepting the subject experience of the client are all very essential in all types of short therapy session, whether it involves strategic, cognitive behavioral therapy, or psychodynamic. They contribute in the formation of a good rapport and provide enough grounds for significant engagement with every aspect of the process of treatment (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (U.S.), 1999)

Key Concepts of the chosen theory

The self theory of Roger

The self as the organizing center or the executive of the personality is the main basis of Roger's self-theory. It is the "I" that decides how we pursue our goals and relate to the world around us.

The Maslow's concept of self-discovery

Self-discovery is the main element in motivation and personality

Self-identity and Culture

This idea states that individualistic and collectivistic cultural standards can influence culture and self-identity (Cengage, 2015).

Cognitive Behavior Theory (CBT)

This theory is a psychological treatment, which addresses the relationship between our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It is always time-limited (approximately 10 to 20 sessions), pays attention to most recent challenges, and goes with a well structured intervention style. Research has closely guarded the growth and application of CBT. The effectiveness of CBT for a number of common mental disorders is now supported by several evidences. For some types of disorders, carefully structured research has resulted in the identification of CBT as the accepted method of modern...


Aaron T. Beck pioneered the Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) or Cognitive Therapy (CT), or Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) in the 1960's when he worked as a practicing psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania. To test psychoanalytic concepts of depression, Dr. Beck planned and executed a number of experiments. He hoped his researches would have validated these basic concepts, he was however surprised when he got the opposite of what he expected (Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, 2015).

Standard CBT interventions

Professional Cognitive Behavior Therapists adopt different techniques to help their patients change their behavior, mood, physiology, and cognition. These techniques can be behavioral, cognitive, interpersonal, supportive, experiential or biological. These therapies choose techniques depending on continuing conceptualization of each patient, as well as his or her challenges and their definite goals for the session. They never stop asking themselves how they can possibly make their patients feel stronger and better by the time the session ends and they can make the patients' week better. These questions are also important in guiding the clinicians in strategic planning (Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, 2015).

Differences and Similarities between Humanistic Theory and CBT

Cognitive Behavior Therapy can be likened to the humanistic therapy in the sense that both ideas are the now-and-how approaches and there is an egalitarian relationship between the two similar therapies. Greater self-awareness and freedom of choice are equally common to both therapies. The only difference is that the Cognitive Behavior Therapy is more focused and structured, and every therapist is known to be much more active during CBT than with humanistic therapy.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is a process that makes you an important helper in the process of change and expresses the acceptance of every client. Motivational interviewing leverages on the optimistic and humanistic theories of Carl Rogers about the capabilities of people for practicing their freedom of choice and transformation following a process of self-realization (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (U.S.), 1999).

Motivational Interviewing Founding Theories

Dr. Stephen Rollnick & Dr. William R. Miller

Standard interventions applied to motivational interviewing

Motivational interviewing is an instruction, client-based counseling pattern for showcasing behavior change by helping clients' exploration and resolving all ambivalences.

Differences and similarities between motivational and humanistic interviewing


Share similar elements of a therapeutic affiliation



Empirical support for effectiveness

Talk Therapies using manuals

Lay emphasis on the activity of clients outside meetings

Necessitate training for the competence of providers


MI focuses completely on change while Humanism centers on self-realization.

Solution-Based on Theory

Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) is all about goals, with its target on using the desired outcome of the therapy as a viable solution to a problem, instead of focusing on the issues that brought the patients to therapy and the problems they are facing.

Theorists that founded the solution-based theory

Milton Erickson

Milton Erickson was the pioneering therapist. He was a successful American psychiatrist with very little unorthodox knowledge of therapy. Now we know most of his ideas focused on the major philosophies of the solution-based approach.

The Mental Research Institute

The Mental Research Institute (MRI) has played a very important role in developing the solution-based approach. Innovative therapy techniques were developed by therapists and researchers like Jay Haley, John Weakland, Paul Watzlawick, Janet Beavin, and Richard Fisch in 1958 at the MRI located in Palo Alto, California (Visser, 2013).

Typical interventions for Solution-based theory

The main aim of the solution-based approach is to help people, teams, and organizations to overcome cruel problem-cycles, and build very constructive and customized solutions.

Differences and Similarities between Solution-Based and Humanistic Therapies


As the two names depict, the first one pays attention to the individual, the 'I', while the second one pays attention to the solution to the problematic issue at hand.


The two theories have dissimilar assumptions pertaining the role of the therapists in the facilitation of the desired change in the client, it is however recommended that solution-based techniques are always well-suited for use within an individualistic approach. Additionally, the two theory activities may enhance the process of attaining self-awareness with the individual-centered tradition.


This is a treatment method that makes the understanding of oneself, one's behavior and the happenings around the client a very easy process. Psychoanalytic treatment focuses on the belief that humans are always motivated to act impulsively, but we do not recognize it because it originates from our subconscious mind. These conflicts that take place in our subconscious can lead to very negative feelings-emotions like anxiety, depression, or happiness -- and this can be expressed in several ways, which includes self-destructive behaviors, or challenges with work or relationship (APsaA, 2015).

The Founding Theorists for Psychoanalysis

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud created the whole idea of psychoanalysis. Freud's entire life was spent in Vienna, but he died in London in 1939. He systematized information and ideas coming from different clinical and theoretical directions, and this discovered psychoanalysis. Freud tried to make his orientation more acceptable by collaborating with non-Jews to set up a multi-ethnic psychoanalytical movement in spite of being a Jewish…

Sources Used in Documents:


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (U.S.). (1999). Brief Humanistic and Existential Therapies. In S.A. (U.S.), Brief Intervention and Brief Therapies For Substance Abuse. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (U.S.).

Cater, J. (2011). Combining Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. La Jolla, CA.

McLeod, s.(2007).Humanism. Retrieved from

Chong, C.L., Ng, A.M., Ching, J.Y., Beh, J.H., & Lim, P.P. (2015). A Critical Comparison of t he Psychoanalytic and Humanistic Theory. New Hampshire: Southern New Hampshire University.
Glassman, W., & Hadad, M. (2015, August 29). The Humanistic Approach. Retrieved from
APsaA. (2015, August 30). About Psychoanalysis. Retrieved from American Psychoanalytic Association:
Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy. (2015, August 30). History of Cognitive Therapy. Retrieved from Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy: http:/ /
Cengage. (2015, August 30). Evaluating The Humanistic Perspective -Cencage Learning. Retrieved from humanistic-perspective-cencage-learning.pdf.

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