The famous Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs and self actualization is a subject of study of the past as much as the subject of study by many psychologists, practicing managers and behavioral scientists even today for its relevance and profound impact on the lives and understanding of human behavior. Maslow, in his famous book “the Farther Reaches of Human Nature” describes various aspects of the Human Nature and tries to impress upon the fact that it is possible for all human beings to attain that ‘higher peak’ and transcend.
Maslow suggests that to get the best out of every human being, a society needs to be led by people, managers and leaders who are compensated not by the money but more by the ‘higher pay’ where work itself becomes a passion for love, reward and pay. The book also brings out clearly the need for people who are rich and in higher positions to help people surrounding them achieve self actualization. Not by teaching, imposing, interfering with what they are but by helping them to be what they really want Being, By helping them transcend through knowledge and understanding using big brother love and the Taoistic model of non interference.
A good clinical therapy is to help a client unfold, break through the defenses against self knowledge, recover himself or herself and to get to know himself or herself. It is possible to stay transcended on a plateau in stead of experiencing peak as one off momentary and transient experiences. Counseling More and more individuals and families seek psychiatric help for dysfunctional behaviors today than in the past. Family dysfunction may seriously impede children’s development. Parents in such families are struck by pain from their past, fear of the present, and resistance to change.
Many apparent disorders or diseases of the body are linked to the psyche and are categorized under psychosomatic diseases. Many individuals and families are now exposed to new knowledge and understanding of the human behavior making them prepared to seek guidance as needed from a qualified counselor. There are counselors handling various issues such as performance, marriage, alcoholism, drug addiction, education etc. A normal school student who is not faring well in math may be a candidate for counseling.
By identifying the fears and obstacles faced by the student, the counselor can help the student unravel the fact that everybody is capable of understanding and solving math problems. Individual performance and team performance is an important aspect addressed by all progressive organizations. By looking at performance issues closely, a counselor can help business organizations identify and address the issues squarely so that the performance bottlenecks are removed. Similarly, issues in family surround marriage, education, children’s welfare etc.
To keep a family together or resolve a dispute amicably in a family has become the subject of many professional counselors. By making the members of the family realize the higher purpose of life, by making them realize and thus actualize the ‘peak’ in the family, a counselor can unravel and untie the shackles holding them moving forward. The family counselors do not interfere, teach, provide medicine but help the family identify on their own what the real issues are, what would make them happy and what would help them peak and actualize.
By looking at family as a system, the counselors view family as a bundle of do’s and don’ts and unspoken rules. Thus any psychological symptoms are viewed as manifestations of dysfunctional family and not the family member alone. The family system then becomes the target for treatment and not the family member. A well trained psychotherapist tries to understand and identify the correlation between the psychological symptoms such as a lack of interest in studies of a child and the family dysfunction.
Then only does the counselor provide an appropriate intervention. By keeping the Maslow’s self actualization model, a successful counselor would not interfere with the family, be a teacher or prescribe some medication but tries to bring the focus of the family on the real issues and make them owners and problem solvers while the counselor provides needed help along the way. By making them believe that it is possible to solve the issues, the counselor provides a mirror for the family to look at themselves and seek answers to their real issues.
Faith, hope and love are the components of Malsow’s self actualization model. Communication and recounting the past successes will help the family to catapult to the next ladder in actualization and not necessarily reaching the ‘peak’ itself. By recognizing the fact that the ideal is a moving target and is the ultimate goal in life, a counselor can help the family focus on the path to that goal , the goal of self realization, self actualization and the ultimate ‘peak’.