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Humanistic and Psychodynamic Essay

Abraham Harold Maslow- Humanistic Approach

Humanistic is the psychology study of how the human works as a whole. This studies the uniqueness of the person through their behaviour. Rather than just observing the humans behaviour, humanistic psychologists try to study the humans behaviour first person rather than just observing. Meaning they try to understand the situation and the emotional feelings the person is going through for them to have that specific type of behaviour, they try to understand the behaviour of the person by looking at it from their perspective. Humanistic is a way of thinking and is an ability to solve our own personal problems. This meaning to focus on our own perspectives, experiences, thoughts, self-image and feelings to understand an individual. People can be capable of self-development and their own self-improvement. We have our own choices on what we choose to do and how we chose to take out this option. We chose how we want to behave and whether it’s right or wrong i.e. breaking the law. An individual chosen whether they want to break the law, knowing full well of the consequences. This is called free will; we have the right to choose what we want to do and how we want to behave.

The court of law follows this principle because you know whether you have done right or wrong and there is no one to blame, except yourself, because you chose to behave that way. Abraham Harold Maslow was the first psychologist to create the ‘human hierarchy of needs’ which explains the different level that an individual has to move from throughout life. This hierarchy changes from one level to another and each level has its own specific needs. Most psychologist before Maslow had been concerned with the abnormal and the ill, he convinced and persuaded people to start acknowledging people’s basic needs before addressing them as having higher needs or being ill. Firstly on Maslow’s hierarchy he started with the basic needs of a person such as food, water, sleep etc. then lead to the physical needs of an individual. The highest needs of an individual are ‘self-actualization’ which is realising who you are as an individual and knowing your own motivations.

Not many people get to the self-actualization for many reasons, being that they didn’t get through the different levels of the hierarchy or because they think that they can skip the rest of the levels, thinking that they know their own self-fulfilment etc. These hierarchies have five different levels of needs. Maslow’s level of human needs started with physiological which is basic survival, understanding the function of the living organism. Which is what an individual needs, their basic needs i.e. water, sleep, breathing and sex. Then safety which is basic need again and feeling secure. For example, freedom from danger, risks or injuries whether at employment, home or doing everyday activities. Love and belonging is the next need which is the emotional level/need. Meaning to understand what love is and what it feels like to belong, dependent on being part of a family or understanding what it is like to love through friendship or sexual relationships. Esteem is the fourth need, which is respect and recognition.

Understanding what your personal goals are in life and what you can achieve throughout life dependent on yourself respect and respect for one another. The final level is self-actualization which is what makes you who you are as an individual, realise your own potentials in life. Also, realising your own self-fulfilment and person growth from peak experiences. Everyone as an own personal desire to move up the hierarchy table towards self-actualization, although their progress is often disruptive by failing to meet the low level needs. As an example if someone doesn’t show love or feel loved then they won’t be able to succeed through the love and belonging section, if they’re brought up in an abusive home this would affect the low level safety so they would be decreasing in the levels. Only remarkable people are most likely to reach the highest level, self-actualization. Maslow’s theory was the best type of motivation for an individual, he proposed he hierarchy of needs in his paper “a theory of Human Motivation”.

Hans J Eysenck and Otto Gross approach to Psychodynamic

Hans is a psychologist famous for his work on intelligence and personality. Eysenck claims that Freudian theories can be falsified, also Gross claims that Freud’s theories are scientific but have been proven wrong so which he say is simply “bad science”. Psychoanalyst tends to only accept YAVIS patients for treatment, YAVIS means young, attractive, verbal, intelligent and successful. This is because YAVIS patients are more likely to recover rather than mentally unstable patients. When the criticism of frauds approach happened was because Gross and Freud were in a disagreement on the subjects of repression, sublimation and perversion. The meaning of repression is to control and resist what you would want.

Sublimation is doing things in an acceptable and respectful manner and perversion is far from normal for example being abnormal. They disagreed on Freud’s theory because they believe that the patients should be capable of feelings and having their freedom also they shouldn’t be forced to do something that they do not want to do. Both psychologists argued that Freud got too involved and attached with his patients because Freud was there 7 days a week.

Sigmund Freud, Psychodynamic Approach to Psychology

Freud was the founder of psychodynamic approach to psychology; this is because he created a new approach to understanding how the human works and the human individual personality. Freud’ theory was the conscious and unconscious mind, he believed that behaviour and personality derives from the constant and unique interaction of conflicting psychological forces that operate at three different levels of awareness. The three different levels are conscious mind, preconscious mind and unconscious mind. Conscious mind includes everything that we are aware, every single moment. Preconscious mind represents ordinary memory. Unconscious mind reservoirs our feelings, thoughts, urge and memories that are outside out conscious awareness. The theory of the conscious and unconscious mind is done to show our feelings, motives and decisions which are actually influenced by previous/past experiences, which are stored in the pre-conscious and instincts from the unconscious.

Freud later made a structural model of the mind which was called ID, EGO and SUPEREGO. The ID, EGO and SUPEREGO link to the conscious, pre-conscious and unconscious mind. ID is the unconscious, EGO is the conscious and SUPEREGO is the pre-conscious and unconscious mind. Although these are not physical areas within the brain they’re the process of important mental functions. Explanation of each stage is; ID is driven by pleasure principles which strive us for immediate needs and desires, meaning that the person would be wanting things. Although the ID will try to resolve the tension created by pleasure. EGO and SUPEREGO, EGO is something that is developed through ID in the early stages of life, EGO is the component of your personality that deals with reality whereas SUPEREGO is developed a little later as it controls your guilt.

For example, if someone wanted a new pair of shoes ID would kick in because the desire to have them shoes would rise, whereas EGO would have to face reality and realise that you might not have the money to get the shoes then SUPEREGO controls the guilt so then you would start regretting buying the shoes if for instants a family relatives birthday was coming up and now you don’t have the money. EGO works on a reality principle meaning that it wants to please the ID but in a socially and realistic way, which some people deem as unacceptable. The reality principle contemplates the positive and negatives of an action depending on what it decides, it will either act upon the decision or completely abandon it. SUPEREGO is the basic rules and standards for good behaviour. The behaviours included would be those approved by parents and those in authority. The SUPEREGO goal is to improve and civilize our behaviour; it tries to supress all the unacceptable urges that come from the ID. Fraud’ theory claims that the key to a healthy personality is a balance between the ID, EGO and SUPEREGO.

Carl Ransom Rogers, Self-Actualization

Again, the humanistic approach is how we look at an individual as a whole observing their behaviour and personality. Rogers was a psychotherapist, which is someone who treats people with mental disorders through psychology rather than medical means. After years of work, Rogers compiled the Self-actualization theory which is the realisation of fulfilment of one’s talents and potentials. Rogers says that people have two basic needs which are positive regard and self-worth. Positive regard is a sense of acceptance from other people and self-worth is feeling adequate. Our feelings of self-worth are important both to psychological health and we can achieve goals and ambitions in life to achieve self-actualization. Rogers’s theory is that the individual is responsible for their own happiness and should not look towards others for it.

He believed that a person is born with the desire to be and achieve the best they possibly can. Rogers’s overall theory is about feeling good and mentally healthy therefore meaning a person is cable of resolving their own problems without looking towards others. His therapy was ineffective to those who were unconfident, unhappy and had a lack of self-esteem. So he studied on clients opposite to this, clients who were confident, happy and have a high level of self-esteem. His theory was known as ‘Rogerian Counselling’ which was only effective on healthy minded people which means it did not work on mental and physically damaged clients this only increased emotional problems such as depression, also the theory was more successful on children and young people. The theory key was communication, if the client wasn’t fully communicating with Rogers it would not work, this proved the therapy ineffective to people with phobias.

In conclusion Rogers theory of self-actualization teaches people to become self-sufficient upon their own actions rather than seeking it from other people. This proved that people naturally desire to be accepted regardless of what they do, however the majority of people will only accept them dependent on whether or not they want to. Rogers self-actualization tries to help people understand their full potential and what they can achieve, also seek happiness for themselves without looking towards others for it. His theory helps people become more happier about themselves rather than looking for acceptance and happiness from others.

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