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Chapter 13
Theories of Personality

CHAPTER 13

HUMANISM

ABRAHAM MASLOW

CARL ROGERS

 

 

ABRAHAM MASLOWAbraham Maslow was born in 1908 in Brooklyn New York, the first of seven children. His parents were Russian immigrants. Maslow was not close to either of his parents. He was found of his father but afraid of him.

He described his mother as schizophrenic. She mother clearly favored his younger brothers and sister and mercilessly punished him at he least provocation. Recalling a painful memory, Maslow told how his mother once killed two stray cats he had brought home by smashing their heads against the wall.

Later, Maslow admitted that he his mother and all that she stood for. They were never reconciled and he did not attend her funeral.

Embarrassed by his physical appearance, taunted, isolated, friendless, and lonely, he spent a great deal of his early years cloistered in the library in the companionship of books.

 

 

Abraham Maslow has been described as the spiritual father of humanistic psychology.He criticized both psychoanalysis and radical behaviorism for their limited conception of human nature. " The study of crippled, stunted, immature and unhealthy specimens", he wrote, can only lead to a crippled psychology.

Maslow felt that psychoanalysis was to pessimistic and negative, and Behaviorists were too mechanistic. HIERARCHY OF NEEDS

Maslow purposed a hierarchy of five basic needs:Physiological needs

Safety needs

Belonging and love needs

Self esteem needs

Self actualization needs

 

"Physiological needs" are the strongest of all needs, because they pertain to the physical survival of the individual (food, water, oxygen, shelter and sex).

If physiological needs are not met, an individual will not be motivated to fulfill other needs."Safety needs" refer to the individuals need for order, stability and a sense of security."Belonging and love needs" once physiological and safety needs are mtt, an individual seeks affection and an intimate relationship with other people, needing to feel part of various groups such as family, neighborhood, gang or a professional association."Self esteem needs" this refers to the need for respect from others..and self respect. Respect from others entails recognition, acceptance status and appreciation. Self respect entails, competence, confidence, mastery, achievement, independence.

When, or if, these needs are not met, an individual feels discouraged, weak and inferior.

 

"Self actualization" refers to the desire to fulfill ones highest potential, "to be all you can be". You no longer care what others think about you. You are free to do, and act, without fear or attempting to please others.

Obviously, a small number of individuals become self actualized during their lifetime. WHY? (ALL OTHER NEEDS MUST HAVE BEEN MET)

CRITICS OF MASLOWS SELF ACTUALIZATION CONCEPT

 

Critics suggest that it is too simplistic and neglects the difficulty one experiences such tragedies, life changes, etc., and their effect on growth and development.

Additionally, Maslows view of self actualization, is culturally biased, and based on Western American society where individuals are taught to develop superiority.

In many Non Western Cultures (Japan, China) autonomy is not stressed, and children are taught to cooperate and not demonstrate their superiority so as to avoid diminishing other people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CARL ROGERS

 

Carl Rogers was born in 1902 in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He was the fourth of six children. Rogers had little social life outside of his large family, but this did not bother him. He was an avid reader and developed a certain level of independence early in life. He was a superior student. He completed his Ph.D and joined the Staff of the Rochester Guidance Center in 1931.

Carl Rogers is best known for the psychotherapy that he developed known originally as "client Centered, or "non-directed therapy", and most recently as "person center".

Throughout his career, Rogers referred to himself as a Counselor rather than a Psychologist.

He believed that there are three necessary therapeutic attitudes for personality change:Empathy

Acceptance

Genuineness

"Empathy the ability to experience anothers feelings as if they were your own."Acceptance" the therapist does not place any condition of worth on discussion of decisions. Being non-judgmental."Genuineness" the therapist need not be a model of perfection (in other words, I have problems too) but within the relationship, the therapist need to be congruent (consistent).

Given the above conditions, Rogers felt that positive, constructive personality change could occur.

Rogers did not use any special techniques, such as free association, or dream analysis, in his therapy.

In his Counseling, the direction of the therapy is determined by the clientIn Rogerian Therapy, if there were any instructions, they would be, "talk about whatever you would like to talk about".The client determined what would be discussed, when, and to what extend. This is why Rogers form of therapy has been labeled "Client Centered".

CONGRUENCE AND INCONGRUENCE

"Congruence" exists when a person reflects or incorporates all of the actual experiences of ones self (love, hate, likes, dislikes, aggression, prejudices, etc.).

Consequently, theres a need for an individual to see or understand his/her perceived self as opposed to the real self.

When ones perceived self and real self is in agreement, you have a state of "congruence". When one denies or distorts the perceived or real self you have a state of "incongruence".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rogerss earlier writings on therapeutic techniques stressed the idea that the potential for better health lies in the client. The counselors role was essentially that of making the kinds of reflective response that would enable the clients potential to solve his or her own problems flow.

Later, Rogers shifted from his emphasis on technique to therapist genuineness and use of self in therapy.

Rogers concluded that there is a clear predictability to the therapeutic process. Given certain conditions, such as the three therapist attitudes outlined earlier, certain predictable outcomes may be expected. The client will express deep motivational attitudes and begin to explore and become more aware of attitudes and reactions.

The client will begin to accept him or herself more fully and will discover and choose more satisfying goals.

 

 

 

 

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