Brief Note about the Humanistic Approach

In contrast to the more conflict-based and mechanistic infrastructure of the psychoanalytic theories, the humanistic theory describes the individual's innate drive to achieve more evolved developmental trajectories, including affective, cognitive, interpersonal, and behavioral domains. This theory perhaps speaks more to personality resilience than pathology. Abraham Maslow

(1954), for example, posited a sequence of needs and motivations, the meeting of which served to organize the individual. These ranged from the most basic (i.e., life supporting) through the most highly evolved (i.e., altruism, actualization, and self-transcendence). Due to the emphasis on positive development, this approach offers little theoretical clarification of the personality disorders, although it remains a popular force in promoting warm, encouraging, and authentic relationships, which are viewed as essential features of most psychotherapies (for clinical and personality disorders alike).

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