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Humanistic And Existential Personality Theories Essay

1253 words - 6 pages

Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories
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PSY/405
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University

Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories
In a perfect world, there would only be one, if not two different types of personality theories that psychologists would have to choose from in order to diagnose and treat their patients with, but variety, as they say, is the spice of life. In addition to that of psychodynamic personality theories, another set of equally important, and perhaps more interesting are that of humanistic and existential theories, made popular by psychologists Carl Rodger and Abraham Maslow.
Humanistic and Existential Analysis Individual Personalities
Humanistic and ...view middle of the document...

“The fundamental contributions of existential therapy is its understanding of man as being” (Kiser, 2007, p. 2). This theory implies that an individual is in an endless process of becoming who he or she truly are and are meant to be.
When combined each theory provides an inner picture of an individual, and employs him or her to evaluate underlying factors, by taking responsibility, and making independent decisions. Row (2011) combined the theories and states, “An existential-humanistic (EH) theory, orientation, and practice of psychotherapy is a framework which emphasizes presence, awareness, and personal responsibility, in service to achievement of full potential, within a world which is limited yet brimming with possibility” (p. 2).
Interpersonal Relationships
Two humanistic theories are the holistic-dynamic theory and the person-centered theory. The holistic-dynamic theory was created by Abraham Maslow and for his approach to motivation he developed a hierarchy of needs with five levels. These levels start with the most basic needs and work up to the higher level needs. Meeting these needs guide a person’s behavior. For interpersonal relationships, the needs on the hierarchy will fall under the first level, which is physiological then the third and fourth levels, which are love or belongingness and esteem (Kowalski & Westen, 2009). The physiological need would be sexual needs, the love or belongingness need would be intimacy, and the esteem need would be respect from others (Kowalski & Westen, 2009). Of course they are not limited to those needs but those are some prime examples. With those needs one will engage in interpersonal relationships in a way that these needs will be met. For example, one needs respect from others so one will not treat others poorly because they know that if they do they will be treated poorly as well. One’s need for intimacy and sex will motivate one to seek out a mate, to care for them, woo them, to establish a meaningful relationship, etc.
Carl Roger developed person-centered theory, which suggests that the important values and choices people have and make are within their control (Feist & Feist, 2009). With this humanistic theory, it is in a person’s own control how they have interpersonal relationships. Although, if that person wants healthy relationships they know that they must behave accordingly; if they behave poorly, they will, by choice, lose or damage interpersonal relationships they may have. Between the two humanistic theories, Maslow’s theory is based off of needs which provide the motivation and guide behavior when having interpersonal relationships, and Rodger’s is based on the fact that one is in control of their behavior, so if they want or need something it is up to them to make the right choices...

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