Humanistic Psychotherapy integrates the findings of Humanistic Psychology. While behavioral therapy and psychoanalysis, in its classical forms, places determinism of human behavior and experience, through conditioning and unconscious transference of object-relational patterns, at the forefront of the basic considerations and approach to therapies. Humanistic Psychotherapy emphasizes the specific human factors of conscious choice, of will, and personal decision.
The central concern of Humanistic Psychotherapy is to build a reliable, supportive and intimate relationship in which the development-inhibited personality can learn to
- disconnect from resistance or the lack of fixation on needs,
- recognize on all levels of the pyramid of needs their (own) needs, develop skills (competence) in order to satisfy those and
- develop their potential for a life as a confident person.
The central concern of Humanistic Psychotherapy is to build a reliable, supportive and intimate relationship in which the inhibited personality can learn to
- reduce the resistance to acknowledging one's needs (fixation on certain needs),
- recognize on all levels of the pyramid of needs, their own needs, and develop skills and competencies in order to satisfy these needs,
- develop their potential for life as a confident person.
Humanistic Psychotherapy focuses beyond the differences in technical procedures and concentrates on
- the integration of body, mind and spirit; of senses in, feeling and perceiving; remembering, thinking, fantasizing; imagination, intuition, astonishment; and appropriate forms of conduct;
- the present experience of the person, as much as
- the interaction between personal development and socially responsible practices.
For the elimination of symptoms and restoration of functional ability, Humanistic Psychotherapy employs insights and methods of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. As with Behavioural Therapy, it
- includes a wide and diverse range of physical and personal processes aimed at the realization of human potential,
- provides self-discovery for those seeking support to overcome challenges with being aware of feelings and the expression of emotions,
- respects the personal inclinations on the spectrum of human nature, from the material and basis of the soul needs up to the higher needs and self-realization,
- promotes awareness and expression of one's particular uniqueness and individuality,
- thus supports their desire for self-fulfillment and self-realization as a spiritual person, who is open to the awareness and testimony of being present.
In practical therapeutic work, Humanistic Psychotherapy pays more attention to how the person suppresses, and what respectively inhibits, the unfolding of their potential, rather than to adapting to a consensus reality, which usually is the expression of what we perceive or what we have learned to overlook. In the shelter and (safety or security) of the therapeutic relationship, the person can
- develop an attention toward the movement and growth of the soul,
- identify and overcome reactive, conditioned defense patterns,
- allow for memories, feelings and emotions,
- separate from the identification with the child that needed to cope with too little and, equally, with too much,
- develop space for both the memory of the time when the development of a defense reactions was sensible, as well as to recognize the difficulties when transferring these reactions to the present,
- explore alternatives in perception, feeling, thinking and behaving,
- develop competencies for conducting life according to their true nature.
Humanistic Psychotherapy can eventually transition into a spiritual practice in which the person maintains their sphere of being through continuing practice, as with meditation, and by maintaining a conscious presence in an empathetic and compassionate daily life.