Humanistic psychology has a rich history and tradition of arguing for the human experience as the essence of understanding human behavior. This basis for understanding is divergent from the views in cognitive psychology, psychoanalysis and behaviorism. Based on your readings, what do you believe is the place of humanistic psychology as a movement within the discipline of psychology? Explain. What observations can you offer about the movement’s credibility among members of the psychological community? What has contributed to how humanistic psychology is perceived within the larger discipline? Explain.
What were the most significant theoretical understandings of the human condition identified by the humanistic movement of psychology in the United States? Who were the primary standard bearers of these theories? Why were these theories significant in the advancement of the humanistic movement?
Read Chapters 1 and 2.
Kriz, J., & Langle, A. (2012). A European perspective on the position papers. Psychotherapy, 49(4), 475–479.
Felder, A. J., Aten, H. M., Neudeck, J. A., Shiomi-Chen, J., & Robbins, B. D. (2014). Mindfulness at the heart of existential-phenomenology and humanistic psychology: A century of contemplation and elaboration. Humanistic Psychologist, 42(1), 6–23.
McDonald, M., & Wearing, S. (2013). A reconceptualization of the self in humanistic psychology: Heidegger, Foucault and the sociocultural turn. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, 44(1), 37–59
What were the main tenets that leaders of the Humanistic Psychology Movement presented to the American Psychological Association in order to justify becoming its own Division? Why might these tenets have been chosen as significant to the justification of a separate division?
The First Old Saybrook Conference (1964) was a significant event in the history of psychology. Attendees such as Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Rollo May, and Gordon Allport represented several major schools of thought in the budding humanistic psychology movement. What did Maslow, Rogers, May, and Allport express as necessary components of the Humanistic Psychology Movement? In what ways did the schools of thought expressed by these conference attendees contribute to humanistic psychology’s place in America? Explain.
Read Chapters 5-8.
Humanistic psychology emphasizes the importance of the individual experience in the understanding of human behavior. Which theorists do you believe were most instrumental in establishing this tenet of the movement? Why?
It could be argued that to understand both death and afterlife presence, one must first be mindful of physical presence in the world. Briefly contrast a Christian worldview perspective on both mindfulness of physical presence in the world and afterlife presence with the perspective of another worldview on these topics. Which of these resonates most closely with you? Why?
Read Chapters 35 and 42.
Bregman, L. (2006). Spirituality: A glowing and useful term in search of a meaning. Omega, 53(1/2), 5–26.
McAdams, D. P. (2001). The psychology of life stories. Review of General Psychology, 5(2), 100–122.
Phenomenology is a qualitative approach to understanding the lived experience of the individual. Consider who you understand to be the primary contributors to phenomenological psychology (as opposed to philosophy). What do you see as the primary differences and similarities among those theorists? Explain. What do you believe are the most significant challenges and benefits of employing a phenomenological approach in psychological research? Explain.
Quantitative research methods in psychology are based on the research methods used in the natural sciences disciplines to produce empirical research. Dr. Amedeo Giorgi, the founder of the descriptive phenomenological psychology method, asserts that this qualitative method can be used to arrive at empirical results related to understanding human experience. How does Dr. Giorgi’s method compare to quantitative research methodologies? Explain. From your vantage point, does his approach to qualitative research yield empirical evidence in understanding the human condition? Why or why not?
Read Chapters 19 and 20.
Groenewald, T. (2004). A phenomenological research design illustrated. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 3(1), 1-26.
Englander, M. (2012). The interview: Data collection in descriptive phenomenological human scientific research. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, 43(1), 13–35.
Flipp, C. (2014, February 12). Phenomenology [Video].
Lofgren, K. (2013, May 19). Qualitative analysis of interview data: A step-by-step guide [Video].
Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describe the basic tenets and philosophy of positive psychology. What do you see as the most significant similarities and differences between the perspectives of positive psychology and humanistic psychology? Why? Which of these perspectives do you believe most closely aligns with a Christian worldview? Support your position.
Within the past two decades, positive psychology and humanistic psychology have been at odds over their philosophical foundations and approaches to human well-being. Briefly discuss the historic development of positive psychology and humanistic psychology. Which perspective do you endorse and why? Support your position. Your defense must cite one scholarly article that makes a case for positive psychology and another that argues for humanistic psychology.
Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55(1), 5–14.
Schneider, K. (2011). Toward a humanistic positive psychology: Why can’t we just get along? Existential Analysis, 22(1), 32–38.
Waterman, A. (2013). The humanistic psychology – positive psychology divide: Contrasts in philosophical foundations. American Psychologist, 68(3), 124–133.
Many of his colleagues considered Rollo May the father of American existential psychology. What are the key similarities and differences that you discern between May and the European humanistic perspectives about the individual and connection to others? What makes these significant?
Irvin Yalom suggests that anxiety is an existential dilemma that can emerge in a person’s daily life and needs concrete decisions from an individual in order to ameliorate it. Do you agree or disagree with Yalom’s position? Why? How does your personal worldview influence your stance? Explain.
Read Chapters 33 and 36.
Craig, E. (2008). A brief overview of existential depth psychotherapy. Humanistic Psychologist, 36(3/4), 211–226.
Tratter, A. M. D. (2013). Heidegger’s beck and call: A commentary. Humanistic Psychologist, 41(3), 256–260.
Keddy, P. (2011). My Experience with psychotherapy, existential analysis, and Jungian analysis: Rollo May and beyond. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 67(8), 806–817.
Some believe that the integration of the mind, body, and spirit into a unitary whole can create harmony and healing in one’s life. Do you agree? Why or why not? How might the connection between these three separate entities be important in understanding how one might transcend physical aging? Support your position.
What are other types of “therapies” that can contribute to refreshing the mind, rejuvenating the body, and renewing the spirit? Which of these alternatives do you believe best aligns with a Christian worldview? Why? Which of these alternatives do you believe best aligns with your personal worldview? Why?
Read Chapters 38 and 44.
Whiting, L. (2001). Analysis of phenomenological data: Personal reflections on Giogi’s method. Nurse Researcher, 9(2), 60-74.
Luskin, F. (2004). Transformative practices for integrating mind-body-spirit. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 10(Supplement), S15–s23.
Fossarelli, P. (2002). Fearfully wonderfully made: The interconnectedness of body-mind-spirit. Journal of Religion and Health, 41(3), 207–229.
Samuel, G. (2010). Healing, efficacy and the spirits. Journal of Ritual Studies, 24(2), 7–20.
Integral theory suggests that human development and psychological stages of growth should be integrated with a spiritual state of awareness. What are the possible benefits of recognizing “other states of awareness” as a way of healing a person holistically? Does this integral theory align with the Christian worldview? Why or why not?
Literature suggests that transpersonal psychology should be the 4th Force or movement in psychology along with psychoanalysis, behaviorism, and humanistic psychology. Why has transpersonal psychology garnered significant attention over the past decade? Do you believe it should be its own movement (a 4th Force)? Why or why not? To what extent, if at all, is the notion of transpersonal psychology compatible with your personal worldview? Explain. How might this compatibility (or lack thereof) influence your dissertation research?
Read Chapter 45.
Ferrer, J. N. (2014). Transpersonal psychology, science, and the supernatural. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 46(2), 152–186.
Marquis, A. (2007). What is integral theory? Counseling and Values, 51(3), 164–179.
Hunt, H. T. (2010). Consciousness and society: Societal aspects and implications of transpersonal psychology. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 29(1), 20–30.
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