Are Humanistic Therapies For You?

Reviewed by Dr Sheri Jacobson

Do you want to be seen as an individual, and to try a therapy that is focused on helping you be your best self?

You might want to try a therapy that falls under the 'humanistic' school of thought. Let’s look at what humanistic therapies can offer you.

What you need to know about humanistic therapies

So what does humanistic therapy look like?

1. The focus is on your present-day potential over your past.

Therapies like psychoanalysis and psychodynamic see your past as the main focus. What happened then to make you who you are today? Humanistic therapies do consider your past. But the focus is instead on finding your potential here and now.

2. It is not about what is ‘wrong’ with you, but what is RIGHT with you.

The humanistic movement actually started as a reaction to therapies that focus on ‘problems’ and what is ‘wrong’ with clients. Humanistic therapy moves the focus to your unrecognised strengths. What is right about you, and how can you expand on that?

3. You are seen as a unique individual.

Some types of talk therapy use theories and categories to describe people. While it might be helpful, it can also leave you feeling reduced to not more than a equation, or part of a group. Humanistic therapy works to instead see you as an individual.

4. Your viewpoint is as valid, if not more valid, than your therapist's.

Humanistic therapies do not see the therapist as wiser than you, or as having all the answers just because they have studied theories. You are the person living and experiencing your life, so you are the expert on you. Your humanistic therapist is there to guide you to hearing your own innate wisdom.

5. You will learn the valuable resources you already have.

A humanistic therapist helps you see your inner resources. What are the strengths you have already? Are you overlooking your own creativity? What personal values do you hold, and how can they help you make better choices?

6. You will work in an environment of trust and respect.

Your humanistic therapist and you are equals. You work to create a relationship between you of trust and safety. Your therapist will show you empathy and respect, and support who you are, not tell you who you should be.

What therapies are considered 'humanistic'?

The humanistic movement now has many types of therapies under its umbrella. This includes:

  • compassion focused therapy (CFT)
  • person-centered therapy
  • transactional analysis
  • existential therapy
  • transpersonal therapy
  • phenonomological therapy
  • gestalt therapy.

What issues does humanistic therapy help with?

Humanistic therapy can be a good fit if you are seeking help for:

Ready to work with a humanistic therapist? Use our easy booking tool to find a therapist that suits you and your unique issues, and at a price you can afford.

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