Humanistic and Integrative Therapies

This article reviewed here is by Professor Stephen Joseph co-director of the Centre for Trauma, Resilience and Growth at the University of Nottingham. This is a brief introductory article which gives an overview of the humanistic and integrative therapies.

Joseph gives an overview of humanistic therapies before moving onto client-centred therapy, integration, reviewing the evidence base and finishing off with a section on positive psychology.

Joseph describes several terms used in client-centred theory and which help to make sense of the theory. The essence of the theory is that people innately move towards growth (actualising tendency), are able to recognise their own needs and moves towards achieving these needs (becoming ‘fully functioning’). The interaction between the person and the environment occurs when ‘conditions of worth’ are acquired from external sources and the person begins to value themselves according to these external sources (Locus of evaluation).

The section on Integrative Therapy does enough to give the reader a flavour of what Integrative therapy is about. However, this is undoubtedly a complex area encompassing numerous critical models of person-centred therapy and I suspect that a lot more space would be needed to do justice to this field. While there is some evidence for the humanistic therapies, Joseph points out the need for further research in this field. I liked the inclusion of a section on positive psychology as well as the comparison of the medical and person-centred models. There is even a section on the six conditions for constructive personality change which includes the attitude expected from the therapist. Perhaps commentary on the attributes of the therapist is a necessity of a psychotherapeutic system.

In summar, this paper is a few pages long but gives a nice introduction to the humanistic and integrative therapies.


The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

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