You and I: The Humanistic Model
So far, all the models of you and me are models that could not possibly support an image of ourselves as lovable and capable beings.
Humanistic psychology grew in part out of a revolution against the psychoanalytical model of people as being nothing more than a sick outcome of the battle between our animalistic essence and a repressive social veneer, and in part against the behavioral therapists detached, dehumanizing model of man.
Humanistic psychology is referred to as the third force in psychology, and the concept of the third force is often expanded to include what has come to be called "Human potential movement"
Three of the most charismatic forces of the movement have been Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Fritz Pers- the visionary, the saint, and the superstar of humanistic psychology.
We will focus on Maslow's contribution.
Abram Maslow was one of the first to recognize that everything we knew about people was based upon the study of the mentally ill and the criminally insane together with the observation of the behavior of mince, dogs, pigeons, and an observation of a handful of college students. Hardly an appropriate foundation for science that promised a transformation in the quality of human experience!
Distortion and unworkability must follow from looking to evil as a model of our future, or to the behavior of animals as a source of understanding the nature of our behavior.
Maslow has the vision to observe that psychology had become too much concerned with sorrow and sickness and not with joy and health, too concerned with the process of degeneration and destruction rather than transformation and growth. He reasoned that all we are likely to learn from studying what doesn't work about life. Maslow noted that is pretty much a description of the human condition.
He chose therefore to study the creatively intelligent aspects of people that support like's being a joyful adventure, Maslow concerned himself with the person as a unique and individual being whose qualities of humanness must not be lost in the process of science that viewed us as evil and sought to reduce our behavior to some mechanical predictable system that washes the passion out of life.
What we want to do is become creatively talented at making our life joyful, a satisfying tribute to what works, we should study the lives of people whose lives work.
Abraham Maslow's great contribution to psychology and to life itself is his model of the self-actualizing person.
The word actualize means to make real through action. Thus, self-actualized people are those who are continually discovering avenues of action that provide them with an unfolding, real, joyful experience of their own creative humanness. Their action, focused in the light of human consciousness, becomes of service to themselves, other people, and the world. As you read the qualities of those whom Maslow described as being self-actualized, in a very real practical way you will discover they sound like qualities you would like.