Humanistic psychotherapy is a holistic approach to psychotherapy that focuses on the individual. In this case, the patient’s feelings, experiences, and self-perception are very important. Within humanistic psychotherapy, the patient turns inward, seeking self-acceptance and a better understanding of themselves. Gestalt therapy and Rogerian therapy are based on the assumptions of humanistic psychotherapy.
Key Principles of Humanistic Psychotherapy
The therapy itself aims to build feelings of freedom, understanding, and safety. The therapist’s role is to have an open conversation with the patient without judgment. Individuals who visit a specialist have the opportunity to analyze their thoughts and feelings, better understand their sources, and work on problems related to self-esteem.
Indications for Humanistic Psychotherapy
Humanistic psychotherapy can also be used for patients with psychosomatic symptoms, obsessive-compulsive disorders, emotional problems, phobias, or depression.
Currently, for more serious mental disorders, other therapeutic approaches are more commonly used, including cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy or psychodynamic psychotherapy. Many psychotherapists work in these trends, and the effectiveness of treatment with these methods is particularly noticeable in the case of neuroses, anxiety, personality disorders, or depression. Nevertheless, it is often assumed that the effectiveness of various psychotherapeutic approaches is similar.
Course of Humanistic Psychotherapy
The process of self-development, learning, or healing that accompanies humanistic psychotherapy depends on several factors, including the specific humanistic trend from which the specialist proceeds. The way of forming understanding with the patient depends on the therapist’s approach. The first stage of creating this relationship is psychotherapeutic consultation, which may even include several sessions during which both parties have the opportunity to get to know each other. If the patient is satisfied with the form of the meetings, they may decide to discuss the conditions of the psychotherapeutic contact.
During proper psychotherapy, the discussed problems depend on the individual needs of the patient. Therapy is based on dialogue, building trust, and a specific therapeutic relationship. The key is to focus on the moment – it is an experience that allows you not only to explore your “self” but also to have an open and authentic dialogue with the therapist. Gradually opening up during subsequent meetings should not force the patient to adapt to the external world, but rather facilitate their internal evolution and alleviate the symptoms that trouble them.