The premise of humanistic psychology a belief in the basic goodness of humanity–a belief that every person possess great potential for growth and personal fulfillment. Humanistic therapy approaches each individual from a holistic perspective, endeavoring to gain an overall understanding of you and create meaning for your life and existence. This type of therapy aims to foster an environment in which you can freely explore your life with the ultimate goal of personal growth and understanding. Some of therapeutic practices in this branch of psychology are Person-Centered Therapy, Emotion-Focused Therapy, and Spiritually-Based Therapy.
Person-Centered therapy is grounded in the therapist supporting your innate potential for agency. A Person-Centered therapist is therefore supportive, empathic or understanding, genuine, and non-judgemental. In the therapy room, this means there is safe space for you to explore what brought you to therapy. A Person-Centered therapist is an active and deeply involved participant in the therapy process; you and your therapist collaborate to help you find healing. This approach enables you to come forward and reveal yourself in new and vulnerable ways, and ultimately creates rich opportunities for you to examine your life with depth and ultimately acheive personal growth.
Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) is a proven, empirically supported, health-focused clinical approach for both individuals and couples. As in all humanistic therapies, in EFT there is an emphasis on your innate potential for growth, self-determination, and personal fulfillment. An EFT therapist is committed to being empathic, genuine, and accepting in order to create a safe space for you to explore your innermost self. In combination with this emphasis on a safe space for vulnerable revelations, an EFT therapist utilizes modern emotion theory to help you learn to explore, manage, transform, and regulate your emotional experiences. Special attention is placed on how it feels to be you–because emotions are what bring our worlds to life and because emotions are encoded in our memories. Therefore, paying attention to emotion, the bodily-felt constituents of emotion, the cognitive meaning we make of emotion, and the way emotions influence your behavior is important in order to address the issues that brought you to therapy and achieve your innate potential for agency and change.
In EFT, the therapist will also offer to work with you in specific interventions–or activities–within the therapy sessions, which can help target specifically what you are struggling with in that moment. An EFT therapist will work to collaborate with you to explore yourself and your world and co-construct your therapy experience so that you can heal and discover new resources within yourself.