Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology: A Historical and Biographical Sourcebook

Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology: A Historical and Biographical Sourcebook

Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology: A Historical and Biographical Sourcebook

Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology: A Historical and Biographical Sourcebook

Synopsis

An examination of four decades of research and practice in humanistic psychology, this work highlights the lasting contributions of humanistic psychology to the science of psychology and to the pursuit of personal and spiritual development. It explores the passions and goals of the founders and their vital legacy for the 21st century.

Excerpt

The frontispiece in this volume shows Michelangelo's sculpture of David. The David was chosen, first, because Michelangelo represents the highest achievements of European Renaissance humanism, with its celebration of the beauty and grandeur of the human being, and second, because the David symbolizes the objective of twentieth-century humanism in psychology: a recovery of this appreciation of the human being with its full sensuality, strength, and spirituality. The David is also a potent symbol for the audacity of 1950s-era humanistic psychology in taking on the Goliath of mainstream psychology.

Humanistic psychology began as a bold movement of creative individuals who set out deliberately to remake American psychology in the image of a fully alive and aware human being. Commencing in the United States in the mid-1950s, humanistic psychologists have revitalized the discipline of psychology with a broader understanding of the human being, a broader vision of psychological practice, and a broader approach to a human science. Humanistic psychologists criticize the emphasis of scientific psychology on the measurement, prediction, and control of behavior and protest the exclusion from psychological investigation of such basic aspects of humanness as consciousness, values, creativity, freedom, will, love, and spirit.

Humanistic psychologists draw on the rich perspectives of existential philosophy, literature, and the arts to develop an understanding of human nature more adequate and comprehensive than that found in psychology textbooks and journals. Humanistic psychologists insist that psychological research must develop methodologies that can address the full scope of human experience, and must not limit itself to observable behavior in a laboratory. Humanistic psychology does . . .

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