Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 765-766

Humanistic Therapy

  • Michael BlockAffiliated withSchool Counseling & School Psychology, Azusa Pacific University


Client centered therapy; Depth therapy; Gestalt therapy; Holistic health; Humanistic psychology; Person-centered therapy


A genuine, non-judgmental, and empathic model of therapy that uses open-ended responses, reflective listening and tentative interpretations to promote client self-understanding.


Humanistic Therapy overlaps considerably with other existential approaches and emphasizes the growth and fulfillment of the self (self-actualization) through self-mastery, self-examination and creative expression. It holds a hopeful, constructive view of human beings and the individual’s substantial capacity to be self-determining. By and large, this therapeutic approach works with present (rather than past) occurrences and attitudes with a goal of client growth and fulfillment. Humanistic psychology acknowledges that an individual’s mind is strongly influenced by ongoing determining forces in both their unconscious and in the world arou ...

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