The Humanistic counselling model covers a wide variety of theories but many key concepts are carried across them all. Few counsellors work in one particular theorist’s model anymore so it’s likely you will find a Humanistic counsellor bringing together most of these areas:
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
A set of “needs” that human beings need to fulfil in order to attain self-actualisation.
Meeting ones full potential as a complete human being.
A concept of self-awareness.
Bringing together all aspects of the personality in order that we may truly understand who we are.
Dealing with unfinished business.
Bringing together different areas of the psyche in order to create wholeness.
The 4 Givens
An existential theory consisting of:
The inevitability of death.
The freedom to choose.
The knowledge that we are alone.
The understanding that life is meaningless.
The Core Conditions
Empathy, Congruence and Unconditional Positive Regard.
These are required by all Humanistic counsellors.
Unconditional Positive Regard
Acceptance without conditions
A state of being.
The counsellor can understand a client’s frame of reference “as if” in the client’s position.
A way of being.
Outward responses are consistently matching inner feelings.
Gaps in the self-concept caused by exposure to conditions of worth.
Conditions of Worth
The internalised belief that we must behave in a certain way in order to be accepted or loved.
The Image of self is based on life experiences and the reflection of attitudes of significant others in our lives.
The self we become in order to meet our conditions of worth.
Present from birth.
A drive to grow, mature and reach self-actualisation.
Obscured by the conditions of worth.
The concept of who we would like to be
Locus of Evaluation
The position from which we judge or evaluate issues.
Actualised = From an Internal position.
Conditions of worth = From an external position e.g. family.
Internal Frame of Reference
Our understanding of the world is shaped through our experiences and interpreted on the basis of our personal value system.
Here and Now
Being In the moment rather than the past or future.
The client is the expert in themselves and their experience.
A client’s right to free choice.
An alliance where the counsellor is a companion on equal terms.
The counsellor’s level of congruence enables them to be completely present with the client.
The stages of change that will happen if the core conditions are present.
The client will move from a position of being closed and detached with no responsibility for their own situation to one whereby they can trust their inner processes and find their way through issues on their own.
The natural tendency for all human beings to move towards a position of self-actualisation.