Humanism, humanist, and humanistic are psychological terms which relate to an approach to study the whole person, as well as his or her uniqueness. These terms are referred in psychology to have the same approach. Humanistic approach, at some point, is named phenomenological in which the study of a personality is focused on the subjective experience of an individual.
Will a humanistic approach be a favorable way to deal with various aspects of human existence? Perhaps a number of strengths and weaknesses can serve as a guide to justify this issue.
List of Strengths of Humanistic Approach
1. Focus on the Individual Behavior
Instead of focusing on the unconscious behavior, genes, and mind among others, it has shifted its attention to the individual or entire person.
2. Satisfies the Idea of Most People
As humanistic approach values self-fulfillment and personal ideals, it satisfies the idea of most people regarding the meaning of being human. This focuses more on humankind’s positive nature and free will that is relative to change.
3. More Behavioral Insights
It is easier to acquire a genuine insight and complete information due to the qualitative data that can be associated to behavior.
4. Individualistic Methods of Study
It highlights the importance of a more idiographic and individualistic methods of study. Humanism can also be favorable to different professions, including criminology, history, and literature because humanistic thought has a basis that strikes a hint in all that is considered to be human.
5. Person-Centered Counseling
The non-directional nature of person-centered counseling will allow clients to feel more comfortable when communicating with counselors. More so, clients are considered their equals as they don’t claim to be experts.
List of Weaknesses of Humanistic Approach
1. Promotes Frustration Among Clients
Allowing clients to think for themselves can be confusing for those who are not capable of doing so. Likewise, their clients may feel frustrated because they will not be provided with explanations for their problems.
2. Opposition to Deterministic Laws of Science
Humanistic approach supports free will in which proponents have opposing beliefs in deterministic laws. Accordingly, determinism states that there is only a single course of events that is possible, which contradicts that of the existence of free will.
3. Ethnocentricity of Humanistic Approach
This type of approach can be biased and centered on the Western culture only. For this matter, it can be said that it will influence those who have diverse cultures to follow and adopt even if it contradicts to their beliefs.
4. Experience is Required
In a classroom environment, for instance, the teacher’s capability is a very important role in the success of the humanistic approach. This is because in a humanist classroom, the teacher should facilitate students and their open expressions towards feelings in which traditional teaching doesn’t emphasize on it.
5. Learning Style Issues
Each student has unique learning styles that the humanist teacher must employ for that particular student. However, such styles and evaluations can be very unwieldy and unorganized.
Humanistic approach can only be applied to few areas of psychology, but it can provide better insights into the behavior of the individual through qualitative methods. Likewise, it can offer a more comprehensive view on human behavior.