It matters that people have a way to use the latest findings in psychology beyond buying a pill for depression. It matters that people have a way of looking at their lives that lets them ask the big questions and determine how they want to live – and that this is supported by therapists and mental health professionals.

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Four Existential Challenges - and three responses to each

Author: Tom Greening

Tom Greening was a founding scholar of humanistic psychology, and as the long-term editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology was responsible for developing, with James Bugental, its basic precepts:

  1. Human beings, as human, supersede the sum of their parts. They cannot be reduced to components.
  2. Human beings have their existence in a uniquely human context, as well as in a cosmic ecology.
  3. Human beings are aware and aware of being aware – they are conscious. Human consciousness always includes an awareness of oneself in the context of other people.
  4. Human beings have some choice and, with that, responsibility.
  5. Human beings are intentional, aim at goals, are aware that they cause future events, and seek meaning, value, and creativity.

 

Over time, the therapies emerging from these ideas have developed a proven track record of success: in many cases, helping people work through their hopes and fears, their existential needs, and there desire for growth community, is far more effective than quick fixes and drug therapies.

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