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8.S: Chapter Summary

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  • Review of Key Points

    • Rogers began his clinical career searching for effective ways of conducting psychotherapy, since the techniques he had been taught were not providing adequate results.
    • Rogers believed that each person exists in their own, unique experiential field. Only they can see that field clearly, although even they may not perceive it accurately (incongruence).
    • Everyone has an actualizing tendency, according to Rogers. The term commonly applied to this tendency is self-actualization.
    • The self is that portion of the experiential field that is recognized as “I” or “me.” It is organized into a self-structure.
    • Rogers used the term personal power to describe each person’s ability to make choices necessary for the actualization of their self-structure and to then fulfill those choices or goals.
    • In order for a person to grow, they must fulfill a need for positive regard. This can only come from receiving unconditional positive regard from important family members and friends (typically beginning with the parents).
    • When people receive only conditional positive regard, they develop conditions of worth. Their self-regard then becomes tied to those conditions of worth.
    • When an individual’s self-regard and positive regard are closely related, the person is said to be congruent. If not, they are said to be incongruent.
    • Congruence and incongruence can be measured by understanding the gap between a person’s real self and their ideal self.
    • Rogers described individuals who are congruent and continuing to grow as fully functioning persons.
    • Relationships can serve to mirror our true personality, and to reveal incongruence we are unaware of ourselves.
    • Successful marriages, according to Rogers, seem to be based on dedication/commitment, communication, dissolution of roles, and maintaining each person’s separate self.
    • Rogers identified six necessary and sufficient conditions for positive therapeutic change, conditions that can exist in any interpersonal relationships (not just in therapy). The key factor in these relationships may be empathic understanding.
    • Rogers extended his study of clinical psychology into other groups designed to help all people grow and self-actualize, such as T-groups and encounter groups. He described his shift from purely clinical work to fostering growth in all people as a person-centered approach.
    • Maslow worked with an amazing range of people, from the renowned experimental psychologists Harry Harlow and Edward Thorndike, to the Gestalt psychologist Max Wertheimer and the personality theorists/clinicians Alfred Adler, Karen Horney, and Erich Fromm.
    • Values were very important to Maslow in his approach to psychology. He did not, however, advocate his own values. He reached beyond humanistic psychology to include areas of study such as existential psychology, existential theology, and Zen Buddhism.
    • Maslow described a hierarchy of needs, as follows: physiological needs, safety needs, belongingness and love needs, esteem needs, and the need for self-actualization. Lower needs must be largely satisfied before the individual begins to focus on higher needs.
    • The lower needs can be described as deficiency-needs, whereas self-actualization is a Being-need.
    • In addition to the basic needs, there are also cognitive needs and aesthetic needs.
    • Maslow described fourteen characteristics of self-actualizing people. He developed his list by studying both contemporary and historical people who seemed to him to be self-actualizing.
    • Perhaps the best know characteristic of self-actualizing is the peak experience. This experience is often described in mystical terms, and Maslow believed it may have provided a basis for the creation of religion in the early history of the human species.
    • Maslow described two defense mechanisms that interfere with the process of self-actualizing: desacralizing and the Jonah complex.
    • Maslow proposed a Fourth Force Psychology based on Being-values and metaneeds. He felt that some people could suffer from a sickness of the soul, a so-called metapathology, and Maslow suggested a need for metacounselors.
    • Some individuals experience profound peak experiences, which Maslow described as transcendent. His concept of transcendence seems very close to the Buddhist perspective of interbeing.
    • Maslow proposed that organizations should seek Eupsychia, a realistically attainable environment in which the actualizing tendency of all the organization’s members are supported.
    • When Eupsychian management does support self-actualization, the actualization of each person benefits the others around them. The process is known as synergy.
    • Based on a management model that described Theory X and theory Y management styles, Maslow proposed Theory Z. Theory Z management seeks a transcendent management style that encourages and maximizes self-actualization and synergy in the work place.
    • Murray based “personology” on the study of needs. He distinguished between viscerogenic needs and psychogenic needs.
    • Christiana Morgan and Murray developed the Thematic Apperception Test, a famous projective psychological test. Murray used the test during World War II to select special agents for highly sensitive, dangerous missions.
    • Murray believed that a person’s ability to create a story around a picture in the TAT was based in large part on their personal mythology. He shared this interest in myth, and its role in psychology, with Carl Jung and Rollo May.
    • McClelland used the TAT to study the need for achievement. Initially, McClelland considered parental influence very important for the development of the achievement need, a finding he confirmed in Native Americans. However, he found contradictory evidence when he studied the Gurage tribe in Ethiopia. Thus, he considered the true source of the achievement need as something needing further research.
    • The distinction between humanistic psychology and existential psychology is not clear, and there is significant overlap in the thinking of representatives from both fields. In addition, there is a distinct humanistic element in the psychodynamic theories of Adler, Horney, Fromm, Murray, and others

    Discussion Question: Consider Murray’s list of psychogenic needs. Which needs are the ones that affect you the most? Are you able to fulfill those needs?