Kapitel 7

Woolfe, R., Strawbridge, S., Douglas, B. & Dryden, W. (2009). Handbook of Counselling Psychology, 3.ed. London: SAGE.  Del I, II og IV.


The humanistic approach tries to meet the client openly and write their story about their inner world with them, rather than being the expert of it.

I the humanistic perspective of counselling psychology there is three core orientations; person-centered psychology, existential-phenomenology and Gestalt psychology.

Humanistic psychology has developed in the USA in the 1960s and 1970s. humanistic psychology focuses primarily on the here and now, not earlier experiences and it gives a holistic perspective on the client, it the client as a whole rather than only focusing on the problem. It acknowledges the client autonomy and their right to write their story themselves.

Husserl: noema, what we addresses our attention to, and noesis, how “noema” is understood and felt. A way to describe conscious actions.

Both person-centered and existentialistic perspective sees human experiences as constantly changing and varied, but person-centered believes that this happens because of self-actualization.

The humanistic approach looks at the problem or the client’s produced symptoms as an underlying experience of incongruence of the self-concept. As well as the client’s concept, the therapeutic self-concept is divided in ones own perception of self and the other’s perception of the self. Congruence between these two parts is important.

Woolfe 2009_Kapitel 7

Ones is constantly changing but the client often tries to hold fast a dysfunctional perception of themselves. It is the therapist’s task in the relation to the client to generate consciousness about this so the client can re-write their store and change their self perception.

The rule of epoche; put all assumptions and bias away and look at the client with a clear view

The rule of description: we should describe rather than explain

The rule of equalization/horizontation: we should be open to all phenomenon’s equally and should not sort them from our own perception of importance. (this is a goal that will never be reached but is very important to try to reach it)

The humanistic psychology does not use diagnose-systems but assess the client’s condition from a cooperation between the therapist and client on the basis of attention and interpersonal abilities.

The humanistic psychology’s person-centered approach can be used to family-therapy, where the group can be seen as a complex living system.

Counselling psychology has moved into the scientific part of psychology and criticizes science for not seeing research as something that should fit the approach. Counselling psychology is tried validated with qualitative methods and phenomenological methods.

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