Humanistic Approach


My theory of choice is the humanistic theory and is a theory that deals with the emphasis of people’s self-actualization. It is focused on the encouragement of self-growth through the emphasis of the negation of past behavior that leans on the negative (Gehart & Tuttle, 2003). This approach includes the teachings that a client is in control of their own destiny and thus they can prosper if they believe it. It also centers on the belief that therapists need to show concern and care in their clients in order to obtain positive results.

Bowenian Theory

This is the theory chosen from the video and it outlines that human beings are shaped by and the various cultural and social aspects of the society. It emphasizes that human beings are molded by the family unit and that each generation passes traits from one generation to the next. It emphasizes that self-differentiation is outlined by the relationship a patient might have with the family and outlines the various modes that are present in familial  and social relationships. An example being the triangular mode of representation (Gehart & Tuttle, 2003)

Lack of a defined integration approach

A major problem in the integration of these theories in practice is the overpowering of one attribute by another. The humanistic approach involves the building of trust with patients through encouragement of positive aspects of their nature.  If the bowenian theory is integrated into this, the loss of this humanistic approach may be evident as it allows for the inclusion of the analysis of familial relationships which may be painful to the patient due to strained relations and thus one approach overpowers the other since there is lack of a defined method of integration. Mitigating this can include the inclusion of a developmental framework to aide in the use of the positive aspects of each theory such as the analysis of the family projection process to avoid dealing with the more negative aspects of patient evaluation.

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  1. Gehart, D. R., & Tuttle, A. R. (2003). Theory-based treatment planning for marriage and family therapists: Integrating theory and practice. Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.
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