Third Force

0 Commentsby   |  04.23.13  |  Student Posts

Third Force Psychology has become very popular in recent years, not only because of client centered therapy, but also because of its clever infusion of humanistic ideals. While it can be and is viewed by many as a reaction to the seemingly negative picture of the self painted by Freud and Psychoanalysis, its views on creativity and human potential have opened up new areas for psychology to explore. One these areas is self-actualization. Theories of self actualization believe that humans have an innate, though “fragile” as Maslow would say, drive toward realizing ones full potential. This is generally described as reaching a higher state of understanding, often of the self and others, but also ones environments. I won’t go into the specific theories about how actualization occurs, but in my opinion a “self-actualized” person is pretty much the exact opposite of the half conscious animal drowning in its neurosis stereotyped by psychoanalysis. Another thing I noticed is that, while psychoanalysis seemed to accent some of man’s darker qualities, or at least view them in a dark way, humanistic psychology views everything as overly positive. It makes it more popular, but I think truth is somewhere in between. Another part of third force psychology that I find particularly interesting is Transpersonal psychology. It is a relatively unexplored area since Maslow, but I think it is a very interesting field and could have some important implications for the psychology of religion. I don’t know of any people who embody third force psych who aren’t psychologist, so I really don’t know what else to say… so Goodnight!

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