Third Force Psychology

3 Commentsby   |  04.23.13  |  Student Posts

Third force psychology, for me at least, is a welcomed outlook into the greater field of psychology. It is refreshing to see the positive aspects of humanity like altruism and happiness under the microscope, than the usual depression and anxiety. Unlike the behaviorists focus conditioning, or the focus of psychoanalysis on the sexual and negative emotions, third force psychology offers a more affirming alternative. The other two schools of psychology lack the almost optimistic and more uplifting nature observed in third force psychology.

Third force psychology satisfies the the questions of the soul. The motivation of the existentialist being to overcome the fear of impending death meaninglessness and the humanist drive to achieve self-actualization. The drive to control your own life and become everything you can is something that I truly appreciate about third force psychology. Though, I find third force psychology cannot stand on its own.

Though I can appreciate the work of third force psychology, I believe that the other two schools are equally important to the whole of psychology. Every school has things they are particularly good at, or rather, each of the three schools possesses attributes that can prove helpful in different therapeutic situations. The positivity of third force psychology is its strength, but what would be perceived as a lack of research and inadequate basis of theory serve as a heavy basis for the critique of third force psychology. This accompanied with the ambiguous nature of individualism and subjectivity found in third force psychology make it a difficult school of thought for some to truly conceptualize, and thus enact as a therapy. And these critiques are not without their merits. However, accompanied with the other two schools of psychoanalysis and behaviorism, third force psychology is an excellent tool for helping all those who wish to self-actualize, be all they can be, and find meaning in life.


  1. Josh Marshall
    12:24 pm, 04.24.13

    I like your take on third force psychology. This is a very descriptive and easy to read manual for what humanistic psychology is all about and how it relates and works with the other two schools of psychology. Very well thought out and well written!

  2. Raymond Lowe
    12:39 pm, 04.24.13

    Third force psychology is structured in such a way as to be easily comprehended, even by an extreme outsider. That is one of its strongest appeals. You have done a good job laying the foundation for this idea. Plus your analysis of how it relates to other schools of psychology just goes on to make it more acceptable.

  3. Jonathan Anglin
    3:09 pm, 04.24.13

    I like what you mentioned with other schools of psychology still playing a vital role. It seems to me that each of these theories has their benefits and failures, and that the combination of them, especially in counselling settings when dealing with a real human being, rather than just theory, is very important.

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