Kd's e-pathsala Psychology of Adjustment Humanistic Therapy: Concept, Types, Advantages and Disadvantages

Humanistic Therapy: Concept, Types, Advantages and Disadvantages

Humanistic psychology and Humanistic Therapy go together as the latter focuses on people’s capacity to make rational choices and reach their full potential. Humanistic therapy is one type that adopts a “holistic approach” to improving mental well-being. There are two approaches to humanistic therapy:

  • Empathy. 
  • Unconditional positive regard.

Psychologist Carl Rogers developed a therapeutic orientation known as Rogerian, or client-centered therapy (also sometimes called person-centered therapy or PCT). This type of therapeutic approach in which the therapist does not give advice or provide interpretations but helps the person to identify conflicts and understand feelings, Rogers (1951) emphasized the importance of the person taking control of his own life to overcome life’s challenges.


Types of Humanistic Therapy

  1. Client-centered therapy‌: The therapist listens, acknowledges, and paraphrases your concerns. 
  2. Gestalt therapy: This type of approach focuses on the skills and techniques that allow you to be aware of your feelings and emotions. 
  3. Existential therapy: This approach focuses on  self-determination. 
  4. Logo therapy: This type of therapy focuses on helping people find ways to endure life’s difficulties and find a sense of purpose and meaning.
  5. Narrative therapy: This approach to therapy helps people identify their values.


Humanistic therapy can be effective for people who have:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Panic disorder
  • Personality disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Relationship problems
  • Substance abuse
  • Trauma


Advantages of Humanistic Therapy

  1. Improve Self-Esteem
  2. Boosts Self-Awareness, Coping Skills and Growth
  3. Can Help Improve Relationships
  4. Develop a strong and healthy sense of self.
  5. Find meaning of life.


Disadvantages of Humanistic Therapy

  1. There is too much emphasis on subjective experience.
  2. Approach is not scientific- Does not use any rigorous, objective methods.
  3. Places emphasis on conscious awareness- this limits the scope of the humanistic approach.
  4. Client-Centred Therapy is of limited help for individuals with complex problems.


Humanistic therapy, also called humanism or humanistic psychology, is a branch of therapy that focuses on a person’s individual nature as a whole, dynamic and “innately good” person. Because it’s a form of positive psychology, humanism emphasizes the positive side of human nature and assumes all people want to live fulfilling lives.