Jul 16, 2024  
Academic Catalog 2016-2017 
Academic Catalog 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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PSY-748 Humanistic and Existential Theory/Therapy

4 semester credits

This course looks at the major concepts and issues of humanistic, existential, phenomenological, and organismic personality theories and their respective approaches to intervention. This course comprehends humanistic/existential psychology as an approach to psychological theory, research, and psychotherapy that focuses upon lived experience in the context of the individual’s relatedness to self and others, and their cultural, social and natural environments. Humanistic/Existential psychologists typically take a profound interest in the experience of clients, therapists, subjects and investigators. They promote an “open economy” of experience and ideas, respect the autonomy and value of individuals, communities and cultures, honor and value history and tradition without being blindly obedient to them, place the individual’s experience and the therapeutic relationship (as opposed to diagnosis, theory and classification) at the focus of clinical interactions, and take particular interest in the fundamental conditions of human existence, including mortality, freedom, desire, will, isolation, alienation, relatedness, meaning, and creativity. Humanistic/existential psychology is concerned with the positive and joyous, as well as the pathological and tragic aspects of human life. This course will examine the philosophical foundations of psychological practice and research, and takes a broad view of the Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Psychology, focusing on the work of such philosophers as Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre and Buber. Students may also examine such thinkers as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Tillich, as well as the work of the psychologists Laing, Binswanger, May, Yalom, Maslow, Rogers, Boss, Bugental, Fromm, Frankl, and Perls.
Pre-requisites: PSY-711A1  
Delivery Method: Distance/Electronically Mediated
Note: Elective
Grading Default: Letter
Learning Objective(s):  

1. Understand the philosophical and psychological foundations of existential and humanistic psychology.

2. Understand the language and concepts related to phenomenological, humanistic, and existential approaches to psychology and psychotherapy.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of the more recent issues and problems confronting humanistic/existential research and its connections to non-specific variables and common factors as well as how this field addresses the question of “evidence based treatments”.

4. Be able to describe how several prominent existential-humanistic theorists understand therapeutic technique and change. Amongst these psychotherapy theorists are: I. Yalom, R.D. Laing, F. Perls, M. Boss, V. Frank, J. L. Moreno, C. Rogers, L. Binswanger, J. Bugental, A. Maslow, M. Erickson, R. May, E. Berne, E. Fromm.

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