Humanistic Therapies

Humanistic therapies

Humanistic therapies are client-centred and recognises all aspects of human experience. They work with a client’s experience as a starting point for growing a stronger sense of self and learning new ways self developmental. They tend to focus on personal responsibility and self–empowerment.

Humanistic therapies explore how the past and the future already exist within the physical and emotional structures of a person in the present.

Humanistic therapies bring a large variety of approaches and theories for managing change to create a more fulfilling life. They seek to help individuals recognise their strengths, and create choice in the ‘here and now’.

A detailed version of Humanistic therapies is available to download as a pdf at the bottom of the page

Approaches at ACCPH Humanistic therapies Transactional AnalysisTransactional analysis

Transactional analysis is based on the theory that we each have three ego states: Parent, adult and child. By understanding these ego-states, the client attempts to identify how they behave and communicate in particular situations or with certain people. From this they work out how to change.

Existential therapy

Existential therapy is not a technique based approach. It focuses on exploring the meaning of problems through a philosophical perspective .

Gestalt therapy

Gestalt therapy translates to ‘whole’. It sets out focus on the whole of an client’s life experience. This will include; thoughts, emotions and behaviours. The idea being to gain self-awareness in the present moment.

Human Givens psychotherapy

Human Givens psychotherapy has been described as a ‘bio-psycho-social’ approach to psychotherapy. The therapy’s basic presumption is that all humans have innate needs, (these are called givens), that need to be fulfilled for mental well-being.

Person-centred therapy

Person-centred therapy focuses on a person’s self worth and values. The concept being that; when you are valued as a person, without judgement, they can accept who they really are and so are able to reconnect with themselves. Also known as Client-centred therapy.


Psychosynthesis aims to discover a higher, spiritual level of consciousness.

Reality therapy

Reality therapy is an approach to therapy that focuses on the here and now rather than problems from the past. The concept is that an individual with mental distress is not suffering from a mental illness. They are thought to be suffering from a socially universal human condition as their basic psychological needs are not being met.

Solution-focused therapy (brief therapy)

This approach looks at the wants of the client – what they want to achieve and does not dwell on old problems. The therapist helps the person to uncover their strengths and resources. Solution-focused therapy is very helpful to people who are goal-orientated and have a desire to change fast.

Transpersonal psychology

Transpersonal psychology means “beyond the personal” and seeks to discover the more spiritual elements of a client. This allows them to transcends beyond an individual’s body, age, appearance, culture etc.

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Detailed version as a pdf