NRNP 6645 Week 7 Humanistic–Existential Therapy Example

Comparing Humanistic-Existential Psychotherapy with Other Approaches

Different ideas on human psychology have been created by psychologists. The personality changes are explained by the humanist, existential, and humanist existential models. Models play a crucial role in therapies because they help people understand and accept the hardships of life. While the humanist-existential psychotherapy paradigm contends that personalities vary and people can acquire new traits based on circumstances, the humanist approach emphasizes the inherent goodness in humans.

NRNP 6645 Week 7 Humanistic–Existential Therapy Example

Two models: Humanistic-existential psychotherapy and Humanist psychotherapy Humanistic-existential Psychotherapy

Humanistic Existential Psychotherapy (HE) postulates that the human personality is dynamic, and changes occur across the lifespan that defines personality at each point (Hounkpatin et al., 2015). The model integrates humanistic and existentialist approaches. The humanist perspective claims that human beings are good, while the existentialist proposes that people are neither good nor bad (Daei Jafari et al., 2020). Integration of the two models creates a dynamic person capable of actualizing based on situations and strengths.

The model is adopted as a transition from the traditional conception of personality as a stable element that remains consistent throughout life. The HE models framework asserts that individuals confront and challenge a meaningless life as they transform their lives into a personality they desire. The person pursues self-rated health, self-efficacy, psychological turning point, and life satisfaction that involves a subjective evaluation of an individual’s wellbeing (Hounkpatin et al., 2015).

These components keep an individual driven to improve their lives. Notably, societal norms and the pursuit of authentic individual-based life goals contribute to an individual’s personality changes.

There is a constant drive to meet an expectation, which is addressed in the social investment theory- an investment in institutions such as work, and marriage motivates personality changes. Notably, the dynamic nature of life situations indicates that circumstances present new challenges requiring new solutions of different perspectives. A person discovers their needs, thereby creating a change in their personality.

The fundamental basis of the HE model is an individual’s ability to respond to external changes in adaptive personality changes. Robbins (2021) found that participants faced with the COVID19 pandemic challenge accepted their situation and developed adaptive measures propelling them into a joyful life. There is a transition from one category of personality to another.


The humanistic model provides a unique perspective of personality. The model postulates that people are inherently good, and that each person has a subjective identity characterized by a free will to make choices and exercise self-awareness (Locher et al., 2019). The model implies that human beings can make the right choices to maximize their wellness and neighbors.

Therefore, they can form a meaningful relationship with others and make healthy choices. Moreover, the therapist works with the patient to understand their inherent good and overcome limiting perceptions. Notably, the therapist emphasizes self-actualization and growth, contrary to emphasizing symptoms alleviation and disease treatment (Locher et al., 2019). Importantly, the model emphasizes moving onwards rather than focusing on past experiences, thereby challenging the client to positively perceive their lives. The therapist works through a relationship that encourages being one’s true self.

Differences between the two models

The fundamental difference between the two models is their position on the nature and consistency of the human personality. The humanist perspective postulates that human beings are good, while the humanistic-existential model posits that people’s personalities fluctuate.

Understanding the differences is critical in application to therapy. I would like my client to understand themselves as dynamic and capable of manifesting positive and negative personalities.

The humanist model prevents individuals from recognizing and accepting their weaknesses or bad qualities inherent in the humanist-existential perspective (Wolfe, 2016). Therefore, the client is led towards denial of events, behaviors, and personality traits defining their lives. The humanist-existential model promotes mindfulness, a critical practice that constantly evaluates their attributes to achieve personal growth and development (Daei et al., 2020 NRNP 6645 Week 7 Humanistic–Existential Therapy Example).

The client exists in an interconnected world and is impacted by external factors in the social, economic, and political domains. The client exists in a dynamic world and is faced with diverse challenges through interaction with other humans and objects. Therefore, their personality can shift based on the challenges in their environment. My client should accept the reality of their society and accept the need to adjust to meet the contextual needs.

Finally, while the humanist model is rigid, the humanist-existential model asserts that people are diverse, unique, integrated into reality through personalized experience, and have free will. The transformative nature of the humanist-existential model is fundamental to growth and development. Notably, I expect my client to behave differently as a child, youth, adult, an elderly person due to the uniqueness of experience in these dispensations.

Case Approach

James Bugantil highlights a humanist-existentialist perspective of psychotherapy. He has adopted the model due to his appreciation of the complex nature and different life perspectives. The clients have been driven to appreciate their limitations and guided towards harnessing strength and opportunity. I would adopt the same model due to its appreciation of the multiple dimensions of life and how this affects individuals. A humanist method would be superficial, while an existentialist method would overlook the need for a consistent personality trait.

NRNP 6645 Week 7 Humanistic–Existential Therapy Example References

  • Daei Jafari, M. R., Aghaei, A., & Rashidi Rad, M. (2020). Existential Humanistic Therapy with Couples and its Effect on Meaning of Life and Love Attitudes. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 48(5), 530-545.
  • Hounkpatin, H. O., Wood, A. M., Boyce, C. J., & Dunn, G. (2015). An existential-humanistic view of personality change: Co-occurring changes with psychological well-being in a 10- year cohort study. Social Indicators Research, 121(2), 455-470.
  • Locher, C., Meier, S., & Gaab, J. (2019). Psychotherapy: A world of meanings. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 460.
  • Robbins, B. D. (2021). The joyful life: An existential-humanistic approach to positive psychology in the time of a pandemic. Frontiers in Psychology, 2878.
  • Thinking Allowed TV. (2010). James Bugental: Humanistic Psychotherapy (excerpt) — A Thinking Allowed DVD w/ Jeffrey Mishlove. v=mjDNKGIvWPQ
  • Wolfe, B. E. (2016). Existential-humanistic therapy and psychotherapy integration: A commentary. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 26(1), 56–60.


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