G . O . R . I . L . L . A .
THE ROLE OF THE HUMANISTIC MOVEMENT IN THE HISTORY OF PSYCHOLOGY
Frederick J.Werz (part two)
This article first appeared in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Vol.38 No.1, Winter 1998 42-70
The Third Force
Davidson's.(1992) clarification of the basic tenets of humanism leaves little question that the Third Force is bound together in a profound unity. However; historical and philosophical clarification of the orientation can go a long way to resolving disputes concerning who is rightfully to be considered a precursor and participant in the movement. Epting and Leitner (1992) have argued, for instance, that George Kelly is to be considered a humanistic psychologist rather than a cognitive-behaviorist, despite his abstract system of postulates. Such considerations often reveal ways in which a given thinker is and is not humanistic. These self-critical investigations within the movement hold great potential for resolving contradictory and apparently fragmented strands. For instance, one of the central contradictions noted by historians is found in the debate over whether humans are innately oriented toward goodness and growth. Rogers (1951) viewed the growth principle rightly as a hypothesis. As such, it is an abstract statement. Phenomenologists and existentialists, in keeping with the historical tradition of humanism, are skeptical of abstract postulates and call for a return to concrete description and study. In doing so, some, such as Rollo May, find reason to deny the growth hypothesis. But Rogers acknowledged the merely heuristic status of this hypothesis along with the necessity of phenomenological observation, which also, in his view, supported his idea. It is this common ground of antidogmatism and high prioritizing of human experience that makes debate both possible and fruitful, confirming the basic humanistic tenet that the truth is not monolithic. Only when priority is placed on abstract principles, viewed as noncontradictable universal truths, is the unity of science in jeopardy. Humanistic psychology must therefore not be identified with particular theoretical postulates such as those of Kelly (1955), Rogers's (1951) growth hypothesis, or Maslow's (1968, 1954) motivational hierarchy, for these are merely heuristic tools that lend direction to a process of direct experiential exploration that is the primary modus operandi of the science.
The entire field of psychology.
We have seen above, in the renewed criticism of cognitive and psychoanalytic psychology; that humanistic psychology does not reject alternative approaches to the field but attempts to critically incorporate them. Churchll (1992) convincingly made the point that humanistic psychologists have consistently dialogued with and holistically integrated all the available knowledge claims concerning particular subject matter. This stands in contrast to the many more monolithic approaches to the field. For instance, Maslow's study of motivation incorporated much of value from behaviorism and psychoanalysis, integrating it in a more comprehensive system by referring postulates back to the full spectrum of experience. May (1951) incorporated extensive physiological, philosophical, and experimental psychological research in his own existential analysis of anxiety, and in the second edition of his volume, he critically engaged the most recent 20 years of research in these areas. Van Kaam (1966) has presented a sophisticated way of overcoming the fragmentation of both subject matters and theories in psychology with his existential program of "comprehensive theorizing." Although his work is not widely used, many dissertations at Duquesne University, as well as the research of William Fischer (1970), Barton (1974), and Wertz (1983), have been inspired by Van Kaam. Such integrative efforts as these are rare and may serve as models for the entire field of psychology, which lacks the programmatic commitment to undogmatically welcome the many ways to truth.
Traditional psychology; in its 19th-century scientistic aspirations, has aimed at universally valid knowledge and absolute certainty. Both have failed, and the failures have become evident both in the particulars of psychological knowledge and in general philosophical terms (Polkinghorne, 1983).
According to the nature of the matters under investigation, "psychic life cannot be composed or built up out of its component parts, cannot be constructed by a sort of assemblage" (Dilthey 1894, p.57). Instead, description plays a far more profound role in psychology than in natural science. Methodologically, description provides an "unbiased and unmutilated" view of psychological life in all of its reality. Analysis then proceeds to directly make distinctions, to grasp the wholeness as such, and then to focus on the relations of each constituent with the whole and each other. "It is on the activity of establishing relations that all the depth and scope of the understanding of human mental life depends" (Duthey, 1894, p.57).
Historically, the recognition of the necessity for developing alternative methods that achieve a 'closeness to human' experience has posed two problems for humanistic psychologists: first, to develop and formalize methods specifically tailored to. human phenomena, and second, to determine the role and value of the methods based on natural science and so extensively employed by mainstream academic psychology
Polkinghorne (1992) presents the wealth of methods that have been developed. He calls attention to the major traditions from which these methods have been drawn, including constructivism, systems orientations, existential-phenomenology pragmatism, and such other human sciences as anthropology and sociology. Polkinghorne has documented the upsurge, during the past decade, of publications addressing the technical and theoretical issues of humanistic research designs, including ones developed originally by such humanistic psychologists as Giorgi (1975), Moustakas (1990), and Barrell (1986). Aanstoos's (1987a) survey of humanistic research programs outlines no less than 12 already established and others under development.
DeCarvalilo and Krippner (1993) provide a historical view of the methods used by humanistic psychologists. From this, it appears that although such early pioneers as Allport, Maslow, and Rogers attempted rare integrations of distinctively humanistic and natural scientific methods, the contemporary scene has brought more polarization. In my view, this is due to an increasing philosophical clarity, which has led to two different metapsychological positions. Now, there are those like Giorgi (1975) who favor purely phenomenological methods and those (Barker, 197111972; Child, 1973; Coward & Royce, 1981) who use natural, scientifically based experiments to validate humanistic hypotheses. Clearly, the latter course in and of itself goes against the grain of the humanistic tradition, which asserts the epistemological necessity of approaching humans in a manner different from physical things. Further-more, historians who see humanistic psychologists as merely proposing new subject matter or new theories without new philosophically grounded methods minimize the value and potential impact of the movement. And yet, can the entire traditional set of methods, and the knowledge based on it, be simply dismissed as irrelevant for psychology?
Husserl and Duthey, who are known for their demands for purely humanistic methods, say no. Both state that constructions, inferences, hypotheses, experiments, and so on may play a genuine role in the discipline of psychology; but the traditional relationship of descriptive understanding and explanation must be reversed. Rather than description being the first step in the scientific process that is used to generate inferential hypotheses to be experimentally validated, inferential hypotheses and their experimental validation are used to guide and inform direct observation and descriptive understanding that proceeds in a holistic manner. In other words, theories, hypotheses, and experimental findings, to attain the full status of genuine psychological knowledge, must be referred back to concrete, qualitative studies of actual individual human beings. They are not necessary for the discipline's scientific status, but they may serve a heuristic function. An interesting example is Howard's (1992) research on human freedom, in which numerous experimental studies have led to the conviction that the experimentally verified phenomenon must then be approached qualitatively with a narrative form of expression.
The scope of humanistic psychology has been limited by its small number of adherents and their lack of a supportive institutional base more than anything else. It is true that in some cases, humanistic psychologists have viewed traditional psychological topics as trivial and not worthy of further research, and this may not be wholly a fault. It is a credit to humanistic psychologists to have highlighted the importance of choosing significant research topics in our discipline. At Duquesne University the one sustained graduate level program in the existential-phenomenological strand of humanistic psychology-the study of topics introduced by mainstream psychology abounds. There has been a line of research following the paradigm of replicating an established psychological experiment with the addition of extensive phenomenological investigations of the participants' experience (e.g., Colaizzi's  study of paired associate learning). In addition, there have been numerous research projects in such areas as learning, perception, remembering, thinking, motivation, variousemotions, psychopathology; and the efficacy of traditional psycho.-therapeutic treatment in view of this, it is only fair to say that the scope of humanistic psychology has been in the process of encompassing as well as going beyond the entire established subject matter of the field of psychology
In the past few years, a number of journals have joined the ranks of Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry, and Journal of Phenomenological Psychology with an emphasis on humanistic psychology; for instance, Methods: a Journal for the Human Sciences and The Humanistic Psychologist, which became an official APA journal in 1991. Mainstream journals, such as the American Psychologist have been periodically accepting works of humanistic psychologists. Past presidents and members of Division 32 have secured nominations for and, in the case of Frank Farley, been elected APA president. However, the APA has yet to accredit any explicitly humanistic graduate program in psychology and is in the process of advocating state licensing statutes that are extremely discriminatory against graduates of humanistic programs. Discriminatory practices also exist in the hiring of humanistic psychologists in established institutions, including the accredited graduate programs. I know of no academician holding a post in such a program after having a formal graduate education in humanistic psychology. The few humanistic psychologists teaching in accredited graduate programs became humanistic after traditional training. The APA's recent resolution to secure prescription privileges for psychologists and its adoption of a rigid template for establishing guidelines for the practice of psychotherapy pose tremendous threats to humanistic practitioners, who have, independently and in organizations, been free to practice humanistic psychotherapy. Humanistic practice is now in the process of being displaced and attacked. Despite the efforts of its Division of Humanistic Psychology, which has fought APAs accreditation policies, its quest for prescription privileges for psychologists, and its advocacy of rigid and exclusionary guidelines for the practice of psychotherapy, the APA appears to be gaining power as a gatekeeper inhospitable to humanists The picture suggests that it is difficult, and perhaps becoming more so, to be professionally and legally established as a humanistic psychologist. This constitutes the greatest threat to the movement.
Relation to the Humanities
More than any other approach to psychology, the humanistic movement has achieved a reunion of psychology and the humanities, whose relationship has suffered deep severance since psychology was founded as a natural science. As we have seen above, the humanistic movement has conducted a fruitful dialogue with philosophy, past and present. Philosophical analyses have served to provide a foundation of psychological science, which in turn has provided philosophers with highly esteemed knowledge.
Humanistic psychologists have engaged extensively with literature and the fine arts, for instance, in their studies of creativity (Arons, 1987; Barron, 1990; Hale, 1995; May, 1975; Montuori & Purser, 1995). The relevance of literary and artistic expressions for psychological research has also been programmatically given a place by humanistic psychologists (May, 1951; Moustakas, 1990). Greening (1995), along with Rollo May in his final year of life, has even constructed a licensing exam for psychologists that includes 65 questions about the humanities. The recent emphasis on hermeneutics and narrative forms of expression has assumed a central place in the development of research methods and methodologies (Polkinghorne, 1988).
It was out of the humanistic movement that the "fourth force" grew, namely transpersonal psychology; in which psychological science has formed a central connection with spiritual and religious studies (Maslow, 1968, 1970; Sutich, 1976; Valle, 1989). In this forum~ psychology not only opened itself to a realm of experiences that had been only marginally considered by any science but also entered into a dialog with the full spectrum of world religions. For instance, Christian mysticism, mystical Judaism, Vedanta, Yoga, Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, Sufism, Taoism, the spiritual traditions of Native American cultures, and the teachings of Gurdjjeff and his followers have entered into psychological science. This has appeared to some as inconsistent with the basic tenant of humanism concerning the distrust of dogmatic theology and the insistence on placing the human (as opposed to the divine) at the center of the cosmos. However, it is fully within the scope and orientation of humanistic psychology to recognize and explore the meanings of transcendent experiences, transpersonal revelations, and unitiive consciousn~ess in the lives of individual niystics; in traditional and new spiritual practices and in. religious writings. This is not a return to theologism. Religious doctrine is not to be given precedence over, or to be severed from, its rootedness in human experience. All abstract conceptualizations, as indicated above in the cases of cognitive, psychoanalytic, and even humanistic thought, are to be viewed as heuristic tools for the empirical study of human experience. The paradoxical nature of the human being, namely the capability of transcending his or her own being, has been insisted on most persistently and foundationally by humanistic psychologists (Giorgi, 1992; Valle, 1989). Transcendence is found in experience. Humanistic psychologists from Maslow to Giorgi have asserted that the outcome of self-fulfillment for human beings is not selfishness and the absorption in the mundanely human; rather, full humanity consists of the selflessness affirmation of a much greater order and totality, of which the person is a part.
Zeitgeist and Social Reform
Davidson (1992) has reminded us that the humanistic movement is a distinctively American psychology, not merely because it was organized by American psychologists or rooted in the countercultural American zeitgeist of the 1960s. One of the most impacting dimensions of the humanistic tradition throughout history has been in the political arena. Its presence in American democracy, for instance in the work of Thomas Jefferson and in the Declaration of Independence, is so ingrained as to be taken for granted. The entire political system is built on the flindamental assumption of the freedom and dignity of each individual person, who is given participatory responsibility in government. Following from this is an antidogmatism and an openness to and protection of different beliefs and lifestyles. In this sense, humanistic psychology has a great affinity not only with American ideology but also with open, humanistic political processes that may spread throughout the world (May, 1986).
Humanistic psychology has embodied emancipatory politics, both in its critique of prevailing social trends and proactive policies and practices. In the psychological clinic (Barton, 1992; C. T. Fischer, 1992), education (Richards & Combs, 1992), the medical establishment (Carlson & Garell, 1978), legal and law enforcement institutions (Woolpert, 1980, 1988; Shaffer, 1971), services for the elderly (Dychtwald, 1981), and business (Massarik, 1992), humanistic psychologists have served to foster responsible freedom, dignity, mutual understanding, and respect for individual, ethnic, and cultural differences. These efforts have also been consistently brought into international and intercultural forums (Greening, 1984; Harari, 1991; Hassard, 1990). For instance, the work of Carl Rogers in the Southwest among Mexican Americans, in the Soviet Union, and in Northern Ireland exemplifies this brand of democratic activism (see Greening, 1987). No other orientation in psychology is as fundamentally and programmatically committed to the promotion of the responsible empowerment and freedom constitutive of democracy.
Since the 1960s, we have seen a number of movements emerge in concert with humanistic psychology; for instance, those centered on freedom and equal rights for races, genders, those with differing sexual orientations, the handicapped, the elderly, and numerous other groups of individuals who have suffered indignities due to some form of "being different" (Moustakas, 1992). Questions concerning ethics have come to pervade social life. Along with these, concerns about finding the proper place for technological advance, the ecology of the environment, and animal rights have entered the theater of human operations. These emergent social concerns are not related to humanistic psychology by mere historical coincidence. Besides the fact that humanistic psychologists have contributed both research and service to virtually all of these developments, the most basic principles of the movement make it uniquely and intrinsically facilitative of the actualization of human care for the world in its vast multiformity:
If; as the above analysis suggests, humanistic psychology has not only adequately responded to its critics but has offered adequate solutions to the fundamental problems of psychology as no other orientation has, why is it in a state of crisis and jeopardy? The answer is that the movement has failed to sufficiently infuse the traditional establishment of psychology: the universities, the journals, and the major professional organization (APA). This is why even many historians of psychology are unfamiliar with the nature of the movement and its many important scientific contributions. The most crucial task for humanistic psychology is to find more effective ways of infusing established institutions, upgrading its own institutions, and perhaps even creating new kinds of institutions, within which its radical contributions will assume their rightfully central position in the psychology of the future
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FREDERICK J.. WERTZ received his Ph.D. in phenomenological psychology at Duquesne University in 1982. Currently; he is a professor of psychology at Fordham University and an independent practitioner of psychotherapy in New York City. He is the editor of the Journal of Phenomenological Psychology and has served as editor of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology as well as guest editor of The Humanistic Psychologist. He edited The Humanistic Movement: Recovering the Person in Psychology (Gardner. Press) and coedited Advances in Qualitative Re-search in Psychology: Themes and Variations (Swets North America). He was the president of the American Psychological Association's Division of Humanistic Psychology in 1994-1995 and is currently the president-elect of the Division of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology His writing has focused on human perception, development, psychopathology; psychotherapy, criminal victimization, phenomenological research methodology; psychoanalysis, cognitive psychology; and the philosophical and cultural foundations of psychology
Reprint requests: Frederick J. Wertz, Department of Psychology (LL 924), Fordham University, New York, NY 19923.
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