Abraham Maslow’s The Farther Reaches of Human Nature (pp. 24-68, 270-286)
General Overview: Differences from Rogers (not as therapeutically oriented, more emphasis on motivation, also personality). Like Rogers, a big emphasis on personal growth, conceived in terms of Being & becoming). Maslow’s HIERARCHY OF NEEDS (know what it is and how it works, physiological vs. psychological vs. self-actualization needs), peak experiences. B-needs vs. D-needs (being vs. deficiency),
Ch. 2: “pathology” in terms of a way of being, rather than medical model (know generally what the medical model is). Maslow’s alternative: Blockages to full humanness. Problems with the medical model: tends to be dehumanizing (people reduced to symptoms, test results, etc., at the expense of their deep and unique humanity). Too normalizing (“averageness is the best we can expect…” normality as a form of shared crippling. Neurosis as hopeful. Continuum between “Diminution of humanness” and “Full humanness” (generally what this looks like, although you don’t need to memorize all of the specific characteristics). The Jonah Complex (generally what it is), counter-valuing, ambivalence about greatness, talent, etc. Fear of responsibility, fear of rejection, fear of seeming arrogant (know Maslow’s position on this), greatness as inherently overwhelming, fear of losing control, annihilation. Solving the Jonah complex as involving becoming aware of one’s counter-valuing, embracing the B-values (you don’t need to memorize all of these -- just get the general picture).
Ch. 3: Self-actualization as embodying selflessness, as well as engagement with others. Vocation/calling vs. job, individuality as being both oneself and engaged in the world. “Behaviors leading to Self-actualization” (for this, just get the main gist of each one; the order is not important): experiencing fully, growth choices vs. fear choices, paying attention to one’s inner voice, honesty with oneself, sense for destiny, openness to the moment, not just will-power, involves some pain.
Desacralization vs. Resacralization (know what these are)
Ch 4: Creativity. Why? marker of the healthy person, psychotherapy as creative, developmental psychology as creative, every moment as creative. Maslow’s emphasis on art education (reasons why), need to create a new kind of being. Primary vs. secondary creativeness. Aspects (again, just get the general gist of these): immersion in the moment, innocence, loss of ego/self, loss of fears/defenses, requires courage + acceptance + trust in self/world, receptivity, acting with one’s entire being (including one’s shadow), aesthetic perceiving, spontaneity, full expressiveness and contact with the world.
Theory Z -- presence of peak and/or plateau experiences
Theory Y vs. Theory Z (know this distinction, but you don‘t need to memorize the names of the people in the 2 categories). Characteristics or transcenders (again, just get the general gist of these): Most important thing, B-language, unitive/sacral perception, meta-motivated, recognize each other, responsive to beauty, holistic, synergistic, transcendence of ego, awe-inspiring, innovators/discoverers, B-sadness, simultaneity of B/D realms, increasing knowledge/mystery, less fear of unconventional people, paradox of reconciliation with evil, religious/spiritual, paradox of strong self/transcendence of self, instruments of something greater, childlike fascination, wholehearted love, less ruled by practicality, higher forms of pay. Equal proportions across vocations.
Rollo May’s Psychology and the Human Dilemma -- Intro., Ch 1, 2, 3, 12, 8, 13
Dilemma not in sense of problem, but in sense of polarities, tensions & paradoxes that mark human existence. Psychology as speaking to times. Our times try to reduce the human dilemma and focus on solving problems instead -- hence emphasis on quantification, technique & science in psychology. neglects historical, literary & myth/symbol dimensions.
Chapter 1 -- What is the Human Dilemma?
Psychology’s historical avoidance of the paradoxical: Nimis simplicando (know what this means). Central dimension of dilemma: Simultaneity of subjectivity and objectivity. Subjective and objective aspects of time and space as examples. Dialectical relationship between subject & object as central to human freedom & potential (e.g., “finite freedom,” “world openness”), B.F. Skinner as representative of over-emphasis on objective side & Carl Rogers as representative of over-emphasis on subjective side, connection to creativity.
Chapter 2 -- Modern Man’s Loss of Significance
Loss of significance as an individual (e.g., Willie Loman) in the face of collectivist, mass movements in education, communication, technology, entertainment, etc. Connections to prevalence of rage, apathy (a diminishment of consciousness), using technology as distraction from life. Fitting-in vs. being an individual.
Chapter 3 -- Personal Identity in an Anonymous World
Normal anxiety vs. neurotic anxiety (know this difference). Education’s tendency to produce neurotic anxiety -- emphasis on grades & competition fosters focus on external signs & criteria rather than on cultivating student’s own personal sense of discernment & value. Fostering cynicism that undermines student’s coming into a fuller identity. Corresponding loss of sense of joy, exploration, adventure, life-relation, etc. in learning. Increasing neurotic anxiety instead. Need for education to widen & deepen consciousness, cultivate sensitivity and depth of perception, formation of deeper values and capacities to value.
Chapter 12 -- Freedom & Responsibility Reexamined
In light of cultural changes, freedom has become problematic. 2 “solutions:” (1) The “full freedom assumption” (know what this is), problems: dishonest, separating & alienating tendency, (2) Distrust of freedom (know what this is), therapy as possible form of social control. Need for new understanding of freedom/responsibility. Distinguishing characteristics: Awareness of self-world, hence transcendence of immediate situation. Therapy as mov’t from lack of freedom to full freedom/responsibility, need to grow into freedom. 3 general principles: (1) Freedom as quality of centered self, (2) Freedom as involving social responsibility, (3) Freedom as capacity to bear anxiety. Characteristics of the free person (as in class). Implications for therapy (4 themes)
Chapter 8: Existential Therapy and the American Scene
Existential Therapy (generally what it is), (1) Affinities with America’s history/values, decision, action, immediacy of experience, emphasis on personal freedom and responsibility, and the power of individual choice to better one’s life, (2) Resistances -- practicality, psychology as control over chaos, hence overemphasis on technique, problem: too much doing, and not enough simple being, losing the sense for the depth of life (the “ontological sense“) -- connection to accomplishment and productivity. “Ontological repression” (what it is), (3) Significance for American psy. -- exploring humanity’s distinctive character, breaking through “epistemological loneliness” (know what this is), recognizing the value of philosophical insight. Psychotherapy as a personal encounter with the reality of one’s existence (not adjustment or lessening suffering). (4) Problems and criticisms of Existential Psychology -- needs to embrace the unconscious, (“phenomenology of unconscious experience,”), embracing the “genetic,” lack of therapeutic interest in some European approaches.
Chapter 13: Questions for a Science of Man
Main Themes (the inadequacy of applying the natural-science
model to psychology, & the need to develop a different theoretical
basis for psychology), Biological psychology & drugs treatments
(the question about), positive sides of anxiety and depression, short-circuiting
the sense for engaging and overcoming life’s challenges, connection to
apathy & emptiness. Pure behaviorism as attempt at objective
observation of behavior where measurability becomes the main arbiter of
truth & reality (problems with). Integrating mind and body, distinguishing
characteristics of human existence (language, time, sociality), common
denominator (experiencing oneself as being simultaneously subject and object,
and to transcend the immediate situation), “SELF-RELATEDNESS” (not the
same as egocentricity), “SELF-AWARENESS,” “self-chosen abandon,” or ecstasy
as examples. Self-relatedness as gauge of neurosis & psychosis, and
as root of ethics.
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