The theories of Behaviorism and Psychodynamic psychologies, developed by Watson, Skinner, and Freud were one of the first theories in psychology. However, in spite of adding much to the field of psychology, these theories also lacked some things. Both behaviorism and psychodynamic theories gave much control to the therapist, the client or patient regarded as more of a puppet, who just followed what the therapist said and suggested without much input.
For instance, in psychoanalysis, the patient was instructed to lie on the couch. In Behaviorism, concepts such as classical conditioning focused on involuntary responses that the client did not have control over. In both of these theories, the therapist was considered the expert, the person getting treatment taking more of a passive role. However, these weaknesses helped lead to the development of humanism and Rogerian therapy, which was developed by psychologist Carl Rogers .
In Roger’s form of therapy, known as non-directive counseling or Rogerian therapy, the client is the one who leads the therapy sessions and decides what one will discuss in the session. This was a major difference in the area of psychology, as opposed to behaviorism and Freudian theory. The way that the therapist acts is also a major factor in this type of humanistic therapy. For instance, unconditional positive regard is a major tenet of this theory. This means that the therapist needs to show unconditional acceptance and support to the client, something that the client probably has not received from past people in one’s life, such as one’s parents.
Showing empathy and understanding to the client is also important in Rogerian therapy. Refraining from judging the client and helping the client to change is featured. Personal growth is a main goal of this therapy, the therapist considered a guide that can help the client achieve change through conscious choices and self-awareness. The ultimate goal is self-actualization, meaning that the client fulfills one’s potential in life, mastery and happiness the client’s reward .