A comparrison of the theories of Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow.

Essay by babybrat07University, Bachelor'sA+, July 2004

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The Theories of Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers

Maslow and Rogers come from a school of thought, which is referred to as Humanistic. Such an approach steers away from the idea that man is a robot, who is the total product of outside forces, as the Behaviorist would maintain; or that man simply results from the interaction of primal drives and the demands of community - a belief held by many Freudians.

The Humanistic approach accepts the 'human qualities' of the individual; that man is born with an inherent potential for self-actualization. Maslow considers such self-actualization to be the pinnacle of human expression - the final stage of human development. The self-actualized person is 'wholly and fully human'.

There are several factors which distinguish the Humanistic Approach from other approaches within psychology, including the emphasis on subjective meaning, a rejection of determinism and a concern for positive growth rather than pathology.

The theories of Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers both include a much emphasized concept of self actualization and the characteristics which are required in order to achieve it. Their theories in the aspect of self actualization are very similar with only a few slight variances. Both Rogers and Maslow categorize self actualization as the highest goal or driving force of the human needs system.

Carl Rogers was not only one of the founders of the Humanistic Approach, but also arguably the most influential therapist in the 20th century: a number of surveys, including several done after his death, found that more therapists cited Rogers as a major influence on their thinking and clinical practice than any other person in psychology (including Freud).

Like Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow is widely regarded as one of the founders of the Humanistic Approach. While less influential among therapists than Rogers, Maslow became...