Psychobiography: Reflection on Humanistic Theories

Throughout the course of this assignment, humanistic theories will be reflected upon and their applicability in explaining human behavior will be assessed. Ways in which these theories could be applied to my personal and professional life will be identified. Humanistic theories will also be compared and contrasted with psychoactive theories and attention will be paid to establishing which ideology is better at explaining human behavior.

Humanist theories deal directly with human behavior and involve the notion that it is necessary for psychology to focus upon both mental processes and behavior as opposed to one or the other. The goal of these theories is to gain a comprehension of human beings' potential for development and growth. They do not hold that people should be analyzed in a one-dimensional manner and entail the view that change is constantly occurring within individuals (Collin College).

This view is more effective than psychoanalytic theories at explaining human behavior because it does not focus solely upon social processes, which is the key area that psychoanalytic theories concentrate on (Colin College). It also allows for the fact that human beings can change, which is obvious, as nobody retains the same mindset for his or her entire life. The psychoanalytic theory centers upon Freud's teachings, which have since been heavily criticized and are often viewed as outdated.

Humanistic theories state that people usually wish to improve both themselves and their environments (Colin College). This helps me to understand my personal and my professional life, as I am constantly striving for more in both of these areas. It explains the drive that motivates me to attempt to achieve my goals. Psychoanalytic theories claim that motivation can only ever be a result of either an individual's sex drive aggression. I am driven by neither of these factors when it comes to striving to achieve professional goals and driven by a multitude of different factors with regards to achieving personal goals, meaning that these theories do not tally up with my personal experiences. Maslow stated that human beings possess multiple motivations for their actions (2013). This is a far more useful and relevant approach that appears to be more in line with real life.

Rogers stated that healthy development is an individually determined concept (Ryerson University). This is helpful for understanding why my personal and professional goals are different from those of others. It explains why objectives that I perceive to be important are not the same as those that some of my peers hold dear. Human beings are all different so this approach is logical, as it takes into consideration the variations that characterize humanity.

Humanistic theories dictate that human beings possess full responsibility for the actions that they carry out and are not slaves to their biology (Collins College). These theories are useful for my personal and professional development, as they mean that there is no limit on what I can achieve. Were I to subscribe to psychoanalytic theories, I would believe that I could only get so far. This would limit my achievement and prevent me from trying once I had reached a certain point. It would be detrimental to my development.

In conclusion, humanistic theories allow for individual differences and do not view people's lives as being predetermined from birth. They hold that human beings are motivated by a multitude of different things and appear to have far more relevance to my personal experiences than psychoanalytic theories. Their strength lies in the fact that they acknowledge humanity's free will and individuals' capacity for change. It is clear that the human character does not remain static; people constantly alter their personalities depending upon their age and the events that occur within their lives.