Also known as humanism, humanistic therapy is a positive approach to psychotherapy that focuses on a person’s individual nature, rather than categorizing groups of people with similar characteristics as having the same problems.

Humanistic therapy looks at the whole person, not only from the therapist’s view but from the viewpoint of individuals observing their own behaviour. The emphasis is on a person’s positive traits and behaviours, and the ability to use their personal instincts to find wisdom, growth, healing, and fulfilment within themselves.

When It's Used

Humanistic therapy is used to treat depressionanxiety, panic disorders, personality disordersschizophreniaaddiction, and relationship issues, including family relationships. People with low self-esteem, who are having trouble finding their purpose or reaching their true potential, who lack feelings of “wholeness,” who are searching for personal meaning, or who are not comfortable with themselves as they are, may also benefit from humanistic therapy.

What to Expect

Humanistic therapy is talk therapy that encompasses a gestalt approach, exploring how a person feels in the here and now, rather than trying to identify past events that led to these feelings. Additionally, the humanistic therapist provides an atmosphere of support, empathy, and trust that allows the individual to share their feelings without fear of judgment. The therapist does not act as an authority figure; rather, the relationship between the client and the therapist is one of equals.


  • Psychology Today