Mental health experts regard psychotherapy as a treatment that produces significant results. Talking with a therapist offers long-lasting benefits. It shows consistent success across diverse demographics and conditions.

Therapists can take many approaches to assist clients. Humanistic therapy offers a unique, self-introspective process for boosting mental health. It can help you foster better personal relationships and manage mental wellness.

It’s also possible to improve oneself with a humanistic approach. If you’re considering therapy, read to find out how this method could be right for you.

Humanistic Therapy Fundamentals

Humanistic psychotherapy rests on the principles of humanistic psychology. According to these principles, self-awareness is the most critical aspect of your overall fulfillment. Using this psychology means recognizing that all people are unique. They are driven to achieve their full potential.

The belief emphasizes that you have a genuine desire to make yourself and the world a better place. Part of humanistic therapy means focusing on self-actualization. You can increase healthy behaviors and reach a higher state of mental well-being by working to better yourself.

Humanistic Approach

You may wonder, what is a humanistic approach? This therapy is non-directive or unstructured. The method suggests that all people can learn ways to aid in their own psychological change. Instead of a therapist structuring a session, they allow you to explore and discover yourself safely.

Here are three of the most common humanistic approaches.


This form encourages you to understand your existence. There is a focus on how decisions you make can give your life greater meaning. Existential therapy doesn’t focus on treating a symptom but rather on your identity.


Person-centered therapy is also known as client-centered therapy. This form of humanistic therapy removes all aspects of disapproval or blame. A person-centered therapist is unconditionally accepting. They will not express that something is right or wrong even if they disagree with your behavior or decision. 


This form regards unresolved conflicts as the source of distress. In a Gestalt therapy session, clients explore what is immediately bothering them. You may role-play or reenact a scenario to mimic and practice dealing with a problem.

In each form, the therapy revolves around you and your freedom. This freedom allows you to create meaning and purpose in your life. You’re encouraged and supported by a therapist, but the direction you take is up to you.

Humanistic vs. Traditional Therapies

Individuals and not their problems are the primary focus of humanistic therapy, and this belief is central to what sets it apart from traditional methods. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychoanalysis, which are examples of more conventional approaches to treatment, tackle specific problems directly.

Traditional therapies focus on a specific problem-solving approach. Therapists will develop a particular treatment strategy based on several factors. They may consider past experiences, genes, or document behavior.

Humanism means a holistic view of a person is more important than focusing on one problem. There is more of a focus on being mindful and living in the moment instead of dwelling on things in your past or reviewing negative behaviors.

What to Expect

Prior knowledge or previous experience talking with a therapist may lead you to believe there are certain truths about therapy sessions. Due to the unique idea behind humanistic therapy and its deviation from traditional methods, humanistic therapy means something different.

The discussion and any questions asked by your therapist will revolve around your current state of mind and being. You’ll be asked about your desires and goals instead of diving directly into your problems. 

Gentle questioning and conversation are the tools of a humanistic therapist. There won’t be official behavioral or psychological assessments. Their goal is to empower you to make changes independently without the influence of test results.

Don’t expect to dwell on aspects or occurrences in your past. You may think they should be talking points in a session, but deeply exploring them is not considered the solution.

Who Benefits From Humanistic Therapy?

Humanistic therapy is effective for people with varying mental health conditions. People with anxiety, depression, addiction, panic disorders, and more can enjoy a better sense of wellness.

Even if you’re not experiencing a mental health challenge, you can see benefits. Many people who desire to improve personal or professional relationships use the method. Some are on a path to self-improvement or self-discovery.

It is also one of the common couples therapy approaches. If an individual improves, the relationship will also realize that improvement. This type of therapy offers the opportunity to see how an individual’s health is part of the health of the couple.

Why It Works

Since humanistic therapy focuses on self-fulfillment, participants are more likely to feel empowered to make a change. The entire process derives from your sense of accomplishment. It stems from your needs and desires.

Individuals participating in this therapy tend to feel more understood and less criticized. There is no feeling of shame or disappointment. Having a safe and judgment-free zone to share feelings helps foster improvement.

Let Humanistic Therapy Help You

Whether you need support regarding mental health challenges, relationship situations, or self-improvement goals, therapy is a practical option to explore. Humanistic therapy is an option to consider that has proven success rates and is applicable for various situations.

If you’re seeking therapy in Westchester, allow Harbor Counseling to meet your needs. We have humanistic therapy options for individual, couple, and group therapy sessions. Contact us today and book a free consultation.