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Humanistic Psychotherapies

  1. David J. Cain

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0423

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Cain, D. J. 2010. Humanistic Psychotherapies. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–4.

Author Information

  1. Alliant International University, San Diego

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Humanistic psychotherapies have made a substantial impact on how psychotherapy is conceived and practiced for over 65 years. Beginning with Carl Rogers's seminal contributions in the early 1940s, as part of the third force in psychology, some of the most distinguished psychotherapists of the twentieth century were founders and developers of humanistic psychotherapies. They include Carl Rogers, Art Combs (Person-Centered), Fritz and Laura Perls, Erv and Miriam Polster (Gestalt), Rollo May, R. D. Laing, Ernesto Spinelli, Irv Yalom, Viktor Frankl (Existential), Jim Bugental, Kirk Schneider (Existential-Humanistic), Virginia Satir (Relational), Al Mahrer (Experential), Clark Moustaka (Phenomneological), Eugene Gendlin (Focusing Oriented), and Les Greenberg and Robert Elliot (Emotionally Focused/Process-Experiential). These pioneers and second-generation leaders challenged many of the current views and practices of psychotherapy and offered a different view of the person, psychopathology, and how growth might be promoted in a therapeutic context.