Rejecting our parts is like amputating our limbs.
— Virginia Satir

Early Innovators


Abraham Maslow

AHP Founder – Abraham Maslow (April 1, 1908 – June 8, 1970) was an American professor of psychology at Brandeis University, Brooklyn College, New School for Social Research and Columbia University who created Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. He stressed the importance of focusing on the positive qualities in people, as opposed to treating them as a ‘bag of symptoms.
Publisher Maurice Bassett has now released 29 hours of Abraham Maslow’s talks and workshops at the Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California, from the mid and late-1960s.


Carl Rogers

AHP Founder – Carl Rogers (January 8, 1902 – February 4, 1987) was an influential American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology. Rogers is widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of psychotherapy research and was honored for his pioneering research with the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions by the American Psychological Association in 1956.The person-centered approach, his own unique approach to understanding personality and human relationships, found wide application in various domains such as psychotherapy and counseling (client-centered therapy), education (student-centered learning), organizations, and other group settings. For his professional work he was bestowed the Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Psychology by the APA in 1972. Towards the end of his life Carl Rogers was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with national intergroup conflict in South Africa and Northern Ireland. In an empirical study by Haggbloom et al. (2002) using six criteria such as citations and recognition, Rogers was found to be the sixth most eminent psychologist of the 20th century and second, among clinicians, only to Sigmund Freud.


Virginia Satir

AHP Founder – Virginia Satir (26 June 1916 – 10 September 1988) was an American author and psychotherapist, known especially for her approach to family therapy and her work with Systemic Constellations. She is widely regarded as the “Mother of Family Therapy”[1][2]Her most well-known books are Conjoint Family Therapy, 1964, Peoplemaking, 1972, and The New Peoplemaking, 1988.
She is also known for creating the Virginia Satir Change Process Model, a psychological model developed through clinical studies. Change management and organizational gurus of the 1990s and 2000s embrace this model to define how change impacts organizations.


Fritz Perls

Fritz Perls demonstrates Gestalt Therapy with his patient Gloria. I was shown this on an intermediate counselling course about twelve years ago and was amused that the group and its tutor were unable to learn from Fritz because of their devotion to political correctness. Fritz’s smoking and direct challenging of Gloria’s self defeating belief systems were viewed in the group as evidence that he didn’t know what he was doing. They preferred the approach of Carl Rogers because he was polite and inoffensive even though Gloria told Rogers that he wasn’t helping her despite being a very likeable man. She ended the Rogers session with a frown, but despite all the confrontation with Perls she ends with a smile. This vid has good rewatch value. Perls’ language patterns, roleplays and bouts of uncompromising honesty are worthy of study.


Irvin Yalom

Irvin David Yalom (b. June 13, 1931 in Washington DC), M.D., is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, an existentialist psychotherapist, and an author of fiction and nonfiction.
Born in a Jewish family in Washington DC in 1931, of parents who came to the US from Russia, he grew up in a poor ethnic area. Avoiding the perils of his neighborhood, he spent most of his childhood indoors, reading books. After graduating with a BA from George Washington University in 1952 and as a Doctor of Medicine from Boston University School of Medicine in 1956 he went on to complete his internship at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and his residency at the Phipps Clinic of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and completed his training in 1960. After two years of Army service at Tripler General Hospital in Honolulu, Yalom began his academic career at Stanford University. He was appointed to the faculty in 1963 and then promoted over the next several years and granted tenure in 1968. Soon after this period he made some of his most lasting contributions by teaching about group psychotherapy[4] and developing his model of existential psychotherapy.


Charlotte Buhler

Charlotte Malachowski Buhler was born to Walter and Rose Malachowski on December 20, 1893, in Berlin, Germany. Walter Malachowski was an architect while Rose Malachowski was an accomplished musician. Charlotte M. Buhler proved to have broad academic interests and a curiosity about psychological processes early on in her life.  During her high school years she conducted an original study of human thought processes that foreshadowed her doctoral research.


Rollo May

AHP Founder – Rollo May Existential Psychotherapy
Rollo May (April 21, 1909 – October 22, 1994) was an American existential psychologist. He authored the influential book Love and Will during 1969. He is often associated with both humanistic psychology and existentialist philosophy. May was a close friend of the theologian Paul Tillich. His works include Love and Will and The Courage to Create, the latter title honoring Tillich’s The Courage to Be.


James Bugental

James Frederick Taylor Bugental (December 25, 1915 – September 17, 2008) was one of the predominant theorists and advocates of the Existential-Humanistic Therapy movement. He was a therapist, teacher and writer for over 50 years. He received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University, was named a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in 1955, and was the first recipient of the APA’s Division of Humanistic Psychology’s Rollo May Award. He held leadership positions in a number of professional organizations, including president of the California State Psychological Association.


Eleanor Criswell Hanna

Eleanor Criswell Hanna, director of the Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training and an emeritus professor of psychology at Sonoma State University, is editor of Somatics, and author of How Yoga Works and Biofeedback and Somatics.


Viktor Frankl

Viktor Emil Frankl M.D., Ph.D. (March 26, 1905, Leopoldstadt, Vienna[1][Full citation needed] – September 2, 1997, Vienna) was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. Frankl was the founder of logotherapy, which is a form of Existential Analysis, the “Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy”. His best-selling book, Man’s Search for Meaning (published under a different title in 1959: From Death-Camp to Existentialism, and originally published in 1946 as trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen: Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager), chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate based on his psychotherapeutic method of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones, and thus a reason to continue living. Frankl was one of the key figures in existential therapy and a prominent source of inspiration for humanistic psychologists.