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The blocking of one’s capacity for wonder
and the loss of the capacity to appreciate mystery
can have serious effects upon our psychological health. — Rollo May

Our New Vision

In its 50th year, the Association for Humanistic Psychology has reflected upon its mission, over the past half century, to facilitate the understanding of the Humanistic principles within the global community. Our success in this objective is reflected in the recognition of these principles in just about every realm of science and practice relating to human service and growth around the world.

We see it in such arenas as medicine and parenting, where concepts like wellness, attachment, empathic communication, self direction, and maximizing potential are assumed to be essential in promoting good health and adjustment over the lifespan. The principles of human rights, freedom of choice, wisdom of the self, fostering relationships and community, and spiritual growth are now deeply held ideals in many of the social sciences and services.

It is even reflected in public policy, with social programs and school mission statements aimed at nurturing and educating the whole child. There is great satisfaction in seeing concepts, that were previously criticized as indulgent and harmful by fields that were rigidly behaviorally-, cognitively-, or physiologically-based, now being affirmed as elements of best practices in providing treatment and encouraging growth.

In it’s first iteration, AHP and Humanistic Psychology, in general, focused almost exclusively on the growth of the individual. While we believe that principle continues to be necessary, in the words of one of our founders, it is no longer sufficient. We also recognize the importance of change and growth in relationships, families, communities, societies, and in a global context.

As a result of this progress, AHP is re-envisioning its purpose and responsibility to its members and supporters. It is now time to reach further into the awareness of individuals and communities, and to reach higher into the sphere of translating new knowledge, policy, and practice into humanistic terms. The impact of humanistic psychology will be strengthened through the use of social media and other technologies that will allow AHP to increase its visibility and accessibility to the public; helping them to integrate humanistic ideas into their lives on multiple levels.

This approach will also provide a platform for the creation of online learning communities designed to enrich the humanistic work of groups and communities, professional networks, and government organizations. Our primary focus will be in bringing together new knowledge and practices from a variety of emerging fields (science, policy, education, politics, the arts, therapeutic/healing practices, community and cultural growth, and personal and spiritual growth), and translating those new ideas through the lens of Humanistic Psychology.

These interpretations will help all of us to understand and influence our ever evolving world, from a Humanistic stance. The Humanistic approach encourages a proactive stance of activism, advocacy, and social justice that promotes awareness, wisdom, purpose, respect, interdependence, and peace.