Implementing Humanistic Therapy Treatment for Depression

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With depression becoming as prevalent as it is, finding the right treatment for you can feel difficult. Humanistic therapy is an approach that requires building a strong relationship between therapist and client.

The goal of this relationship is to allow patients to not only explore but reach their full potential. For anyone feeling anxious, depressed, or facing general difficulties, it can be a viable tool. That said, it isn’t the solution for fixing all problems. In addition, the length of your treatment can vary depending on your goals and needs.

What is Humanistic Therapy?

Humanistic therapy treatment for depression is more of an umbrella term. It is generally focused on a group of talk therapies that focus on the human aspect, which includes both human nature and potential.

The primary focus here is the individual. The therapist does not problem-solve, diagnose, or even lead. They are seen as a partner on the journey towards meaningful growth of the individual in question. There is an emphasis on freedom of choice, values, and meaning, that can help people to find purpose and fulfillment.

This allows patients to break free from past experiences as well as concerns for the future. It is meant to give them what is necessary to act with passion and purpose for their own benefit as well as the benefit of society.

Humanistic therapists generally see people as being deserving of unconditional regard, inherently good, motivated to grow, driven to self-actualize, and to look to be complete and whole.

How Does Humanistic Therapy Compare to Other Therapy Types?

One of the biggest differences between humanistic therapy treatment for depression and traditional therapy is that the former does not address the problems directly. There is an emphasis on creating a supportive relationship between client and counselor.

The goal here is to allow the patient to explore who they are, what is most meaningful to them, and how they can achieve their fullest potential. There isn’t a whole lot of emphasis on the past, especially things that have contributed to present difficulties.

Humanistic therapy treatment for depression is considered to be non-directive. This means that the therapist does not actually lead the process, teach tools or techniques, suggest goals, or even decide how many sessions are necessary. Instead, the focus is for the patient to understand themselves in order to discover what they require for fulfillment.

What Might Humanistic Counseling Help with?

Since it is tailored to each person, this means that humanistic therapy treatment can help with a number of different difficulties. No matter how it is labeled, the challenges that people face are oftentimes rooted in existential anxieties. These include meaninglessness, freedom, and death.

Humanistic therapy can help to deal with existential depression, which ties to the anxieties and dreads that come from the “meaning of life.” That said, this form of therapy can help with a number of other issues. Anxiety, depression, panic, OCD, PTSD, substance use, personality disorders, relationship problems, and low self-esteem.

There is some controversy as to whether or not humanistic therapy may be the right approach. There are some studies that can be helpful while others find that it may not be the most appropriate. It can likely help those with psychotic disorders but not those who experience actual psychosis.

Is Humanistic Therapy Effective?

There is some debate as to whether humanistic therapy treatment is effective. Since it is not structured and focuses on the relationship between the client and counselor, there is a difficulty when it comes to researching the process.

Some patients have experienced positive change, especially compared to those who didn’t have therapy. Gains in humanistic therapy have also shown that they last over time. That said, there isn’t enough information out there to dispel the notion entirely.

There are also specific types of humanistic therapy. Person-centered therapy is one of them, which has been found to be quite effective when it comes to relationship and interpersonal issues. It can also be effective as CBT for things such as substance use, depression, and even some chronic medical conditions.

Humanistic therapy treatment is still somewhat of a new approach. While we generally think of therapy as diagnosing issues and focusing on the past, humanistic therapy takes a more positive approach. It all depends on the person involved; sometimes it works to great effect while other times it doesn’t quite have an effect.

Speaking to a local humanistic therapist can be a good place to start. It can expose you to the type of therapy and give you a better idea as to whether or not it may be the best option for you. It can take a few sessions to see the impact to a full extent.


Depression can be addressed in any number of ways. When we think of therapy, we think of a therapist diagnosing and helping to solve the issue. But humanistic therapy is not about doing that, it is about creating a strong relationship where conversations can be used to achieve full potential.

It is a different approach, one that is gaining traction in many circles. There are many different approaches to therapy for depression. See if humanistic therapy is something that can work for you today.


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