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Existential-phenomenology and the third force movement in current psychology

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. W.F. Schoeman Prof. D.J.W. Strümpfer en
dc.contributor.author Lubisi, Griffiths
dc.date.accessioned 2008-11-06T07:26:48Z
dc.date.available 2008-11-06T07:26:48Z
dc.date.issued 2008-11-06T07:26:48Z
dc.date.submitted 2002
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1524
dc.description M.A. en
dc.description.abstract Existentialism and phenomenology as philosophical systems combined to form a branch of psychology called the existential-phenomenological psychology. The philosophical section of this study demonstrates that contribution. Ludwig Binswanger, a Swiss psychiatrist, was one of the major proponents of this paradigm. He applied the concept of “existential analysis” to psychotherapy, in reaction to psychoanalysis. His objective was to integrate philosophy, psychoanalysis, and psychiatry. The existential-phenomenological approach to therapy was introduced to the American audience by Rollo May, one of the intellectual leaders of the “Third Force” Movement. Rollo May’s existential approach contributed to the existential-humanistic thought of the “Third Force.” The “Third Force” Movement was launched in 1964 at the Old Saybrook Conference in Connecticut, United States of America. It started as a social movement in protest against the dominance of behaviourism and orthodox psychoanalysis. An eclectic group of thinkers attended the conference. Some of whom were Abraham Maslow, Rollo May, Carl Rogers, George Kelly, Clark Moustakas, Gordon Allport, Charlotte Buhler, James Bugental, and others (Elkins, 2000). The “Third Force” Movement emerged at this conference. Because humanistic principles (whose philosophical origins are discussed in 2.4 below) were adopted as guiding philosophy of the movement, the name “Humanistic Movement” is often used. The two names are used alternatively in this study. If depth psychology is the “First Force”, and behaviourism the “Second Force”, then humanistic psychology is the “Third Force” (Brennan, 1998a, 1998b). The term “movement” is used throughout the study to denote the diversity of epistemologies within the “Third Force”, namely, existential, phenomenological, transpersonal, and the Gestalt thought. However, this study focuses on the theoretical contributions by the intellectual leadership of the movement (Rollo May, Abraham Maslow & Carl Rogers) with the exclusion of Gestalt therapies. Thus, Rollo May represents the existential-phenomenological approach, Maslow the humanistic-transpersonal, and Rogers the humanistic-phenomenological (though transpersonal to some degree: Section illustrates this notion). Textbooks and journal articles indicate that the history of the “Third Force” Movement is rather complex and inconsistent in terms of reporting. This study reflects on the main events that led to the emergence of the movement and subsequently the current status within mainstream psychology. The “Third Force” moved psychology beyond the confines of the laboratory and the clinic into politics (egalitarian governance), education, and environmental issues. This study discusses existentialism, phenomenology, and humanism as contributing philosophies, the emergence of existential-phenomenology as a paradigm in psychology, and the history and contributions of the “Third Force” Movement. The existential and the phenomenological epistemologies are inherent within the “Third Force”, hence the link (in this study) between existential-phenomenology and “Third Force” humanism. There are therapies that benefited from the existential-humanistic thought. These include the following: Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), the ecosystemic approach, career counselling, and psychoanalysis (self-psychology). The emergence of postmodernism and cyber technology placed new challenges on the “Third Force.” Consequently, this study reviews the status and vision of the movement in the New Millennium. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Existential phenomenology en
dc.subject Humanistic psychology en
dc.title Existential-phenomenology and the third force movement in current psychology en
dc.type Thesis en

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