A HUMANISTIC PERSPECTIVE ON POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY AND SOCIAL ACTION
Harari, C., Interactions Psychological Services for the Whole Family, USA
Humanistic Psychology emerged as a defined field of psychology in the 1960s based primarily on the work of Abraham Maslow and other psychologists. Their name for the newly developed field represented what they saw as the central values of being a human being. A German term "menschlichkeit" is translated as "humanness" and represents the qualities that are regarded as being those of a "decent human being" who is thoughtful, considerate of others, and who assumes personal social responsibility in his or her community and the world. In 1966, Maslow wrote in one of his journals that "humanistic psychology absolutely needs a doctrine of an elite degree of humanness, in health and sickness, winners & losers, aggridants (whether by heredity or by learning), good specimens, good choosers, no equal votes, non-equal weighting." The present writer came to this newly developing field of psychology in 1967-1968. I attended my first Association for Humanistic Psychology conference in San Francisco and was impressed enough to volunteer my services. I had organized a symposium to take place in the London Congress of Social Psychiatry that year and sought to present this new orientation to international psychology colleagues. I experienced directly not only through lecture presentations on this newly emerging field, but I was also a participant in large scale group process and interaction sessions that were astonishingly dramatic in their impact and capacity for changing emotional sets. The immediate interest of British conference participants in the spirit of this "new" psychological approach, led to a British Association of Humanistic Psychology initiated right from the floor with a significant number of early joiners. This represented the inter-nationalization of our purely American Association for Humanistic Psychology, AHP. I was designated Director of International Development. I continued my international psychology activities, travel and lectures from a humanistic point of view at numerous universities in Afghanistan, China, India, Japan, Nepal and Taiwan, with an emphasis on the contribution to education and psychology of this new orientation. After 1970, I was joined in my international activities by my colleague, Dr Zaraleya Kurzweil Harari, then known as Dr Sally Strear, a licensed psychologist and psychotherapist. We continued to travel extensively presenting the humanistic and transpersonal psychology orientation to numerous colleagues in their respective universities. In reviewing my professional life, two major orientations have guided my work in psychotherapy, namely Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology and the Psychology of Peacemaking. With respect to the latter, I participated actively in the development and activities of Psychologists for social responsibility in the United States and abroad.