The Mission of Division 32
Humanistic psychology aims to be faithful to the full range of human experience. Its foundations include philosophical humanism, existentialism, and phenomenology. In the science and profession of psychology, humanistic psychology seeks to develop systematic and rigorous methods of studying human beings, and to heal the fragmentary character of contemporary psychology through an ever more comprehensive and integrative approach. Humanistic psychologists are particularly sensitive to uniquely human dimensions, such as experiences of creativity and transcendence, and to the quality of human welfare. Accordingly, humanistic psychology aims especially at contributing to psychotherapy, education, theory, philosophy of psychology, research methodology, organization and management, and social responsibility and change
An Abbreviated History
Division 32 of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Humanistic Psychology, came into being with initial reluctance: “Isn’t the whole of Psychology essentially committed to that which is human?,” some asked, urging instead that all energies be directed to a further “humanizing” of APA, and not to a distinct Division. Yet in the several decades of its eventual founding, existence, and growth, Division 32 has become a visible focal point within APA’s structure, to speak—often in concert with other divisions, and, indeed, with other organizations outside APA—for that which is truly human and humane. In its impact, in APA program and in society, Division 32 rejects artificial dichotomies between “hard” and “soft” methodologies, and arbitrary splits between “the objective” and “the subjective.” Core values — including caring and commitment, trust and realistic understanding of the complexity of people, as individuals, in groups, organizations, and community — motivate Division 32’s efforts, as the American Psychological Association enters its second century.
A New Complete History of Division 32
by Chris Aanstoos, Ilene Serlin, and Tom Greening is available for download below