Reflections on Human Potential: Bridging the Person-centred Approach and Positive Psychology

Author(s): Brian E. Levitt


A basic trust in the individual is at the heart of the person-centred approach. This trust is reflected in the radical ethical stance of non-directivity and in the theoretical construct of the actualising tendency. In this companion volume to his well-received Embracing Non-Directivity, Brian Levitt once again brings together an impressive international collection of person-centred writers. The actualising tendency serves here as a catalyst for a diverse and thought-provoking collection of essays, each reflecting on various aspects of human potential within the context of person-centred theory and practice. These essays, while shedding further light on the person-centred approach, also build bridges to the emerging discipline of positive psychology.


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Brian E. Levitt, Psy.D., C.Psych. is a senior psychologist with Kaplan and Kaplan Psychologists in Hamilton, Ontario, where he has a practice in rehabilitation psychology. Prior to immigrating to Canada, Brian was a clinical psychologist in the United States. While there, he trained for three years at the Chicago Counseling and Psychotherapy Center, the center that grew from Carl Rogers' work at the University of Chicago. After his studies at the Center, which included a post-doctoral fellowship, he joined the staff as a therapist and trainer. He also trained for two years at the Pre-Therapy Institute in Chicago, under the tutelage of Garry Prouty, earning certification in the practice of Pre-Therapy. Brian is the editor of two books with PCCS: Embracing Non-Directivity and Reflections on Human Potential.

Introduction - Stephen Joseph and Tom Patterson The actualizing tendency: A Meta-theoretical perspective for positive psychology Historical Context: The Actualizing Tendency in Person-Centred Theory Carl Rogers: The actualizing tendency in relation to "motives" and to consciousness (1963, Nebraska Symposium) Jerold Bozarth and Barbara Brodley: Actualisation - A functional concept in client-centered theory (1991) Tony Merry: The Actualisation Conundrum (2003) Contemporary Explorations of Human Potential in Person-Centred Theory Brian Levitt: The myth of the actualizing tendency: The actualizing tendency concept as a guiding story Keith Tudor: Being verbal: From being human to human being Peter Schmid: A personalizing tendency: Dialogical and therapeutic consequences of the actualizing tendency axiom Jerold Bozarth and ChungChuan Wang: The "unitary actualizing tendency" and congruence in client-centered therapy Jef Cornelius-White and Jurgen Kriz: The formative tendency: Person-Centered systems theory, interdependence and human potential Health and Human Potential Alberto Zucconi: From illness to health, well-being and empowerment: The Person-Centered paradigm shift from patient to client Carol Wolter-Gustafson: Non-dualism and Non-directivity: A person-centered concept of health and the fully functioning person Keith Tudor: Psychological health Art Bohart: How clients self-heal in psychotherapy Marginalized Populations and Human Potential Beth Freir: Resilience and the self-righting power of development: Observations of impoverished Brazilian children in Person-Centred play therapy Javier Armenta Mejia: Psychotherapy and sexual diversity: A person-centred approach Personal Accounts of Human Potential: The Personal as Theoretical Kathy Moon: An essay on children, evil, and the actualizing tendency Noel Nera: Conditions of worth and an artist's journey Garry Prouty: The actualization of the existential self in human dying AfterwordBrian Levitt: Beyond fiefdoms

General Fields

  • : 9781898059967
  • : PCCS Books
  • : PCCS Books
  • : February 2008
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Brian E. Levitt
  • : Paperback
  • : 616.8914
  • : 250