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Historical accounts

Society background

The Society for Humanistic Psychology came into being with initial reluctance. Some asked, “Isn’t the whole of psychology essentially committed to that which is human?”—and they urged that all energies should be directed to a further “humanizing” of APA overall, not just to the development of a distinct division. Yet, in the several decades of its eventual founding, existence, and growth, the society has become a visible focal point within APA’s structure, speaking—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 both APA and society, we question artificial dichotomies between “hard” and “soft” methodologies as well as arbitrary splits between “the objective” and “the subjective.” Core values—including caring, commitment, trust, and realistic understanding of people in their complexity as individuals, in groups, organizations, and community—motivate the society's efforts, as the American Psychological Association enters its second century.


  • SHP TV: Official YouTube channel for SHP includes brief educational clips as well as an archive of classic and contemporary interviews with and presentations by humanistic psychologists.
  • Division 32 position statements: 1997-2020.
  • Division 32 blog: 2009-2015.
  • Abraham Maslow: Ebooks, Video, Audio, Podcast: Lectures, workshops, and films, mainly from the 1960s.
  • The Humanistic Revolution: A half-hour documentary film from 1971 featuring interviews with or presentations by formative humanistic psychologists: Abraham Maslow, Gardner Murphy, Carl Rogers, Rollo May, Paul Tillich, Fritz Perls, Viktor Frankl, and Alan Watts.”

University Archives

Date created: January 2021