• Reflections on Human Potential: Bridging the person-centred approach and positive psychology

Reflections on Human Potential: Bridging the person-centred approach and positive psychology

In Stock
ISBN 978 1 898059 96 7 (2008)
Cover Price: £22.00
Buy Now Price: £20.00

free UK shipping PCCS pays your UK postage

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.


Introduction –  The actualizing tendency:  A Meta-theoretical perspective for positive psychology.  Stephen Joseph and Tom Patterson

Historical Context: The Actualizing Tendency in Person-Centred Theory

The actualizing tendency in relation to “motives” and to consciousness (1963, Nebraska Symposium) Carl Rogers

 Actualisation – A functional concept in client-centered theory (1991) Jerold Bozarth and Barbara Brodley

The Actualisation Conundrum (2003) Tony Merry

Contemporary Explorations of Human Potential in Person-Centred Theory

The myth of the actualizing tendency: The actualizing tendency concept as a guiding story  Brian Levitt

Being verbal:  From being human to human being Keith Tudor

 A personalizing tendency:  Dialogical and therapeutic consequences of the actualizing tendency axiom Peter Schmid

The “unitary actualizing tendency” and congruence in client-centered therapy Jerold Bozarth and ChungChuan Wang

The formative tendency: Person-centered systems theory, interdependence and human potential Jef Cornelius-White and Jurgen Kriz

Health and Human Potential  

From illness to health, well-being and empowerment: The Person-Centered paradigm shift from patient to client Alberto Zucconi

Non-dualism and Non-directivity: A person-centered concept of health and the fully functioning person Carol Wolter-Gustafson

Psychological health Keith Tudor

How clients self-heal in psychotherapy Art Bohart

Marginalized Populations and Human Potential  

Resilience and the self-righting power of development: Observations of impoverished Brazilian children in Person-Centred play therapy  Beth Freire and associates

Psychotherapy and sexual diversity:  A person-centred approach Javier Armenta Mejia

Personal Accounts of Human Potential: The Personal as Theoretical

An essay on children, evil, and the actualizing tendency Kathy Moon

Conditions of worth and an artist’s journey Noel Nera

The actualization of the existential self in human dying Garry Prouty




Beyond fiefdoms Brian Levitt

This is a book worth reading. It has some interesting things to say about positive psychology, but is at its best when it is rediscovering person-centred theory as expressed in the actualising tendency. I commend this book to both scholars and practitioners who wish to question what they think they already know about person centred theory. Reviewed by Dr Peter Martin, Principal Lecturer in Counselling Psychology, Roehampton University in BJGC 37(3) 2009.

Brian Levitt

Brian Levitt is a registered clinical and rehabilitation psychologist and a partner with Kaplan and Levitt Psychologists in Hamilton, Ontario. He works with people who have experienced trauma and loss, many of whom are also struggling with chronic pain.  He both trained and later worked at the Chicago Counseling and Psychotherapy Center, which grew from Carl Rogers’ work at the University of Chicago. Person-centered theory and applications are an abiding passion, and he has explored these in all aspects of his work across a wide variety of settings. Brian has edited two other books with PCCS Books, Embracing Non-Directivity (2005) and Reflections on Human Potential (2008).

Read more

Brian Levitt