By Veronica Emilia Nuzzolo, Ph.D.,CADCperfect

The humanistic perspective of psychology is the work of Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow and focuses on the relationship of the individual to society (social), considers the ways in which people view themselves in relation to others (interpersonal), and considers how one see’s his or her place in the world (growth potential).

Humanistic theory grew from a reaction to psychoanalysis and behaviorism and emphasizes the responsibility people have for his or her own behavior, even when the behavior is seen as abnormal. Rogers concentrated on what is uniquely human, viewing people as basically rational, oriented toward a social world, and motivated to seek self-actualization. Humanistic psychology focuses on free will, viewing people as having an awareness of life and of their inner selves that leads them to search for meaning and self-worth. Because of this “individual personalization” perspectives consist of and are based on one’s perception of contentment.

Maslow studied the healthy personality and described the characteristics of the self-actualizing personality. Maslow proposed that needs are arranged in a hierarchy, after meeting our more basic needs, we experience need progression and focus on needs at the next level, and if a need at a lower level is no longer satisfied, we experience need regression and focus once again on meeting that lower-level need.  People search for this level of contentment throughout the lifespan and the major factor of humanistic psychology is that humans possess an inner drive to grow, improve, and use their potential to the fullest, this is what Maslow called the ultimate in completed growth, self-actualization. According to Maslow, the self-actualizing person is the person that reaches the highest level of personal development and has fully realized his or her potential as a human being.

Roger’s theory of unconditional positive regard, communicates that a person is inherently worthy of love, regardless of behavior or achievement. But, if the person does not believe this to be true within his or her self, they will never move forward, never feel contentment, and will never achieve self-actualization.

Maslow and Rogers agreed that the acceptance of one’s self is a central component of positive regard, self-concept, the “perception of who we are and who we want to be.” Rogers indicated that the concept of self is learned from our social interactions with others. Rogers distinguishes between two concepts of self —“there is the self–the person I think I am, and the ideal self–the person I wish I was.”

Our motivation to progress toward self-actualization is our constant inner desire to always be the person I wish I was, however, I am not. Self-acceptance how perfectly imperfect, I am the person I know I am, and that’s o.k., because it is good to be me.


How to cite this article:
Nuzzolo, V. E., (2016).  Self-Acceptance, Perfectly Imperfect.  Retrieved from