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HEALTHY PERSONALITY

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The study of healthy personality was ignored for a long time in psychology, instead, mental illness was extensively examined. In the past several decades, however, a growing number of researchers have recognized the capacity for growth and change in the human personality. These “growth psychologists” (most prefer to be called humanistic psychologists) have taken a new and fresh look at human nature and have observed a different type of person from that described by behaviorism and psychoanalysis, the traditional schools of psychology. Whereas behaviorists see individuals as passive responders to external stimuli and psychoanalysts see people as victims of biological forces and childhood conflicts, the humanistic psychologists believe we can strive to become all we are capable of becoming and in the process transform from “normality” to healthy personality.
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by pamina gorospe on July 07th, 2010 at 06:45 am
dyosko bat di nyo ayusin ung inyong mga answer kung yun lng ang tinatanung yun ang sasagutan ninyo
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HEALTHY PERSONALITY

Presented by

CONTINUING PSYCHOLOGY EDUCATION

6 CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS


“I wanted to prove that human beings are capable of something grander than war and prejudice and hatred.”
Abraham Maslow, Psychology Today, 1968, 2, p.55.


Course Objective Learning Objectives
The purpose of this course is to provide an Upon completion, the participant will understand
understanding of the concept of healthy personality. the nature, motivation, and characteristics of the
Seven theorists offer their views on the subject, healthy personality. Seven influential
including: Gordon Allport, Carl Rogers, Erich psychotherapists-theorists examine the concept
Fromm, Abraham Maslow, Carl Jung, Viktor of healthy personality allowing the reader to
Frankl, and Fritz Perls. integrate these principles into his or her own life.

Accreditation Faculty
Continuing Psychology Education is approved by Neil Eddington, Ph.D.
the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Richard Shuman, MFT
Regulation as a continuing education sponsor for
LCSWs and LSWs (license # 159-000806), and
for LCPCs and LPCs (license # 197-000108).
This course is approved by the Illinois Department
of Financial and Professional Regulation for 6 hours
of continuing education for LCSWs, LSWs, LCPCs
and LPCs.

Mission Statement
Continuing Psychology Education provides the
highest quality continuing education designed to
fulfill the professional needs and interests of mental
health professionals. Resources are offered to
improve professional competency, maintain
knowledge of the latest advancements, and meet
continuing education requirements mandated by
the profession. Copyright ©
2006 Continuing Psychology Education




1 Continuing Psychology Education P.O. Box 2517 Springfield, IL 62708 FAX: (858) 272-5809 phone: 1 800 281-5068
www.texcpe.com


HEALTHY PERSONALITY
INTRODUCTION
personality offered by Gordon Allport, Carl Rogers, Erich
Fromm, Abraham Maslow, Carl Jung, Viktor Frankl, and Fritz
The study of healthy personality was ignored for a long time
Perls. These theories are selected because they are fully
in psychology, instead, mental illness was extensively
developed and are contemporary in their appeal. Each
examined. In the past several decades, however, a growing
describes a level of personality development which is beyond
number of researchers have recognized the capacity for growth
normality leading to healthy personality.
and change in the human personality. These “growth
The health of personality is considered important for
psychologists” (most prefer to be called humanistic
happiness, peace of mind, personal adjustment, and success in
psychologists) have taken a new and fresh look at human
living. To examine ways of becoming what we are capable of
nature and have observed a different type of person from that
being is a worthwhile venture as Maslow (1967) stated by the
described by behaviorism and psychoanalysis, the traditional
following: “If you deliberately plan to be less than you are
schools of psychology. Whereas behaviorists see individuals as
capable of being, then I warn you that you’ll be unhappy for
passive responders to external stimuli and psychoanalysts see
the rest of your life.”
people as victims of biological forces and childhood conflicts,

the humanistic psychologists believe we can strive to become
GORDON ALLPORT
all we are capable of becoming and in the process transform
THE MATURE PERSON
from “normality” to healthy personality.

Healthy personality has proven to be a difficult and elusive
Allport believed healthy individuals function on a rational
concept to define. There are thought to be enough definitions
and conscious level, aware and in control of the forces that
of healthy personality to fill a small book. Jahoda (1958),
guide them. Mature persons are directed by the present and by
however, observed that “positive mental health” includes one
their intentions toward the future. The outlook is forward
or more of the following six aspects of individuals:
toward contemporary and future events, not backward to
1. The degree of personal integration achieved by the
childhood traumas and conflicts as with neurotics. He saw a
individual.
gap or dichotomy between neurosis and healthy personality
2. The degree of autonomy achieved by the person.
with neither type displaying any similar characteristics. The
3. The adequacy of the person’s perception of reality.
neurotic reveals infantile conflicts and experiences and the
4. The degree of environmental mastery achieved by the
healthy person functions on a different and higher plane.
person.
Allport only studied mature, healthy adults and had little to say
5. The attitudes shown by a person toward his or her
about neurotics, hence, his system is truly health oriented.
own self.

6. The style and degree of a person’s self-actualization.
Schultz (1977) assessed components of healthy personality
THE MOTIVATION OF THE HEALTHY PERSONALITY
and stated the following characteristics to be agreed upon by
Allport stated that adult motives are functionally
most theorists:
autonomous of childhood meaning they are independent of
1. Capability to consciously and rationally direct one’s
original circumstances. Rather than being pushed from behind
behavior.
by motivating forces in the past, we are pulled ahead by our
2. Being in charge of one’s own destiny.
intentions for the future.
3. Knowing who and what one is and being accepting
Central to this model is the importance of future goals and
of strengths and weaknesses.
intentions as indicated by Allport (1955): “The possession of
4. Being firmly anchored in the present.
long-range goals, regarded as central to one’s personal
5. Pursuit of challenge through new goals and new
existence, distinguishes the human from the animal, the adult
experiences.
from the child, and in many cases the healthy personality from
As can be seen, any single definition of healthy personality
the sick.”
will be inadequate to some degree, yet it will be beneficial to
The intentional nature of the individual - striving toward the
have a working model, hence, the formulation by Jourard
future - unifies the total personality by integrating all its
(1963) will be used:
components toward the achieving of goals and intentions. The
Healthy personality is manifested by individuals who have
intentional nature of the personality also increases the tension
been able to gratify their basic needs through acceptable
level of the person as he or she takes risks and explores new
behavior such that their own personality is no longer a
things. Allport believed that only through these new tension-
problem to their self. They can take their self more or less for
producing experiences and risks can human beings grow.
granted and devote energies and thoughts to socially
Interestingly, this view differs from tension-reduction models
meaningful interests and problems beyond security, or
of motivation (including Freud’s) which profess that people are
lovability, or status.
motivated to reduce tensions and thus maintain a state of
This course investigates those conceptions of healthy
homeostasis.

2 Continuing Psychology Education
Copyright © 2006 Continuing Psychology Education

HEALTHY PERSONALITY
In Allport’s view, happiness is not a goal in itself; it may be a
for his or her welfare. The love of healthy persons is
by-product of pursuing aspirations and goals. In fact, he
unconditional.
believed the healthy person’s life could be grim with pain and
Compassion, the second kind of warmth, relates to an
sorrow.
understanding of the basic human condition and a sense of
Another paradox within this model states that the goals which
kinship with all people. Empathy for others results from an
are pursued by the healthy personality, in the final analysis, are
“imaginative extension” of one’s own feelings to humanity. In
unattainable. As an example, he used the explorer Roald
turn, the mature person is tolerant and non-judgmental of
Amundsen, who discovered the South Pole. After each new
people’s frailties, understanding they share the same
discovery, Amundsen would immediately plan for the next. He
weaknesses.
was motivated by the goal of continuing exploration, but this

goal could never be fully realized so long as there were
Emotional Security
unexplored territories. To this end, Allport (1955) wrote:
“Salvation comes only to him who ceaselessly bestirs himself
This characteristic of healthy personality includes
in the pursuit of objectives that in the end are not fully
self-acceptance, frustration tolerance and emotional control.
attained.”
Self-acceptance is the most important and involves accepting
Allport acknowledged the need to invent motives should
all aspects of one’s being, including weaknesses and failings,
existing ones become insufficient, hence, he proposed the
without being resigned to them. Mature persons live with their
principle of organizing the energy level. The woman whose
shortcomings with little conflict within themselves. They try to
goal was to raise children must find new goals and redirect
do their best and improve when possible.
energy once the children reach adulthood. Mature, healthy
Frustration-tolerance relates to tolerating stress and the
persons constantly need motives of adequate strength to
thwarting of wants and desires. Healthy people devise
consume their energy.
different, less frustrating ways of reaching the same or
Allport’s theory of motivation of the healthy personality also
substitute goals. Frustration is not crippling as it may be for
includes the principle of mastery and competence which
neurotics.
proposes that mature, healthy persons desire not to perform at
Emotional control pertains to an individual’s control of
mediocre levels but at high levels of competence and mastery
personal emotions so they do not disrupt social functioning.
in striving to satisfy their motives.
The control is not repression, but a redirecting of the emotions

into more constructive channels.
Mature persons exhibit these three traits because they have a
CRITERIA OF THE MATURE PERSONALITY
basic sense of security. They deal with life’s fears and ego-
The following seven criteria of maturity represent Allport’s
threats with a sense of proportion understanding that such
characteristics of healthy personality.
stressors are often manageable.

Extension of the Sense of Self
Realistic Perception
The self evolves from being focused only upon itself to a
widening range of people and activities. Allport believed that
Healthy persons regard their world objectively and they
the person needed to extend the self into activities with a
accept reality for what it is. Mature people do not distort
feeling of genuine personal involvement and participation. The
reality to make it compatible with their wants and fears.
self then becomes invested in meaningful activities and they
Contrarily, neurotics may have a personal preconception of
become extensions of the sense of self. This sense of authentic
reality placing people and situations into compartments which
participation applies to work, family, leisure and all aspects of
may not reflect the reality of the situation.
living. The more an individual is fully involved with various

activities, people, or ideas, the more psychologically healthy he
Skills and Assignments
or she will be.

Allport believed in the importance of work and the necessity
Warm Relating of Self to Others
of losing oneself in this activity. He did not think it possible to
find mature, healthy persons who have not directed their skills
Allport reported two kinds of warmth in relation to other
toward their work. Work and responsibility provide meaning
people: the capacity for intimacy and the capacity for
and a sense of continuity to life. Allport (1961) quoted the
compassion.
famous brain surgeon, Harvey Cushing, on this point: “The
The healthy person can display intimacy (love) for a parent,
only way to endure life is to have a task to complete.”
child, spouse, or close friend. A well-developed sense of self-

extension brings forth this capacity for intimacy as the person

displays authentic participation with the loved one and concern

3 Continuing Psychology Education


HEALTHY PERSONALITY
Self-objectification
Gordon Allport’s strength was his ability to detect common
themes in the lives of psychologically healthy people and to
The individual who possesses a high level of
state these themes with clarity.
self-objectification - meaning self-insight - achieves a higher

level of self-understanding. Knowledge of self requires insight
CARL ROGERS
into the relation between what one thinks one is and what one
THE FULLY FUNCTIONING PERSON
actually is. Allport suggested that those with greater self-

insight are more intelligent than those who possess less self-
Rogers felt that our perception of the present is more
insight.
important than past childhood events in attaining healthy

personality. In working therapeutically with clients, he
A Unifying Philosophy of Life
emphasized that personality must be examined and understood
through the client’s personal point of view, his or her own
Healthy personalities are forward-looking, and motivated by
subjective experiences. What is real for clients is their unique
long-range goals of accomplishment. This way of being
perception of reality. Rogers developed a method of therapy
provides continuity to their personalities. Allport called this
which places the main responsibility for personality change on
unifying motivation directedness which guides all aspects of a
the client as opposed to the therapist, hence, the term client-
person’s life toward a goal (or series of goals) and gives a
centered therapy. He believed that reality is subject to each
reason for living. Thus, within this model, having a healthy
person’s perceptual experiences, in turn, it will differ from one
personality is contingent upon aspirations and direction toward
individual to the next, however, he sensed a common and basic
the future.
motivational force for all: the tendency or striving to actualize.
Values are vital to the development of a unifying philosophy

of life. The neurotic’s values are thought to not be strong
enough to unify all aspects of life.
THE MOTIVATION OF THE HEALTHY PERSON
Another contributing factor to a unifying philosophy of life is
Rogers indicated a single motivation - “one fundamental
conscience which involves a sense of duty and responsibility to
need”- in his model of personality: to maintain, actualize, and
itself and to others. The mature person’s conscience suggests,
enhance all aspects of the individual. All aspects of human
“I ought to behave this way,” whereas the neurotic’s verbiage
growth and development operate within this actualizing
is “I must behave this way,” based on childhood obedience and
tendency, including physical maturation such as the body’s
restrictions.
organs and physiological processes developing. The

actualizing tendency at the physiological level is irresistible as
CONCLUSION
it thrusts the individual forward from one stage of maturation to
the next, forcing one to adapt and grow. Rogers (1963) knew
Allport was the first personality theorist to study mature,
this process to be true for all living things as described by the
normal adults instead of neurotics. He challenged several
following, “Here in this palm-like seaweed was the tenacity of
established theories of personality in developing his model.
life, the forward thrust of life, the ability to push into an
For example, he is rare in his emphasis that there are no
incredibly hostile environment and not only hold its own, but to
functional similarities between neurotic and healthy
adapt, develop, become itself.” The goal of life is not
personalities, that they are separate entities. His view that the
maintaining homeostasis, tension-reduction, or ease and
healthy personality, once formed, is free of past childhood
comfort but movement toward increased complexity of
experiences differs from Freud and other personality theorists.
functioning allowing us to become all that we are capable of
Additionally, Allport’s focus on increasing rather than
becoming. At this biological level, Rogers saw no differences
decreasing the tension level as a means of positive change is
between the mentally healthy and ill, but significant differences
noteworthy.
appear regarding psychological aspects of actualization. The
Psychological health is forward not backward-looking in this
emphasis in actualization shifts from physiological to
model. The outlook is toward what the person hopes to
psychological beginning in childhood and is completed in
become, not to what has already happened and cannot be
adolescence.
changed. Hence, Allport’s model of personality is optimistic
This model defines self-actualization as the process of
and hopeful.
becoming oneself, of developing one’s unique psychological
The mature person is actively involved and committed to
characteristics and potentialities, is life-long and continual, and
something or someone beyond the self. They are immersed in
is the most important goal in a person’s life. Rogers believed
life. The healthy person is able to love and extend the self into
that humans have an inherent urge to create and that the most
deep relationships with others. Mature persons know who they
important creative product is one’s own self.
are, in turn, they are secure in their relationships with self and

others.


4 Continuing Psychology Education


HEALTHY PERSONALITY
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SELF
Openness to Experience
At the time the self begins to develop in infancy, the infant
The absence of inhibiting conditions of worth allows one to
learns to need affection, approval and love from other people
experience all feelings and attitudes since none are seen as
which Rogers termed positive regard. The main requirement
threatening or having to be defended against. Therefore,
for healthy personality is receiving unconditional positive
openness to experience is the opposite of defensiveness.
regard which develops when the mother or caregiver offers
The fully functioning person intensely experiences a wide
love and affection regardless of how the child behaves. This
range of positive and negative emotions without closing off
freely given love and affection, and the attitude it represents,
aspects of the personality; this results in greater personality
become an internalized set of norms and standards for the
flexibility.
infant.

Children growing up with the feeling of unconditional
Existential Living
positive regard will not develop conditions of worth - feeling a
sense of worth only under certain conditions, generally when
The fully functioning person lives fully in every moment of
behavior is not disapproved or rejected. Performing forbidden
existence. Each experience is perceived as fresh and new
behaviors causes the infant to feel guilty and unworthy which
allowing for excitement as each experience begins.
leads to anxiety and defensiveness. The child “loves” itself
The self is open to new experiences resulting in adaptability
only when behaving in ways it knows the caregiver approves,
to life. Rogers (1961) believes the person is actually saying,
thus, becoming a “mother-surrogate.” Resulting from this
“What I will be in the next moment, and what I will do, grows
process is the individual’s limited freedom because his or her
out of that moment, and cannot be predicted in advance either
true nature cannot be fully expressed. Contrarily, children
by me or by others.”
experiencing unconditional positive regard feel themselves
Rogers emphasizes that this quality of existential living is the
worthy under all conditions, have no need for defensive
most essential component of the healthy personality. The
behavior, and will not have incongruence between the self and
personality is open to all that is happening at the moment and it
the perception of reality.
finds in each experience a structure that can easily change in
The self is deep in such healthy people because it contains all
response to the next moment’s experience.
the thoughts and feelings capable of expression; they live life

fully and freely with flexibility and openness to new
A Trust in One’s Own Organism
experience. This person is free to become self-actualizing, to
develop all of his or her potential, and to proceed to this
To Rogers, behaving in a way that feels right is the most
model’s ultimate goal, becoming a fully functioning person.
reliable guide to deciding on a course of action and is more

reliable than rational or intellectual factors. He wrote: “When
an activity feels as though it is valuable or worth doing, it is
THE FULLY FUNCTIONING PERSON
worth doing. Put another way, I have learned that my total
Rogers’ (1961) version of the healthy personality is not a
organismic sensing of a situation is more trustworthy than my
state of being but a process, “a direction, not a destination.”
intellect.”
Rogers called one of his books On Becoming a Person which
Making decisions only based on rational or intellectual
describes the continuing nature of the process.
factors is felt to handicap the individual since emotional factors
Self-actualization is a difficult and painful process involving
are not utilized. All facets of the person - conscious,
continuous challenges to one’s capabilities. Rogers (1961)
unconscious, emotional, and intellectual - should be analyzed
wrote, “It involves the courage to be. It means launching
in decision-making. Healthy persons trust their decisions as
oneself fully into the stream of life.”
they trust themselves.
Similar to Allport, Rogers sees happiness as a by-product of

the striving for self-actualization; happiness is not a goal in
A Sense of Freedom
itself.
Another essential point within this model is that self-
Psychologically healthy people experience freedom of choice
actualizing people are truly themselves without pretending to
and of action without inhibition or constraint. These
be something they are not. The self is the master of the
individuals choose freely between alternative courses of
personality and operates independently of the norms dictated
thought and action.
by others.
Fully functioning people feel a sense of personal power about
In addition to these points, Rogers offered five specific
life and believe that the future is dependent upon their actions.
characteristics of the fully functioning person.
This feeling of freedom and power creates many life options

and the accompanying belief that we are capable of doing what

we wish to do.

5 Continuing Psychology Education


HEALTHY PERSONALITY
Creativity
alienation from the rest of nature, society, and our fellow
humans.
Rogers felt that all fully functioning persons are highly
This model suggests that the challenge is to find resolution
creative and spontaneous. Creative individuals are not known
for the dichotomies in our existence and to find new forms of
for conformity or passive adjustment to social rules; due to
union with nature, with others, and with ourselves. Fromm
their lack of defensiveness, they are not concerned with
(1955) indicated that the choice is between “regression and
approval from others for their behavior.
progression, between return to animal existence and arrival at
The fully functioning person is thought to be more capable of
human existence.”
adapting to and surviving drastic life changes due to the

creative and spontaneous element. Hence, Rogers considers
fully functioning persons to be a “fit vanguard” in the process
THE MOTIVATION OF THE HEALTHY PERSONALITY
of evolution.
Healthy people satisfy psychological needs in creative and

productive ways whereas unhealthy persons satisfy them in
CONCLUSION
irrational ways. Fromm offered five needs which derive from
the freedom-security dichotomy.
There is a special appeal in Rogers’ views that has

contributed to his popularity - his call to be “me” and to be
“now.” This model is attractive in an age which emphasizes
Relatedness
self-expression and being free of inhibitions.
Due to our awareness of being alone and separate in the
Healthy persons are capable of self-directed growth and
world, we must seek ties with others and find a sense of
leading their lives largely unaffected by childhood events.
relatedness with them.
There exists an inherited tendency for psychological growth
Unhealthy ways of finding relatedness include becoming
and actualization, a built-in natural motivation for health of
submissive to another person, group or ideal such as religion
mind.
for example, or by trying to achieve power over others by
The contributions of positive regard and conditions of worth
forcing them to submit to our will. The healthy way of relating
are valuable as are the characteristics of fully functioning
to the world is through love - not only in the erotic sense but
people. Being fully open to all experiences without feeling
also love of parent for child, love of oneself, and solidarity with
threatened offers potential for an exciting life style.
and love for all people. This satisfies the need for security and
Responding to life experience as fresh and new and living fully
allows a sense of integrity and individuality.
in each moment of existence is very worthwhile. The ability to
Inability to satisfy the need for relatedness results in
choose and act freely without constraint, to feel a sense of
narcissism - experiencing everything from one’s own
power over life, and to be creative and spontaneous appear as
subjective rather than objective point of view.
cornerstones of healthy functioning.


ERICH FROMM
Transcendence
THE PRODUCTIVE PERSON
This need involves rising above or transcending our passive

roles and becoming creators - active shapers of our lives. By
In this model, mental health is based on society’s ability to
creating such things as children, ideas, or material goods we
adjust to the basic needs of all individuals, not in terms of how
rise above the passive and accidental nature of existence and
well individuals adjust to society. Psychological health is more
achieve purpose and freedom.
of a social affair than individual. A healthy society enables its
The alternative to creativeness is destructiveness - destroying
members to develop love for one another, to be productive and
life, and it also allows for rising above the passive state.
creative, to strengthen capacity for reason and objectivity, and
Obviously, only creativity leads to psychological health.
it fosters fully functioning selves.

Fromm describes the essence of the human condition as
loneliness and insignificance (this view is not as pessimistic as
Rootedness
it appears) due to the historical evolution of mankind from the
lower animals and key eras in history which allowed cultures to
Becoming rooted and involved with others combats the
essence of the human condition - loneliness and insignificance.
attain freedom, but at the expense of security and
The ideal way to fulfill this need is through brot
belongingness. For example, as the growing child becomes
herliness -
increasingly independent of the mother, he or she becomes less
establishing involvement, love, concern, and participation with
society and fellow human beings.
secure. Also, according to Fromm, unlike animals, our
The unhealthy way to achieve rootedness is by maintaining
behavior is not tied to instinctive mechanisms, rather, we have
childhood incestuous ties with the mother. This person clings
knowledge and awareness, but unfortunately, also isolation and
to the security of early maternal ties which can extend to

6 Continuing Psychology Education


HEALTHY PERSONALITY
include the whole family and potentially, the community.
involves care, responsibility, respect, and knowledge of the
Maintaining incestuous ties restricts love and solidarity to
other and is thought to be one of life’s more difficult
only some people which disallows full participation with the
achievements.
world at large, in turn, psychological health is not attained.
Productive thinking involves an intimate relationship

between the object of thought and the thinker such that the
person can examine the object in an objective, respectful, and
A Sense of Identity
caring manner. Fromm believed that all great discoveries and
Human beings are felt to need a sense of identity as being
insights contain such productive thinking in that there is
unique; an identity which sets them apart from others.
concern to objectively evaluate the totality of the problem.
The healthy way of satisfying this need is individuality, the
Happiness is an important part and outcome of living within
process by which one attains a definite sense of self-identity.
the productive orientation. It is a condition thought to increase
These people have broken the incestuous ties with family and
vitality and fulfillment of one’s potentialities. Productive
feel in control of their lives instead of having their lives shaped
people are happy people.
by others.
Fromm indicates two types of conscience - authoritarian and
Contrarily, identity may be formed by conforming to the
humanistic. The authoritarian conscience represents an
characteristics of a nation, race, religion or occupation. In this
internalized outside authority, such as parents or the state,
case, the self is borrowed from the group, does not genuinely
which regulates behavior through fear of punishment for
belong to the individual, and will not achieve full humanness.
violating particular moral codes. This is counter-productive to

productive living and opposite of the humanistic conscience
which is the voice of the self, internal and individual, rather
A Frame of Orientation
than the voice of an external agent. Thus, the productive,
This need relates to formulating an image of the world
healthy personality is self-directed.
which fosters understanding of all events and experiences.
The productive orientation is an ideal goal of human
The recommended basis for the frame of orientation is
development and it has not yet been attained by any society.
through reason whereby one develops a realistic and objective
Fromm visualized this society as one in which no person is
picture of the world and does not distort reality with subjective
exploited or manipulated, instead, the goal is maximum
needs and fears.
development of the self. In this future society, our humanness
The unhealthy way of constructing a frame of orientation is
is to be the focus, and the purpose of political and economic
through irrationality. This involves a subjective view of the
systems will be to foster human growth and full functioning.
world in which events and experiences are seen not as they are
The ideals of this society are love, human solidarity,
but as one wishes them to be.
brotherhood, the participation of each person in his or her own

life and in society, and the productive use of every human
being. Fromm believes that it is not possible to reach full
THE NATURE OF THE HEALTHY PERSONALITY
productivity in our present social structure but that it is possible
to attain partial productivity.
Fromm provides a clear image of the healthy personality;
such a person loves fully, is creative, has highly developed

powers of reason, perceives the world and the self objectively,
CONCLUSION
possesses a firm sense of identity, is related to and rooted in the
world, is the agent of self and destiny, and is free of incestuous
Fromm emphasizes the effect of social forces on shaping
ties.
personality. Supportive of this view, for example, is the
Fromm calls the healthy personality the productive
different outlook on life of those raised during the depression
orientation, a concept similar to Allport’s mature personality
of the 1930’s compared to those raised during the affluent era
and Maslow’s self-actualizing person. It represents the fullest
of the 1960’s. Nonetheless, Fromm is optimistic about
realization of human potential. By using the word
approaching the productive orientation, even under repressive
“orientation,” Fromm makes the point that it is a general
or harsh social systems.
attitude or viewpoint that encompasses all aspects of life.
Positively, by acquiring feelings of relatedness, rootedness,
Being productive means utilizing all of one’s powers and
love, and brotherhood, we are not condemned to constant
potentialities and is synonymous with terms such as full-
isolation and insignificance. Further, the productive person is
functioning or self-actualizing.
unselfish and offers responsible interaction with others; we
Four additional aspects of the healthy personality are
need others for our own well-being.
included in the productive orientation: productive love,
Fromm’s productive personality is anchored in reality,
productive thinking, happiness, and conscience.
perceives the world objectively, and decisions are made using
Productive love comprises an equal relationship in which the
logic and reason. These people direct the course of their lives
partners maintain self-identity and independence. This concept
without being passive; they are in control of self and their

7 Continuing Psychology Education


HEALTHY PERSONALITY
destiny, and they strive to develop fully their capabilities.
people in general and it is important to give and receive love.
Happiness results from productive living and it promotes even
Belonging needs are fulfilled by feeling at one with groups or
greater levels of productivity.
ideas which reflect our values and characteristics. Maslow

believed it difficult in the modern world to satisfy love needs
ABRAHAM MASLOW
because of excessive moving and divorce. We are not in one
THE SELF-ACTUALIZING PERSON
place long enough to develop roots. He viewed loneliness and

isolation as inevitable results of failing to fulfill this need.
Maslow’s goal was to acknowledge how much potential we
Upon satisfying love and belonging needs, we look to develop
have for full human development, and he studied only the
a sense of esteem. Esteem needs are of two types: esteem
extremely healthy individual to gain this information. He felt
derived from others in the form of recognition, and self-esteem
that examining the healthiest personalities would inform us of
gained by feeling confident and secure in ourselves. Esteem
the depth of our capacities. His work began with observation
needs are built upon knowing who and what we are. Cognitive
of two people he knew personally - Gestalt psychologist, Max
needs represent the need to know and understand the world in
Wertheimer, and anthropologist, Ruth Benedict. He saw
which we live. Aesthetic needs include needs of beauty,
characteristics which distinguished them from others and
symmetry, poetry, music and the like.
looked to generalize these findings among friends,
Satisfaction of all these needs leads to being driven by the
acquaintances, living and deceased famous personalities, and
highest need, the need for self-actualization. This term is
college students. Ultimately, he selected forty-nine people who
defined as the development and use of all our qualities and
appeared to be models of psychological health. Maslow did
abilities, becoming what we have the potential to become.
not release the names of the living subjects but the historical
Amazingly, even though the lower-order needs of above have
figures include: Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Baruch
been satisfied, we will feel frustrated and discontent if we fail
Spinoza, Albert Einstein, Elanor Roosevelt, J. W. von Goethe,
to attempt to satisfy the need for self-actualization, and we
Pablo Casals, John Keats, Adlai Stevenson, Robert Browning,
cannot be described as being psychologically healthy.
and Martin Buber.

Interviews, free association, and projective techniques were
METAMOTIVATION: THE MOTIVATION OF THE
used to assess the living subjects and analysis of biographical
and autobiographical material for the deceased. He concluded
SELF-ACTUALIZING PERSON
that people are born with instinctoid needs - universal needs
Neurotics and persons of normal mental health are
which motivate us to grow, develop, and actualize our potential
motivated to acquire lower-need gratification and the
to become all that we are capable.
accompanying tension-reduction this offers, called deficiency
Maslow concluded that less than one percent of people
motivation. Self-actualizers are concerned with higher needs:
achieve self-actualization, but he felt that most are not aware of
fulfilling their potentialities, knowing and understanding the
their potential and with such awareness more people could
world around them, enriching the experience of living, and
reach this ideal state of existence that he found in his self-
being all they can be, called metamotivation. This person is not
actualizing subjects.
trying to compensate for deficits in need-fulfillment or reduce

tension, in fact, the ideal is to increase tension through new and
THE MOTIVATION OF THE HEALTHY PERSONALITY
challenging experiences. Maslow (1970) stated this motivation
is “character growth, character expression, maturation, and
One prerequisite for attaining self-actualization is satisfying
development; in a word self-actualization.” These individuals
a hierarchy of needs, universal and innate needs arranged in a
are no longer becoming, in the sense of trying to satisfy lower-
hierarchy from strongest to weakest. The needs must be at
needs, instead, they are in a state of being, of spontaneously
least partially satisfied in this order before the need for self-
expressing their full humanness.
actualization appears, they include: (1) physiological needs, (2)
Maslow described a list of metaneeds (also called B-values,
safety needs, (3) love and belonging needs, (4) esteem needs,
being-values) which are goals self-actualizers move toward and
(5) cognitive needs, (6) aesthetic needs, and (7) self-actualizing
are states of being rather than becoming. The frustration of the
needs. We are not motivated by all the needs at the same time,
metaneeds produces metapathology which is often unclear as to
rather, by only one, and the one is contingent upon which of the
cause and may leave one with a feeling of despair. Though
other needs have been satisfied.
persons with metapathologies have satisfied their lower needs,
Physiological needs include food, water, air, sleep, and sex.
they are not considered healthy personalities. Examples of
Safety needs involve security, stability, protection, order, and
metaneeds and accompanying metapathologies include:
freedom from fear and anxiety. Upon reaching a certain level
aliveness versus feeling oneself to be determined with a loss of
of fulfillment with physical and safety needs, we are driven by
zest for life; effortlessness versus awkwardness and fatigue;
love and belonging needs. We satisfy love needs by creating
playfulness versus depression; and meaningfulness versus
an intimate, caring relationship with another person, or with
despair.

8 Continuing Psychology Education


HEALTHY PERSONALITY
CHARACTERISTICS OF SELF-ACTUALIZERS
their animal ancestors have accumulated. He felt it important
to regain contact with the symbols, rituals, and myths of human
By definition, self-actualizers have satisfied their
history as contained in the unconscious. A portion of human
lower-needs, are free of psychoses and neuroses or other
misery and despair, he argued, is due to loss of contact with the
pathological disturbances, and are models of mental health.
unconscious. His view of psychological health was conscious
Typically, they are middle-aged or older. Maslow thought that
guidance of unconscious forces through integration of these
younger people have not developed a strong sense of identity
forces; both sides must be allowed to develop freely. The
and autonomy, have not attained an enduring love relationship,
process of this integration of personality is called individuation,
not found a calling to devote themselves to, or developed their
or self-realization. In order to understand what Jung meant by
own values, patience, courage, and wisdom.
individuation, we must review his ideas on the structure of
Childhood experience is considered important for later
personality.
development of self-actualization. A healthy combination of

parental control and freedom is advised along with parental
love toward the child. Maslow felt the first two years of life
THE STRUCTURE OF THE PERSONALITY
are very important, specifically, the child must receive
In Jung’s view, the personality is composed of three separate
adequate love, security, and esteem, otherwise, it will be
but interacting systems: the ego, the personal unconscious, and
extremely difficult for it to grow toward self-actualization.
the collective unconscious.
Beyond these points, Maslow indicated fifteen characteristics
The ego is the conscious mind and it includes all perceptions,
which self-actualizers possess, as represented by the following:
memories, thoughts, and feelings within our awareness at any
an efficient perception of reality; a general acceptance of
moment; it filters out unwanted stimuli.
nature, others, and oneself; spontaneity, simplicity, and
The personal unconscious is a storehouse of material which
naturalness; a focus on problems outside themselves; a need for
is no longer conscious but can easily rise to the conscious. The
privacy and independence; autonomous functioning; a
material is composed of unimportant or threatening memories
continued freshness of appreciation; mystical or “peak”
and thoughts that have been pushed out of conscious
experiences; social interest; interpersonal relations; a
awareness. Related to this theme are complexes, clusters of
democratic structure; discrimination between means and ends,
emotions, memories, and thoughts around a common theme.
between good and evil; an unhostile sense of humor;
For example, a person with an inferiority complex is
creativeness; and resistance to enculturation.
preoccupied with inferiority but is unaware of its control

because the complex is not part of conscious awareness - it is in
CONCLUSION
the personal unconscious.
Jung believed that there is a storehouse of universal
Maslow offered an optimistic theory of human nature,
evolutionary experiences - transmitted from one generation to
demonstrating what we are capable of becoming. He also
the next through hereditary mechanisms - which becomes the
explained why this level is seldom reached by indicating that
basis of one’s personality and directs all present behavior; he
childhood experiences can be inhibitive, the process demands
termed this the collective unconscious. These experiences exist
much hard work, courage, and persistence, and because self-
in us as tendencies to relate to the world as did our ancestors.
actualization is the highest need, it is also the weakest need.
Jung (1953) wrote, “The form of the world into which he is
The concept of metapathology seems to explain why many
born is already inborn in him as a virtual image.”
people who appear to have everything are unhappy. They have
These universal experiences are expressed in us as images,
not taken the extra step toward satisfaction of the metaneeds
which Jung called archetypes. By definition, an archetype is a
and are feeling the need for self-actualization exerting its pull.
model used for the creating of later images. Jung identified
For those of us who feel that we are not functioning at our
many archetypes, including birth, death, power, the Lord, the
fullest level and that there should be more to life, Maslow’s
demon, and the earth mother. We are not conscious of them,
hierarchy of needs offers the challenge of reaching a higher
rather, they influence us as tendencies or predispositions
level of growth, and given fortunate circumstances, possibly
existing at an unconscious level.
reaching self-actualization.
Of all the possible archetypes, Jung identified four as being

very significant: the persona, the anima and animus, the
CARL JUNG
shadow, and the self.
THE INDIVIDUATED PERSON
The persona is a mask we hide behind when playing a role in

order to fit the requirements of different situations and people.
Jung placed much importance on the effect of the
We play many roles in life, therefore, we wear many masks.
unconscious on mental health, in fact, he included as part of the
Jung thought the persona was beneficial if used to help us cope
unconscious not only the experiences that we accumulate, but
with life events, but harmful if used too often as a deception.
also the experiences that all members of the human species and
In the latter case, the ego identifies only with the persona and

9 Continuing Psychology Education


HEALTHY PERSONALITY
the true personality does not develop. Such persons realize at
mode.
some point that they have been living a lie. The goal of the

healthy personality is to deflate the persona and allow the
THE INDIVIDUATED PERSON
personality to develop. Healthy persons know when they are
playing roles and they know their true nature.
The first requirement of individuation is becoming aware of
Jung realized that the personality of a woman contains
the aspects of the self which have been neglected, and this
masculine components - animus, and the personality of a man
occurs in middle age. Jung felt that the person in middle age
contains feminine components - anima. These archetypes
cannot continue to be led by the values of youth - pursuing
arose from the experiences over time of men and women living
money, prestige, fame, or position. Middle-aged people have
together and acquiring characteristics of the opposite sex. A
been somewhat successful in meeting life’s demands due to the
healthy personality cannot be achieved without expressing both
energy invested in the preparatory activities of the first half of
sides of his or her nature. Thus, a man must express his
life, but by age forty or so the challenges have been met. The
feminine characteristic of tenderness and a woman her
person still possesses great amounts of energy, though, and
masculine characteristic of aggressiveness. Should this
now must reinvest it in a different facet of life. To this end,
expression not occur, then the other-sex characteristics become
striving toward individuation is giving up the behaviors, values,
undeveloped resulting in a part of the personality becoming
and thoughts that guided the first half of life and reaching into
inhibited. To Jung, disallowing full development and
the unconscious where our true selves will be revealed.
expression of all aspects of the personality negated
The second aspect of individuation involves the sacrifice of
psychological health.
the personality characteristics that enabled one to achieve the
The shadow is the most powerful, yet potentially most
goals of young adulthood. The goals of the first half of life are
harmful archetype. It represents animalistic and primitive
meaningless in the second half and so are the attitudes
impulses which are considered evil and sinful, but it is also the
(extroversion or introversion) and functions (thinking, feeling,
source of spontaneity, creativity, insight, and deep emotion,
sensing or intuiting) of that period. No single attitude or
elements considered necessary for full humanness. Hence,
function is dominant in individuation, instead, they are all
suppressing the shadow only enough to civilize one’s behavior
capable of being expressed, must be expressed, and are brought
and allowing for expression of the shadow’s positive side is
into balance. Hence, those persons who were an extrovert in
recommended. The totally suppressed shadow yields a dull and
their twenties would have to become conscious of their
lifeless personality, while the ego-regulated shadow produces a
qualities of introversion. Likewise, those who were dominated
lively and creative person. Once again, we see a harmonious
by the thinking function would need to be conscious of their
balance between opposites which forms the basis of healthy
feeling, sensing, and intuiting functions.
personality in Jung’s view.
Another change during individuation involves shifts in the
The most important archetype is the self which represents
persona, shadow and anima/animus. The first change is
striving toward integration and wholeness of all facets of the
dissolving the persona by coming to terms with the genuine self
personality, including using material from the unconscious.
the persona has been covering; we must become ourselves.
This process requires having objective knowledge about one’s
Next, the individuated person must gain greater awareness of
self and full development of all systems of the personality, in
both the constructive and destructive forces of the shadow.
turn, it will not occur before middle age, and for most, it will
The persona concealed our dark side during the first half of life
never completely occur.
from others and ourselves, now, without being dominated by
Jung contributed to the construct of consciousness in several
these forces, we accept their existence. Then, the individuation
ways. He believed that two orientations of consciousness are
process demands the man to express his anima traits and the
attitudes of extroversion and introversion. The extrovert is
woman her animus traits so to reach a balance. Clearly, these
oriented to the external world of objective reality and is
processes bring one aspect of personality into a greater
sociable, whereas the introvert is oriented toward an inner,
harmony with the others, in fact, both sides of these dimensions
subjective life and is often introspective and shy.
must be expressed before individuation can occur.
He also introduced the psychological functions of thinking,
Resulting from these changes, healthy persons have what
feeling, sensing and intuiting which represent how we
Jung termed a universal personality, lacking in a single,
experience our world. Thinking and feeling involve making
dominant aspect of personality (an attitude, function, or any
judgments and evaluations about experiences and organizing
side of an archetype), the person cannot be classified as a
and categorizing them. Sensing is experiencing reality through
particular psychological type.
the senses and intuiting is based on hunches or some kind of

non-sensory experience.
Finally, the two attitudes and four functions interact to form
CONCLUSION
eight psychological types, for example, an extrovert can
Jung’s theory of the healthy personality is unlike any other
function in the sensing mode or an introvert in the thinking
as it strays from emphasis on reason and logic and highlights

10 Continuing Psychology Education


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