Carl Rogers (1902–1987) and Abraham Maslow (1908–1970) were pioneers of humanistic psychology. They were dissatisfied with the rigidities of psychoanalysis and behaviorism. Their theories, neither psychoanalytic nor behaviorist, came to be called the third force. These men saw psychology as a means to help people fulfill their maximum potential. Rogers felt that all people are instilled with an innate drive to “be all they can be,” and it was the role of psychotherapy to facilitate the process.
Abraham Maslow devised a hierarchy of needs, which is the path a person takes from the basic needs of survival on the road to the achievement of their potential. The lowest levels on the scale would be food and shelter, and further up the scale would be things like security and love. The top of the list of needs is what Maslow called self-actualization. One of his most famous comments is, “A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is ultimately to be at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.” Maslow was also one of the first to practice group therapy, a gathering of patients in a communal session with a therapist.