Humanistic perspective

Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) developed hierarchy of needs as he believed we are all seeking to be the best we can be which he called the self-actualisation. There are five stages an individual needs to follow starting from the bottom up the hierarchy.

* Basic physical needs:

* Safety and security needs:

* Love and emotional needs:

* Self-esteem needs:

* Self-actualisation:

As a social worker I have been given a patient Paul and by the information provided I feel he is lacking required needs from Maslow theory. According to B Stretch M Whitehouse BTEC health & social level 3 (2010). I feel Paul’s physical needs are not met because he carries heavy baggage everywhere he goes and he has a dishevelled look which may mean he is homeless or he is lacking stability. This is also shown in his physical appearance as he does not shave and he had a rough and scruffy look. As this could be a problem I will need to pay him a home visit to ensure he has a roof over is head and he has food and warmth as required for all individuals. If Paul does not have a stable home i will need to provide him with a home so his physical needs are met.

Paul had a shifty look, his eye continuously darted around the room and he was clearly disturbed by loud sounds which may mean he is paranoid and lacks security and safety needs as required in Maslow theory. This can make progressing up the hierarchy difficult as he is lacking the essential needs. Read the answer on what is not a physical security measure for your home?

This also leads to his love and emotional needs. Due to the information given Paul seems to be lonely and without any family or friends as he left his next-of-kin blank when he was filling out his application. Which could be the one of the reasons, he chose to sit by himself rather then interacting and socialising with the other candidates as he may feel uncomfortable causing him to be anti-social. As his social worker I will need to ask him about his family and friend and if he is able to contact them or I can advise him to attend socialising group that will help with his emotional and social development.

Self- esteem is another aspect Paul is lacking according to the self-esteem stage of the hierarchy. Paul seems to be reasonably intelligent however because he lacks confidence he does not see his potential and he allows the opinions and comments of others to impact on his decisions as he said he was told he wouldn’t get the job and it would be difficult, not believing in himself. As Paul is willing to get a job but he is lacking self-esteem and self-confidence to carry it out, I will help him get a voluntary job to help build is confidence which will allow him to realise his potential.

Going through the stages of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I have concluded that Paul is lacking all required needs from each stage which is preventing him from being the best he can be which is the purpose of the theory. In order for Paul to gain confidence and self-esteem he will need to start Maslow’s theory from the beginning making sure he gains all needs before moving up.

Cognitive approach

Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was a psychologist who worked on measuring the intelligence of individuals. He noticed that all children of similar ages made the same mistakes regardless of their intelligence, he then came to understand that the cognition develop through a series of stages. There are four stages which are:

* Sensori-motor (0-2 years)

* Pre-operational (2-7 years)

* Concrete operational (7-11 years)

* Formal operational (11+)

Paul is showing signs that he is lacking certain aspects to the fourth stage, formal operational stage which focuses on a child developing logical thinking and beginning to solve problems mentally.

From the information given I was able to come to a conclusion that Paul was not able to use abstract thoughts and he allows the opinions of others to influence him. From this I feel that Paul is still in his concrete operational stage because he does not think logically about all situations. He just goes by other people’s opinions rather than him deciding to do something himself. Paul should be in his formal operational stage, and in order for him to develop and move on to this next stage he will need to build his self confidence and self-esteem so the opinion of others does not influence him and his decisions in life. As his social worker I will work with him to raise his self confidence in order to then move onto using his abstract thoughts.

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