The humanistic approach to therapy, as developed by Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow, shifted the focus in the therapeutic process from the patient as an object to be “fixed,” to the relationship between therapist and patient as a powerful agent in producing therapeutic results. Nearly half the research in psychotherapy and thirty-five years of observing and documenting the process, ground these humanist assumptions. In a new modality such as regression therapy where the dominant legacy comes from an authoritarian approach, namely, hypnotic induction, it is important that the gains in psychotherapy as a total field are not overlooked or lost.
In every stage of regression work there is a choice between the non-authoritarian humanistic approach and authoritarian techniques. Even in the actual philosophical hypotheses and psychotherapeutic assumptions, before the patient ever enters the picture, the contrast between the two approaches is salient. It is difficult to be effective in regression work without some kind of philosophical stance, but it is easy even here to set forth postulates that have an authoritarian and non-humanistic flavor. When I explored possible hypotheses, I found myself returning to two simply stated but profound assumptions which Maslow stressed: that human beings seem to have an innate desire to grow on many levels, and that love in some form seems to facilitate the growth process.