What is Intrapsychic Humanism?

Intrapsychic Humanism, developed by Drs. Martha Heineman Pieper and William J. Pieper, addresses some of the most fundamental questions in psychology and the philosophy of mind: What constitutes human happiness? How might we pursue it? How do we experience subjective personal meaning? How do we acquire it? How do we live the good life? And what is the cause of human unhappiness and dysfunction?

  • Intrapsychic Humanism offers a unique understanding of our innate human nature, namely, at the core of each of us is an in-born desire to be loved and cared for, to love our caregivers, and want to copy the care we receive.
  • This caregiving relationship experience forms the inner foundation for a child’s developing unconditional personal meaning (self-worth, inner happiness), and a happy, meaningful interpersonal life as she cares for herself in the loving, committed, responsive way she was cared for.
  • Intrapsychic Humanism also offers a humanistic understanding of the origins of inner unhappiness and the inner barriers that keep us from creating close, loving relationships and from reaching our full potential in education and work. It does not view unhappiness and inner conflict as an inevitable aspect of human nature.
  • Intrapsychic Humanism sets forth a compassionate, depth approach to psychotherapy called, Inner Humanism® for treating both inner and interpersonal unhappiness. Inner Humanism psychotherapy is based in the therapeutic relationship, and aims at helping people develop a more pleasurable, consistent inner self-worth and well-being, a growing capacity to be in charge of their moods and feelings, an increasing ability to know which inclinations and interests are self- caretaking, a greater commitment to making choices that are self-caretaking and caring of others, and a preference for pursuing and creating mutually caring, respectful relationships.
  • Intrapsychic Humanism also has far reaching implications and helpful strategies in the fields of education, parenting, child welfare, self-help, and social decision making.