Abraham Maslow was a humanistic psychologist who developed a theory describing what motivates individuals and how they move along the lines of getting their needs met. His concept, Hierarchy of Needs, is most often depicted in a pyramid to delineate each level. The bottom level, the foundation, represents the most basic necessities for human survival while the highest level demonstrates transcendent desires. As a person reaches their goals in one level, he or she is able to move on to the next level. If an individual has yet to satisfy the needs for food and shelter one can assume this person is less likely motivated to fulfill their needs in other levels.
The 5 Stage Model includes:
1. Physiological Needs - food, shelter, water, clothing
2. Safety & Security - health, employment, stability, security of body
3. Love & Belonging - friendships, family, intimacy, connection
4. Self-Esteem - confidence, respect from others, achievement
5. Self-Actualization - spontaneity, creativity, lack of prejudice, realizing personal potential
While the hierarchy is depicted in an upward trajectory, it is not uncommon for people to fluctuate from one level to the next. When changes arise such as divorce, death, breakups, or loss of employment individuals can find themselves moving back and forth through the hierarchy. And when these needs to be loved, to feel safe, to feel confident become threatened, it is human nature to make attempts, even if ineffective, to gain or maintain them.
In our practice, clients come to us from all different levels. We do our best to listen to where our clients have been and discover where they wish to be. Whichever level you find yourself, we will meet you there.