We may be more effective counselors if we can more adequately
understand human nature. Human behavior and its existence can
be more fully understood by viewing ourselves as biological,
psychological, sociological, humanistic, and spiritual entities.
By understanding ourselves and our existence we may also live
to fully experience what it is to be human.
In one regard, we may view a human as a biological organism
consisting of a complex structure of chemical components while
possessing thoughts and feelings through integrated electrical-chemical
reactions. Furthermore, the human organism has evolved through
time to reflect the environmental and social obstacles placed
on it through the process of evolutionary selection.
We can also distinguish ourselves as psychological and social
entities. From a very early age we learn from those around us
and develop particular comfort zones in which we develop our
personality. From our personality and our place in life we develop
our identity of ourselves.
Recognizing an individual in a humanistic light has been a
major step toward understanding the total being. The humanistic
system of thought centers on the person and their values, capacities,
and worth. In addition, it is concerned with the interests, needs,
and welfare of human beings.
Finally, the spiritual ideology distinguishes us apart from
bodily or worldly existence and its concerns. It is not to be
confused with one's memory of a loved one, nor a supernatural
occurrence appearing in a storybook. It is a concept of us that
reaches beyond finite existence.
We can not fully describe or understand human behavior, human
experience, or human existence with just a single model. Conversely,
these ways of viewing the human being are not mutually exclusive
yet may be viewed from a variety of constructs. Likewise, human
behavior can be more fully understood using various co-existing
models: Chemical, Biological, Psychological, Sociological, and
From a very early age we learn from our environment and those
around us. We start by imitating our parent's behaviors. We are
conditioned to focus on selected stimuli in our environment.
Our behavior is influenced by not only events around us but biological
predisposition as well. Circumstance and individual choice also
dictate behavior and conversely, the development of holistic
health in general.
As children we also develop comfort zones in which we develop
our personality. As we engage in social interactions, reflect
on feelings, ponder on thoughts, and display mannerisms we learn
to become more proficient in those behaviors we practice. Furthermore,
as we experience these behaviors we tend to favor particular
patterns and degrees of social interaction, feelings, and thoughts,
and mannerisms. It is speculated this favoritism toward a particular
personality is shaped by observation, imitation, positive reinforcement,
and finally, generalization.
From our personality and our place in life we develop our
identity of ourselves. From the perception our identity come
our self-worth, self-concept, and consequently, our self-esteem.
Development of Maladaptive Behavior
The holistic health concept includes developing and maintaining
physical, mental, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual growth.
Although it is optimal to develop all components of holistic
health equally, sometimes the development a just few of these
components may be enough to bring about the degree of self-worth
or happiness necessary for a seemingly normal life. Often, a
weak development of one or more of these components may adversely
affect other components of holistic health. Sometimes this weak
link may be felt as a void or unquenchable thirst in ones life.
Conversely, discontent is experienced when what occurs does not
match with what was expected. This void or discontentment may
bring about several exaggerated needs that may stagnate the development
of holistic health.
Individuals may futilely attempt to satisfy these exaggerated
needs by implementing particular behaviors. A perception of at
least temporary satisfaction is sometimes enough to reinforce
this behavior for a life long pattern. In most cases, we can
implement this behavior within socially acceptable boundaries.
In some cases, though, this behavior may be socially unacceptable
Modern values have compromised our being. We rationalize day
care, divorce, and the materialistic world in which we live with
no real understanding of our selfishness, insecurities, and the
consequences of our behaviors. We have alienated our lives, our
children lives, and ultimately our society. This has threatened
all aspects of our individual holistic health: physical, mental,
emotional, mental, social, and spiritual.
Throughout the day, we have relative stranger look after our
kids, feed them refined foods, encourage them to sit down and
be quiet, feed them more slop, tell them we're to busy or tired,
and try to discipline them with threats or reward them with treats.
After all this we wonder why our children are obese and have
Authorities speculate modern amenities have some way affected
the minds of the young and old alike. TV competes with studies,
physical activity, and social interaction. Moreover, until recently,
we remained active by walking, lifting, hunting, and working.
As a result, our bodies and minds no longer have the physical
stimulation it once thrived on. In addition, our transient society
has challenged social ties to ones family and friends, inviting
isolation and feelings of loneliness. Furthermore, the advent
of the telephone and, more recently, the computer has, in many
instances, altered the way we socialize. Finally, the society's
sensationalization of the good life has replaced worshiping "all
that is non-materialistic and everlasting" with worshiping
"all that is materialistic and lasting a finite time".
Emotional highs and lows are always present throughout ones
life. As reality therapy illustrates, emotionally adjusted individuals
remain in a more positive mood states for longer durations as
compared to less emotionally adjusted individuals. Furthermore,
it seems that more emotionally adjusted individuals possess more
emotional resilience than others when in a lower emotional state.