Rollo May’s Existentialism Psychology:
An Overview to His Theory
After many years of his hardships in conducting clinical research, May was able to postulate a new way of looking at human beings. With such newly evolved point of view, May saw people as living in the world of present experiences and ultimately being responsible for who they become. Many people, he believed, lack the courage to face their destiny, and in the process of fleeing from it, they give up much of their freedom. Having negated their freedom, they likewise run away from their responsibility. Not being willing to make choices, they lose sight of who they are and develop a sense of insignificance and alienation. In contrast, healthy people challenge their destiny, cherish their freedom, and live authentically with other people and with themselves. They recognize the inevitability of death and have the courage to live life in the present. These thoughts of Rollo May, I believe, had caught my interest to further elaborate the essence of his theory through my own way of explaining. With these, I will be going to set aside all of the other theories. To be bias at this time, I believe will be of good help in further expressing my appreciation so as to justify the reasons behind why I like his theory of personality. At a first glance, I was quite intrigued with the way he was able to come up with his explanation of the personality. And through my first reading, Rollo May’s ideas made me realize that my outlook in life can be somehow reflected to his theories.
A Reflection of My Life
Rollo May’s view of people was highly influenced by the writings of Søren Kierkegaard who opposed attempts in seeing people merely as objects, but at the same time, he opposed the view that subjective perceptions are one’s only reality. What Kierkegaard was mainly concerned of is that both the experiencing person and the person’s experience contribute in understanding human beings. In view of this thought, I realized that the events taking into place and the one who is experiencing such event are very essential in explaining life.
I was raised with a pure Catholic Faith instilled in my mind, heart and soul. I can still remember the very first time I asked my parents about God’s existence and how great he really is to have control over our lives. I was then a third grader and was influenced maybe with Religion class for it was also my first time to enter such. Now, I can say, I have, partly, the answers to my questions.
As May stated, existence takes precedence over essence. The process by which we are in control in becoming and emerging to what we want to be. To exist actively and authentically is one thing that we should consider in our search for truth. Since I became more aware of the happenings around me, I assume I was then starting in my search for identity, freedom and true responsibility – all these constitutes in the truth of life.
I also believe that each of us is ultimately responsible of who we are and what we become and that we cannot blame others such as our parents, teachers, employers, God, or circumstances in what we do with ourselves. “Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.” We cannot deny the saying which turned to be a basic truth in a person’s life, “No man is an island.” As in my way of living, I may associate with others in productive and healthy relationships, but at the end of the day, I still realized that I am alone working for a purpose. I realized that my parents are just there to guide me and be the best examples that they can be for me to emulate. I maybe see myself always in almost all situations of my life to being with my friends. We may share things that I have; we may do things together to attain a goal; we may have the same interests and joy in life, but, still, at the end of the day, I just ponder and realized that I was just really making my choice – my choice to become what I can be so...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document