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James Bugental

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Elizabeth & Jim Bugental

James Bugental is one of the predominant theorists and advocates of the Existential-Humanistic Therapy movement. He has been an active therapist, teacher and writer in for over 50 years. He received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University, was named a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in 1955, and was the first recipient of the APA's Division of Humanistic Psychology's Rollo May Award. He has held leadership positions in a number of professional organizations, including president of the California State Psychological Association. Currently, he serves as a consultant and teacher, and continues to write about existential psychotherapy.


In "The Search for Authenticity" (1965), Bugental summarized the postulates of Humanistic Psychology, often quoted by other theorists:

  • Human beings cannot be reduced to components.
  • Human beings have in them a uniquely human context.
  • Human consciousness includes an awareness of oneself in the context of other people.
  • Human beings have choices and responsibilities.
  • Human beings are intentional, they seek meaning, value and creativity.


  • "The Search for Authenticity" (1965)
  • "Psychotherapy and Process" (1978)
  • "The Art of the Psychotherapist" (1992)
  • "Psychotherapy Isn't What You Think" (1999)
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