Humanist approaches can be found throughout history, particularly in the field of psychology. Low Arousal approaches are by default humanist, encouraging compassion, understanding and empathy.
Humanist Approaches and Low Arousal
How does humanism apply to Low Arousal? From early behaviourists such as Karl Rogers, we have learned how important it is to make a connection with the people we support, and furthermore to give unconditional positive regard to people. This means seeing the person, understanding the person, and making connections with them in order to fully appreciate their thoughts, feelings and emotions. At its core, a low arousal approach to managing challenging behaviour means being compassionate, forgiving and humane towards the people being cared for.
Humane approaches towards:
Children: Using a humanist and Low Arousal approach to supporting children with challenging behaviour means avoiding using restraint, and being reflective about how your actions can impact or negatively harm the child
Adults with mental health problems: Caring for people with mental health problems means being a compassionate and emphatic supporter. This includes treating people with unconditional positive regard, and recognising that some behaviours may be the result of stress or trauma. Similar approaches throughout history can be seen, such as in the town of Geel in Belgium where people with mental illnesses are accepted into resident's homes and cared for.
Humane approaches are nothing new in the field of psychology, however they are an essential component of becoming an emphatic and reflective practitioner.