Malsow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Why do people come for therapy?

Malsow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Harold Maslow was an American psychologist of Jewish Russian extraction who was born in New York in 1908. Amongst his many valuable contributions to the understanding of human psychology is the idea of a hierachy of needs. Maslow was careful to point out that the hierarchy can be fluid in practice. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent model that is easy to understand and appeals to common sense.

Essentially our needs can be segmented into categories and that ‘higher’ needs tend to be sidelined until ‘lower’ needs have been satisfied. This offers insight into human motivation. For example, if you are starving you are les likely to be simultaneously concerned about your rank in society.

The heirarchy is often represented as a pyramid with each set of needs providing the foundation for the next set. Have a look and see how it relates to your life.

As a Sexologist as well as a Psychotherapist I am intrigued by the location of sex on the hierarchy. It seems to belong on all of the levels in some form or other and this may explain why it’s such a complex (and interesting) topic to work with.

Watch the two minute explainer below.

And by the way, you don't need to wait for a crisis.

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