Dkrainwater’s Weblog

Brief History of the Human Potential Movement

Posted on: November 2, 2008

During the 1970s there was an explosion of new interest in the approaches of alternative or nonconventional medicine.  In the realm of psychotherapy there were self-help programs that developed that included support groups and learning for self-awareness and personal growth.  Some people call this the human potential movement because people were relying on themselves instead of the medical industry.  People realized that they could through their own healing process is no longer be mentally ill or sick.  If there was a life crisis or an emergency in one’s life, the ability to receive healthcare became commonplace.  People found that the intervention of people with like stories could overcome the physical and emotional needs and the creation of a chronic condition could be halted.


The trend continued during the 1980s and more early interventions and increased self-care lead to more nonconventional methods during the healing process.  Communication skills and interpersonal relationships were the focus of these types of treatments and an organization together called the American Holistic Medical l Association..  The 1990s brought in the fight for the legal acceptance and the social acceptance of nonconventional medicine.  This was fought by complex healthcare administrations in a movement toward cost containment.  As the information became accepted about the complexity with the relationship between the body and the mind there is more evidence that there was a force that turned a disability into ability without the use of modern medicine.  Now conventional medicine slowly has moved towards alternative medicine and as an example there are programs of stress management for cardiac symptoms that can be taught to the patient before they have a heart event.

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