Toward A Visionary Psychology

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Humanistic Psychologist


World conditions, marked by increasingly rapid and pervasive change, present a significant challenge to psychology’s traditions of theory, research, and practice. What does this portend for the future directions of the field? Here I propose that our most promising course of action is to shift our priorities from investments in establishing truths and solidifying ideal practices, to efforts that actively mold desired futures. In shifting the gaze from “what is” to visions of “what could be,” issues of value and politics become focal. In this context I draw attention to specific future-making activities in research, theory, and professional practice. In research, a future-forming emphasis shifts the focus from observing and interpreting to societally engaged action. Theory becomes important not in terms of its representing or illuminating “reality as it is,” but in generating useful intelligibilities for future action. In the practitioner realm, the focus shifts from fixing and validating ideal forms of therapy, to the continuous development of culturally and historically sensitive practices. The potentials of a future-forming psychology will be particularly realized through collaborative relations with other disciplines and the society at large.


critique, psychology, visionary

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