Cultural Influences vs. Actualizing Tendency: Is the person-centered approach a universal paradigm?


Chun-Chuan Wang


This paper explores the role a culture plays under the Person-Centered Approach (PCA) paradigm, and argues the possibility for the PCA to be applied in a collectivist culture. Taiwan, where eastern philosophies and modernization are intertwined, was long colonized and governed in a dictatorial way. In such a context, whether the principle of the PCA is applicable is challenging. In this paper- both the challenges of Chinese culture and the historical and political aspects of Taiwan are reviewed. Additionally, social context and the PCA are contrasted from a perspective of being an individual in a collectivist culture. The PCA’s position is mirrored by some eastern philosophies, and the paper argues that a Taiwanese's natural tendency exists beneath the vicissitude of social context. Taiwanese culture plays a role of blocking people's actualizing tendency. The paper highlights the challenges of some particular cultural blocks. When a growth-promoting climate is created, persons get to experience it. More inner freedom develops, and the natural tendency directs the person to self-actualization.