Emergence of theory and methodology for a human system model of positive health: an interview with Jules Seeman


Kristin S. Sturdevant


At the Annual Conference of the Association for the Development of the Person-Centered Approach in 1994, I asked Jules if I might interview him. As a member of a panel earlier in the day in which participants talked about client-centered theory early in its development, Jules spoke of a “lost piece” of his history early in development of client-centered theory. Jules also talked about his theory, a human system model of positive health. Moreover, he described the basic methodology which therapists from this theoretical perspective might enter a client’s “system” by making connection, and facilitating therapeutic growth through communication. My purpose in interviewing Jules is threefold. I would like others to hear Jules tell his story – that is, to tell how his ideas emerged, found a home in Rogerian theory, and continue to unfold. I would like to acknowledge the “lost piece” in Jules’s history. And I hope to provide others with a narrative account of the development of client-centered (now person-centered) theory and how complimentary person-centered theory is to human systems theory, for which Jules has not only a conceptual definition, but a methodology.