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  • Nathan Riley, MD

Maslow Hugs


Abraham Maslow is considered the godfather of the positive psychology movement. Generally speaking, before he came on to the scene, psychology focused on broken humans. Maslow flipped that notion on its head and asked, “What is right with humans?” From this inquiry, he derived a theory that gave way to the contemporary self-help industry. According to Maslow, a central tenet to positive human growth was a fundamental hierarchy of needs. As you see in the image, he suggested that in order to achieve the best versions of ourselves, we must first focus on our primary needs for survival (seen in the bottom two rungs of the pyramid). After those basic needs are met, we must feel a sense of belonging, often through romantic or platonic love. Only after this step can we truly achieve confidence and respect, and then move on to aspiring to creativity, morality, and acceptance.

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