Humility in Psychotherapy

Authored by: Steven J. Sandage , David Rupert , David R. Paine , Miriam Bronstein , Christopher G. O’Rourke

Handbook of Humility

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138960008
eBook ISBN: 9781315660462
Adobe ISBN: 9781317337164


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Humility is a topic that has generated a long history of cultural and religious reflection. Many cultural and religious traditions have promoted humility as a virtue that can contribute to spiritual, social, and moral well-being (Paine, Sandage, Rupert, Devor & Bronstein, 2015; Wolfteich, Keefe-Perry, Sandage, & Paine, in press). Although the virtue-status of humility has been challenged by certain philosophers (e.g., Hume, Nietzsche, Rand), it is often described as a character strength by many theologians and spiritual leaders. Nevertheless, humility was a neglected topic in psychology until recent years, perhaps due to an emphasis on the individual in Western psychology, which could seem at odds with certain construals of humility. Interest in humility and other virtues has grown substantially in the social sciences over the past decade with the advent of the positive psychology movement, which called for a shift in focus from psychopathology to virtuous qualities that promote well-being (Peterson & Seligman, 2004).

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