Human Potential Movement
The Human Potential Movement (HPM) arose out of the milieu of the 1960s and formed around the concept of cultivating extraordinary potential that its advocates believed to lie largely untapped in all people. The movement took as its premise the belief that through the development of "human potential", humans can experience an exceptional quality of life filled with happiness, creativity, and fulfillment. As a corollary, those who begin to unleash this assumed potential often find themselves directing their actions within society towards assisting others to release their potential. Adherents believe that the net effect of individuals cultivating their potential will bring about positive social change at large.
The movement has its conceptual roots in existentialism and humanism. Its emergence is linked to humanistic psychology, also known as the "3rd force" in psychology (after psychoanalysis and behaviorism, and before the "4th force" of transpersonal psychology—which emphasizes esoteric, psychic, mystical, and spiritual development).
It is popular these days to talk of Transpersonal psychology as the 'Fourth Force' following Freudian psychoanalysis, Behaviourism and Humanistic Psychology. As its name suggests, Transpersonal psychology refers to states of being beyond the ego. The Transpersonal perspective seeks to broaden the traditional scope of psychological enquiry, taking in such studies as the nature of holistic wellbeing, peak religious and mystical experiences, the experiential psycho-therapies and the wisdom traditions of East and West.
— Nevill Drury, The Elements of Human Potential, Element Books
Some commentators[who?] consider the HPM synonymous with humanistic psychology. The movement is strongly influenced by Abraham Maslow's theory of self-actualization as the supreme expression of a human's life.
Authors and essayists 
Michael Murphy and Dick Price founded the Esalen Institute in 1962, primarily as a center for the study and development of human potential, and some people continue to regard Esalen as the geographical center of the movement today[update].
In 1964, Virginia Satir became Esalen's first Director of Training, which required her to oversee the Human Potential Development Program. At the time, Satir was well established as an author, trainer and consultant. Twenty years later, Satir actively encouraged therapists to shift their focus to relationship education to help clients discover "more joy, more reality, more connectedness, more accomplishment and more opportunities for people to grow."
"We’re at a crossroads, an important crossroads of how we view people. That’s why it’s possible now for all the different kind of therapies to go into education, education for being more fully human, using what we know as a pathology is only something that tells us that something is wrong and then allows us to move towards how we can we use this to develop round people. I’m fortunate in being one of the people who pushed my way through to know that people are really round. That’s what it means to me to look at people as people who have potential that can be realized, as people who can have dreams and have their dreams work out. What people bring to me in the guise of problems are their ways of living that keep them hampered and pathologically oriented. What we’re doing now is seeing how education allows us to move toward more joy, more reality, more connectedness, more accomplishment and more opportunities for people to grow."
— Virginia Satir
Aldous Huxley gave lectures on the "Human Potential" at Esalen in the early 1960s. His writings and lectures "on the mystical dimensions of psychedelics and on what he called the perennial philosophy were foundational. Moreover, his call for an institution that could teach the 'nonverbal humanities' and the development of the 'human potentialities' functioned as the working mission statement of early Esalen.
Christopher Lasch notes the impact of the human potential movement via the therapeutic sector: "The new therapies spawned by the human potential movement, according to Peter Marin, teach that "the individual will is all powerful and totally determines one's fate"; thus they intensify the "isolation of the self." 
George Leonard, a magazine writer and editor who conducted research for an article on human potential, became an important early influence on Esalen. Leonard claims that he coined the phrase "Human Potential Movement" during a brainstorming session with Murphy, and popularized it in his 1972 book "The Transformation: A Guide to the Inevitable Changes in Mankind". Leonard worked closely with the Esalen Institute afterwards, and in 2005 served as its president.
Notable proponents 
See also 
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2010)|
- Drury, Nevill (1989). The Elements of Human Potential. Shaftesbury: Element Books. p. 32. ISBN 1-85230-086-8.
- Wilber, Ken (16 September 2010). "The Shot Heard 'Round the World: A Brief History of the Human Potential Movement". Ken Wilber. Retrieved 19 April 2011. More than one of
- Carolyn, Carolyn (07 January 2010). "Human potential pioneer George Leonard dies". SFGate. Hearst Communications Inc. Retrieved 19 April 2011. More than one of
- Woolf, Linda. “Women's Intellectual Contributions to the Study of Mind and Society,” Webster University. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
- Eisenberg, Seth. "Revolutions of a Lifetime at Home and Abroad," Fatherhood Channel, February 21, 2011.
- Kripal, Jeffrey. Esalen America and the Religion of No Religion, University of Chicago Press, 2007.
- Christopher Lasch: The Culture of Narcissism: American life in an age of diminishing expectations. New York: Norton, 1979, page 9. ISBN 0-393-01177-1. Quoting Peter Marin: "The New Narcissism" in Harper's, October 1975, page 48.
- Salerno, Steve (2005). 'SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless. New York: Random House. ISBN 1-4000-5409-5.
- Kripal, Jeffrey (2007). Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-45369-3.