Human Needs Psychology

What is Human Needs Psychology?

Human Needs Psychology is a method of therapy that provides a framework for happiness and fulfillment. Created in combination by Tony Robbins and Cloe Madanes, Human Needs Psychology looks at mental health issues through an adaptive functioning lens; meaning, how does this feeling/behavior help you survive? For example, anxiety protects you from danger, real or imagined.

You are designed to thrive in life and to have a rich tapestry of experiences. When you’re unable to do this, Human Needs Psychology examines how you are or are not currently meeting your basic human needs. We add what is needed and replace what is no longer working.

Everyone has 6 Human Needs that determine their happiness and fulfillment. These are separated into two categories: The Science of Achievement and The Art of Fulfillment.

The degree to which you can consistently meet your needs is understood as the degree to which you can experience achievement and fulfillment in every area of your life; i.e., relationships, career, spirituality, etc.

The Science of Achievement:


Also known as safety, reliability and predictability, certainty is a basic human need. This also refers to things like housing, finances, steady relationships, etc. When these basic needs are intact, you have certainty.

Certainty is essential to being able to sleep, focus, be in relationships, and function daily.

If you don’t have certainty, your life is in chaos.


There is such a thing as too much certainty. You also have a need for variety (uncertainty). This is part of what makes life exciting.

Variety might be a random text message, running into a long-lost lover, getting a new opportunity at work, etc. As they say, “Variety is the spice of life.”

Without variety things become stale, boring, and sometimes even die.


Think of significance as a desire to feel important to yourself and others in your life.

People seek significance in all kinds of ways, including money, status, Facebook friends, attention from others, grades, bonuses, belonging to elite groups, or performing at a high level.

In the end, we all need to feel important to ourselves and to others; when this isn’t happening in life, it can lead to anxiety and depression as well as other mental health issues.

Love and Connection

This one might seem a little obvious.

We all need to have support, family, community, and people who ‘get’ us. This is connection.

Feeling part of something bigger than yourself can be seen in family, sports teams, clubs, professional associations, and labels of all kinds.

In short, we all want to belong.

Love is this same feeling but on a deeper, more intimate level and with passion. We are not talking about brotherly love here; we’re talking about hot, sexy, romantic love…whatever that looks like for you.

As humans, we all crave to be seen, heard and known on a heart level where we can really show who we are (even the parts we are scared to share) and be loved.

These needs are the foundation for achievement. If you have at least three of these needs met at a high level, you have the ability to really move forward in life and achieve your goals.

For example, if you’re certain of your professional goals, know you’re highly skilled (significance) at what you do and have a quality team at your side (connection), you can achieve great things.

Similarly, if you’re a stay-at-home mom who knows she will settle for nothing but the best (certainty) for her children, loves that no two days are the same (variety), and feels her own significance in the lives of her children, you will be unstoppable at successfully raising your children.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you can control the future; but it does mean that you can navigate whatever comes your way.

The question is whether you’ll feel fulfilled in doing what you have set as your goal.

The Art of Fulfillment


Physically, emotionally, and spiritually your levels of fulfillment are dependent on growth.

  • How are you continuing to self-actualize?
  • How are you becoming more of who you want to be in the world?
  • What is pulling you into the future?

These are all growth-oriented questions. Sadly, many people are stuck in no-man’s land hoping and dreaming about growing. When they see little evidence of growth in their life, they wonder why they feel so empty inside.

You don’t have to look very far to see where the lack of inspiration comes from, do you? As the adage says, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” And this is true both inside and out.


Seen by many as the culmination of the other five needs, contribution is essential to a rich and fulfilling life. After all, what’s the point of having certainty, variety, feeling significant, having amazing love and connection and growing if you can’t share it?

Contribution can be felt from the smallest gesture, like sparing some change for someone living on the street, to a grand gesture like donating your wealth to charity, and everything in between.

The ability to give back in whatever way is meaningful to you is the final step toward feeling fulfilled.

These final two needs are the epicenter of the art of fulfillment.

Different than the science of achievement, this is art; your art.
How you meet these needs may be wildly different than your peers, colleagues, or lover.

How you meet your needs are the quickest way to fully embodying who you are and expressing your unique self in the world.

The Human Needs model

Using the Human Needs model, we work to help you understand how you are meeting your current needs.

What is certain is that you are meeting your needs right now.

If you’re unhappy, stressed or having a problem you need help with, you may not be meeting your needs very well.

In therapy, we will uncover how you’re meeting your specific needs and the adaptive function of the ways you meet your needs.

We will also explore your feelings, experiences, and behaviors as they help or hinder you from meeting your needs.

Then, we help you develop and create new ways to better meet your needs so you can live a more rich, successful, and fulfilling life on your terms.

It’s time to meet your needs at a higher level. Call now.

If you’re considering treatment and would like to learn more about how our treatment process applies to you, give us a call for your FREE 20-Minute consultation. If you reach our voicemail, please leave a message; your phone call will be returned within 24 hours, but typically sooner.

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