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Mother Teresa’s Analysis in Humanistic Psychology

Introduction and Background

Mother Teresa was a missionary and nun in the Catholic Church, born in Albania, Macedonia, in 1910 to the family of Nikola and Dranafile Bojaxhiu. She became a teacher in India for more than 17 years before becoming the headmistress of Loreto convent, Calcutta, in 1944 (Morariu, 2020). As a dedicated Christian, she established a center commonly known as the hospice for the blind, the disabled, and the aged. According to Morariu (2020), her father, Dranafile Bojaxhiu, was an entrepreneur working in construction. The family of Bojaxhiu was very spiritual and devoted to the church. Nikola, Teresa’s mother, for instance, was a devoted church member. At the age of 8, her father died, leaving behind a compassionate widow who taught the importance of service to others and charity (Morariu, 2020). Morariu (2020) further postulates Mother Teresa received her first calling at the age of 12 to serve religiously under the Catholic Church. At the age of 18, she decided to be a nun and relocated to Ireland to join the Dublin Sisters.

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Personal Characteristics

One of the major traits of mother Teresa was compassion, which was evident in how she changed the bandages of the sick and helped people who had HIV and AIDS. Moreover, Mother Teresa was a pragmatic philanthropist whose interest was to help the needy in societies. Consequently, she actualized her desires through missions and evangelistic campaigns to source resources that would help the target population, making her an epitome of humanity engulfed in care for others alongside non-conditional love.

Mother Teresa considered a contribution to the poor and vulnerable people as a fundamental pillar in theological prowess. As a pragmatic woman in touch with the plight of the underprivileged individuals, she comprehended the politics in theology as tools to tackling real issues rather than presenting theoretical perspectives. Under this purview, she used her expertise in teaching the value of offering as a virtue to fulfilling and awakening humanity in people’s lives. As a result, Mother Teresa established the Missionaries of Charity, which began with 12 members but later expanded and attracted recruits and donations to serve the poor, prostitutes, the sick, and the abandoned populations. At the same time, she started the Nirmala Shishu centers to assist in taking care of homeless children. Finally, she helped in the evacuation of the 37 children during the Siege of Beirut (Morariu, 2020).


Humanistic psychology is an approach that emphasizes looking at both the individual and stress concepts, for example, self-actualization, free will, and self-efficacy (Shahrawat A. & Shahrawat, 2017). According to the humanistic approach, to be self-actualized, an individual must have an accurate knowledge of oneself. Mother Theresa actively believed that to tend to the soul is tending to their basic needs. Mother Teresa left the convent searching for vulnerable populations and offered help to the needy to seek her inner peace and respond to her call. Conventionally, she believed that such an act of kindness would create an unexplainable inner peace, which would enable her to achieve world peace. The principal value of inner peace is explained through the humanistic theory (Shahrawat A & Shahrawat, 2017). The theory states that every person has free will and can develop themselves, exploring their full potential through self-actualization. Mother Teresa was compassionate and had countless connections with humanity and a sense of self-awareness which are core traits of individuals who have reached self-actualization. She strived to think broader and had much interest in problem-solving, and to her, she had a mission and higher purpose, which she primarily focused on accomplishing in her lifetime.


Morariu, I. M. (2020). Aspects of political theology in the spiritual autobiography of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. HTS Theological Studies, 76(1), 1-5. Web.

Shahrawat, A., & Shahrawat, R. (2017). Application of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in a historical context: Case studies of four prominent figures. Psychology, 8(07), 939-954. Web.

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