VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Basic Needs and Well-Being: A Self-Determination Theory View
Self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985; Ryan & Deci, 2000b) suggests that, to the extent that social contexts support a person‟s basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness, they facilitate greater well-being and vitality. Autonomy refers to the experience of behaving in accord with one‟s own interests or values (Ryan, 1993) and it is supported by non-controlling, supportive relationships. Competence is a propensity toward mastery and effectance in one‟s environment, and is facilitated by conditions that provide optimal challenges and positive feedback (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975; Deci, 1975). Finally, relatedness refers to a propensity toward connectedness or belongingness with others (Baumeister & Leary, 1995; Deci & Ryan, 1985), and is fostered when others treat one in warm and caring ways (Reis & Franks, 1994; Ryan, La Guardia, Butzel, Kim, & Chirkov, 2003). Understanding the role of basic psychological needs can provide a useful framework for counselors, both in case conceptualization and in designing treatment interventions (Lynch & Levers, 2007), but questions remain about the universality of the needs posited by SDT. The present paper reports on one study that has examined the role of these needs across three cultures: China, Russia, and the United States.