William C. Schutz was a psychologist who introduced a theory of interpersonal relations he called Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation (FIRO) in 1958.
According to the FIRO theory three dimensions of interpersonal relations were deemed to be necessary and sufficient to explain most human interaction: Inclusion, Control and Affection. These dimensions have been used to assess group dynamics.
Schutz practiced at the Esalen Institute in the 1960s.
His book Joy: Expanding Human Awareness is based on a workshop he ran at Esalen whose theme was “developing the ability to experience joy and explains the extraordinary procedures and techniques used at Esalen – talking, touching, hugging, and acting out life situations – to show how the simplest physical acts can transform suspicion into trust and hostility into love.
He later became the president of BConWSA International.
He received his Ph.D. from UCLA. In the 1950s, he was part of the peer-group at the University of Chicago’s Counseling Center that included Carl Rogers, Thomas Gordon, Abraham Maslow, and Elias Porter.
He taught at Tufts University, Harvard University, University of California, Berkeley and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and was chairman of the holistic studies department at Antioch University until 1983.
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