Carl R. Rogers — On Becoming A Person — A Way of Being — Client -Centered Therapy — Videos

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Carl Rogers: The Conversation

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Carl Rogers, The Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference, 1985

Carl Rogers: Facilitating Peace: Insights from Three Experiences, 1985

Carl Rogers: Mutual Understanding and Communication, 1985

Person-Centered Approach to World Peace with Carl R. Rogers

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Carl Rogers Empathy Lecture parts 1 and 2

Sylvia: The Struggle for Self-Acceptance

Carl Rogers speaking at UCLA 4/7/1967

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May, Rogers, Satir, and Szasz at The Evolution of Psychotherapy conference, 1985

Three approaches to psychotherapy – All Three session

Humanistic theory | Behavior | MCAT | Khan Academy

Rogers In Ten Minutes

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Unconditional positive regard — the power of self acceptance | Michelle Charfen | TEDxRedondoBeach

Recollections A Celebration of the Life of Carl Rogers

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Carl Rogers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people named Carl Rogers, see Carl Rogers (disambiguation).
Carl Rogers
Carlrogers.jpg
Born January 8, 1902
Oak Park, Illinois, U.S.
Died February 4, 1987 (aged 85)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Fields Psychology
Institutions Ohio State University
University of Chicago
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Western Behavioral Sciences Institute
Center for Studies of the Person
Alma mater University of Wisconsin–Madison
Teachers College, Columbia University
Known for The Person-centered approach (e.g., Client-centered therapy, Student-centered learning, Rogerian argument)
Influences Otto Rank, Kurt Goldstein, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, B.F. Skinner, Friedrich Nietzsche, Alfred Adler
Notable awards Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Psychology (1956, APA); Award for Distinguished Contributions to Applied Psychology as a Professional Practice (1972, APA); 1964 Humanist of the Year (American Humanist Association)

Carl Ransom Rogers (January 8, 1902 – February 4, 1987) was an American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach (or client-centered approach) to psychology. Rogers is widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of psychotherapy research and was honored for his pioneering research with the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1956.

The person-centered approach, his own unique approach to understanding personality and human relationships, found wide application in various domains such as psychotherapy and counseling (client-centered therapy), education (student-centered learning), organizations, and other group settings. For his professional work he was bestowed the Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Psychology by the APA in 1972. In a study by Haggbloom et al. (2002) using six criteria such as citations and recognition, Rogers was found to be the sixth most eminent psychologist of the 20th century and second, among clinicians, only to Sigmund Freud.[1]

Biography

Rogers was born on January 8, 1902, in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. His father, Walter A. Rogers, was a civil engineer and his mother, Julia M. Cushing,[2][3]was a homemaker and devout PentecostalChristian. Carl was the fourth of their six children.[4]

Rogers was intelligent and could read well before kindergarten. Following an education in a strict religious and ethical environment as an altar boy at the vicarage of Jimpley, he became a rather isolated, independent and disciplined person, and acquired a knowledge and an appreciation for the scientific method in a practical world. His first career choice was agriculture, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he was a part of the fraternity of Alpha Kappa Lambda, followed by history and then religion. At age 20, following his 1922 trip to Peking, China, for an international Christian conference, he started to doubt his religious convictions. To help him clarify his career choice, he attended a seminar entitled Why am I entering the Ministry?, after which he decided to change his career. In 1924, he graduated from University of Wisconsin and enrolled at Union Theological Seminary. He later became an atheist.[5]

After two years he left the seminary to attend Teachers College, Columbia University, obtaining an MA in 1928 and a PhD in 1931. While completing his doctoral work, he engaged in child study. In 1930, Rogers served as director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in Rochester, New York. From 1935 to 1940 he lectured at the University of Rochester and wrote The Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child (1939), based on his experience in working with troubled children. He was strongly influenced in constructing his client-centered approach by the post-Freudian psychotherapeutic practice of Otto Rank.[6] In 1940 Rogers became professor of clinical psychology at Ohio State University, where he wrote his second book, Counseling and Psychotherapy (1942). In it, Rogers suggested that the client, by establishing a relationship with an understanding, accepting therapist, can resolve difficulties and gain the insight necessary to restructure their life.

In 1945, he was invited to set up a counseling center at the University of Chicago. In 1947 he was elected President of the American Psychological Association.[7] While a professor of psychology at the University of Chicago (1945–57), Rogers helped to establish a counseling center connected with the university and there conducted studies to determine the effectiveness of his methods. His findings and theories appeared in Client-Centered Therapy (1951) and Psychotherapy and Personality Change (1954). One of his graduate students at the University of Chicago, Thomas Gordon, established the Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) movement. Another student, Eugene T. Gendlin, who was getting his Ph.D. in philosophy, developed the practice of Focusing based on Rogerian listening. In 1956, Rogers became the first President of the American Academy of Psychotherapists.[8] He taught psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1957–63), during which time he wrote one of his best-known books, On Becoming a Person (1961). Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow (1908–70) pioneered a movement called humanistic psychology which reached its peak in the 1960s. In 1961, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[9] Carl Rogers was also one of the people who questioned the rise of McCarthyism in 1950s. Through articles, he criticized society for its backward-looking affinities.[10]

Rogers continued teaching at University of Wisconsin until 1963, when he became a resident at the new Western Behavioral Sciences Institute (WBSI) in La Jolla, California. Rogers left the WBSI to help found the Center for Studies of the Person in 1968. His later books include Carl Rogers on Personal Power (1977) and Freedom to Learn for the 80’s (1983). He remained a resident of La Jolla for the rest of his life, doing therapy, giving speeches and writing until his sudden death in 1987. In 1987, Rogers suffered a fall that resulted in a fractured pelvis: he had life alert and was able to contact paramedics. He had a successful operation, but his pancreas failed the next night and he died a few days later.

Rogers’s last years were devoted to applying his theories in situations of political oppression and national social conflict, traveling worldwide to do so. In Belfast, Northern Ireland, he brought together influential Protestants and Catholics; in South Africa, blacks and whites; in Brazil people emerging from dictatorship to democracy; in the United States, consumers and providers in the health field. His last trip, at age 85, was to the Soviet Union, where he lectured and facilitated intensive experiential workshops fostering communication and creativity. He was astonished at the numbers of Russians who knew of his work.

Together with his daughter, Natalie Rogers, and psychologists Maria Bowen, Maureen O’Hara, and John K. Wood, between 1974 and 1984, Rogers convened a series of residential programs in the US, Europe, Brazil and Japan, the Person-Centered Approach Workshops, which focused on cross-cultural communications, personal growth, self-empowerment, and learning for social change.

Theory

Rogers’ theory of the self is considered to be humanistic, existential, and phenomenological.[11] His theory is based directly on the “phenomenal field” personality theory of Combs and Snygg (1949).[12] Rogers’ elaboration of his own theory is extensive. He wrote 16 books and many more journal articles describing it. Prochaska and Norcross (2003) states Rogers “consistently stood for an empirical evaluation of psychotherapy. He and his followers have demonstrated a humanistic approach to conducting therapy and a scientific approach to evaluating therapy need not be incompatible.”

Nineteen propositions

His theory (as of 1953) was based on 19 propositions:[13]

  1. All individuals (organisms) exist in a continually changing world of experience (phenomenal field) of which they are the center.
  2. The organism reacts to the field as it is experienced and perceived. This perceptual field is “reality” for the individual.
  3. The organism reacts as an organized whole to this phenomenal field.
  4. A portion of the total perceptual field gradually becomes differentiated as the self.
  5. As a result of interaction with the environment, and particularly as a result of evaluational interaction with others, the structure of the self is formed – an organized, fluid but consistent conceptual pattern of perceptions of characteristics and relationships of the “I” or the “me”, together with values attached to these concepts.
  6. The organism has one basic tendency and striving – to actualize, maintain and enhance the experiencing organism.
  7. The best vantage point for understanding behavior is from the internal frame of reference of the individual.
  8. Behavior is basically the goal-directed attempt of the organism to satisfy its needs as experienced, in the field as perceived.
  9. Emotion accompanies, and in general facilitates, such goal directed behavior, the kind of emotion being related to the perceived significance of the behavior for the maintenance and enhancement of the organism.
  10. The values attached to experiences, and the values that are a part of the self-structure, in some instances, are values experienced directly by the organism, and in some instances are values introjected or taken over from others, but perceived in distorted fashion, as if they had been experienced directly.
  11. As experiences occur in the life of the individual, they are either, a) symbolized, perceived and organized into some relation to the self, b) ignored because there is no perceived relationship to the self structure, c) denied symbolization or given distorted symbolization because the experience is inconsistent with the structure of the self.
  12. Most of the ways of behaving that are adopted by the organism are those that are consistent with the concept of self.
  13. In some instances, behavior may be brought about by organic experiences and needs which have not been symbolized. Such behavior may be inconsistent with the structure of the self but in such instances the behavior is not “owned” by the individual.
  14. Psychological adjustment exists when the concept of the self is such that all the sensory and visceral experiences of the organism are, or may be, assimilated on a symbolic level into a consistent relationship with the concept of self.
  15. Psychological maladjustment exists when the organism denies awareness of significant sensory and visceral experiences, which consequently are not symbolized and organized into the gestalt of the self structure. When this situation exists, there is a basic or potential psychological tension.
  16. Any experience which is inconsistent with the organization of the structure of the self may be perceived as a threat, and the more of these perceptions there are, the more rigidly the self structure is organized to maintain itself.
  17. Under certain conditions, involving primarily complete absence of threat to the self structure, experiences which are inconsistent with it may be perceived and examined, and the structure of self revised to assimilate and include such experiences.
  18. When the individual perceives and accepts into one consistent and integrated system all her sensory and visceral experiences, then she is necessarily more understanding of others and is more accepting of others as separate individuals.
  19. As the individual perceives and accepts into his self structure more of his organic experiences, he finds that he is replacing his present value system – based extensively on introjections which have been distortedly symbolized – with a continuing organismic valuing process.

In relation to No. 17, Rogers is known for practicing “unconditional positive regard,” which is defined as accepting a person “without negative judgment of …. [a person’s] basic worth.”[14]

Development of the personality

With regard to development, Rogers described principles rather than stages. The main issue is the development of a self-concept and the progress from an undifferentiated self to being fully differentiated.

Self Concept… the organized consistent conceptual gestalt composed of perceptions of the characteristics of ‘I’ or ‘me’ and the perceptions of the relationships of the ‘I’ or ‘me’ to others and to various aspects of life, together with the values attached to these perceptions. It is a gestalt which is available to awareness though not necessarily in awareness. It is a fluid and changing gestalt, a process, but at any given moment it is a specific entity. (Rogers, 1959)[15]

In the development of the self-concept, he saw conditional and unconditional positive regard as key. Those raised in an environment of unconditional positive regard have the opportunity to fully actualize themselves. Those raised in an environment of conditional positive regard feel worthy only if they match conditions (what Rogers describes as conditions of worth) that have been laid down for them by others.

Fully functioning person

Optimal development, as referred to in proposition 14, results in a certain process rather than static state. He describes this as the good life, where the organism continually aims to fulfill its full potential. He listed the characteristics of a fully functioning person (Rogers 1961):[16]

  1. A growing openness to experience – they move away from defensiveness and have no need for subception (a perceptual defense that involves unconsciously applying strategies to prevent a troubling stimulus from entering consciousness).
  2. An increasingly existential lifestyle – living each moment fully – not distorting the moment to fit personality or self-concept but allowing personality and self-concept to emanate from the experience. This results in excitement, daring, adaptability, tolerance, spontaneity, and a lack of rigidity and suggests a foundation of trust. “To open one’s spirit to what is going on now, and discover in that present process whatever structure it appears to have” (Rogers 1961)[16]
  3. Increasing organismic trust – they trust their own judgment and their ability to choose behavior that is appropriate for each moment. They do not rely on existing codes and social norms but trust that as they are open to experiences they will be able to trust their own sense of right and wrong.
  4. Freedom of choice – not being shackled by the restrictions that influence an incongruent individual, they are able to make a wider range of choices more fluently. They believe that they play a role in determining their own behavior and so feel responsible for their own behavior.
  5. Creativity – it follows that they will feel more free to be creative. They will also be more creative in the way they adapt to their own circumstances without feeling a need to conform.
  6. Reliability and constructiveness – they can be trusted to act constructively. An individual who is open to all their needs will be able to maintain a balance between them. Even aggressive needs will be matched and balanced by intrinsic goodness in congruent individuals.
  7. A rich full life – he describes the life of the fully functioning individual as rich, full and exciting and suggests that they experience joy and pain, love and heartbreak, fear and courage more intensely. Rogers’ description of the good life:

    This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-hearted. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one’s potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life. (Rogers 1961)[16]

Incongruence

Rogers identified the “real self” as the aspect of one’s being that is founded in the actualizing tendency, follows organismic valuing, needs and receives positive regard and self-regard. It is the “you” that, if all goes well, you will become. On the other hand, to the extent that our society is out of sync with the actualizing tendency, and we are forced to live with conditions of worth that are out of step with organismic valuing, and receive only conditional positive regard and self-regard, we develop instead an “ideal self”. By ideal, Rogers is suggesting something not real, something that is always out of our reach, the standard we cannot meet. This gap between the real self and the ideal self, the “I am” and the “I should” is called incongruity.

Psychopathology

Rogers described the concepts of congruence and incongruence as important ideas in his theory. In proposition #6, he refers to the actualizing tendency. At the same time, he recognized the need for positive regard. In a fully congruent person realizing their potential is not at the expense of experiencing positive regard. They are able to lead lives that are authentic and genuine. Incongruent individuals, in their pursuit of positive regard, lead lives that include falseness and do not realize their potential. Conditions put on them by those around them make it necessary for them to forgo their genuine, authentic lives to meet with the approval of others. They live lives that are not true to themselves, to who they are on the inside out.

Rogers suggested that the incongruent individual, who is always on the defensive and cannot be open to all experiences, is not functioning ideally and may even be malfunctioning. They work hard at maintaining/protecting their self-concept. Because their lives are not authentic this is a difficult task and they are under constant threat. They deploy defense mechanisms to achieve this. He describes two mechanisms: distortion and denial. Distortion occurs when the individual perceives a threat to their self-concept. They distort the perception until it fits their self-concept.

This defensive behavior reduces the consciousness of the threat but not the threat itself. And so, as the threats mount, the work of protecting the self-concept becomes more difficult and the individual becomes more defensive and rigid in their self structure. If the incongruence is immoderate this process may lead the individual to a state that would typically be described as neurotic. Their functioning becomes precarious and psychologically vulnerable. If the situation worsens it is possible that the defenses cease to function altogether and the individual becomes aware of the incongruence of their situation. Their personality becomes disorganised and bizarre; irrational behavior, associated with earlier denied aspects of self, may erupt uncontrollably.

Applications

Person-centered therapy

Rogers originally developed his theory to be the foundation for a system of therapy. He initially called this “non-directive therapy” but later replaced the term “non-directive” with the term “client-centered” and then later used the term “person-centered”. Even before the publication of Client-Centered Therapy in 1951, Rogers believed that the principles he was describing could be applied in a variety of contexts and not just in the therapy situation. As a result, he started to use the term person-centered approach later in his life to describe his overall theory. Person-centered therapy is the application of the person-centered approach to the therapy situation. Other applications include a theory of personality, interpersonal relations, education, nursing, cross-cultural relations and other “helping” professions and situations. In 1946 Rogers co-authored “Counseling with Returned Servicemen,” with John L. Wallen (the creator of the behavioral model known as The Interpersonal Gap),[17] documenting the application of person-centered approach to counseling military personnel returning from the second world war.

The first empirical evidence of the effectiveness of the client-centered approach was published in 1941 at the Ohio State University by Elias Porter, using the recordings of therapeutic sessions between Carl Rogers and his clients.[18] Porter used Rogers’ transcripts to devise a system to measure the degree of directiveness or non-directiveness a counselor employed.[19] The attitude and orientation of the counselor were demonstrated to be instrumental in the decisions made by the client.[20][21]

Learner-centered teaching

The application to education has a large robust research tradition similar to that of therapy with studies having begun in the late 1930s and continuing today (Cornelius-White, 2007). Rogers described the approach to education in Client-Centered Therapy and wrote Freedom to Learn devoted exclusively to the subject in 1969. Freedom to Learn was revised two times. The new Learner-Centered Model is similar in many regards to this classical person-centered approach to education. Rogers and Harold Lyon began a book prior to Rogers death, entitled On Becoming an Effective Teacher — Person-centered Teaching, Psychology, Philosophy, and Dialogues with Carl R. Rogers and Harold Lyon, which was completed by Lyon and Reinhard Tausch and published in 2013 containing Rogers last unpublished writings on person-centered teaching.[22] Rogers had the following five hypotheses regarding learner-centered education:

  1. “A person cannot teach another person directly; a person can only facilitate another’s learning” (Rogers, 1951). This is a result of his personality theory, which states that everyone exists in a constantly changing world of experience in which he or she is the center. Each person reacts and responds based on perception and experience. The belief is that what the student does is more important than what the teacher does. The focus is on the student (Rogers, 1951). Therefore, the background and experiences of the learner are essential to how and what is learned. Each student will process what he or she learns differently depending on what he or she brings to the classroom.
  2. “A person learns significantly only those things that are perceived as being involved in the maintenance of or enhancement of the structure of self” (Rogers, 1951). Therefore, relevancy to the student is essential for learning. The students’ experiences become the core of the course.
  3. “Experience which, if assimilated, would involve a change in the organization of self, tends to be resisted through denial or distortion of symbolism” (Rogers, 1951). If the content or presentation of a course is inconsistent with preconceived information, the student will learn if he or she is open to varying concepts. Being open to consider concepts that vary from one’s own is vital to learning. Therefore, gently encouraging open-mindedness is helpful in engaging the student in learning. Also, it is important, for this reason, that new information be relevant and related to existing experience.
  4. “The structure and organization of self appears to become more rigid under threats and to relax its boundaries when completely free from threat” (Rogers, 1951). If students believe that concepts are being forced upon them, they might become uncomfortable and fearful. A barrier is created by a tone of threat in the classroom. Therefore, an open, friendly environment in which trust is developed is essential in the classroom. Fear of retribution for not agreeing with a concept should be eliminated. A classroom tone of support helps to alleviate fears and encourages students to have the courage to explore concepts and beliefs that vary from those they bring to the classroom. Also, new information might threaten the student’s concept of him- or herself; therefore, the less vulnerable the student feels, the more likely he or she will be able to open up to the learning process.
  5. “The educational situation which most effectively promotes significant learning is one in which (a) threat to the self of the learner is reduced to a minimum and (b) differentiated perception of the field is facilitated” (Rogers, 1951). The instructor should be open to learning from the students and also working to connect the students to the subject matter. Frequent interaction with the students will help achieve this goal. The instructor’s acceptance of being a mentor who guides rather than the expert who tells is instrumental to student-centered, nonthreatening, and unforced learning.

Rogerian rhetorical approach

In 1970, Richard Young, Alton L. Becker, and Kenneth Pike published Rhetoric: Discovery and Change, a widely influential college writing textbook that used a Rogerian approach to communication to revise the traditional Aristotelian framework for rhetoric. The Rogerian method of argument involves each side restating the other’s position to the satisfaction of the other. In a paper, it can be expressed by carefully acknowledging and understanding the opposition, rather than dismissing them.[23]

Cross-cultural relations

The application to cross-cultural relations has involved workshops in highly stressful situations and global locations including conflicts and challenges in South Africa, Central America, and Ireland.[24] Along with Alberto Zucconi and Charles Devonshire, he co-founded the Istituto dell’Approccio Centrato sulla Persona (Person-Centered Approach Institute) in Rome, Italy.

His international work for peace culminated in the Rust Peace Workshop which took place in November 1985 in Rust, Austria. Leaders from 17 nations convened to discuss the topic “The Central America Challenge”. The meeting was notable for several reasons: it brought national figures together as people (not as their positions), it was a private event, and was an overwhelming positive experience where members heard one another and established real personal ties, as opposed to stiffly formal and regulated diplomatic meetings.[25]

Person-centered, dialogic politics

Some scholars believe there is a politics implicit in Rogers’s approach to psychotherapy.[26][27] Toward the end of his life, Rogers came to that view himself.[28] The central tenet of a Rogerian, person-centered politics is that public life does not have to consist of an endless series of winner-take-all battles among sworn opponents; rather, it can and should consist of an ongoing dialogue among all parties. Such dialogue would be characterized by respect among the parties, authentic speaking by each party, and – ultimately – empathic understanding among all parties. Out of such understanding, mutually acceptable solutions would (or at least could) flow.[26][29]

During his last decade, Rogers facilitated or participated in a wide variety of dialogic activities among politicians, activists, and other social leaders, often outside the U.S.[29] In addition, he lent his support to several non-traditional U.S. political initiatives, including the “12-Hour Political Party” of the Association for Humanistic Psychology[30] and the founding of a “transformational” political organization, the New World Alliance.[31]By the 21st century, interest in dialogic approaches to political engagement and change had become widespread, especially among academics and activists.[32] Theorists of a specifically Rogerian, person-centered approach to politics as dialogue have made substantial contributions to that project. [27][33]

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Carl Rogers served on the board of the Human Ecology Fund from the late 50s into the 60s, which was a CIA-funded organization that provided grants to researchers looking into personality. He received money as well. In addition, “he and other people in the field of personality and psychotherapy were given a lot of information about Khrushchev. ‘We were asked to figure out what we thought of him and what would be the best way of dealing with him. And that seemed to be an entirely principled and legitimate aspect. I don’t think we contributed very much, but, anyway, we tried.’ “.[34]

More on the Human Ecology Fund and Carl Rogers: [1], [2], [3]

Selected works by Carl Roger

  • Rogers, Carl. (1939). Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child
  • Rogers, Carl. (1942). Counseling and Psychotherapy: Newer Concepts in Practice.
  • Rogers, Carl. (1951). Client-Centered Therapy: Its Current Practice, Implications and Theory. London: Constable. ISBN 1-84119-840-4.
  • Rogers, C.R. (1957). The necessary and sufficient conditions of therapeutic personality change. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 21: 95-103.
  • Rogers, Carl. (1959). A Theory of Therapy, Personality and Interpersonal Relationships as Developed in the Client-centered Framework. In (ed.) S. Koch, Psychology: A Study of a Science. Vol. 3: Formulations of the Person and the Social Context. New York: McGraw Hill.
  • Rogers, Carl. (1961). On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy. London: Constable. ISBN 1-84529-057-7.Excerpts
  • Rogers, Carl. (1969). Freedom to Learn: A View of What Education Might Become. (1st ed.) Columbus, Ohio: Charles Merill. Excerpts
  • Rogers, Carl. (1970). On Encounter Groups. New York: Harrow Books, Harper and Row, ISBN 0-06-087045-1
  • Rogers, Carl. (1977). On Personal Power: Inner Strength and Its Revolutionary Impact.
  • Rogers, Carl. (nd, @1978). A personal message from Carl Rogers. In: N. J. Raskin. (2004). “Contributions to Client-Centered Therapy and the Person-Centered Approach.” (pp. v-vi). Herefordshire,United Kingdom: PCCS Books, Ross-on-the-Wye. ISBN 1-898059-57-8
  • Rogers, Carl. (1980). A Way of Being. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  • Rogers, Carl. & Stevens, B. (1967). “Person to Person: The Problem of Being Human”. Lafayette, CA: Real People Press.
  • Rogers, Carl R. (1985). The necessary and sufficient conditions of therapeutic personality change. “Journal of Consulting Psychology”, 21(2):95-103.
  • Rogers, Carl, Lyon, Harold C., & Tausch, Reinhard (2013) On Becoming an Effective Teacher – Person-centered Teaching, Psychology, Philosophy, and Dialogues with Carl R. Rogers and Harold Lyon. London: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-81698-4: http://www.routledge.com/9780415816984/

See als

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Rogers

Person-centered therapy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Person-centered therapy
Intervention
MeSH D009629

Person-centered therapy (PCT) is also known as person-centered psychotherapy, person-centered counseling, client-centered therapy and Rogerian psychotherapy. PCT is a form of psychotherapy developed by psychologistCarl Rogers in the 1940s and 1950s. The goal of PCT is to provide clients with an opportunity to realize how their attitudes and behavior are being affected.[1][further explanation needed]

Although this technique has been criticized by behaviorists for lacking structure and by psychoanalysts for actually providing a conditional relationship,[2] it has proven to be an effective and popular treatment.[3][4][5][6]

History and influences

Person-centered therapy, now considered a founding work in the humanistic school of psychotherapies, began formally with Carl Rogers.[7] “Rogerian” psychotherapy is identified as one of the major school groups, along with psychodynamic psychotherapy, psychoanalysis (most famously Sigmund Freud), classical Adlerian psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, and existential therapy (such as that pioneered by Rollo May).[8]

Rogers affirmed[7] individual personal experience as the basis and standard for living and therapeutic effect. Rogers identified six conditions which are needed to produce personality changes in clients: relationship, vulnerability to anxiety (on the part of the client), genuineness (the therapist is truly himself or herself and incorporates some self-disclosure), the client’s perception of the therapist’s genuineness, the therapist’s unconditional positive regard for the client, and accurate empathy.[9] This emphasis contrasts with the dispassionate position which may be intended in other therapies, particularly the more extreme behavioral therapies. Living in the present rather than the past or future, with organismic trust, naturalistic faith in your own thoughts and the accuracy in your feelings, and a responsible acknowledgment of your freedom, with a view toward participating fully in our world, contributing to other peoples’ lives, are hallmarks of Roger’s Person-centered therapy. Rogers also claims that the therapeutic process is essentially the accomplishments made by the client. The client having already progressed further along in their growth and maturation development, only progresses further with the aid of a psychologically favored environment.[10]

The necessary and sufficient conditions

Rogers (1957; 1959) stated[9] that there are six necessary and sufficient conditions required for therapeutic change:

  1. Therapist–client psychological contact: a relationship between client and therapist must exist, and it must be a relationship in which each person’s perception of the other is important.
  2. Client incongruence: that incongruence exists between the client’s experience and awareness.
  3. Therapist congruence, or genuineness: the therapist is congruent within the therapeutic relationship. The therapist is deeply involved him or herself — they are not “acting”—and they can draw on their own experiences (self-disclosure) to facilitate the relationship.
  4. Therapist unconditional positive regard (UPR): the therapist accepts the client unconditionally, without judgment, disapproval or approval. This facilitates increased self-regard in the client, as they can begin to become aware of experiences in which their view of self-worth was distorted by others.
  5. Therapist empathic understanding: the therapist experiences an empathic understanding of the client’s internal frame of reference. Accurate empathy on the part of the therapist helps the client believe the therapist’s unconditional love for them.
  6. Client perception: that the client perceives, to at least a minimal degree, the therapist’s UPR and empathic understanding.

Three of these conditions have become known as the ‘Core Conditions’ 3, 4 and 5 (above).

Core conditions

Rogers asserted that the most important factor in successful therapy is the relational climate created by the therapist’s attitude to their client. He specified three interrelated core conditions:

  1. Congruence – the willingness to transparently relate to clients without hiding behind a professional or personal facade.
  2. Unconditional positive regard – the therapist offers an acceptance and prizing for their client for who he or she is without conveying disapproving feelings, actions or characteristics and demonstrating a willingness to attentively listen without interruption, judgement or giving advice.
  3. Empathy – the therapist communicates their desire to understand and appreciate their client’s perspective.

Processes

Rogers believed that a therapist who embodies the three critical and reflexive attitudes (the three ‘Core Conditions’) will help liberate their client to more confidently express their true feelings without fear of judgement. To achieve this, the client-centered therapist carefully avoids directly challenging their client’s way of communicating themselves in the session in order to enable a deeper exploration of the issues most intimate to them and free from external referencing.[11] Rogers was not prescriptive in telling his clients what to do, but believed that the answers to the patients’ questions were within the patient and not the therapist. Accordingly, the therapists’ role was to create a facilitative, empathic environment wherein the patient could discover the answers for him or herself. Reference: Rogers, Lyon, Tausch. On Becoming an Effective Teacher, Routledge 2013. p. 23.

See also

References

Notes

  1. Jump up^ Cepeda, Lisa M.; Davenport, Donna S. (2006). “Person-Centered Therapy and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: An Integration of Present and Future Awareness”. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training. Educational Publishing Foundation. 43 (1): 1–12. doi:10.1037/0033-3204.43.1.1.
  2. Jump up^ Prochaska, J. O., & Norcross, J. C. (2007). Systems of Psychotherapy: A Trans-theoretical Analysis, Sixth Edition. Belmont, CA: Thompson Brooks/Cole.
  3. Jump up^ Cooper, M., Watson, J. C., & Hoeldampf, D. (2010). Person-centered and experiential therapies work: A review of the research on counseling, psychotherapy and related practices. Ross-on-Wye, UK: PCCS Books.
  4. Jump up^ Ward, E., King, M., Lloyd, M., Bower, P., Sibbald, B., Farrelly, S., et al. (2000). Randomized controlled trial of non-directive counseling, cognitive-behavior therapy, and usual general practitioner care for patients with depression. I: Clinical effectiveness. British Medical Journal, 321, 1383-1388.
  5. Jump up^ Bower, P., Byford, S., Sibbald, B., Ward, E., King, M., Lloyd, R., et al. (2000). Randomized controlled trial of non-directive counseling, cognitive-behavior therapy, and usual general practitioner care for patients with depression. II: Cost effectiveness. British Medical Journal, 321, 1389-1392.
  6. Jump up^ Shechtman, Z., Pastor, R., 2005. Cognitive-behavioral and humanistic group treatment for children with learning disabilities: A comparison of outcomes and process. Journal of Counseling Psychology 52, 322-336.
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b Prochaska, J.O & Norcross, J.C. 2007. Systems of Psychotherapy: A Trans-theoretical Analysis. Thompson Books/Cole:New York, p.138
  8. Jump up^ Prochaska, J.O & Norcross, J.C. 2007. Systems of Psychotherapy: A Trans-theoretical Analysis. Thompson Books/Cole:New York, p.3
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b Prochaska, J.O & Norcross, J.C. 2007. Systems of Psychotherapy: A Trans-theoretical Analysis. Thompson Books/Cole:New York, p. 142-143
  10. Jump up^ Rogers, Carl (1951). “Client-Centered Therapy” Cambridge Massachusetts: The Riverside Press.
  11. Jump up^ “Person-centered therapy” on the Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders website

Bibliography

  • Arnold, Kyle. (2014). Behind the Mirror: Reflective Listening and its Tain in the Work of Carl Rogers. The Humanistic Psychologist, 42:4 354-369.
  • Bruno, Frank J. (1977). Client-Centered Counseling: Becoming a Person. In Human Adjustment and Personal Growth: Seven Pathways, pp. 362–370. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Cooper, M., O’Hara, M, Schmid, P., and Wyatt, G. (2007). The Handbook of person-centered psychotherapy and counseling. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Rogers, Carl (1961). On Becoming a PersonISBN 0-395-75531-X
  • Rogers, C. (1957) ‘The necessary and sufficient conditions of therapeutic personality change’, Journal of Consulting Psychology, 21 (2): 95-103
  • Rogers, Carl. (1959). A Theory of Therapy, Personality and Interpersonal Relationships as Developed in the Client-centered Framework. In (ed.) S. Koch, Psychology: A Study of a Science. Vol. 3: Formulations of the Person and the Social Context. New York: McGraw Hill.
  • Rogers, Carl (1980). A Way of Being. Boston: Houghton Mifflin
  • Poyrazli, S. (2003, March). Validity of Rogerian Therapy in Turkish Culture: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education & Development, 42(1), 107-115. Retrieved October 7, 2008, from PsycINFO database.
  • Prochaska, J.O & Norcross, J.C. 2007. Systems of Psychotherapy: A Trans-theoretical Analysis. Thompson Books/Cole:New York.
  • Rogers, Carl (1951). “Client-Centered Therapy” Cambridge Massachusetts: The Riverside Press.
  • Rogers, Carl, Lyon, HC, Tausch, R. (2013). On Becoming an Effective Teacher – Person-centered teaching, Psychology, Philosophy, and Dialogues with Carl R. Rogers and Harold Lyon. London: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-81698-4: http://www.routledge.com/9780415816984/

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person-centered_therapy

 

Humanistic psychology is a psychological perspective that rose to prominence in the mid-20th century in answer to the limitations of Sigmund Freud‘s psychoanalytic theory and B. F. Skinner‘s behaviorism.[1] With its roots running from Socrates through the Renaissance, this approach emphasizes individuals’ inherent drive towards self-actualization, the process of realizing and expressing one’s own capabilities and creativity.

It helps the client gain the belief that all people are inherently good.[2] It adopts a holistic approach to human existence and pays special attention to such phenomena as creativity, free will, and positive human potential. It encourages viewing ourselves as a “whole person” greater than the sum of our parts and encourages self exploration rather than the study of behavior in other people. Humanistic psychology acknowledges spiritual aspiration as an integral part of the human psyche. It is linked to the emerging field of transpersonal psychology.[3][4]

Primarily, this type of therapy encourages a self-awareness and mindfulness that helps the client change their state of mind and behaviour from one set of reactions to a healthier one with more productive self-awareness and thoughtful actions. Essentially, this approach allows the merging of mindfulness and behavioural therapy, with positive social support.

In an article from the Association for Humanistic Psychology, the benefits of humanistic therapy are described as having a “crucial opportunity to lead our troubled culture back to its own healthy path. More than any other therapy, Humanistic-Existential therapy models democracy. It imposes ideologies of others upon the client less than other therapeutic practices. Freedom to choose is maximized. We validate our clients’ human potential.”.[2]

In the 20th century, humanistic psychology was referred to as the “third force” in psychology, distinct from earlier, even less humanistic approaches of psychoanalysis and behaviorism. In our post industrial society, humanistic psychology has become more significant; for example, neither psychoanalysis nor behaviorism could have birthed emotional intelligence.

Its principal professional organizations in the US are the Association for Humanistic Psychology and the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32 of the American Psychological Association). In Britain, there is the UK Association for Humanistic Psychology Practitioners.

Origins[edit]

One of humanistic psychology’s early sources was the work of Carl Rogers, who was strongly influenced by Otto Rank, who broke with Freud in the mid-1920s. Rogers’ focus was to ensure that the developmental processes led to healthier, if not more creative, personality functioning. The term ‘actualizing tendency’ was also coined by Rogers, and was a concept that eventually led Abraham Maslow to study self-actualization as one of the needs of humans.[5][6] Rogers and Maslow introduced this positive, humanistic psychology in response to what they viewed as the overly pessimistic view of psychoanalysis.[7][8]

The other sources of inspiration include the philosophies of existentialism and phenomenology.

Conceptual origins

The humanistic approach has its roots in phenomenological and existentialist thought[9] (see Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Sartre). Eastern philosophy and psychology also play a central role in humanistic psychology, as well as Judeo-Christian philosophies of personalism, as each shares similar concerns about the nature of human existence and consciousness.[4]

Line drawing of Carl Rogers's head

Carl Rogers (1902–1987), one of the founders of humanistic psychology.

For further information on influential figures in personalism, see: Emmanuel Mounier, Gabriel Marcel, Denis de Rougemont, Jacques Maritain, Martin Buber, Emmanuel Levinas, Max Scheler and Karol Wojtyla

As behaviorism grew out of Ivan Pavlov‘s work with the conditioned reflex, and laid the foundations for academic psychology in the United States associated with the names of John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner, Abraham Maslow gave behaviorism the name “the second force”. Historically “the first force” were psychologists like Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, Erik Erikson, Carl Jung, Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, Melanie Klein, Harry Stack Sullivan, and others.[10]

In the late 1930s, psychologists, interested in the uniquely human issues, such as the self, self-actualization, health, hope, love, creativity, nature, being, becoming, individuality, and meaning—that is, a concrete understanding of human existence, included Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Clark Moustakas, who were interested in founding a professional association dedicated to a psychology focused on these features of human capital demanded by post-industrial society.

The humanistic psychology perspective is summarized by five core principles or postulates of humanistic psychology first articulated in an article written by James Bugental in 1964[11]and adapted by Tom Greening,[12] psychologist and long-time editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology. The five basic principles of humanistic psychology are:

  1. Human beings, as human, supersede the sum of their parts. They cannot be reduced to components.
  2. Human beings have their existence in a uniquely human context, as well as in a cosmic ecology.
  3. Human beings are aware and are aware of being aware – i.e., they are conscious. Human consciousness always includes an awareness of oneself in the context of other people.
  4. Human beings have the ability to make choices and therefore have responsibility.
  5. Human beings are intentional, aim at goals, are aware that they cause future events, and seek meaning, value, and creativity.

While humanistic psychology is a specific division within the American Psychological Association (Division 32), humanistic psychology is not so much a discipline within psychology as a perspective on the human condition that informs psychological research and practice.

Practical origins

WW II created practical pressures on military psychologists, they had more patients to see and care for than time or resources permitted. The origins of group therapy are here.[citation needed] Eric Berne’s progression of books shows this transition out of what we might call pragmatic psychology of WW II into his later innovation, Transactional Analysis,[citation needed] one of the most influential forms of humanistic Popular Psychology of the later 1960s-1970s.

Orientation to scientific research

Humanistic psychologists generally do not believe that we will understand human consciousness and behavior through Cartesian-Newtonian scientific research.[13] The objection that humanistic psychologists have to traditional research methods is that they are derived from and suited for the physical sciences[14] and not especially appropriate to studying the complexities and nuances of human meaning-making.[15][16][17]

However, humanistic psychology has involved scientific research of human behavior since its inception. For example:

  • Abraham Maslow proposed many of his theories of human growth in the form of testable hypotheses,[18][19][20] and he encouraged human scientists to put them to the test.
  • Shortly after the founding of the American Association of Humanistic Psychology, its president, psychologist Sidney Jourard, began his column by declaring that “research” is a priority. “Humanistic Psychology will be best served if it is undergirded with research that seeks to throw light on the qualities of man that are uniquely human” (emphasis added)[21]
  • In May 1966, the AAHP release a newsletter editorial that confirmed the humanistic psychologist’s “allegiance to meaningfulness in the selection of problems for study and of research procedures, and an opposition to a primary emphasis on objectivity at the expense of significance.”[22] This underscored the importance of research to humanistic psychologists as well as their interest in special forms of human science investigation.
  • Likewise, in 1980, the American Psychological Association’s publication for humanistic psychology (Division 32 of APA) ran an article titled, What makes research humanistic?[23] As Donald Polkinghorne notes, “Humanistic theory does not propose that human action is completely independent of the environment or the mechanical and organic orders of the body, but it does suggest that, within the limits of experienced meanings, persons as unities can choose to act in ways not determined by prior events…and this is the theory we seek to test through our research” (p. 3).

A human science view is not opposed to quantitative methods, but, following Edmund Husserl:

  1. favors letting the methods be derived from the subject matter and not uncritically adopting the methods of natural science,[24] and
  2. advocates for methodological pluralism. Consequently, much of the subject matter of psychology lends itself to qualitative approaches (e.g., the lived experience of grief), and quantitative methods are mainly appropriate when something can be counted without leveling the phenomena (e.g., the length of time spent crying).

Research has remained part of the humanistic psychology agenda, though with more of a holistic than reductionistic focus. Specific humanistic research methods evolved in the decades following the formation of the humanistic psychology movement.[25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34]

Development of the field

These preliminary meetings eventually led to other developments, which culminated in the description of humanistic psychology as a recognizable “third force” in psychology (first force: psychoanalysis, second force: behaviorism). Significant developments included the formation of the Association for Humanistic Psychology (AHP) in 1961 and the launch of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology (originally “The Phoenix”) in 1961.

Subsequently, graduate programs in Humanistic Psychology at institutions of higher learning grew in number and enrollment. In 1971, humanistic psychology as a field was recognized by the American Psychological Association (APA) and granted its own division (Division 32) within the APA. Division 32 publishes its own academic journal called The Humanistic Psychologist.[4] In 1972, KOCE TV and the Coast Community College District, produced an award winning television series titled As Man Behaves with Carl Rogers as a primary consultant, working with Mathew Duncan as psychologist host and with Bernard Luskin executive producer. This was one of the most viewed television series in psychology ever produced and widely fostered the various aspects of humanistic psychology.[citation needed]

The major theorists considered to have prepared the ground for Humanistic Psychology are Otto Rank, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers and Rollo May. Maslow was heavily influenced by Kurt Goldstein during their years together at Brandeis University. Psychoanalytic writers also influenced humanistic psychology. Maslow himself famously acknowledged his “indebtedness to Freud” in Towards a Psychology of Being[35] Other psychoanalytic influences include the work of Wilhelm Reich, who discussed an essentially ‘good’, healthy core self and Character Analysis (1933), and Carl Gustav Jung‘s mythological and archetypal emphasis. Other noteworthy inspirations for, and leaders of the movement include Roberto Assagioli, Gordon Allport, Medard Boss, Martin Buber (close to Jacob L. Moreno), James Bugental, Viktor Frankl, Erich Fromm, Hans-Werner Gessmann, Amedeo Giorgi, Kurt Goldstein, Sidney Jourard, R. D. Laing, Clark Moustakas, Lewis Mumford, Fritz Perls, Anthony Sutich, Thomas Szasz, Kirk J. Schneider, and Ken Wilber.[4][36] Carl Rogers was trained in psychoanalysis before developing humanistic psychology.[5]

Counseling and therapy

Pyramid diagram illustrating Maslow's theory of needs

Diagram illustrating the “hierarchy of needs” theory of Abraham Maslow (1908–1970). Click to enlarge.

The aim of humanistic therapy is usually to help the client develop a stronger and healthier sense of self, also called self-actualization.[4][37] Humanistic therapy attempts to teach clients that they have potential for self-fulfillment. This type of therapy is insight-based, meaning that the therapist attempts to provide the client with insights about their inner conflicts.[38]

Approaches

Humanistic psychology includes several approaches to counseling and therapy. Among the earliest approaches we find the developmental theory of Abraham Maslow, emphazising a hierarchy of needs and motivations; the existential psychology of Rollo May acknowledging human choice and the tragic aspects of human existence; and the person-centered or client-centered therapy of Carl Rogers, which is centered on the client’s capacity for self-direction and understanding of his or her own development.[37] Client-centered therapy is non-directive; the therapist listens to the client without judgement, allowing the client to come to insights by themselves.[38] The therapist should ensure that all of the client’s feelings are being considered and that the therapist has a firm grasp on the concerns of the client while ensuring that there is an air of acceptance and warmth.[5] Client-centered therapist engages in active listening during therapy sessions.[38]

A therapist cannot be completely non-directive, however a nonjudgmental, accepting environment that provides unconditional positive regard will incite feelings of acceptance and value within the patients.[38]

Existential psychotherapies, an application of humanistic psychology, applies existential philosophy, which emphasizes the idea that humans have the freedom to make sense of their lives. They are free to define themselves and do whatever it is they want to do. This is a type of humanistic therapy that forces the client to explore the meaning of their life, as well as its purpose. There is a conflict between having freedoms and having limitations. Examples of limitations include genetics, culture, and many other factors. Existential therapy involves trying to resolve this conflict.[5]

Another approach to humanistic counseling and therapy is Gestalt therapy, which puts a focus on the here and now, especially as an opportunity to look past any preconceived notions and focus on how the present is affected by the past. Role playing also plays a large role in Gestalt therapy and allows for a true expression of feelings that may not have been shared in other circumstances. In Gestalt therapy, non-verbal cues are an important indicator of how the client may actually be feeling, despite the feelings expressed.

Also part of the range of humanistic psychotherapy are concepts from depth therapy, holistic health, encounter groups, sensitivity training, marital and family therapies, body work, the existential psychotherapy of Medard Boss,[4] and Positive Psychology.[39]

Most recently Compassionate Communication, the rebranding of Nonviolent Communication of Marshall Rosenberg seems to be the leading edge of innovation in this field because it is one of very few psychologies with both a simple and clear model of the human psyche and a simple and clear methodology, suitable for any two persons to address and resolve interpersonal conflict without expert intervention, a first in the field.[citation needed]

Empathy and self-help

Empathy is one of the most important aspects of humanistic therapy. This idea focuses on the therapist’s ability to see the world through the eyes of the client. Without this, therapists can be forced to apply an external frame of reference where the therapist is no longer understanding the actions and thoughts of the client as the client would, but strictly as a therapist which defeats the purpose of humanistic therapy. Included in empathizing, unconditional positive regard is one of the key elements of humanistic psychology. Unconditional positive regard refers to the care that the therapist needs to have for the client. This ensures that the therapist does not become the authority figure in the relationship allowing for a more open flow of information as well as a kinder relationship between the two. A therapist practicing humanistic therapy needs to show a willingness to listen and ensure the comfort of the patient where genuine feelings may be shared but are not forced upon someone.[5] Marshall Rosenberg, one of Carl Rogers’ students, emphasizes empathy in the relationship in his concept of Nonviolent Communication.

Self-help is also part of humanistic psychology: Sheila Ernst and Lucy Goodison have described using some of the main humanistic approaches in self-help groups.[40] Humanistic Psychology is applicable to self-help because it is oriented towards changing the way a person thinks. One can only improve once they decide to change their ways of thinking about themselves, once they decide to help themselves. Co-counselling, which is an approach based purely on self-help, is regarded as coming from humanistic psychology as well.[41] Humanistic theory has had a strong influence on other forms of popular therapy, including Harvey JackinsRe-evaluation Counselling and the work of Carl Rogers, including his student Eugene Gendlin; (see Focusing) as well as on the development of the Humanistic Psychodrama by Hans-Werner Gessmann since the 80s.[42]

The ideal self

The ideal self and real self involve understanding the issues that arise from having an idea of what you wish you were as a person, and having that not match with who you actually are as a person (incongruence). The ideal self is what a person believes should be done, as well as what their core values are. The real self is what is actually played out in life. Through humanistic therapy, an understanding of the present allows clients to add positive experiences to their real self-concept. The goal is to have the two concepts of self become congruent. Rogers believed that only when a therapist was able to be congruent, a real relationship occurs in therapy. It is much easier to trust someone who is willing to share feelings openly, even if it may not be what the client always wants; this allows the therapist to foster a strong relationship.[5]

Non-pathological

Humanistic psychology tends to look beyond the medical model of psychology in order to open up a nonpathologizing view of the person.[37] This usually implies that the therapist downplays the pathological aspects of a person’s life in favour of the healthy aspects. Humanistic psychology tries to be a science of human experience, focusing on the actual lived experience of persons.[4] Therefore, a key ingredient is the actual meeting of therapist and client and the possibilities for dialogue to ensue between them. The role of the therapist is to create an environment where the client can freely express any thoughts or feelings; he does not suggest topics for conversation nor does he guide the conversation in any way. The therapist also does not analyze or interpret the client’s behavior or any information the client shares. The role of the therapist is to provide empathy and to listen attentively to the client.[5]

Societal application

Social Change

While personal transformation may be the primary focus of most humanistic psychologists, many now investigate pressing social, cultural, and gender issues.[43] Even the earliest writers who were associated with and inspired by psychological humanism[4] explored topics as diverse as the political nature of “normal” and everyday experience (R. D. Laing), the disintegration of the capacity to love in modern consumerist society (Erich Fromm),[44] the growing technological dominance over human life (Medard Boss), and the question of evil (Rollo May and Carl Rogers).

In 1978, the Association for Humanistic Psychology (AHP) embarked on a three-year effort to explore how the principles of humanistic psychology could be used to further the process of positive social and political change.[45] The effort included a “12-Hour Political Party”, held in San Francisco in 1980, where nearly 1,400 attendees[46] discussed presentations by such non-traditional social thinkers as Ecotopia author Ernest Callenbach, Aquarian Conspiracy author Marilyn Ferguson, Person/Planet author Theodore Roszak, and New Age Politics author Mark Satin.[47] The emergent perspective was summarized in a manifesto by AHP President George Leonard. It proffered such ideas as moving to a slow-growth or no-growth economy, decentralizing and “deprofessionalizing” society, and teaching social and emotional competencies in order to provide a foundation for more humane public policies and a healthier culture.[48]

There have been many other attempts to articulate humanistic-psychology-oriented approaches to social change. For example, in 1979 California state legislator John Vasconcellos published a book calling for the integration of liberal politics and humanistic-psychological insight.[49] From 1979–1983 the New World Alliance, a U.S. political organization based in Washington, D.C., attempted to inject humanistic-psychology ideas into political thinking and processes;[50] sponsors of its newsletter included Vasconcellos and Carl Rogers.[51]

In 1989 Maureen O’Hara, who had worked with both Carl Rogers and Paolo Freire, pointed to a convergence between the two thinkers. According to O’Hara, both focus on developing critical consciousness of situations which oppress and dehumanize.[52] Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Institute of Noetic Sciences president Willis Harman argued that significant social change cannot occur without significant consciousness change.[53] In the 21st century, humanistic psychologists such as Edmund Bourne[54] and Joanna Macy[55] continue to apply psychological insights to social and political issues.

In addition to its uses in thinking about social change, humanistic psychology is considered to be the main theoretical and methodological source of humanistic social work.[56][57]

Creativity in corporations

Humanistic psychology’s emphasis on creativity and wholeness created a foundation for new approaches towards human capital in the workplace stressing creativity and the relevance of emotional interactions. Previously the connotations of “creativity” were reserved for and primarily restricted to, working artists. In the 1980s, with increasing numbers of people working in the cognitive-cultural economy, creativity came to be seen as a useful commodity and competitive edge for international brands. This led to corporate creativity training in-service trainings for employees, led pre-eminently by Ned Herrmann at G.E. in the late 1970s.

Humanistic psychology concepts were embraced in education and social work, peaking in the 1970s-1980s, particularly in North America. However, as with whole language theory, training practice were too superficial in most institutional settings. Though humanistic psychology raised the bar of insight and understanding of the whole person, professionally it is primarily practiced today by individual licensed counselors and therapists. Outside of that humanistic psychology provides the foundation for virtually every method of Energy Medicine; yet, too little coherence exists yet in this field to discuss it easily.

Humanistic social work

After psychotherapy, social work is the most important beneficiary of the humanistic psychology’s theory and methodology.[58] These have produced a deep reform of the modern social work theory and practice,[59]leading, among others, to the occurrence of a particular theory and methodology: the humanistic social work. Most values and principles of the humanistic social work practice, described by Malcolm Payne in his book Humanistic Social Work: Core Principles in Practice, namely creativity in human life and practice, developing self and spirituality, developing security and resilience, accountability, flexibility and complexity in human life and practice,[56] directly originate from the humanistic psychological theory and humanistic psychotherapy practice.

Also, the representation and approach of the client (as human being) and social issue (as human issue) in social work is made from the humanistic psychology position. According to Petru Stefaroi, the way humanistic representation and approach of the client and his personality is represented is, in fact, the theoretical-axiological and methodological foundation of humanistic social work.[60]

In setting goals and the intervention activities, in order to solve social/human problems, there prevail critical terms and categories of the humanistic psychology and psychotherapy, such as: self-actualization, human potential, holistic approach, human being, free will, subjectivity, human experience, self-determination/development, spirituality, creativity, positive thinking, client-centered and context-centered approach/intervention, empathy, personal growth, empowerment.[61]

See also


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