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Carl Rogers. The Humanistic Approach. Biography. Carl grew up on a farm in Illinois, developing an interest in biology & agriculture. Expressing emotions was not allowed in the Rogers household & it took its toll on Carl who developed an ulcer at 15.

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Carl Rogers

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carl rogers

Carl Rogers

The Humanistic Approach

  • Carl grew up on a farm in Illinois, developing an interest in biology & agriculture.
  • Expressing emotions was not allowed in the Rogers household & it took its toll on Carl who developed an ulcer at 15.
  • Rogers went to the University of Wisconsin to study agriculture in 1919.
  • He changed careers becoming interested in religious studies. He finished his degree and left for Union Theological Seminary in NY to become a minister.
  • Rogers view of humanistic psychology was at odds with Freudian theory & behaviorism.
  • He gained recognition when he won the APA award for distinguished scientific contribution in 1956.
  • In 1963, he moved to LaJolla, California. Developed the Center for Studies of the Person.
  • He continued his scientific efforts, writing, holding workshops, etc. until he died in 1987.
basic premise
Basic Premise
  • Humans are motivated through an innate potential to actualize, maintain and enhance the self
  • Sees people as basically good
experiential world
Experiential World
  • Phenomenology
    • The reality of our environment depends on our perception of it
    • Subjective perception of reality
emergence of self concept
Emergence of Self-Concept
  • Self-concept: How I see myself
  • As infants grow, they develop the need for positive regard
  • Positive regard: Acceptance, love and approval from others
  • Child does not receive positive regard: fails to develop actualizing tendency fully
unconditional positive regard
Unconditional Positive Regard
  • Approval granted regardless of behavior
  • Conditions of worth
  • Conditional positive regard
  • Positive self-regard
    • Eventually grant positive regard to ourselves
  • Discrepancy between self-concept and aspects of experience
  • Experiences inconsistent with how we see ourselves cause anxiety
  • Psychological adjustment/emotional health
characteristics of fully functioning persons self actualizing
Characteristics of Fully Functioning Persons (Self-Actualizing)
  • Awareness of all experiences
  • Live fully in the moment
  • Trust own behavior and experience
  • Sense of freedom in decision making
  • Creative, flexible to change
  • Recognition difficulties will inevitably arise
  • No aspect is predetermined
  • Actualizing tendency: Innate, but more influenced by social factors than biological
  • Accounts for childhood, but later experiences are more important
  • Optimistic, positive view of change as

possible at any point over the lifespan

person centered therapy
Person-Centered Therapy
  • Represents a shift from medical model to growth model
  • Strong emphasis on the therapeutic relationship
3 conditions in person centered therapy
3 Conditions in Person-Centered Therapy
  • Conditions are necessary and sufficient for change
    • Empathy
    • Congruence/Genuineness
    • Unconditional Positive Regard
carl rogers person centered approach
Carl Rogers: Person-Centered Approach
  • Rogers believed that humans are basically good.
  • He argued that we have an innate drive to reach an optimal sense of ourselves & satisfaction with our lives.
  • He felt that the process by which we do this, not the end result is what matters.
  • A person who does this is what he calls a “Fully Functioning Person.”
characteristics of a fully functioning person
Characteristics of a Fully Functioning Person
  • 1. These people are open to their experiences. They strive to experience life to its fullest & are willing to take some risks.
  • 2. These people live in the present (here & now).
  • 3. These folks trust their own feelings & instincts. They aren’t held back by old standards or concern for what others might think.
  • 4. These folks are less concern with social conventions.
conditions of worth unconditional positive regard
Conditions of Worth & Unconditional Positive Regard
  • Rogers argues that most of us grow up in an atmosphere where we are given love & support as long as we behave the way we are expected to.
  • This is what he calls Conditional positive regard. The emphasis is that love is given conditionally (with a string attached).
if we don t do what our parents want us to do
If we don’t do what our parents want us to do?
  • Rogers argued that in these cases, parents withhold their love from us.
  • As a result of this, children learn to abandon their true feelings, wishes, & desires, for those of their parents.
  • This paves the way for us to become alienated from our true selves.
unconditional positive regard17
Unconditional positive regard
  • We need this to accept all parts of our personality.
  • With this we know we are loved & valued for being who we are.
  • Parents can do this, by it clear that their love is not contingent on the child’s behavior (even when such behavior is abhored).
research in rogers theory
Research in Rogers’ Theory
  • Q-Sort Technique
    • Client sorts large number of statements about self-concept into categories
    • Goal: Reduce the discrepancy between the ideal and actual self
  • Incongruence between perceived self and ideal self indicates poor emotional adjustment
  • Failures to realize actualizing tendency can lead to maladjustment
criticisms of rogers theory
Criticisms of Rogers’ Theory
  • Ignores aspects of personality that client may be unaware of, but that still influence client’s behavior
  • Ambiguous concepts: Self-actualizing tendency
contributions of rogers
Contributions of Rogers
  • Research in psychotherapy
  • Growth model
  • Emphasis on developing self-concept in personality
  • Conditions necessary for therapy accepted and used in many other schools of therapy