|Born||January 8, 1902|
Oak Park, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||February 4, 1987 85) (aged|
|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)|
|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)|
|Institutions|| Ohio State University |
University of Chicago
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Western Behavioral Sciences Institute
Center for Studies of the Person
|Influences||Otto Rank, Søren Kierkegaard, Martin Buber, Friedrich Nietzsche, Leta Stetter Hollingworth|
Carl Ransom Rogers (January 8, 1902 – February 4, 1987) was an American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach (and client-centered approach) in 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 Steven J. Haggbloom and colleagues 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. Based on a 1982 survey among 422 respondents of US and Canadian psychologists, he was considered the first most influential psychotherapist in history (Sigmund Freud was ranked third).
Rogers was born on January 8, 1902, in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. His father, Walter A. Rogers, was a civil engineer, a Congregationalist by denomination. His mother, Julia M. Cushing,was a homemaker and devout Baptist. Carl was the fourth of their six children.
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 (New York City). Sometime afterwards he became an atheist.Although referred to as an atheist early in his career, Rogers eventually came to be described as agnostic. However, in his later years it is reported he spoke about spirituality. Thorne, who knew Rogers and worked with him on a number of occasions during his final ten years, writes that, “in his later years his openness to experience compelled him to acknowledge the existence of a dimension to which he attached such adjectives as mystical, spiritual, and transcendental.” Rogers concluded that there is a realm "beyond" scientific psychology, a realm which he came to prize as "the indescribable, the spiritual."
After two years he left the seminary to attend Teachers College, Columbia University, obtaining an M.A. in 1928 and a Ph.D. 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,especially as embodied in the work of Rank's disciple, noted clinician and social work educator Jessie Taft. 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 counselling center at the University of Chicago. In 1947 he was elected President of the American Psychological Association.While a professor of psychology at the University of Chicago (1945–57), Rogers helped to establish a counselling 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. He taught psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1957–63), during which time he wrote one of his best-known books, On Becoming Person (1961). A student of his there, Marshall Rosenberg, would go on to develop Nonviolent Communication. 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. Carl Rogers was also one of the people who questioned the rise of McCarthyism in the 1950s. Through articles, he criticized society for its backward-looking affinities.
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.
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.
Between 1974 and 1984, Rogers, together with his daughter Natalie Rogers, and psychologists Maria Bowen, Maureen O'Hara, and John K. Wood, 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.
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 after a heart attack.
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Rogers' theory of the self is considered to be humanistic, existential, and phenomenological.His theory is based directly on the "phenomenal field" personality theory of Combs and Snygg (1949). 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."
His theory (as of 1951) was based on 19 propositions:
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".
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)
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.
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):
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)
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.
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 and 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.
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 ),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.Porter used Rogers' transcripts to devise a system to measure the degree of directiveness or non-directiveness a counselor employed. The attitude and orientation of the counselor were demonstrated to be instrumental in the decisions made by the client.
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.Rogers had the following five hypotheses regarding learner-centered education:
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, among other principles. In a paper, it can be expressed by carefully acknowledging and understanding the opposition, rather than dismissing them.
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.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.
Some scholars believe there is a politics implicit in Rogers's approach to psychotherapy.Toward the end of his life, Rogers came to that view himself. 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.
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.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 and the founding of a "transformational" political organization, the New World Alliance. By the 21st century, interest in dialogic approaches to political engagement and change had become widespread, especially among academics and activists. Theorists of a specifically Rogerian, person-centered approach to politics as dialogue have made substantial contributions to that project.
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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. 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."
Psychotherapy is the use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction with adults, to help a person change behavior and overcome problems in desired ways. Psychotherapy aims to improve an individual's well-being and mental health, to resolve or mitigate troublesome behaviors, beliefs, compulsions, thoughts, or emotions, and to improve relationships and social skills. There are also numerous types of psychotherapy designed for children and adolescents, such as play therapy. Certain psychotherapies are considered evidence-based for treating some diagnosed mental disorders. Others have been criticized as pseudoscience.
Personality psychology is a branch of psychology that studies personality and its variation among individuals. It is a scientific study which aims to show how people are individually different due to psychological forces. Its areas of focus include:
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. With its roots running from Socrates through the Renaissance, this approach emphasizes the individual's inherent drive toward self-actualization, the process of realizing and expressing one's own capabilities and creativity.
Gestalt therapy is a form of psychotherapy which emphasizes personal responsibility, and focuses upon the individual's experience in the present moment, the therapist–client relationship, the environmental and social contexts of a person's life, and the self-regulating adjustments people make as a result of their overall situation. It was developed by Fritz Perls, Laura Perls and Paul Goodman in the 1940s and 1950s, and was first described in the 1951 book Gestalt Therapy.
Clinical psychology is an integration of science, theory, and clinical knowledge for the purpose of understanding, preventing, and relieving psychologically-based distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well-being and personal development. Central to its practice are psychological assessment, clinical formulation, and psychotherapy, although clinical psychologists also engage in research, teaching, consultation, forensic testimony, and program development and administration. In many countries, clinical psychology is a regulated mental health profession.
Counseling psychology is a psychological specialty that encompasses research and applied work in several broad domains: counseling process and outcome; supervision and training; career development and counseling; and prevention and health. Some unifying themes among counseling psychologists include a focus on assets and strengths, person–environment interactions, educational and career development, brief interactions, and a focus on intact personalities.
Person-centered therapy, also known as person-centered psychotherapy, person-centered counseling, client-centered therapy and Rogerian psychotherapy, is a form of psychotherapy developed by psychologist Carl Rogers beginning in the 1940s and extending into the 1980s. Person-centered therapy seeks to facilitate a client's self-actualizing tendency, "an inbuilt proclivity toward growth and fulfillment", via acceptance, therapist congruence (genuineness), and empathic understanding.
Unconditional positive regard, a concept developed by the humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers, is the basic acceptance and support of a person regardless of what the person says or does, especially in the context of client-centred therapy. Its founder, Carl Rogers, writes:
For me it expresses the primary theme of my whole professional life, as that theme has been clarified through experience, interaction with others, and research. This theme has been utilized and found effective in many different areas until the broad label 'a person-centred approach' seems the most descriptive. The central hypothesis of this approach can be briefly stated. It is that the individual has within him or her self vast resources for self-understanding, for altering her or his self-concept, attitudes, and self-directed behaviour—and that these resources can be tapped if only a definable climate of facilitative psychological attitudes can be provided.
Eugene T. Gendlin was an American philosopher who developed ways of thinking about and working with living process, the bodily felt sense and the "philosophy of the implicit". Though he had no degree in the field of psychology, his advanced study with Carl Rogers, his longtime practice of psychotherapy and his extensive writings in the field of psychology have made him perhaps better known in that field than in philosophy. He studied under Carl Rogers, the founder of client-centered therapy, at the University of Chicago and received his PhD in philosophy in 1958. Gendlin's theories impacted Rogers' own beliefs and played a role in Rogers' view of psychotherapy. From 1958 to 1963 Gendlin was Research Director at the Wisconsin Psychiatric Institute of the University of Wisconsin. He served as an associate professor in the departments of Philosophy and Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago from 1964 until 1995.
Individual psychology is the psychological method or science founded by the Viennese psychiatrist Alfred Adler. The English edition of Adler's work on the subject (1925) is a collection of papers and lectures given mainly in 1912–1914, and covers the whole range of human psychology in a single survey, intended to mirror the indivisible unity of the personality.
Self-actualization, in Maslow's hierarchy of needs, is the highest level of psychological development, where personal potential is fully realized after basic bodily and ego needs have been fulfilled.
Phenomenology within psychology is the psychological study of subjective experience. It is an approach to psychological subject matter that has its roots in the phenomenological philosophical work of Edmund Husserl. Early phenomenologists such as Husserl, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty conducted philosophical investigations of consciousness in the early 20th century. Their critiques of psychologism and positivism later influenced at least two main fields of contemporary psychology: the phenomenological psychological approach of the Duquesne School, including Amedeo Giorgi and Frederick Wertz; and the experimental approaches associated with Francisco Varela, Shaun Gallagher, Evan Thompson, and others. Other names associated with the movement include Jonathan Smith, Steinar Kvale, and Wolfgang Köhler. But "an even stronger influence on psychopathology came from Heidegger (1963), particularly through Kunz (1931), Blankenburg (1971), Tellenbach (1983), Binswanger (1994), and others." Phenomenological psychologists have also figured prominently in the history of the humanistic psychology movement.
The therapeutic relationship refers to the relationship between a healthcare professional and a client or patient. It is the means by which a therapist and a client hope to engage with each other and effect beneficial change in the client.
Organismic theories in psychology are a family of holistic psychological theories which tend to stress the organization, unity, and integration of human beings expressed through each individual's inherent growth or developmental tendency. The idea of an explicitly "organismic theory" dates at least back to the publication of Kurt Goldstein's The organism: A holistic approach to biology derived from pathological data in man in 1934. Organismic theories and the "organic" metaphor were inspired by organicist approaches in biology. The most direct influence from inside psychology comes from gestalt psychology. This approach is often contrasted with mechanistic and reductionist perspectives in psychology.
Although modern, scientific psychology is often dated from the 1879 opening of the first psychological clinic by Wilhelm Wundt, attempts to create methods for assessing and treating mental distress existed long before. The earliest recorded approaches were a combination of religious, magical and/or medical perspectives. Early examples of such psychological thinkers included Patañjali, Padmasambhava, Rhazes, Avicenna and Rumi.
Elias Hull Porter was an American psychologist. While at the University of Chicago Porter was a peer of other notable American psychologists, including Carl Rogers, Thomas Gordon, Abraham Maslow and Will Schutz. His work at Ohio State University and later at the University of Chicago contributed to Rogers’ development of client-centered therapy. Porter's primary contributions to the field of psychology were in the areas of non-directive approaches, relationship awareness theory and psychometric tests. His career included military, government, business and clinical settings.
A subpersonality is, in humanistic psychology, transpersonal psychology and ego psychology, a personality mode that activates to allow a person to cope with certain types of psychosocial situations. Similar to a complex, the mode may include thoughts, feelings, actions, physiology and other elements of human behavior to self-present a particular mode that works to negate particular psychosocial situations. American transpersonal philosopher Ken Wilber and English humanistic psychologist John Rowan suggested that the average person has about a dozen subpersonalities.
Reflective listening is a communication strategy involving two key steps: seeking to understand a speaker's idea, then offering the idea back to the speaker, to confirm the idea has been understood correctly. It attempts to "reconstruct what the client is thinking and feeling and to relay this understanding back to the client". Reflective listening is a more specific strategy than the more general methods of active listening. It arose from Carl Rogers' school of client-centered therapy in counseling theory. Empathy is at the center of Rogers' approach.
The actualizing tendency is a fundamental element of Carl Rogers' theory of person-centered therapy (PCT). Rogers' theory is predicated on an individual's innate capacity to decide his/her own best directions in life, provided his/her circumstances are conducive to this, based on the organism's "universal need to drive or self-maintain, flourish, self-enhance and self-protect". Counsellors Keith Tudor and Mike Worrall proposed that analogues of the actualizing tendency can be found in texts by various writers from antiquity onward, such as Aristotle, Lucretius, Spinoza, Sándor Ferenczi, Jessie Taft, and Eric Berne.
1985 the rust peace workshop.
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