Carl Roger’s Person-Centered Theory

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Carl Roger’s Person-Centered Theory

Literature Overview of the Carl Roger’s Person-Centered Theory

Carl Rogers has been the leading figure in the development of phenomenological therapy. Roger’s controversial volume, Counseling and psychotherapy appeared in 1942 position became known as “non-directive” and was considered as radical because it was counter to the psychoanalytic and directive methods of therapy that dominated American psychotherapy during 1930s. Rogers emphasized the client’s creative responsibility in enhancing themselves toward self-actualization. Rogers himself is a good example of creative person at work which he continued to expand and revise his theory. He as applied his work to diverse clinical group and settings include schools system, hospital, management, family therapy, group therapy, and foreign relations (Rogers, 1970; 1977; 1980; 1983).

Roger’s Person-Centered approach to counseling emphasized the important dimension of “self”. The self concept is the person’s picture of the self and self-evaluation of this picture of this picture. The self concepts defined as the “individual dynamic organization of concept, values, goals, and ideals which he should behave” (Shostorm and Brammer, 1952, page 8). Various terms such as “concept of self”, “self-images”, and “self-structures” are used to describe this personality construct. The main sources of these personal, evaluations are direct experience and the values and concept of parent, which are incorporated as if directly experienced.

The concept of self is a learned attribute, a progressive concept staring from birth and differentiating steadily through childhood and adolescence like an unfolding spiral. This concept been monitored by doing a sample on two-year old child when she or he begin to realize that she or he has an individuality of his or her own with pressing and distinctive needs and powers. This growing awareness of himself or herself as a unique person is his or her concept of self. This self takes on various subjective attributes in the form of “I am”(his nature), “I can”(his capacities), “I should or should not”(his values), and “I want to be”(his aspirations);(Shostorm and Brammer, 1952).

The development of self concept is influenced by an individual’s need for positive regard or approval from his or her parents or primary caregivers. Rogers believes the need for positive regard is a universal need and the developing child learns an internalized sense of worth based on his or her perception of the regards received from significant other. One’s self-regard comes to depend on the condition of worth that one has learned through interaction with significant others. The child need to retain the love from his or her parents gets in conflict with his or her own needs and desires. Experiences perceived to be incongruent in other word inconsistent with the self concept will lead to feelings of being threatened, anxious, confused, and inadequate. Because incongruent experiences tend to threaten their self-images, people attempt to use “defense mechanisms” to deny or distort the perception of these experiences to reduce the threat to the self-concept.

The client self-definitions capacity concept and aspirations run partially along these lines: “I am a young adult”; “I respect my parent’s opinions”; “I don’t want to do work that I can’t do it”; “I like to be admired”. Yet the client experiences the fact he in an environments which the client’s parent expressed themselves and he value their judgment which test the client that he has the ability to do work. When the person above is not acting in accord their self-concept, we might say that the person is incongruent in the sense that the person awareness of threat, anxiety and her consequent defensiveness are high. The person concept of self and experiences as perceived are dissimilar.

Congruence is the term used by self-theorist, particularly Rogers (1951) to...
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