Carl Rogers

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Carl Rogers is best known for his contributions to therapy. Dr. Rogers felt that clients look to therapists for guidance, and will find it even when the therapist is not trying to guide. Carl Rogers' theory on guidance was focused on a person's "true self". Dr. Rogers said that in order for people to know their true selves, they had to focus on their self-concept. This consisted of a set of beliefs about behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that could be more or less conflicting with the person's real behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. A person whose self-concept was drastically different from their true self would constantly run into situations in which their behavior surprised or upset them. Rogers said that self-concept was influenced by society. Society disapproves of a wide range of behaviors, and many people choose to ignore those behaviors inside themselves. Rogers would listen non-judgmentally to the patient's statements and would reflect back so that the patient would accept his or her true self. He named his therapy, client-centered therapy. He felt that the client was the one who should say what is wrong, find the way to improve, and determine the conclusion of the therapy.

Dr. Rogers assisted people in taking responsibility for themselves. He believed that the experience of being understood and valued gives us the freedom to grow. Dr. Rogers sees the human being as: "capable of evaluating the outer and inner situation, understanding themself in its context, making constructive choices as to the next steps in life, and acting on those choices" (1977, p15).

Dr. Rogers described his therapy as "supportive, not reconstructive". He felt that the therapist should fulfill three requirements in order to be effective. The first condition is congruence. This is the fit between an individual's feelings and their outer display. The congruent person is genuine and real, and the non-congruent person hides behind a façade. Dr. Rogers thought that...
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