A Review of Rogers’s Person-centered Therapy in Self Perspective: Critical Evaluation and Integrative Improvement
Date of submission: 10 December 2007 (Monday)
This paper was divided into three parts. The first part was to summarize the basic concepts of Rogers’s phenomenological approach of personality. Carl Rogers, who was the pioneered humanistic counselor and psychotherapist, advocated “Client-centered Therapy” (now known as “Person-centered Therapy” derived from his basic fundamental constructs including self, subjective experience, congruence, unconditional positive regard and empathic understanding, etc. (Fernald, 2000; Motschnig and Nykl, 2000; Snyder, 2002) have had much influences on the psychotherapy in recent years. As Kirshenbaum (2004) summarized that there were continuity of Rogers’ ideas and research validating many of Rogers’ contributions. Thus, the second part was to discuss the contributions of “Person-centered Therapy” from the critical review and arguments of its strengths and weaknesses, my opinions would be offered to show my full supports to Rogers in the paper. The third part was to elaborate some recommended improvements in latest empirical research, psychotherapy and personality development, with a view to showing my agreements on the integration of good and proved valid and reliable variables in different approaches, including phenomenological, psychoanalytical and behavioral approaches, etc., in addition to technological application, in other words, one approach complemented with other different ones, for increasing the effectiveness for personality and psychotherapy development. Part I: Basic Constructs
Rogers (1959, as cited in Mccann and Sato, 2000) contended that the perceived self was central and subjective in the individual’s phenomenological approach, affecting how the individual behaved and perceived the world with the self-concept, serving as perceptions of events and ourselves that were primary in eliciting behavior. “Ideal Self” was a crucial component of the individual’s self concept and the discrepancies between the self and ideal self were significant in the nature of the individuals’ self-regard. If the conditions were inconsistent with and individual’s conditions of worth (unconditional positive regard), the self relevant defenses would be activated. Mccann and Sato (2000) said that the self was the cornerstone of personality. This phenomenological self as personify referred to its dynamic nature and highlighted its potential functions as a concept of self-regulation. Matching with Fernald’s (2000) paper that human behavior was directed by motivation, referring to the actualizing tendency, the central source of energy in human beings. In other words, human potentials were realized, so personality was fully functioning. However, there was an argument that the self was often only vaguely defined and it was difficult to operationalize because of limited systematic research (Maccann and Sato, 2000). Self-actualization
Rogers (1951, as cited in Kensit, 2000) proposed that individuals had innate desires to fully develop all potentials in order to enhance themselves. These desires referred to movements from heteronomy (control by external forces) to autonomy (control of inner forces). It meant that all human beings strived to make the very best of their existence with actualizing tendency, referring to the innate motivation present in daily life to develop its potentials to the fullest extent possible Boeree, n.d.). This was monitored by the organismic valuing process. In other words, individuals had innate desires to self-actualize through the organismic experiencing to improve their potentials. According to Rogers (1957b, 1961, 1964, as cited in Patterson & Joseph, 2007), self-actualizing individual as one who valued sensitivity to others, acceptance of others and deep relationship. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs on...
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