Rogers: Father of Humanistic Movement Person-Centered Therapy

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Carl Rogers is the father of the humanistic movement in psychotherapy His core theme in therapy is non-judgmental listening & acceptance of the client, better known as unconditional positive regard His therapeutic approach is known as the Person Centered Therapy, which is based on the concepts of humanistic psychology & shares many of the concepts of Existentialism Both of these concepts share the idea that the client can make positive & constructive choices His approach is also based on the theory that people are "trustworthy" and can solve their own problems without direct intervention from the therapist

Carl Rogers: Bio

Carl Rogers was born January 8, 1902 in Oak Park, Illinois in a very strict, religious family He was a shy, studious boy He enrolled in agricultural science at the University of Wisconsin, but transferred to Union Theological Seminary in Chicago Disillusioned, he withdrew and entered the Teachers College at Columbia University, a hotbed for liberal, social ideas

Rogers founded client-centered psychotherapy & pioneered in the development of scientific methods for studying psychotherapeutic outcomes & processes In 1942 Rogers became 1st therapist to record & transcribe therapy sessions verbatim, a practice now standard He published his ideas & clinical results in several books, including On Becoming a Person which made him a well-known figure in American psychology

Carl Rogers: Bio

Rogers taught at the University of Chicago, Ohio State University, & the University of Wisconsin at Madison Rogers's client-centered therapy is among the most influential & widely employed techniques in modern U.S. clinical psychology This is the type of therapy cliched by phrases such as "how do you feel about that?" from the psychologist Bob Newhart, another Oak Park native, portrayed a Rogerian-style psychologist on the original "Bob Newhart Show“ In his later years Rogers championed humanistic causes including racial harmony, and world peace. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987

Carl Rogers died February 4, 1987 "Experience is, for me, the highest authority. The touchstone of validity is my own experience. No other person's ideas, and none of my own ideas, are as authoritative as my experience. It is to experience that I must return again and again, to discover a closer approximation to truth as it is in the process of becoming in me. Neither the Bible nor the prophets --neither Freud nor research –neither the revelations of God nor man -can take precedence over my own direct experience. My experience is not authoritative because it is infallible. It is the basis of authority because it can always be checked in new primary ways. In this way its frequent error or fallibility is always open to correction."

Person-Centered Therapy
(A reaction against the directive and psychoanalytic approaches)

Rogers plays an important historical role in the development of psychology and psychotherapy He was one of the first, if not the first, psychologist to propose a comprehensive theory about psychotherapy Prior to Rogers, almost all forms of therapy centered around psychiatry and psychoanalysis


The assumption that “the counselor knows best” The validity of advice, suggestion, persuasion, teaching, diagnosis, and interpretation The belief that clients cannot understand and resolve their own problems without direct help The focus on problems over persons

Person-centered theory Carl Rogers




In what ways would you say that you have been the architect of your life? In the people you have known best, have you recognized a “self-actualizing” tendency? Is it hard for you to have confidence in another person’s ability to find their own way, with you serving as an...
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