I am on a life-long path as a Skilled Helper (Egan) with some training in Integrative Psychotherapy. I am currently striving to integrate Carl Rogers’ ideas and practices into my existing knowledge framework whilst attempting to see previously identified phenomena through new eyes. My aim is to use this knowledge to influence my practice as co-creator of therapeutic relationships. My principal aims in this essay are to define some of the basic ideas of Rogers, to then describe how this links and informs his notions of a joint therapeutic endeavour through his Core Conditions.
Rogers’ entire theory is built on a single premise: that we are born with a fundamental motivating drive to become the best person we possibly can be. This “Actualizing Tendency” is a single force of life that moves us constantly towards psychological fulfilment. As Abraham Maslow said, “What a man can be, he must be.” Which includes acceptance of self and others, accurate perception of reality, close relationships, personal autonomy, goal directedness, naturalness, a need for privacy, orientation toward growth, sense of unity with nature, sense of brotherhood with all people, democratic character, sense of justice, sense of humour, creativity, and personal integrity. For example one of my clients ‘James’ lived an enviable lifestyle he had a good marriage, twin daughters, a lovely house in Kent and a prestigious job in advertising and yet somehow all of these things left him emotionally empty. He was therefore left deeply depressed and came into counselling because he knew he could live a more fulfilling and happy life.
Rogers developed a set of ideas about how our characters and personality are formed. The extent to which we can see ourselves he termed Self-Concept. It is “the person’s conceptual construction of
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