Self Concept

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A Discussion and Critical Evaluation on How Person-centred Theorists View Concepts of the Self
Introduction
As children grow they start to learn about themselves through their relationships with others and psychologists have evidenced how their ideas of themselves are significantly influenced by other people’s ideas and reactions to them. Dowling (2008) suggests that a child’s level of confidence is affected by their early experiences, successes and failures and it is recognised that a child’s confidence is linked closely to three factors: becoming aware of the self (self concept), developing one’s identity (self esteem) and learning about one’s own strengths and weaknesses (self knowledge). Psychologists refer to how, during early childhood, the self concept undergoes a major change and sees the start of the lifelong process of self-discovery. From childhood to adolescence many changes take place both physically and mentally. These changes involve continuing increases in the complexity of sensorimotor skills and substantial body changes and the self concept shifts from self-centred to an increasing awareness of others (Dowling, 2008). The emergence of a coherent and positive self-concept is undeniably a critical aspect of social and emotional development (Dowling, 2008) and for Rogers, the theory of the self was central in his theory of personality. From a counselling perspective, person-centred theorists support this notion and believe that many of the successes and failures that people experience in life are closely related to the ways they have learned to view themselves and their relationships with others and the idea of the self concept is fundamental to person centred theory.

This essay will discuss Rogers’ theory of personality and critically evaluate how person-centred theorists view concepts of the self and how my own self concept has been formed through childhood experiences.
Critically Evaluating Concepts of the Self
Since Rogers introduced



References: McLeod, J. (1998) An Introduction to Counselling, Second Edition, Buckingham: Open University Press. Mearns, D. and Thorne, B. (2007) Person-Centred Counselling in Action, Third Edition, London: Sage Publications. Mearns, D., Thorne, B., Lambers, E. (2005 Person Centred Therapy Today: New Frontiers in Theory and Practice, London: Sage Publications Nelson-Jones, R., (1995) The Theory and Practice of Counselling, Second Edition, London: Cassell Palmer, S. Dainow, S. and Milner P (1996) Counselling: The BAC Counselling Reader, First Edition, London: Sage Publications. Sanders, P. (2008) First Steps in Counselling: A Students’ Companion for Basic Introductory Courses, Third Edition, Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books. Smith, E., Nolen-Hoeksema, S., Fredrickson, B., Loftus, G. (2003) Atkinson & Hilgard’s Introduction to Psychology, Fourteenth Edition, London: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

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