Carl Rogers Essay

Pages: 8 (2492 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .

That having been said, it is important to note that in Rogers' approach ("c" above) the therapist should not "uncover totally unconscious feelings" because that might be far too "threatening" to the client (Goodman, 192). Additionally, Rogers believed that empathy was not just a process, and empathy was not just a condition for healing -- "it is the healing agent itself" (Goodman, 193). It is the empathy -- not the therapist -- that does the healing, in Rogers' viewpoint. But how does empathy heal? Empathy helps "dissolve alienation," in Goodman's words, and using this strategy allows the client to feel "…truly understood for the first time in the deepest parts" of his being (193). This gives the client confidence that he indeed is "a connected part of the human race" and moreover, because the therapist did not judge him while entering and exploring his private world, the client's self-image begins to not seem as bad "or strange as formerly perceived" (Goodman, 193-94).

Because of the improvement in self-image, the client stops judging himself and therefore the healing experience can begin and thrive, Goodman explains (194).

Rogers' Explains the Conditions and Process of the Therapeutic Process

Rogers' explanation of the conditions needed for the therapeutic process to begin is explained by the late psychologist in the book, The Carl Rogers Reader

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, which co-authors Howard Kirschenbaum (professor emeritus, University of Rochester) and Valerie Land Henderson participate. He has set forth "conditions" for the therapy to be launched, and also the "process" for therapy, which are both worthy of inclusion into this paper.

TOPIC: Essay on Carl Rogers Is Among the Assignment

The conditions for therapy, according to Rogers, include: a) two people are in contact; b) client is in the "state of incongruence, being vulnerable, or anxious"; c) the therapist is "congruent in the relationship"; d) the therapist experiences "…unconditional positive regard" for the client; e) the therapist reveals "an empathetic understanding" of the "internal frame of reference" the client is experiencing; f) that the client perceives (at least minimally) in conditions "d" and "e" the "unconditional positive regard" and "empathy" the therapist has for him (Rogers, 1989, 239).

At this point in the book Rogers sites "confirmatory evidence" through studies by Fiedler and Quinn that Rogers' approach vis-a-vis empathetic understanding was a correct one and that it succeeded in other independent research (Rogers, 239). Clients who felt that they were "liked by the therapist" had more success in therapy, according to independent research conducted by Seeman and Lipkin, references by Rogers on page 239.

As to Rogers' process of therapy, there are twelve steps he takes, is paraphrased and selectively quoted here: a) the client is freely expressing feelings; b) those feelings increasingly relate to "self" rather than his "nonself"; c) client is able to discriminate between feelings and perceptions and can accurately symbolize his experiences; d) his feelings reference "the incongruity between certain of his experiences and his concept of self"; e) client is now aware of the threat of "incongruence"; f) his feelings are of awareness but in the past his feelings were "denied" or "distorted" to awareness; g) client reorganizes his concept of self to include "experiences" were previously "distorted"; h) the concept of self becomes "increasingly congruent with his experience"; i) client is now able to experience without threats to his image of self, and his defensiveness is "decreased"; j) client experiences "an unconditional positive self-regard"; k) client increasingly experiences himself as the "locus of evaluation"; and l) he experiences less in terms of "conditions of worth" and more towards "an organismic valuing process" (Rogers, 239-240).

Rogers' Own Learning Curve

In his early years of professional counseling and therapy, Rogers was working at the Child Study Department at Teacher's College at the University of Rochester, and as always, he was seeking more effective ways of helping clients. He became "disillusioned" with the use of interpretative therapy when he was asked to help a young boy that was a pyromaniac, according to a book by Windy Dryden and Jill Mytton

(Dryden, et al., 1999, p. 62). Rogers had at that time believed that delinquency was related to "sexual conflict" so he traced the boy's fire fantasies to his impulse to masturbate, Dryden explains. So the boy was put on probation but soon began lighting more fires. This alerted Rogers to the fact that "interpretation in the psychodynamic style was not an effective therapeutic tool" and hence at this time he apparently began his rejection of Freudian psychotherapy strategies (Dryden, 62).

In conclusion, Carl Rogers' strategies and viewpoints -- especially regarding "client centered" therapy approaches -- have not only survived, they have thrived in the psychological milieu. He truly set out to make a difference and carefully, intelligently defining personality under his terms (away from Freud) by discovering and advocating that empathy was pivotal in helping people psychologically, he did make a difference.

Works Cited

Dryden, Windy, and Mytton, Jill. 1999. Four Approaches to Counseling and Psychotherapy.

East Sussex, UK: Psychology Press.

Goodman, Geoff. 1991. Feeling Our Way into Empathy: Carl Rogers, Heinz Kohut, and Jesus.

Journal of Religion and Health, 30(3), 191-204.

Holden, Constance. 1977. Carl Rogers: Giving People Permission to Be Themselves. Science,

198(4312), 31-35.

Nevid, Jeffrey S. 2011. Essentials of Psychology: Concepts and Applications. Florence, KY:

Cengage Learning.

Rogers, Carl Ransom, Kirschenbaum, Howard, and Henderson, Valerie Land. 1989. The Carl

Rogers Reader. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Constance Holden, "Carl Rogers: Giving People Permission to Be Themselves," Science 198, no. 4312 (1977), 31.

Jeffrey S. Nevid, Essentials of Psychology:… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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