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DANIEL BROWN GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY MR. CARRWAY 05 - 05 - 04 CARL ROGERS: BRIEF OUTLINE Carl Ransom Rogers was born in a suburb outside of Chicago in January of 1902. He was the fourth of child of his parents, Walter and Julia and his family lived on a farm. Throughout his childhood were strong family ties, and religion saturated many aspects of his family. His parents laid down very strict principles such as no alcohol, dancing, theatre (plays), and card games. With all of these restrictions there was very little room for negotiation and not much time for a social life.
Carl wasnt in the best condition physically which often led to him being looked down on by his family and peers. This forced him to seek harbor in solitude; fantasizing and book reading. His father did a good job of sparking his sons interest with scientific experimentation. He encouraged his sons to come up with innovations to improve the quality of the farm. It was during this period that Carl learned about experimental and control groups and began understanding the relevance of randomization. During his early school career it was evident that Carl was above average, he was then admitted into the University of Wisconsin.
Majoring in Scientific agriculture, Carl had notions of running a farm using modern science techniques. During his second year, due to inspirational leadership, Carl was positive he was called to Christian ministry. While his parents focused on the doctrine of God as supreme, Carl focused on Jesus as human. Carl was one of 12 American students to attend a Christian conference in China. His faith grew stronger and he grew more aware of how people can have various perspectives on religion and still be credible. He also learned about his feelings towards his future wife, Helen, during this period.
Upon his return back to the states, Carl, got a job at a lumber yard and enrolled in an introductory course in psychology using a text written by William James for the curriculum. Although Carl had all intentions of becoming a minister, he found himself compelled with a drive to improve life on both a societal and individual level. In his frustrated state, he eventually ended up taking a course in Clinical psychology taught by Letter Hollingworth at Teachers college of Columbia. Carl decides to study clinical and educational psychology at teachers college in the year 1926. This particular school was based on objective statistical methodology. Later he attended a year at a childrens institute that used a psychoanalytic clinical approach.
He felt that neither of the approaches were complete instead was able to take aspects from both approaches that helped in creating his own theories. The greatest contribution that Carl has made to psychology is the client-centered therapy. Carl was the first to write a complete course of therapy and the first to use the term client. During 1927 to 1928 Carl actually studied with Alfred Adler, and he had some influence on his findings as well.
whether as a psychotherapist, teacher, religious worker, guidance counselor, social worker, clinical psychologist it is the quality of the interpersonal encounter with the client which is the most significant element in determining effectiveness, wrote Rogers and Stevens. Carl is considered a Clinical psychologist who developed a strategy by which instead of solving problems for an individual, helping the individual realize that they can have a better reaction to life all together. Carl believes that all the answers lie within us, and for this he was criticized by the psychological trend at the time. While the trend was to give patients the treatment the need, Carl was suggesting the patients have the answers. We do this not by looking at the cognitive aspects of a situation but focusing more on feelings and emotions of the present (here and now). In his book A Way Of Being Carl said: The central hypothesis can be briefly stated.
Individuals have within themselves vast resources for self-understanding and for altering their self-concepts, basic attitudes and self-directed behavior. He goes on to explain that with the right environmental and psychological cues these resources can be activated and thus be utilized towards positive change. In Carl's theory he talks of three conditions for the activation of these resources within us. The first condition of creating proper atmosphere is for a sense of sincerity, similarity or authenticity. The client must be able to know that the therapist is not putting on a show, but that he / she is actually concerned with the clients feelings and emotions. Carl defines the apotheosis of the condition in one word transparent.
The ability for the client to be able to look strait through the therapists part in the relationship is crucial for increasing the possibility of positive change. The second element in creating an ideal atmosphere is the idea of unconditional positive regard. This means that he expression of care or acceptance for the client isnt conditioned upon what they say or do, and it is made clear to the client. If the therapist provides a positive response (verbal or non-verbal) no matter how the client is (good, bad, angry, sad, vulgar and so on) at that moment will also increases the likelihood of positive change.
The last condition of importance when creating an optimum environment is, as he wrote, empathic understanding. The therapist must first understand and correctly interpret the feelings and emotions that the client is sharing and then convey to the client this understanding. If this is done perfectly the therapist tuned into the clients world that he or she can clarify not only the meanings of which the client is aware but even those just below the level of awareness. Numerous studies have been done since 1949 that have supported the effectiveness of this client-centered approach, not only with troubled individuals but also with schizophrenics. In 1956 Carl received the Distinguished Scientific Contribution award; presented to him by the APA. Carl was definitely not dualist.
It is evident in his work that the mind and body interchange and thus giving us control and power over or feelings ultimately behavior. It is no surprise that Carl who set out to be a minister veered away from the strict principles of Christian theology mandated in his household. He believed that all humans have a their own devotion for truth and sense of social responsiveness, fulfilled through their personal imaginative characters. Many of Carl's ideas are still used today, in fact, there are many Rogerian psychologists practicing today. Carl's ideas flourished in a time where self-help was just beginning and very attractive to simple people. Carl died in 1987, in my opinion he is included in our History of Psychology because he led us into a new dimension of client therapy.
Carl's work has spread out to 225 countries. His journals and writings can be found in 12 different languages. Carl's Person-centered approach is understood and accepted by hundreds of thousands around the globe that apply the ideas in their professional and even personal lives. If I were to be a therapist I would probably use this model as a foundation or starting point.
References Rogers, C. R. (1980). A Way Of Being. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company. Rogers, C. R. ; Stevens, B. (1967).
Person to Person. New York, NY: Real People Press. Thorne, B. (1992). Carl Rogers. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications Ltd. 4. Watts, R.
E. (1996). Social Interest and the Core Conditions: Could It Be That Adler Influenced Rogers? Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education & Development, 34 (4), 165 - 166.
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