On Becoming a PersonA Therapist's View of Psychotherapy

On Becoming a PersonA Therapist's View of Psychotherapy The late Carl Rogers founder of the humanistic psychology movement revolutionized psychotherapy with his concept of client centered therapy His influence has spanned decades but that influence has become so much a part of mainstream psychology that the ingenious nature of his work has almost been forgotten A new introduction by Peter Kramer sheds light on the significance of Dr Rogers's work today New discoveries in the field of psychopharmacology especially that of the antidepressant Prozac have spawned a uick fix drug revolution that has obscured the psychotherapeutic relationship As the pendulum slowly swings back toward an appreciation of the therapeutic encounter Dr Rogers's client centered therapy becomes particularly timely and important

10 thoughts on “On Becoming a PersonA Therapist's View of Psychotherapy

  1. Thomas Thomas says:

    The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am then I can changeThis book has helped me through two of the toughest weeks of my life and everyone interested in self improvement should read it On Becoming a Person will appeal to anyone inclined toward psychology or therapy as Rogers does a fantastic job discussing his client centered approach and how his model of therapy transcends the limitations of past psychotherapeutic frameworks Even though the book was first published in 1961 Rogers includes a variety of still relevant techniues such as allowing the client to guide the session and ensuring unconditional positive regard through the therapist's own congruence He incorporates a gamut of psychological principles from areas such as developmental and social psychology and he relates them all back to his thesis on clinical humanistic therapyNot only does Rogers reach out to different branches of psychology but he also connects client centered therapy to education leadership in the work place and family life Even though the book might feel a little repetitive in certain parts it addresses several pertinent uestions like how therapists can reconcile their work with the conducting of research In around 400 pages Rogers dives deep into every facet of psychotherapy and how it relates to humans in generalOverall highly recommended to anyone with even a remote interest in self growth psychology therapy or being a better person As Rogers would say reading On Becoming a Person will not transform you into a perfect version of yourself rather it will set you on the path of creating a accepting and honest self

  2. Annette Annette says:

    He writes of significant things he learned in his experience and study1 In my relationships with persons I have found that it does not help in the long run to act as though I were something that I am not It does not help to act calm and pleasant when actually I am angry and critical It does not help to act as though I know the answers when I do not It does not help to act as though I were a loving person if actually at the moment I am hostile Most of the mistakes I make in personal relationships most of the times in which I fail to be of help to other individuals can be accounted for in terms of the fact that I have for some defensive reason behaved in one way at a surface level while in reality my feelings run in a contrary direction 2 I find I am effective when I can listen acceptantly to myself and can be myself I have learned to become adeuate in listening to myself; so that I knowwhat I am feeling at any given momentOne way of putting this is that I feel I have become adeuate in letting myself be what I amThe curious paradox is that when I accept myself as I am then I change3 I have found it of enormous value when I can permit myself to understand another person Our first reaction to most of the statements which we hear from other people is an immediate evaluation or judgment rather than an understanding of it When someone expresses some feeling or attitude or belief our tendency is almost immediately to feel That's right; or That's stupid; That's abnormal; That's unreasonable; That's incorrect; That's not nice Very rarely do we permit ourselves to understand precisely what the meaning of his statement is to him I believe this is because understanding is risky If I let myself really understand another person I might be changed by that understanding And we all fear change It is not an easy thing to permit oneself to understand an individual to enter thoroughly and completely and empathically into his frame of reference It is also a rare thing 4 I have found it highly rewarding when I can accept another person I have found that truly to accept another person and his feelings is by no means an easy thing any than is understanding Can I really permit another person to feel hostile toward me? Can I accept his anger as a real and legitimate part of himself? Can I accept him when he views life and its problems in a way uite different from mine? Can I accept him when he feels very positively toward me admiring me and wanting to model himself after me? All this is involved in acceptance and it does not come easy I believe that it is an increasingly common pattern in our culture for each one of us to believe Every other person must feel and think and believe the same as I do We find it very hard to permit our children or our parents or our spouses to feel differently than we do about particular issues or problems Yet it has come to seem to me that this separateness of individuals the right of each individual to utilize his experience in his own way and to discover his own meanings in it this is one of the most priceless potentialities of lifeWhen I can accept another personthen I am assisting him to become a person5 The I am open to the realities in me and in the other person the less do I find myself wishing to rush in to fix things As I try to listen to myself and the experiencing going on in me and the I try to extend that same listening attitude to another person the respect I feel for the complex processes of life So I become less and less inclined to hurry in to fix things to set goals to mold people to manipulate and push them in the way that I would like them to go I am much content simply to be myself and to let another person be himself It is a very paradoxical thing that to the degree that each one of us is willing to be himself then he finds not only himself changing; but he finds that other people to whom he relates are also changing6 I can trust my experience Evaluation by others is not a guide for me The judgments of others while they are to be listened to and taken into account for what they are can never be a guide for meExperience is for me the highest authority p 16 23

  3. Zoe Bell Zoe Bell says:

    Bluntly; although what was written often seemed foolish impractical and fantastical I found Roger's style of writing cohesive and difficult to stop following I know little of psychology and its various approaches and perspectives but I intuitively felt that Roger was at the time the book was written revolutionary bringing forward into the light a new way of regarding clients of psychotherapy Mind you; the book did seem to drag on Repetition Repetition On further and on further still What was said often seemed to be mere common sense and yet I found my views regarding my own feelings my own fears and my own mistakes to be changing I feel that for a short after reading this book my own my way of viewing the world my perceptions of what is and was were somehow changed in such a way that to me seemed progressive and positive It was an imperfect eye opener that despite all of its flaws I would recommend to anyone

  4. Alexander Alexander says:

    Picked this one up for a course I was taking in college Personal DevelopmentIt turned out to be one of the best psychology related books I have ever read It described the therapeutic process in a personal way rather than clinical Since this process was from the point of view of Carl Rogers himself as a therapist I felt I was able to discern how we develop as a person using relationshipsI felt like I was given insight into how people change from this book than from any other piece of literature honestlyRead this if you are interested in psychology and want to get greater insight into the backbone of the Humanist movement

  5. Dave Labranche Dave Labranche says:

    this is an extremely valuable book for all thinking humans to read It really helped me begin to understand myself and it gave me insights that allowed me to eventually discover what makes me happy what motivates me what I truly need to AVOID in life because I'm just not wired to deal with it and in general it gives you a framework for finding your inner self

  6. Cherene Cherene says:

    If anyone wants to know Rogers' theoretical framework I can explain it to you in 5 minutes and spare you the grief of reading this long redundant book It was somewhat interesting but too repetitive

  7. Morgan Morgan says:

    Read it many years ago and his simple trusting view that we humans need witness and listening and that will go a long way toward enabling the person to find their own answers within themselvesAt the time my husband was a Rogerian counselor Later I studied at Center for Studies of the Person Carl Roger's center in LaJolla CA and experienced what he was talking about He was there with us for a day each of the 2 summers I participated in their 17 day workshops In my 2nd summer my weekend group kidnapped Dr Rogers set him in a raised chair in the big hall all 70 participants and bowed down to himHe said If you meet the Buddha on the road kill him I am uncomfortable being raised above the rest of you; it is not what I believeWhen we told him we had been randomly kidnapping and elevating EVERYBODY in the larger group he relaxed and had a good time He was a great man

  8. Jahn Jahn says:

    Thought this was a pretty interesting read As a psychology major in college it is somewhat inevitable that some classes will concern themselves with therapy and therapy techniues regardless of whether or not an individual wants to become a therapist and this was where I first encountered the book Nonetheless all information is good and relevant in some way and this book was incredibly interesting to me I graduated am not a therapist and have no interest in becoming a therapist but I still found this book to be enlightening and engaging So much so that I picked it up and continued reading it after we were done with it in class I feel like it was fairly well written and difficult to put down and that the things he wrote about made me re examine some of the things I did and do in my own life and relationships and improve them Carl Rogers' work was and is influential in the field and I recommend this read for anybody who is interested in the field of psychology or gaining insight into themselves and others

  9. Tanvika Tanvika says:

    'To be the self one truly is ' is the core thesis of this book For realising our true self the need is to free ourselves from all the facades pleasing others trying to be good etc We can then begin by accepting our real feeling With it comes the beginning of trusting ourself It is the rise of a creative human being who is willing to take life as a endless river in constant fluxFor unlocking our potentialities the therapist or the other person must be himself aware of his own attitude There is a significant emphasis on ' EMPATHETIC LISTENING' It means that we listen to the other person without evaluation judgements and negative attitudes We listen to help the individual explore his self There is an interesting experiment mentioned in the book on classroom teaching the students are allowed to say what they really experience while Rogers engages in deep listening At the end of the course there are understanding and meaningful relationships between the people which facilitate growth This can be applied in family inter group discussions etcThis work can have transformative impact of the reader there are profound uestions raised on the nature of interactions we have with each other what it is to be free etcthe answers have to be explored by us

  10. Carly Carly says:

    This book is uite possibly the best book that I have read as a part of my graduate school experience thus far This is the third theory book that I have read Skinner Jung and Rogers is the most easy to get along with and understand Rogers is humble and every step of the way takes you along his journey to how he developed person centered therapy At no point does he insist that his theory is the right one or the only but he says that his theory is what he has developed from his own experiences I would definitely recommend

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