Thursday, January 08, 2015

Carl R. Rogers: Part Two

by ed

Carl R. Rogers in his book A Way Of Being gives a very simple and clear explanation of what he means when he uses the term person-centered approach.  In this three part blog series I am going to try and cover the three main conditions that Carl Rogers says must be present for a “climate to be growth promoting.” (CR)

The first condition which was covered in Part One to creating a climate in which growth or recovery can be facilitated is that the helpers must be real and genuine.  He says they must not put up any “professional front or personal facade.”

The second condition is what he called “unconditional positive regard.”

He first says if you want to help facilitate growth, healing and recovery you have to be real and then he adds you have to accept and prize the person you are walking beside just as they are.  Again, let me make clear that I have never had a mental health professional working with me who I thought felt this way about me.  I always felt and feel about those working with me now that they regard me as a “thing” needing great change and improvement.  I am not sure what Carl Rogers is talking about is possible to receive from a mental health professional working with me.

I do not read him to mean that one has to always agree with the person or meet the person’s every demand.  I get the idea that Rogers is trying to convey as being that the helper must be real and must see the person as real with rights and abilities to be respected and honored.  Only in this real and respectful relationship does Rogers think one can help facilitate real growth and healing.

I took a 30 hour course in psychological counseling at what was in 1995 the Center for Group Counseling in Boca Raton, FL.  The Facilitator Training Course in Psychological Counseling was based on Rogian principles.  However, his theories have been accurately tested in my relationship with my wife Patty who at times has been forced to play a role she surely did not want, but has always done without any professional facade and with “unconditional positive regard” even after becoming a mental health professional after we were married.  So I know at least one trained mental health professional that Carl Rogers would approve of the way she has always interacted with me.

Try being a Patty when you attempt to walk beside another human down the path they decide to walk.  

© Ed Cooper, January 8, 2015, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
   All rights reserved

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