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David Baxter

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Carl Rogers
"Experience is, for me, the highest authority. The touchstone of validity is my own experience. No other person's ideas, and none of my own ideas, are as authoritative as my experience. It is to experience that I must return again and again, to discover a closer approximation to truth as it is in the process of becoming in me. Neither the Bible nor the prophets - neither Freud nor research - neither the revelations of God nor man - can take precedence over my own direct experience.... My experience is not authoritative because it is infallible. It is the basis of authority because it can always be checked in new primary ways. In this way its frequent error or fallibility is always open to correction." -- Carl Rogers, On Becoming a Person, pages 23-24

Actualizing Tendency
Rogers (1959) maintains that the human "organism" has an underlying "actualizing tendency", which aims to develop all capacities in ways that maintain or enhance the organism and move it toward autonomy. This tendency is directional, constructive and present in all living things. The actualizing tendency can be suppressed but can never be destroyed without the destruction of the organism (Rogers, 1977). The concept of the actualizing tendency is the only motive force in the theory. It encompasses all motivations; tension, need, or drive reductions; and creative as well as pleasure-seeking tendencies (Rogers, 1959). Only the organism as a whole has this tendency, parts of it (such as the self) do not. Maddi (1996) describes it as a "biological pressure to fulfill the genetic blueprint" (p106.) Each person thus has a fundamental mandate to fulfill their potential.

Self-Actualizing Tendency
A distinctly psychological form of the actualizing tendency related to this "self" is the "self-actualizing tendency". It involves the actualization of that portion of experience symbolized in the self (Rogers, 1959). It can be seen as a push to experience oneself in a way that is consistent with one's conscious view of what one is (Maddi, 1996). Connected to the development of the self-concept and self-actualization are secondary needs (assumed to likely be learned in childhood): the "need for positive regard from others" and "the need for positive self-regard", an internalized version of the previous. These lead to the favoring of behavior that is consistent with the person's self-concept (Maddi, 1996).

Organismic Valuing and Conditions of Worth
When significant others in the person's world (usually parents) provide positive regard that is conditional, rather than unconditional, the person introjects the desired values, making them his/her own, and acquires "conditions of worth" (Rogers, 1959). The self-concept then becomes based on these standards of value rather than on organismic evaluation. These conditions of worth disturb the "organismic valuing process", which is a fluid, ongoing process whereby experiences are accurately symbolized and valued according to optimal enhancement of the organism and self (Rogers, 1959). The need for positive self-regard leads to a selective perception of experience in terms of the conditions of worth that now exist. Those experiences in accordance with these conditions are perceived and symbolized accurately in awareness, while those that are not are distorted or denied into awareness. This leads to an "incongruence" between the self as perceived and the actual experience of the organism, resulting in possible confusion, tension, and maladaptive behavior (Rogers, 1959). Such estrangement is the common human condition. Experiences can be perceived as threatening without conscious awareness via "subception", a form of discrimination without awareness that can result in anxiety.

Fully Functioning Person and the Self
Theoretically, an individual may develop optimally and avoid the previously described outcomes if they experience only "unconditional positive regard" and no conditions of worth develop. The needs for positive regard from others and positive self-regard would match organismic evaluation and there would be congruence between self and experience, with full psychological adjustment as a result (Rogers, 1959). This ideal human condition is embodied in the "fully functioning person" who is open to experience able to live existentially, is trusting in his/her own organism, expresses feelings freely, acts independently, is creative and lives a richer life; "the good life" (Rogers, 1961). It should be noted that; "The good life is a process not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination (Rogers, 1961, p.186)". For the vast majority of persons who do not have an optimal childhood there is hope for change and development toward psychological maturity via therapy, in which the aim is to dissolve the conditions of worth, achieve a self congruent with experience and restore the organismic valuing process (Rogers, 1959).

Rogerian Therapy
Rogers (1977) describes therapy as a process of freeing a person and removing obstacles so that normal growth and development can proceed and the client can become independent and self-directed. During the course of therapy the client moves from rigidity of self-perception to fluidity.
 

iamcurious

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Interpreting

I found this while searching the site and found it applied well to so-called self-concept issues. I'm going to state some of my extrapolations and questions from each passage, and I'd like some feedback as to whether or not I'm taking it in the right direction.

Carl Rogers:
-Post-modern position on the world
-Truth is established by the individual
-Not all experiences can be re-created?
-If it's not experienced, does it exist?

Actualizing Tendency:
-Biological drive

Self-Actualizing Tendency:
-The individual working toward the best possible percieved experience
-Choosing the actions that make us feel good (and feel good about ourselves)

Organismic Valuing and Conditions of Worth:
-Individual trying to please others based on the criteria set by others
-Intrensic value is superceded
-Self-worth is determined by the environment (how the individual is treated)
-Posative/self-affirming actions are percieved accurately
-Individual percieves disworth while others may not (distorted)
-Only the individual senses diminishing slef-worth (distorted)
-Leads to feelings of guilt

Fully Functioning Person and the Self:
-Self-worth preserved regardless of circumstances
-Individuals must have intrensic self worth despite behavior modifications
-You don't need to live as a victim, circumstance should not determine your self worth
 

David Baxter

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Carl Rogers

More or less. There are a few bits missing or slightly modified but I think you have the gist of it anyway.
 

David Baxter

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Carl Rogers

Rogers' notion of the Organismic Valuing System refers to being able to judge yourself and your movement toward your goals from within, instead of depending on other people for feedback as to who you are and how well you are doing.

The ability to do this is one of the characteristics of the Fully Functioning Person. Another is the development of Unconditional Positive Self-Regard (Rogers uses awkward terminology), which is basically the ability to accept yourself for who you are, warts and all, and love that person.

The opposite of Unconditional Positive Regard (or Self-Regard) is a result of Conditions of Worth, where other people basically demand that you be a certain type of person, behave in certain ways, and work toward and achieve certain goals, all defined by the other person(s). If you conform to those expectations, they reward you with love, praise, affection, and acceptance; if you do not, they punish you by withholding love, praise, affection, and acceptance. Thus, Conditions of Worth function to make you act as if you were someone else, based on the message that if you are yourself you are not worthy of love or acceptance.

So that's the long answer -- your shorter answer was probably a lot more clear! :eek:)
 

iamcurious

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...

It seems to me that if people are operating under these conditional values of worth it will be difficult for them to be able to realize it, they will want to believe that they're actions are for themselves. Won't showing them otherwise cause depression in it's self?
 

David Baxter

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Carl Rogers

No. Not in my experience.

Realizing that you are trying to please someone who can only be pleased if you be the person he or she wants you to be is depressing.

Realizing that you don't have to keep trying to live up to someone else's expectations of who you should be, and that you are allowed to be just who you are instead, is not depressing -- it is freeing.
 

iamcurious

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?

What sort of link do you form between Carl Roger's concept and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs?
 

David Baxter

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Carl Rogers

I don't know that there is a direct link, although for the most part they are not incompatible.

The major difference is that Rogers notion of the fully functioning person is something that is within the grasp of pretty much everyone. In Maslow's theory, only a very few people, a very small percentage of the human race, can ever hope to achieve the highest level.
 

iamcurious

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A Tool To Progress

It seems to me that Carl Rogers method of therapy is a tool that can be used to progress individuals through the third and fourth levels of the hierarchy (belongingness & love needs and esteem needs). Using the traditional hierarchy, past this is only self-actualization. Using his revised hierarchy, must next progress through "need to know and understand" and "aesthetic needs" next.
 

David Baxter

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Re: Carl Rogers

http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/rogers.html

The fully-functioning person
Rogers, like Maslow, is just as interested in describing the healthy person. His term is "fully-functioning," and involves the following qualities:

1. Openness to experience. This is the opposite of defensiveness. It is the accurate perception of one's experiences in the world, including one's feelings. It also means being able to accept reality, again including one's feelings. Feelings are such an important part of openness because they convey organismic valuing. If you cannot be open to your feelings, you cannot be open to acualization. The hard part, of course, is distinguishing real feelings from the anxieties brought on by conditions of worth.

2. Existential living. This is living in the here-and-now. Rogers, as a part of getting in touch with reality, insists that we not live in the past or the future -- the one is gone, and the other isn't anything at all, yet! The present is the only reality we have. Mind you, that doesn't mean we shouldn't remember and learn from our past. Neither does it mean we shouldn't plan or even day-dream about the future. Just recognize these things for what they are: memories and dreams, which we are experiencing here in the present.

3. Organismic trusting. We should allow ourselves to be guided by the organismic valuing process. We should trust ourselves, do what feels right, what comes natural. This, as I'm sure you realize, has become a major sticking point in Rogers' theory. People say, sure, do what comes natural -- if you are a sadist, hurt people; if you are a masochist, hurt yourself; if the drugs or alcohol make you happy, go for it; if you are depressed, kill yourself.... This certainly doesn't sound like great advice. In fact, many of the excesses of the sixties and seventies were blamed on this attitude. But keep in mind that Rogers meant trust your real self, and you can only know what your real self has to say if you are open to experience and living existentially! In other words, organismic trusting assumes you are in contact with the acutalizing tendency.

4. Experiential freedom. Rogers felt that it was irrelevant whether or not people really had free will. We feel very much as if we do. This is not to say, of course, that we are free to do anything at all: We are surrounded by a deterministic universe, so that, flap my arms as much as I like, I will not fly like Superman. It means that we feel free when choices are available to us. Rogers says that the fully-functioning person acknowledges that feeling of freedom, and takes responsibility for his choices.

5. Creativity. If you feel free and responsible, you will act accordingly, and participate in the world. A fully-functioning person, in touch with acualization, will feel obliged by their nature to contribute to the actualization of others, even life itself. This can be through creativity in the arts or sciences, through social concern and parental love, or simply by doing one's best at one's job. Creativity as Rogers uses it is very close to Erikson's generativity.
 

David Baxter

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Re: Carl Rogers

http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/rogers.html

Therapy
Carl Rogers is best known for his contributions to therapy. His therapy has gone through a couple of name changes along the way: He originally called it non-directive, because he felt that the therapist should not lead the client, but rather be there for the client while the client directs the progress of the therapy. As he became more experienced, he realized that, as "non-directive" as he was, he still influenced his client by his very "non-directiveness!" In other words, clients look to therapists for guidance, and will find it even when the therapist is trying not to guide.

So he changed the name to client-centered. He still felt that the client was the one who should say what is wrong, find ways of improving, and determine the conclusion of therapy -- his therapy was still very "client-centered" even while he acknowledged the impact of the therapist. Unfortunately, other therapists felt that this name for his therapy was a bit of a slap in the face for them: Aren't most therapies "client-centered?"

Nowadays, though the terms non-directive and client-centered are still used, most people just call it Rogerian therapy. One of the phrases that Rogers used to describe his therapy is "supportive, not reconstructive," and he uses the analogy of learning to ride a bicycle to explain: When you help a child to learn to ride a bike, you can't just tell them how. They have to try it for themselves. And you can't hold them up the whole time either. There comes a point when you have to let them go. If they fall, they fall, but if you hang on, they never learn.

It's the same in therapy. If independence (autonomy, freedom with responsibility) is what you are helping a client to achieve, then they will not achieve it if they remain dependent on you, the therapist. They need to try their insights on their own, in real life beyond the therapist's office! An authoritarian approach to therapy may seem to work marvelously at first, but ultimately it only creates a dependent person.

There is only one technique that Rogerians are known for: reflection. Reflection is the mirroring of emotional communication: If the client says "I feel like shit!" the therapist may reflect this back to the client by saying something like "So, life's getting you down, hey?" By doing this, the therapist is communicating to the client that he is indeed listening and cares enough to understand.

The therapist is also letting the client know what it is the client is communicating. Often, people in distress say things that they don't mean because it feels good to say them. For example, a woman once came to me and said "I hate men!" I reflected by saying "You hate all men?" Well, she said, maybe not all -- she didn't hate her father or her brother or, for that matter, me. Even with those men she "hated," she discovered that the great majority of them she didn't feel as strongly as the word hate implies. In fact, ultimately, she realized that she didn't trust many men, and that she was afraid of being hurt by them the way she had been by one particular man.

Reflection must be used carefully, however. Many beginning therapists use it without thinking (or feeling), and just repeat every other phrase that comes out of the client's mouth. They sound like parrots with psychology degrees! Then they think that the client doesn't notice, when in fact it has become a stereotype of Rogerian therapy the same way as sex and mom have become stereotypes of Freudian therapy. Reflection must come from the heart -- it must be genuine, congruent.

Which brings us to Rogers' famous requirements of the therapist. Rogers felt that a therapist, in order to be effective, must have three very special qualities:

1. Congruence -- genuineness, honesty with the client.
2. Empathy -- the ability to feel what the client feels.
3. Respect -- acceptance, unconditional positive regard towards the client.

He says these qualities are "necessary and sufficient:" If the therapist shows these three qualities, the client will improve, even if no other special "techniques" are used. If the therapist does not show these three qualities, the client's improvement will be minimal, no matter how many "techniques" are used. Now this is a lot to ask of a therapist! They're just human, and often enough a bit more "human" (let's say unusual) than most. Rogers does give in a little, and he adds that the therapist must show these things in the therapy relationship. In other words, when the therapist leaves the office, he can be as "human" as anybody.

I happen to agree with Rogers, even though these qualities are quite demanding. Some of the research does suggest that techniques don't matter nearly as much as the therapist's personality, and that, to some extent at least, therapists are "born" not "made."
 

David Mowry

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Realizing, this discussion is from the past, I would like to insert to the best of my knowledge, that Carl Rogers' and Abraham Maslow's theories were somewhat the bases of Humanistic Psychology and Transactional Analysis. I believe the following books were published utilizing the Humanistic and Transactional Psychological theories:

I'm Ok You're Ok
What do you say after you say Hello
Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy
Games People Play

Also for further information a person may contact The Association for Humanistic Psychology at the following web site: Association for Humanistic Psychology.
 

Lili

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There is somethinginteresting in reading the post above with: "Carl Rogers' method of therapy", or even referring to tools, in my opinion. From everything I have read, it seems to be less a tool or even a method than any other form of takling therapy, especially since silence, in CCT, is part of it, and no requirement is placed onto clients... am I making sense?:eek:
 

NicNak

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From everything I have read, it seems to be less a tool or even a method than any other form of takling therapy, especially since silence, in CCT, is part of it,

Even if a person is quite, their body language is often speaking volumes.

Personally my Psychiatrist is very attentive to my body language, weather I have my head down, if I am shaking, crying, if I am disassociated, how easily distracted I am and I am sure there is more. I am not a doctor, I am a patient.

This being said, I would think (again, not a professional at all here, just a patent) that CCT would actually a method that a therapist would have to be more skilled to do, because silence showes more than we think. Since the patient isn't vocalizing all their pain through words, the therapist has to be able to read the body language to interpret how the patient is. I think CCT goes beyond talk therapy. Just my humble opinion.

and no requirement is placed onto clients... am I making sense?:eek:

My Psychiatrist is taking this approach with me currently. I am in a place where I am easily upset, sensitive and spiral quickly.

For me to be having any other therapy approach now, where it is intense could actually be more upsetting to me at this point. I am prone to emotional psychosis episodes and sudden anxiety and panic.

Medications do help to some extent for me, but I have not had a lot of relief from all the many I have tried.

So I totally agree with the CCT approach and see its benefits.
 

Lili

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:eek: Hi Nicnak, I appreciate your response, and personal experience.

Something does not sit too well with me with certain methods and what we imagine we mean with the word "therapy".

For example, if you are able to notice that your psychiatrist notices when your head is in the right or in the left and if you watch over your psychiatrist who is watching over every of your body positions sometimes perceived as body language, how do you then know who is the doctor and who is the patient, if you are both doing the same??

Second question: why would your doctor's interpretation of you being "disassociated" be more "right" or "true" than your own feelings? Is it because you don't know how you feel that your doctor's interpretation must be right, or is it because you play the role of a patient?

All this questioning coming into mind help me realise the difference between a client-centred approach (a non judgemental, non-methodologic approach, ie: the body language is not systematically interpreted as a body language; being quiet or keeping quiet is not used as a method of speaking more loudly, and there is no such diagnostic put on the client, disassociative or else...)

Have you ever thought about the client learning being a client and then trapping the whole therapy and the therapist in it? methods are dangerous because they can harm the self and others.

CCT is the least harmful psychotherapy because it is not a method, not a recipe, and the therapist "must" first be him/herself and not his/her theories, or it is not CCT.

To really experience that form of therapy, I would only suggest to receive it with a client-centred therapist (or person), only. People who are ecclectic cannot be client-centred as in the Carl Rogers' approach, in my opinion.

Thanks for your input; it helped me clarifying what I meant.

cheers:2thumbs:
 

NicNak

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For example, if you are able to notice that your psychiatrist notices when your head is in the right or in the left and if you watch over your psychiatrist who is watching over every of your body positions sometimes perceived as body language, how do you then know who is the doctor and who is the patient, if you are both doing the same??

This was once, I noticed him and he saw me confused trying to write a address on a envelope I was going to mail after I left there with his forms.

Second question: why would your doctor's interpretation of you being "disassociated" be more "right" or "true" than your own feelings? Is it because you don't know how you feel that your doctor's interpretation must be right, or is it because you play the role of a patient?

I do not "play" any role, I am a patent. When I am dissassociate, I do feel removed, outside of where we are and in another place.

I have been seeing my Psychiatrist for four years now. We have had talk therapy and other therapy approaches.

All this questioning coming into mind help me realise the difference between a client-centred approach (a non judgemental, non-methodologic approach, ie: the body language is not systematically interpreted as a body language; being quiet or keeping quiet is not used as a method of speaking more loudly, and there is no such diagnostic put on the client, disassociative or else...)

At times "Silence does speak louder than words" I don't think you understood what I was meaning.

Have you ever thought about the client learning being a client and then trapping the whole therapy and the therapist in it? methods are dangerous because they can harm the self and others.

I do not believe this to be true at all. Have you ever been to a therapist who was practicing the approach of CCT?

The doctors know how to do this in such a way that there are still safe boundaries.

I really think you are not giving this therapy approach much credit, as well as for the therapists and doctors who use this approach.



CCT is the least harmful psychotherapy because it is not a method, not a recipe, and the therapist "must" first be him/herself and not his/her theories, or it is not CCT.

To really experience that form of therapy, I would only suggest to receive it with a client-centred therapist (or person), only. People who are ecclectic cannot be client-centred as in the Carl Rogers' approach, in my opinion.

This is why there are different therapy approaches. One therapy may not work for one person and be great for another.

Just because CCT does not work for one, does not mean it will not work for another.

I am going to take this time to remind you of the Psychlinks Psychology Self-Help & Mental Health Support Forum - FAQ

Specifically with regard to these points:

Psychlinks Psychology Self-Help & Mental Health Support Forum - FAQ

In addition, the following are expressly prohibited on this Forum:


  • POSTS THAT ARE ANTI-PSYCHIATRY OR ANTI-MEDICINE IN NATURE (there are other forums where you can engage in such debates -- this is not one of them).
  • POSTS THAT ADVISE ANY MEMBER OR PEOPLE IN GENERAL NOT TO TAKE MEDICATION PRESCRIBED BY A LICENSED PHYSICIAN OR NOT TO FOLLOW ANY OTHER ADVICE GIVEN BY A LICENSED PHYSICIAN OR OTHER MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL (remember that only the individual's physician or primary therapist is likely to know the full medical or personal or family history of that individual).
 

Lili

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Nicnak,

Sorry if I gave you the impression that I was anti-psychiatry. I am not. I was just reinforcing what Carl Rogers meant when he tried to describe his approach. To be a non-judgemental approach, you cannot therefore judge, or diagnose. This is not the type of therapy he developped. Client-Centred therapy means a therapy focusing on the client, not on a theory or a doctor's assumptions. That's all, I was following the thread and its topic, and trying to mark the difference, at least the one I think I understand about the approach inh comparison to other approaches.

Kind regard,

lili:)
 

David Baxter

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I was just reinforcing what Carl Rogers meant when he tried to describe his approach. To be a non-judgemental approach, you cannot therefore judge, or diagnose. This is not the type of therapy he developped. Client-Centred therapy means a therapy focusing on the client, not on a theory or a doctor's assumptions.

1. I think you are confused about the nature of client-centered therapy and about Carl Rogers - either that or I am confused about what it is you are trying to say.

2. Diagnosis is not "judgemental". It is descriptive of the array of symptoms exhibited by a client and suggestive of the origins of those symptoms. To use client-centered therapy as a basic approach to psychotherapy does not mean the therapist cannot diagnose the client.
 

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