Carl Rogers was born on this day in 1902.
Carl Rogers was born and raised in Chicago and he was originally interested in agriculture but changed his focus to religion and entered a liberal Protestant seminary in NYC where he spent two years before transferring to Columbia University Teachers’ College where he received a Masters in 1928 and a PhD in clinical psychology in 1931. He started his career as a child psychologist as the director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and lectured at the University of Rochester between 1935 and 1940. He wrote “The Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child” in 1939 and became a professor of clinical psychology at Ohio State University in 1940. Rogers wrote “Counselling and Psychotherapy” in 1942 where he outlined his theory that awareness was necessary to transform a person’s life if you developed a respectful non-judgmental and congruent relationship with a therapist.
He moved back to Chicago in 1945 where he established a counselling centre and published the research results of his research in “Client Centred Therapy”, in 1951 and “Psychotherapy and Personality Change” in 1954.
He went back to the University of Wisconsin later and then moved to California in 1963. He remained in California until his death in 1987.
Rogers made a huge contribution to the field of psychology and psychotherapy developing Maslows ideas of humanism and believing that personal growth depended upon the environment as well as personal factors. His main theories became termed client centred therapy later becoming person centred therapy.
His most famous book, “On Becoming a Person” was written whilst he was in Wisconsin claiming that people have their own resources for personal growth and to move towards self actualization. He developed the theory of the core conditions: empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence which together create the therapeutic environment or therapeutic relationship which he believed was necessary and sufficient for a client to achieve self-acceptance and self-actualization.
He defined a fully functioning person with seven key attributes:
· living in the moment
· trust in oneself
· the ability to behave reliably
· creativity and adaptation
· being able to make choices
· ability to experience all emotions