Carl Rogers was an influential psychologist. He had a humanistic approach and was the founder of the person centred therapy approach in the 1940’s. His approach is still relevant and widely used by therapists today. Rogers seemed to have a very optimistic and positive viewpoint on mankind. The humanistic approach is essentially positive as it identifies the basic goodness of individuals. Roger’s concept of person centred therapy was a result of his experiences with his patients. Rogers also argued that all humans strive to reach their potentials.
To understand Rogers and the person centred approach it is useful to look at Maslow’s Theory. Maslow argued that humans strive for the highest ...view middle of the document...
We feel satisfied if we feel confident and valued, but when we feel dissatisfied we feel frustrated, inferior, helpless and worthless. Maslow argued that when all these needs are met can we move on to self actualisation. Maslow described self actualisation as ‘a person’s need to be and do that which the person was born to do’ http://www.businessballs.com/maslow.htm
Maslow argued that we all want to self actualise and the only reason that people would not move well in the direction of self actualisation is due to the obstacles that are placed in the way by society. Every individual has the need and strives to be the best they can be. Maslow called the lower four needs the deficit needs, because they relate to not having enough of something. Maslow did acknowledge that self actualisation is not easy and rarely achieved.
It is almost impossible if the individual has suffered some significant problem along the path of development such as a period of extreme neglect or abuse. This may result in you becoming fixated on that particular set of needs for the rest of your life. This was Maslow’s understanding of neurosis. Self actualisation for Maslow was ‘continuous desire to fulfil potentials to be all that you could be’ http://www.businessballs.com/maslow.htm
Rogers was influenced by Maslow and built upon his theories, Rogers believed he could help all types of people even those with serious issues. He believed that self actualisation and self image was the key. If a person is in psychosis, it is because their defences become overwhelmed. Their sense of self becomes ‘shattered’ and this can result in their behaviour losing consistency.
They have a ‘psychotic break’, therefore their behaviour is eccentric, emotions are not appropriate and they lose the ability to differentiate between self and non self and become disorientated. Rogers believed that he could restore this by working with the client towards self-actualising. Rogers saw mental health as a normal progression of life; they are just a distortion of the natural tendencies.
Rogers person centred therapy emphasised that concept of self actualisation. He argued that there is an internal and biological force to try and realise someone’s potential to the fullest. Where Rogers was almost revolutionary was his belief that each person had the sufficient natural resource to deal effectively with life and the various problems that we encounter through life. These resources may be forgotten or denied but they are always present with the potential for development and growth like Maslow. Rogers believed the therapeutic environment had to be right to allow this growth and therapy could help facilitate that, while Rogers seemed to have a positive view and was certainly an optimist view of people’s abilities.
Person Centred therapist would argue that people have the ability to exercise control over their own lives and destiny. This is an optimistic view of human nature, since the emphasis is...