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Carl Rogers

Carl Rogers

Carl Ransom Rogers was one of the most prominent figures in the history of psychology, well known as the founder of humanistic approach. His influential works have given way to new dimensions in psychology and created a profound impact on psychotherapy, counseling and education. He was born on January 8th 1902 in Chicago, Illinois.

Rogers received his early education in a religious environment followed by studying scientific methods and its application in a practical world. He chose agriculture as his first field of study at University of Wisconsin-Madison, followed by history and religion. Then, he went on to attend International Christian Conference at age 20, after that he decided to change his career paths and attended Teachers College at Columbia University from where he obtained his MA in 1928 and PhD in 1931. After completing his work for PhD degree he engaged himself in child behavioral studies where he held office as the director of The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in New York. Serving as a professor of psychology at University of Chicago he got elected as the president of American Psychological Association. During this period he also wrote “On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy” in 1961.

He worked with Abraham Maslow in laying grounds for humanistic psychology, the major applications of his theory included person-centered therapy, learner centered teaching, cross cultural relations and rogerian rhetorical approach. The theories that he presented on self consisted of 19 propositions, the first one said that every living organism had a sense of their well-being, they know what was threatening or nourishing for them. He termed this notion as organismic valuing. He proposed this idea based on evolution according to which man understands and differentiates between his needs and their fulfillment. Positive regard is the most valuable emotion among humans which includes all the positive emotions like love, appreciation, affection, respect and attention to lead a prosperous and successful life. Positive regard also gives way to nurture positive self-regard which is the self-esteem of a person, what he perceives himself to be in his own eyes, how he values and worth himself.

Carl Rogers used the term person-centered approach to devise applications related to personality theory, interpersonal relations, cross cultural relations and professions like nursing and teaching that need extensive human care and support. Person centered approach was initially named as client centered approach, this approach was devised when Carl Rogers was conducting therapeutic sessions with his clients. His helper, Elias Porter measured the employment of directiveness and non-directiveness by the counselor in maintaining the effectiveness standard of the therapy. Learner centered teaching was another concept that Roger devised and emphasized upon by concluding that learning occurs in a free environment. He wrote “Freedom to Learn” in 1969 to describe this theory. American Psychological Association recognized his works and bestowed him with an Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions in accreditation for his exemplary works to the field of psychology. Also, he was awarded with Humanists of the Year in 1964 by American Humanist Association. He had the honor of being the sixth prominent psychologist of 20th century.

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