Monday, 30 December 2013
Carl Rogers (1902-1987) was a humanistic psychologist who said that for a person to "grow", they need an environment that provides them with genuineness (openness and self-disclosure), acceptance (being seen with unconditional positive regard), and empathy (being listened to and understood).
Without these, relationships and healthy personalities will not develop as they should, much like a tree will not grow without sunlight and water.
Rogers believed that every person can achieve their goals, wishes and desires in life. When, or rather if they did so, self actualization took place. This was one of Carl Rogers most important contributions to psychology.
He discovered that if you allowed a human being to be fully heard , without judging them or weighing them down with advice , they would begin to discover the cause of their problem and the solution for themselves.
Rogers maintained that the idea of an 'expert ' in a white coat telling people what to do was disempowering in itself.
He had an optimistic view of human nature, believing that man was intrinsically able to find the answers to his own problems. It only required that the therapist listen to the client with total empathy, putting aside any personal judgement or advice, for the client to come slowly to his own resolution of the problem.
Rogers believed that in order for the world to attain peace , we had to begin by treating ourselves and each other in empathetic and unconditional ways that allowed individuals to be heard and understood.
He like Carl Jung believed that the redemption of the human race would come about by individuals dealing the fractured or damaged parts of their own souls rather than mass movements or crusades.
I empathise so much with Carl Rogers, how inspiring to read his beliefs about our potential to heal ourselves and each other through empathetic listening.