A Remarkable Life Of Carl Ransom Rogers Research Paper Example
Type of paper: Research Paper
Topic: Psychology, Students, Client, Psychotherapy, University, Therapist, Body, Reading
In childhood Carl Rogers' favorite pastime was reading the adventure novels. The destiny of Rogers was developing so that it actually resembled the half-forgotten story of the novel hero in many respects. He traveled half the world and he has impacted on such diverse sectors of human activity that today Carl Rogers is considered one of the most outstanding authorities in psychology of the XX century. Rogers name is often mentioned with other well-known names such as F. Pearls, C. Buhler, K. Horney, and E. Fromm. In contrast to the colleagues, who were brought to America from Europe by tragic upheavals of the XX century, Rogers was one hundred percent American. Walter Rogers and Julie Cushing, who had known each other since childhood, were married in 1891. There were born six children. The fourth was Carl Rogers. He was born on January 8, 1902. All the further biographical information is synthesized from the works of C. Rogers (1961), Thorne and Sanders (2012), Barret-Lennard (1998), and McLeod (2014).
Carl enjoyed reading a lot and he spent hour doing that. However, if reading of the Bible was encouraged by his deeply religious parents, by reading fiction young Carl upset his parents, as they considered it as a waste of time (Thorne and Sanders 2012).
Barely having reached the age of seven, Carl entered the school. By the way, the same school attended by his neighbor, Ernest Hemingway, and Dr. Hemingway, Ernest's father, where he taught science (Barret-Lennard 1998). There he met his coeval Helen Elliot, who fifteen years later became his wife.
Biographical sources mention that Carl has spent his childhood on the farm. However, farming for Walter Rogers, a successful industrialist, was a kind of hobby (Thorne and Sanders, 2012). In autobiographical notes Rogers (1961) recalls that the first book that influenced the formation of his scientific outlook were as it may seem strange, was about agriculture.
Rogers entered the college with the intention to study agricultural science. After two years, he suddenly changed his choice. The change occurred after he settled in the hostel of the Youth Christian Association, where his older brother Ross was one of its activists (Thorne and Sanders 2012). Rich emotional communication with his friends encouraged him to choose a spiritual path. In 1922, as a part of a small delegation of American students, he went to China for an international Christian conference. Although the conference did not last long, there was an important milestone in the development of his personality (Thorne and Sanders 2012).
Rogers continued his education in the Theological Seminary. However, the trip to the East resulted in the major changes of his views. He became more and more attracted psychology. Carl began to realize that his main life goal was to help people in need of spiritual support and believed it can be achieved outside the church. He also made sure that the work of the psychologist means quite decent employment that can also provide adequate means of livelihood. Rogers took a course of psychology in absentia at the University of Wisconsin. Later, he completed his education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
After graduation, Carl Rogers went to work as a clinical psychologist in the Center of the Children Assistance in Rochester and stayed there for 12 years. His practical work in a certain sense was based on improvisation. Rogers did not belong to any psychological school. He has developed his own theory and method gradually during the years spent in Rochester. From a formal, prescriptive approach adopted in traditional psychotherapy, he moved to another, which he later called a client-centered therapy.
In 1939 the Rogers was invited to accept the post of professor at Ohio State University. In 1945, the University of Chicago gave Rogers the opportunity to create his own counselling center. As director of the center Rogers worked until 1957. In 1951 he published his book Client-Centered Therapy, in which his principles are most fully reflected. The book was met with massive criticism from therapists of various approaches who saw a threat to the traditional methods in the position of Rogers. The main conclusions of this position, far beyond therapeutic themes, Rogers described in his most famous book On Becoming the Person (1961).
In 1957, Rogers began teaching psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin. There were serious contradictions with the management about the educational methods and therefore, he left the post of professor. A similar situation occurred at the University of San Diego.
Since 1963 his work has been associated with the Center for the study of personality in La Jolla, California. Here, with no persistent administration, he found peace and certainty, worked and wrote. In total Carl Rogers wrote 16 books and over 200 articles (Rogers n/d).
Contributions to the Theory and Practice
Rogers considered “self-concept” as a fundamental component of the structure of personality, which is formed during the interaction of the subject with the social environment and is an integral mechanism of self-control of the subject's behavior (McLeod 2014). Rogers made a great contribution to the creation of nondirective psychotherapy, which he called "person-centered psychotherapy." Rogers believed that directive methods are not as effective as person-centered, the latter ones cause changes to a client “through experience in a relationship” (Rogers 1961, p.33), with the help of the therapist.
Before Rogers therapists worked with patients, with sick. Rogers deliberately introduced the term “client” into scientific use (Thorne and Sanders 2012). By this he made a fundamental review of the entire strategy of psychotherapy. Patients are sick and need help, so they call a professional. A therapist directs them and suggests a way out of the disease state. A client is the one who needs the service and believes that he could do it himself, but prefers to rely on the support of a therapist. Client, despite his or her disturbing problems is still regarded as a person capable to understand them.
Peter S. Fernald (2000) focuses on the fact that Rogerian approach pays special attention to the body of the client. Rogers noticed that the emotions can be displayed in the body and that the body has its own memory, which stores the unique organismic experience (Fernald 2000).
Carl Rogers supported Maslow's idea and believed that the main motive of every human being is a desire for self-actualization (McLeod 2014). In the therapy process, he held the position of supporting and helping therapist to disclose clients own resources. In his understanding, man is capable to achieve self-actualization when his “ideal self” is congruent with “actual self” (McLeod 2014).
Finally, Carl Rogers is recognized as “the single most influential psychotherapist” of the past quarter-century and “remains a major role model today” (“The Top 10” 2007). His last years Rogers spent traveling around the world to help resolve ethnic conflicts in Ireland, South Africa, the United States and the Soviet Union (Rogers n/d). His approach was revolutionary new, showing the client as a unique person with genuine body feelings and emotions. Rogers believed everyone is unique and has all the chances to reach self-actualization. His client-centered therapy uses creativity and improvisation. "The very essence of the creative is its novelty, and hence we have no standard by which to judge it" (Rogers 1961, p. 351). Thereby, the nonjudgmental and facilitating Rogerian method gives the client a good opportunity to realize him- or herself better and to reach self-actualization.
Barret-Lennard, Godfrey T. Carl Rogers' Helping System: Journey & Substance. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc., 1998. Print.
Fernald, Peter S. Carl Rogers: Body-Centered Counselor. Journal of Counseling and Development: JCD 78.2 (Spring 2000): p.172-179. Print.
McLeod, Saul. Carl Rogers. Simply Psychology, 2014. Web. 17 Apr, 2015.
Rogers, Carl. On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy. 1961. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2012. Print.
Rogers, Natalie. Carl Rogers. Biography. Natalie Rogers Website, n/d. Web. 17 Apr, 2015. <http://www.nrogers.com/carlrogersbio.html>
“The Top 10.” Psychotherapy Networker Magazine, Mar/Apr 2007. Web. 17 Apr, 2015.
Thorne, Brian and Pete Sanders. Carl Rogers. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc., 2012. Print.