Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Wonderful Person-Centered Philosophy of Carl Rogers

While i'm at it, here are a few more quotes from the Father of client-centered therapy, Carl Rogers.

These quotes reflect Rogers' inherent respect for each person, for each individual's uniqueness, for the gifts that each one possesses, for each one's unique process, and most of all, for each person's inherent capacity for growth and healing.

"In my early professional years I was asking the question: How can I treat, or cure, or change this person? Now I would phrase the question in this way: How can I provide a relationship which this person may use for his own personal growth?"

That is why, in client-centered therapy, Rogers emphasized listening to the client, accepting the client where he/she is, and thus creating a climate in which the client can grow.

"It is the client who knows what hurts, what directions to go, what problems are crucial, what experiences have been deeply buried." --From On Becoming a Person, 1961

In so saying, Rogers inevitably encouraged self-acceptance-- acceptance of the client by the therapist, which in turn would help the client to eventually accept himself; but most of all, Rogers emphasized the therapist's own self-acceptance. This self-acceptance, this faith in the person, is at the core of Rogers' philosophy of healing and growth...

"The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change."

Rogers, therefore, championed the journey, the process of life, as most important, more important than any longed-for goal. For him, it was the ongoing, ever-dynamic process that was most precious in this life...

"The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change."

Thus, for Rogers...

"The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination."

Let us continue this journey together...


  1. hi abbie
    i love the quote of Rogers about his change of focus from changing the client("In my early professional years I was asking the question: How can I treat, or cure, or change this person?) you have a reference for it? I'd love to use it
    Pip Richards

  2. hello Pip :) thank you for your comment. This line is in "On Becoming a Person," page 32. You can check google books at this link:,+or+cure,+or+change+this+person?+Now+I+would+phrase+the+question+in+this+way:+How+can+I+provide+a+relationship+which+this+person+may+use+for+his+own+personal+growth?%22&source=bl&ots=7r_Ly4Ksi-&sig=8g2aZLoOIrAoDIVurp37H_VrhxE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=IrgLUPn1M7DomAXAh-CiCg&ved=0CGMQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22In%20my%20early%20professional%20years%20I%20was%20asking%20the%20question%3A%20How%20can%20I%20treat%2C%20or%20cure%2C%20or%20change%20this%20person%3F%20Now%20I%20would%20phrase%20the%20question%20in%20this%20way%3A%20How%20can%20I%20provide%20a%20relationship%20which%20this%20person%20may%20use%20for%20his%20own%20personal%20growth%3F%22&f=false

    best regards Pip :)