Chapter 10-Rogers: Person-Centered Theory

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Terms in this set (...)

Biography of Rogers
-devoutly religious parents
-influenced by Otto rank
-published The Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child
-published Client-Centered Therapy in 1951
Overview of Person-Centered Theory
-the self and self-actualization
-awareness
-becoming a person
Person-Centered
-"client-centered"; "person-centered"; "student-centered"; "group-centered"
-closely stated in if-then framework (if a certain conditions exist, then a process will occur)
Basic Assumptions
-formative tendency
-actualizing tendency
"Formative Tendency" Basic Assumption
-The belief that there is a tendency for all mater, both organic and inorganic, to evolve from simpler to more complex forms
-a creative process for the entire universe
-everything is growing and changing
-Ex: complex galaxies of stars form from a less well-organized mass
"Actualizing Tendency" Basic Assumption
-The tendency within all humans (and other animals and plants) to move toward completion or fulfillment potentials
-only motive people possess
-moving on towards fulfilling your potential and self-actualization
-Satisfy hunger, express deep emotions, accepting oneself
-involves whole person (physiological, conscious, unconscious, etc)
-tendencies to "maintain" and "enhance"
Maintenance of the Actualizing Tendency
need for maintenance includes basic needs (food, air, safety); but also includes tendency to resist change and to seek the status quo
-similar to lower steps on Maslow's hierarchy
Enhancement of the Actualizing Tendency
-the need to become more, to develop and to achieve growth
-Seen in people's willingness to learn new things that are not immediately rewarding
-Expressed in curiosity, playfulness, self-exploration, friendship and confidence that one can achieve psychological growth
The Self and Self-Actualization
-infants develop a vague concept of self when a portion of their experience becomes personalized and differentiated in awareness as in "I" or "me" experiences (what they like and don't like; becoming aware of their own identity)
-Once infants establish a self-structure their tendency to actualize the self begins to evolve
Self-Actualization
-the tendency to actualize the self as perceived in awareness
-When the organism and the perceived self are in harmony, the actualization tendencies are nearly identical
-2 self subsystems: the self-concept and the ideal self
"The Self-Concept" Subsystem of Self-Actualization
-Includes all those aspects of ones' being and one's experiences that are perceived in awareness (though not always accurately) by the individual
-Not identical with the organismic self (Ex: the stomach is part of the organismic self, but unless it malfunctions and causes concern, it's not likely to be part of one's self-concept)
"The Ideal Self" Subsystem of Self-Actualization
-One's view of self as one wishes to be
-Contains all those attributes that people aspire to possess
-Wide gap between the ideal self and the self-concept indicates incongruence and is an unhealthy person
Awareness
-The symbolic representation (not necessarily in verbal symbols) of some portion of our experience
-Term synonymous with the consciousness and symbolization
Levels of Awareness
in terms of experienced events
-Ignored or Denied
-Accurately Symbolized
-Distorted
"Ignored" Level of Awareness
ex: a woman walking down a busy street (activity presents many potential stimuli-particularly sight and sound); she cannot attend to all stimuli so many remain ignored
"Denied" Level of Awareness
-Ex: a mother who never wanted children but out of guilt she becomes overly solicitous to them
-Her anger toward children may be hidden to her, never reaching consciousness, yet remaining part of her experience and coloring her conscious behavior toward them
"Accurately Symbolized" Level of Awareness
-freely admitted to the self-structure
-Experiences are nonthreatening and consistent with the existing self-concept
-Ex: a pianist who has full confidence in his piano-playing ability is told by a friend that his playing is excellent-he may hear these words, accurately symbolize them, and freely admit them to his self-concept
"Distorted" Level of Awareness
-When our experience is not consistent with our view of self, we reshape or distort the experience so that it can be assimilated into our existing self-concept
-May hear remarks but distort meaning because feeling threatened
-Ex: the gifted pianist is told by a competitor that his playing was excellent; reacts differently than when his trusted friend told him
Denial of Positive Experiences in Awareness
-People have difficulty accepting genuine compliments and positive feedback, even when deserved
-Ex: student feels inadequate when earning a superior grade; says to self "I know this grade is evidence of scholastic ability but this class is easy, the other students didn't try, and the teacher didn't know what she was doing"
Becoming a Person
-first the individual must make a CONTACT with another person
-As child becomes aware that another person has a regard for them, they begin to value POSITIVE REGARD and devalue negative regard
"Contact" of Becoming a Person
-when the individual makes contact with another person it can positive or negative
-In order to survive, an infant must experience contact from parent or caregiver
-minimum experience to survive
"Positive Regard" of Becoming a Person
-person develops need to be loved, liked or accepted by another person
-Once positive self-regard is established, it becomes independent of the continual need to be loved
-Source of positive self-regard lies in the positive regard we receive from others, but once established is autonomous and self-perpetuating
Barriers to Psychological Health
Most people experience these barriers as opposed to becoming a psychologically healthy person

include:
-Conditions of worth
-incongruence
-defensiveness
-disorganization
"Conditions of Worth" Barrier to Psychological Health
-Instead of receiving unconditional positive regard, most people experience this
-When people perceive that their parents, peers, or partners love and accept them only if they meet those people's expectations and approval
-includes EXTERNAL EVALUATIONS
"External Evaluations" of Conditions of Worth
-our perceptions of other people's view of us
-Do not foster psychological health but rather prevent us from being completely open to our own personal experiences
-ex: we may reject pleasurable experiences because we believe that people don't approve of them
"Incongruence" Barrier to Psychological Health
-Psychological disequilibrium when we fail to recognize our organismic experiences (actualization) as self-experiences; we do not accurately symbolize organismic experiences into awareness because they appear inconsistent with our emerging self-concept
-includes: VULNERABILITY, ANXIETY AND THREAT
"Vulnerability" of Incongruence
-The greater the incongruence between our perceived self (self-concept) and our organismic experience, the more vulnerable we are
-People are vulnerable when they are unaware of the discrepancy between organismic self and their significant experience
-Exists when we have no awareness of the incongruence within our self
"Anxiety and Threat" of Incongruence
experienced as we gain awareness of our incongruence
Anxiety
-a state of uneasiness or tension whose cause is unknown
-As we become more aware of our incongruence, anxiety evolves to threat
Threat
an awareness that our self is no longer whole or congruent
"Defensiveness" Barrier to Psychological Health
-the protection of the self-concept against anxiety and threat by the DENIAL or DISTORTION of experiences inconsistent with it
-We react in defensive manner to prevent this inconsistency between organismic experience and our perceived self
-Keep our perception of our organismic experiences consistent to our self-concept which allows us to block anxiety or threatening experiences
"Distortion" of Defensiveness
-We misinterpret an experience in order to fit it into some aspect of our self-concept
-Perceiving the experience in awareness, but fail to understand true meaning
"Denial" of Defensiveness
-We refuse to perceive an experience in awareness, or at least we keep some aspect of it from reaching symbolization
-Not as common as distortion (most experiences can be twisted to fir current self-concept)
"Disorganization" Psychological Barrier
-People sometimes behave consistently with their organismic experience and sometimes in accordance with their shattered self-concept
-Sometimes defenses fail and our behavior becomes disorganized
-Ex: a previously proper woman suddenly begins to use language explicitly sexual
-Behavior is consistent with self-concept, but the self-concept has been broken and the behavior appears bizarre
Psychotherapy
-o In order for vulnerable or anxious people to grow psychologically, they must come into contact with a therapist who is congruent and whom they perceive as providing an atmosphere of unconditional acceptance and accurate empathy
Conditions of Psychotherapy
In order for therapeutic growth to take place an anxious/vulnerable client must come into contact w/ congruent therapist who possesses empathy ; then, the client must perceive these characteristics in the therapist; finally, the contact between client and therapist must be of duration

includes:
-Counselor Congruence
-Unconditional Positive Regard
-Empathic Listening
"Counselor Congruence" Condition of Psychotherapy
-First necessary condition for therapeutic change
-Exists when a person's organismic experiences are matched by an awareness of them and by an ability and willingness to openly express these feelings
-To be real or genuine, and to be whole
-involves feelings, awareness, and expression
"Unconditional Positive Regard" Condition of Psychotherapy
-Occurs when positive regard (the need to be liked, prized, accepted by others) exists without conditions or qualifications
-Therapist w/ unconditional positive regard toward a client shows a nonpossessive warmth (to care about another w/o smothering or owning a person) and acceptance
-Therapists accept clients without any restriction and without regard to client's behavior
"Empathic Listening" Condition of Psychotherapy
-Empathy exists when therapists accurately sense the feelings of their clients and are able to communicate these perceptions so that clients know that another person has entered their world of feelings without prejudice/projection/evaluation
-"temporarily living in the other's life, moving about in it delicately without making judgments"
Process of Psychotherapy
If the conditions of therapist congruence, unconditional positive regard, and empathy are present-the process of therapeutic change sets in motion
-process of constructive personality change placed from most defensive to most integrated in 7 stages of therapeutic change
Stage 1 of Psychotherapy Therapeutic Change
characterized by unwillingness to communicate anything about oneself; do not recognize problems; refuse to own emotions or change
Stage 2 of Psychotherapy Therapeutic Change
clients become slightly less rigid; discuss external events but still disown their own feelings; discuss feelings as if they were objective phenomena
Stage 3 of Psychotherapy Therapeutic Change
clients feel more freely talk about self, although still as an object; avoid emotions in present tense; refuse to accept emotions
Stage 4 of Psychotherapy Therapeutic Change
clients begin to talk of deep feelings but no ones presently felt; begin to tentatively have relationship with therapist
Stage 5 of Psychotherapy Therapeutic Change
clients begin to undergo significant change and growth; can express feelings in present but have not yet accurately symbolized feelings; beginning to rely on internal evaluation of feelings; begin to make own decisions and accept responsibility for choices
Stage 6 of Psychotherapy Therapeutic Change
experience dramatic growth and irreversible movement toward becoming fully functioning or self-actualizing; freely allow into awareness the experiences they previously denied/distorted; more congruent and able to match present experiences with awareness and open expression; begin to develop unconditional self-regard; physiological loosening is experienced- experience their whole organismic self
Stage 7 of Psychotherapy Therapeutic Change
can occur outside therapeutic encounter b/c growth at stage 6 is irreversible; clients become fully functioning "persons of tomorrow"; able to generalize in-therapy experiences to their world beyond therapy; organismic self is unified with self-concept and becomes the locus for evaluating their experiences; possess unconditional positive self-regard and are able to be loving and empathetic towards others
Theoretical Explanation for Therapeutic Change
-When people come to experience themselves as prized and unconditionally accepted, they realize they are loveable
-As clients perceive that they are empathically understood, they are freed to listen to themselves more accurately and have empathy for their own feelings
The Person of Tomorrow
Psychologically healthy people are:
-More adaptable
-Open to their experiences
-Live fully in the moment
-Existential living
-Harmonious relations with others
-More Integrated (conscious and unconscious)
-Basic trust of human nature
-Greater richness in life
The Philosophy of Science
-Science begins and ends with subjective experience
-Scientists must be involved with phenomena being studied
-Scientists perceive patterns among phenomena
-Scientists communicate findings, but this communication is subjective
The Chicago Study Hypotheses
1) Clients will become more aware of their feelings and experiences
2) The gap between the real self and the ideal self will lessen as a consequence of therapy
3) Clients' behavior will become more socialized, that is, more self-accepting and more accepting of others
The Chicago Study Method
-To measure adjustment, they used the Q sort technique (congruence between real & ideal selves)
-Participants were adults who sought therapy at the University of Chicago counseling center
-Experimenters asked half the participants to wait 60 days before receiving therapy. In addition, they tested a control group of "normals" who were matched with the therapy group.
The Chicago Study Findings
-The therapy group—but not the control group—showed a lessening of the gap between real self and ideal self
-Clients who improved during therapy—but not those rated as least improved—showed changes in social behavior, as noted by their friends
The Chicago Study Summary of Results
Therapy group did demonstrate growth and retained improvement during follow-up, but they did not attain the level of psychological health in the control group
Related Research
Self-Discrepancy Theory
-Higgins (1987)
Real-ideal discrepancy leads to dejection-related emotions; real-ought discrepancy leads to agitation-related emotions
-Phillips & Silvia (2005)
High self-awareness condition led to feeling negative emotion at self-discrepancies
-Wolfe & Maisto (2000)
Real-ideal self-discrepancy and negative mood were negatively correlated with alcohol consumption

Motivation and Pursuing one's Goals
-Sheldon et al. (2003)
Supports Rogers' theory s that people do have an OVP
Intrinsically fulfilling goals become more important over time while materialistic goals become less important
-Schwartz & Waterman (2013)
The OVP directs us toward fulfilling pursuits
Critique of Rogers
-Very High on Practicality and Internal Consistency
-High on Falsifiability, Parsimony, and Organizing Knowledge
-Moderate on Generating Research
Concept of Humanity
-Free Choice over Determinism
-Optimism over Pessimism
-Teleology over Causality
-Uniqueness over Similarity
-Conscious over Unconscious
-Social Influence over Biology