Client-centred therapy by Carl Rogers
Learn more about Client-centred therapy with our article by Carl Rogers Quotes
A second characteristic of the process which for me is good life is that it involves an increasing tendency to live fully in each moment. I believe it would be evident that for the person who was fully open to his new experience, completely without defensiveness, each moment would be new. – Client-centred therapy by Carl Rogers Quotes
Change threatens, and its possibility creates frightened, angry people. They are found in their purest essence on the extreme right, but in all of us, there is some fear of the process, of change.
Evaluation by others is not a guide for me. The judgments of others, while they are to be listened to, and taken into account for what they are, can never be a guide for me. This has been a hard thing to learn.
Experience is, for me, the highest authority. The touchstone of validity is my own experience. No other person’s ideas, and none of my own ideas, are as authoritative as my experience. It is to experience that I must return again and again, to discover a closer approximation to truth as it is in the process of becoming in me. Neither the Bible nor the prophets — neither Freud nor research — neither the revelations of God nor man — can take precedence over my own direct experience. My experience is not authoritative because it is infallible. It is the basis of authority because it can always be checked in new primary ways. In this way, its frequent error or fallibility is always open to correction. – Client-centred therapy by Carl Rogers Quotes
I am isolated. I sit in a glass ball, I see people through a glass wall. I scream, but they do not hear me.
I am less and less a creature of influences in myself which operate beyond my ken in the realms of the unconscious. I am increasingly an architect of self. I am free to will and choose. I can, through accepting my individuality, my ‘isness,’ become more of my uniqueness, more of my potentiality.
I believe that individuals nowadays are probably more aware of their inner loneliness than has ever been true before in history.
I find it very satisfying when I can be real when I can be close to whatever it is that is going on within me. I like it when I can listen to myself. To really know what I am experiencing at the moment is by no means an easy thing, but I feel somewhat encouraged because I think that over the years I have been improving at it.
I found myself doing this same thing—playing the role of having greater certainty and greater competence than I really possess. I can’t tell you how disgusted with myself I felt as I realized what I was doing: I was not being me, I was playing a part.
I have come to feel that the only learning which significantly influences behaviour is self-discovered, self-appropriated learning.
I like to think of myself as a quiet revolutionary.
I’m not perfect… But I’m enough. – Client-centred therapy by Carl Rogers Quotes
If you are willing to enter his private world and see the way life appears to him, without any attempt to make evaluative judgments, you run the risk of being changed yourself.
In my deepest contacts with individuals in therapy, even those whose troubles are most disturbing, whose behaviour has been most anti-social, whose feelings seem most abnormal, I find this to be true. When I can sensitively understand the feelings which they are expressing, when I am able to accept them as separate persons in their own right, then I find that they tend to move in certain directions. And what are these directions in which they tend to move? The words which I believe are most truly descriptive are words such as positive, constructive, moving toward self-actualization, growing toward maturity, growing toward socialization.
In my early professionals 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? I have gradually come to one negative conclusion about the good life. It seems to me that the good life is not any fixed state. It is not, in my estimation, a state of virtue, or contentment, or nirvana, or happiness. It is not a condition in which the individual is adjusted or fulfilled or actualized. To use psychological terms, it is not a state of drive-reduction, or tension-reduction, or homeostasis. The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.
It is so obvious when a person is not hiding behind a facade but is speaking from deep within himself.
It is the client who knows what hurts, what directions to go, what problems are crucial, what experiences have been deeply buried. It began to occur to me that unless I had a need to demonstrate my own cleverness and learning, I would do better to rely upon the client for the direction of movement in the process.
It seems to me that anything that can be taught to another is relatively inconsequential, and has little or no significant influence on behaviour.
Once an experience is fully in awareness, fully accepted, then it can be coped with effectively, like any other clear reality. – Client-centred therapy by Carl Rogers Quotes
Perhaps partly because of the troubling business of being struggled over, I have come to value highly the privilege of getting away, of being alone. It has seemed to me that my most fruitful periods of work are the times when I have been able to get completely away from what others think, from professional expectations and daily demands, and gain perspective on what I am doing.
So while I still hate to readjust my thinking, still hate to give up old ways of perceiving and conceptualizing, yet at some deeper level, I have, to a considerable degree, come to realize that these painful reorganizations are what is known as learning.
So, here we are, all of us poor bewildered darlings, wandering adrift in a universe too big and too complex for us, clasping and ricochetting off other people too different and too perplexing for us, and seeking to satisfy myriad, shifting, vague needs and desires, both mean and exalted. And sometimes we mesh. Don’t we?
The conviction grows in me that we shall discover laws of personality and behaviour which are as significant for human progress or human understanding as the law of gravity or the laws of thermodynamics.
The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.
The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.” Today we have abundant opportunities to utilize our strengths and passions, do things we enjoy, and connect with people we love. Tomorrow might bring a world of exciting new possibilities, but today, wherever we stand on our journey, can be an adventure in itself.
The mainspring of creativity appears to be the same tendency which we discover so deeply as the curative force in psychotherapy—man’s tendency to actualize himself, to become his potentialities.
The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change. – Client-centred therapy by Carl Rogers Quotes
The right-wing has a large proportion of authoritarian personalities. They tend to believe man is, by nature, basically evil. Surrounded as all of us are by the bigness of impersonal forces which seem beyond our power to control, they look for the ‘enemy’, so that they can hate him. At different times in history, ‘the enemy’ has been the witch, the demon, the Communist (remember Joe McCarthy?), and now sex education, sensitivity training, ‘non-religious humanism’, and other current demons.
The third facilitative aspect of the relationship is empathic understanding. This means that the therapist senses accurately the feelings and personal meanings that the client is experiencing and communicates this understanding to the client. When functioning best, the therapist is so much inside the private world of the other that he or she can clarify not only the meanings of which the client is aware but even those just below the level of awareness. This kind of sensitive, active listening is exceedingly rare in our lives. We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know.
The very essence of the creative is its novelty, and hence we have no standard by which to judge it.
There is direction but there is no destination. – Client-centred therapy by Carl Rogers Quotes
We cannot change, we cannot move away from what we are until we thoroughly accept what we are. Then change seems to come about almost unnoticed.
We live by a perceptual “map” which is never reality itself.
What I am is good enough if I would only be it openly.
What is most personal is most universal.
When I am thus able to be in process, it is clear that there can be no closed system of beliefs, no unchanging set of principles which I hold. Life is guided by a changing understanding of and interpretation of my experience. It is always in the process of becoming.
When I have been listened to and when I have been heard, I am able to re-perceive my world in a new way and to go on. It is astonishing how elements that seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens, how confusions that seem irremediable turn into relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard. I have deeply appreciated the times that I have experienced this sensitive, empathic, concentrated listening.
When I look at a sunset as I did the other evening, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a little on the right-hand corner, and put a bit more purple along the base, and use a little more pink in the cloud colour.” I don’t do that. I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch it with awe as it unfolds. I like myself best when I can appreciate my staff member, my son, my daughter, my grandchildren, in this same way. I believe this is a somewhat Oriental attitude; for me, it is a most satisfying one.
When I look at the world I’m pessimistic, but when I look at people I am optimistic. – Client-centred therapy by Carl Rogers Quotes
When you are in psychological distress and someone really hears you without passing judgement on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good!
You can’t possibly be afraid of death, really, you can only be afraid of life.