Image of an imagined Carl Rogers, in his head, thoughts of people. To illustrate an article about Rogers' 10 propositions on self-transcendence.org

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Carl Rogers – 19 Propositions
All individuals (organisms) exist in a continually changing world of experience (phenomenal field) of which they are the centre.

 I make sense of myself, others and my world based on my own constantly changing experiencing.

Rogers’ proposition that The organism reacts to the field as it is experienced and perceived means that each individual has their own subjective perception of reality, which is influenced by their experiences and sensations. This perceptual field is the only reality that matters for the individual, and it determines how they react to their environment (Rogers, 1951). For example, a person who has experienced trauma may perceive the world as a dangerous and hostile place, and react with fear and anxiety to situations that others may find harmless or neutral. This proposition is part of Rogers’ person-centred theory of personality and behaviour, which is based on phenomenology, the study of human experience from the first-person perspective (Tudor & Merry, 2006).

 

The organism reacts to the field as it is experienced and perceived

This perceptual field is “reality” for the individual. My sense of ‘reality’ is unique, formed out of (1) what I experience; and (2) how I process and understand my experience – my ‘story/ies’.

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One of the key propositions of Carl Rogers’ person-centred theory is that the organism reacts to the field as it is experienced and perceived (Rogers, 1951). This means that each individual has their own subjective view of reality, which may or may not correspond to the objective reality. The perceptual field is the totality of the individual’s experiences and perceptions at any given moment, and it is the basis for their behaviour and feelings. For example, a person who perceives a situation as threatening may react with fear or anger, while another person who perceives the same situation as challenging may react with curiosity or excitement. The perceptual field is influenced by the individual’s self-concept, values, beliefs, expectations, and experiences, as well as by the current environmental stimuli. Therefore, to understand a person’s behaviour and feelings, it is important to understand their perceptual field and how they experience and perceive their world (The Person Centred Association, n.d.).

The organism reacts as an organised whole to this phenomenal field

My entire way of being/doing arises out of my personal sense of ‘reality’.

One of the propositions that Carl Rogers (1951) formulated to describe his person-centred theory of personality and behaviour is that the organism reacts as an organised whole to this phenomenal field. This means that the whole person, not just some parts of them, responds to their subjective reality, which is how they perceive and experience the world around them (Merry, 2020). For example, if a person perceives a situation as threatening, they will react with fear or anxiety, not just in their mind, but also in their body and emotions. Their behaviour will be influenced by their perception of the situation, not by the objective facts. This proposition implies that people are holistic beings, who cannot be reduced to separate components or mechanisms, and that their behaviour is meaningful and purposeful in relation to their phenomenal field (Rogers, 1951).

A portion of the total perceptual field gradually becomes differentiated as the self

Part of my ‘reality’ is my sense of self.

According to Rogers (1951), one of the key aspects of personality development is the differentiation of the self from the rest of the perceptual field. The self is “the organized, consistent set of perceptions and beliefs about oneself” (Rogers, 1959, p. 200). The self emerges gradually as a result of interaction with the environment, especially with other people who provide feedback and evaluation. Rogers (1951) proposed that “a portion of the total perceptual field gradually becomes differentiated as the self” (p. 483). This means that some of the experiences that a person has become associated with their sense of identity and self-worth, while others are ignored or distorted because they do not fit with the self-concept. For example, a person who perceives themselves as intelligent may pay more attention to their academic achievements and ignore or rationalize their failures, while a person who perceives themselves as unattractive may focus on their flaws and disregard their positive features. The self is not a fixed or static entity, but rather a fluid and dynamic one that changes and evolves in response to new experiences and feedback (Rogers, 1959).

As a result of interaction with the environment, and particularly as a result of evaluational interaction with others, the structure of the self is formed – an organised, fluid but consistent conceptual pattern of perceptions of characteristics and relationships of the “I” or the “me”, together with values attached to these concepts

My sense of self arises from my experiences and perceptions, especially from comparing myself with others and from the opinions and judgements of others (as I perceive them). My sense of self – who, and what am I? Who am I in relationship? – is fluid, but includes consistent perceptions. I attach values to those perceptions.

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Rogers’ proposition that “As a result of interaction with the environment, and particularly as a result of evaluational interaction with others, the structure of the self is formed – an organized, fluid but consistent conceptual pattern of perceptions of characteristics and relationships of the “I” or the “me”, together with values attached to these concepts” (Rogers, 1951, p. 501) means that our sense of who we are is shaped by our experiences and how others respond to us. The self is not a fixed or static entity, but rather a dynamic and flexible one that can change over time and across situations. The self consists of various aspects or configurations that reflect different dimensions of our existence, such as our needs, desires, emotions, beliefs, values, goals, roles, etc. (Mearns & Thorne, 2000). Each configuration has its own way of perceiving and relating to the world and to the self.

For example, a person may have a configuration of self that is confident, assertive and ambitious in their professional life, but another configuration that is insecure, passive and dependent in their personal relationships. These configurations may be activated by different stimuli or contexts, and may sometimes conflict or contradict each other. The degree of harmony or congruence between the different configurations of self affects the person’s well-being and self-esteem. According to Rogers (1959), the closer our self-image (how we see ourselves) and our ideal self (how we would like to be) are to each other, the more congruent we are and the higher our sense of self-worth.

The organism has one basic tendency and striving – to actualise, maintain and enhance the experiencing organism

I have an innate impulse to care for myself, heal and grow. This includes seeking to (1) keep myself safe/intact, and (2) realise my inward potential – become who I am capable of becoming.

Rogers’ proposition that the organism has one basic tendency and striving – to actualise, maintain and enhance the experiencing organism (Rogers, 1951) is a core concept of his person-centred approach to psychology and therapy. It means that all living beings, including humans, have an innate drive to grow, develop and fulfil their potential, regardless of the external circumstances. This drive is motivational, directional and persistent (Rogers, 1963, as cited in Schunk, 2016). The actualising tendency is not a fixed goal or state, but a dynamic process of pursuing one’s full potential. For example, a person who has a passion for music may actualise their tendency by learning an instrument, composing songs, performing for others, or teaching music to others. The actualising tendency is not always positive or adaptive, however. It can be distorted or thwarted by environmental factors or by incongruence between one’s self-concept and experience (Rogers, 1980). Therefore, Rogers proposed that for optimal personality development and psychological wellbeing, certain conditions are necessary and sufficient, such as unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence (Rogers, 1957).

The best vantage point for understanding behaviour is from the internal frame of reference of the individual

You can adequately understand my behaviour only through understanding how I see myself, others and the world.

Rogers’ proposition that the best vantage point for understanding behaviour is from the internal frame of reference of the individual means that we should try to see the world as the person we are trying to understand sees it, with their feelings and meanings, but without losing our own perspective. This is also known as empathy, which Rogers considered one of the core conditions for effective counselling (Rogers, 1959). An example of applying this proposition would be to listen attentively and reflectively to a client who is experiencing anxiety, without judging them or imposing our own solutions, but rather trying to grasp how they feel and what they need in their situation.

Behaviour is basically the goal-directed attempt of the organism to satisfy its needs as experienced, in the field as perceived.

I behave as I do in order to meet my needs, as I experience and perceive them, and as I experience and perceive ‘reality’.

According to Rogers’ theory of the self, behaviour is basically the goal-directed attempt of the organism to satisfy its needs as experienced, in the field as perceived (Rogers, 1951). This means that people act in ways that they believe will help them achieve their goals and meet their needs, based on how they perceive themselves and their environment. For example, a person who needs love and acceptance may behave in a friendly and cooperative manner, or in a rebellious and defiant manner, depending on how they perceive the reactions of others. The behaviour is not determined by objective reality, but by subjective experience.

Rogers (1951) also proposed that people have one basic tendency and striving: to actualize, maintain and enhance the experiencing organism. This means that people have an innate drive to grow, develop and fulfil their potential. However, this drive can be hindered or facilitated by the environment, especially by the presence or absence of unconditional positive regard from significant others. Unconditional positive regard is the acceptance and appreciation of a person without any conditions or judgments. When a person receives unconditional positive regard, they are more likely to develop a congruent self-concept, which is consistent with their true feelings and experiences. When a person does not receive unconditional positive regard, they are more likely to develop an incongruent self-concept, which is distorted by the expectations and evaluations of others.

An example of how behaviour can be influenced by the self-concept and the environment is the case of a student who wants to pursue a career in art, but whose parents want them to study law. If the student has a congruent self-concept, they may behave in a way that reflects their true interests and abilities, such as applying to art schools and expressing their creativity. If the student has an incongruent self-concept, they may behave in a way that conforms to their parents’ wishes, such as enrolling in law school and suppressing their artistic impulses. The latter behaviour may cause psychological distress and prevent the student from actualizing their potential.

Emotion accompanies, and in general facilitates, such goal directed behaviour, the kind of emotion being related to the perceived significance of the behaviour for the maintenance and enhancement of the organism

I am emotionally present in my behaviour. My feelings are part of how I attempt to get my perceived needs met. What I feel and how strongly depends on how important the need is to me.

Rogers (1959) proposed that emotion is a vital aspect of human motivation and behaviour. He argued that emotion accompanies, and in general facilitates, such goal – directed behaviour, the kind of emotion being related to the perceived significance of the behaviour for the maintenance and enhancement of the organism. In other words, emotion reflects how important an action or a situation is for our well-being and growth. For example, if we are pursuing a career goal that aligns with our values and interests, we may experience positive emotions such as joy, satisfaction, and enthusiasm. These emotions reinforce our motivation and help us overcome obstacles. On the other hand, if we are facing a threat to our physical or psychological integrity, we may experience negative emotions such as fear, anger, or anxiety. These emotions alert us to the danger and mobilize us to take action or seek help. Therefore, emotion serves as a feedback system that guides us toward fulfilling our needs and potentials.

The values attached to experiences, and the values that are a part of the self-structure, in some instances, are values experienced directly by the organism, and in some instances are values introjected or taken over from others, but perceived in distorted fashion, as if they had been experienced directly

 

The values I attach to my experiences, and how I value myself, is a mix – based on my own direct experiences and also including values taken on or absorbed from other people. I may be unaware some of ‘my’ values derive from others.

Rogers’ proposition 10 states that the values attached to experiences, and the values that are a part of the self-structure, in some instances, are values experienced directly by the organism, and in some instances are values introjected or taken over from others, but perceived in distorted fashion, as if they had been experienced directly (Rogers, 1951). This means that some of the values that we hold are based on our own direct experience of reality, while others are based on what others have told us or implied, but we have internalized them as if they were our own. Introjected values are often associated with conditions of worth, which are the expectations that we have to meet to be accepted by others (Rogers, 1959). Introjected values can interfere with our organismic self, which is our true and authentic self that follows our innate potential and needs (Rogers, 1959).

An example of an introjected value might be that of how women ‘should’ look (as implied by, say, magazine covers). This is robustly challenged by Naomi Wolf (2015) in The Beauty Myth. A woman who has introjected this value might feel dissatisfied with her appearance and try to conform to an unrealistic standard of beauty, even if it goes against her own organismic experience of herself. She might not be aware that this value is not her own, but rather a product of social conditioning and manipulation. A person-centred therapist would help her to become more aware of her own organismic valuing process and to differentiate between her own values and those that have been introjected from others.

As experiences occur in the life of the individual, they are either, a) symbolised, perceived and organised into some relation to the self, b) ignored because there is no perceived relationship to the self-structure, c) denied symbolization or given distorted symbolization because the experience is inconsistent with the structure of the self

There are a number of ways I can meet my experiences – I can (a) make personal sense of their meanings, and integrate them into my view of myself and my world (so my view will shift and change with my experience); (b) ignore them because they do not fit in with how I see myself or the world; (c) treat them as if they have no meaning or reshape (‘re-story’) and distort them to fit my view of myself and the world.

According to Rogers, as experiences occur in the life of the individual, they are either, a) symbolised, perceived and organised into some relation to the self, b) ignored because there is no perceived relationship to the self-structure, c) denied symbolisation or given distorted symbolisation because the experience is inconsistent with the structure of the self. The self-structure is an organized configuration of perceptions of the self which are admissible to awareness (Rogers, 1951). The structure of the self is formed as a result of interaction with the environment, and particularly as a result of evaluational interaction with others (Rogers, 1951). For example, a person who has a positive self-structure may symbolise and perceive an experience of failure as a learning opportunity, while a person who has a negative self-structure may ignore or distort the same experience as a confirmation of their worthlessness.

Most of the ways of behaving that are adopted by the organism are those that are consistent with the concept of self

I usually behave in ways that are consistent with how I see myself (so if I believe I have little value, I will behave as if that’s true).

One of Rogers’ propositions is that most of the ways of behaving that are adopted by the organism are those that are consistent with the concept of self. The concept of self, or self-concept, is how we perceive and value ourselves. It is formed through our interactions with others and our experiences in life. The concept of self includes two aspects: the self-image (how we see ourselves) and the ideal self (how we would like to be) (Rogers, 1959). Rogers (1959) argued that we want to feel, experience, and behave in ways that match our self-image and our ideal self. The more congruent these two aspects are, the more authentic and satisfied we are. However, if there is a gap or inconsistency between them, we may experience incongruence, which can lead to anxiety, defensiveness, or denial (Rogers, 1959). For example, if a person has a self-image of being kind and compassionate, but acts in a cruel or selfish way, they may feel guilty or ashamed. Conversely, if they act in a way that aligns with their ideal self, they may feel proud or fulfilled.

In some instances, behaviour may be brought about by organic experiences and needs which have not been symbolised. Such behaviour may be inconsistent with the structure of the self, but in such instances the behaviour is not “owned” by the individual

Underlying needs and experiences which I deny, distort, or have not managed to make sense of, will tend to leak through into my behaviour, and this behaviour may be less consistent with how I see myself. I am likely not to ‘own’ this behaviour.

According to Rogers, in some instances, behaviour may be brought about by organic experiences and needs which have not been symbolised. This means that sometimes people act in ways that are driven by their biological impulses or urges, but they are not aware of the meaning or significance of their actions. Such behaviour may be inconsistent with the structure of the self, but in such instances the behaviour is not “owned” by the individual. This means that sometimes people act in ways that contradict their self-concept or values, but they do not recognise or accept their actions as part of themselves.

For example, a person who has a strong need for intimacy but has not symbolised this need may engage in casual sexual encounters with strangers, but may not see this behaviour as reflecting their true self or desires. They may rationalise their behaviour as being fun, adventurous or harmless, but they may also feel guilty, ashamed or empty afterwards. They may not own their behaviour because it does not fit with their self-image or expectations.

Rogers (1951) suggested that such unsymbolised behaviour can be problematic because it can create incongruence between the self and the experience, which can lead to anxiety, defensiveness or denial. He argued that for a person to achieve psychological growth and well-being, they need to symbolise their experiences and needs, and integrate them into a coherent and congruent self-structure.

Psychological adjustment exists when the concept of the self is such that all the sensory and visceral experiences of the organism are, or may be, assimilated on a symbolic level into a consistent relationship with the concept of self

When I am connected to my own authentic being, I am able to be open to my actual embodied experience in its immediacy and totality, and integrate this into how I see myself and my world.

According to Rogers (1951), psychological adjustment is a state of harmony between the self and the experience. The self is the organized and consistent set of perceptions and beliefs that one has about oneself. The experience is the totality of sensory and visceral stimuli that one encounters in life. Psychological adjustment exists when the concept of the self is such that all the sensory and visceral experiences of the organism are, or may be, assimilated on a symbolic level into a consistent relationship with the concept of self (Rogers, 1951, p. 491). This means that one can accept and integrate all aspects of one’s experience, without denying or distorting them, into a coherent and congruent self-image. For example, a person who has a positive self-concept of being a kind and compassionate person would be psychologically adjusted if they could acknowledge and express their feelings of anger or frustration in appropriate ways, without feeling guilty or ashamed of them.

Psychological maladjustment exists when the organism denies awareness of significant sensory and visceral experiences, which consequently are not symbolised and organized into the gestalt of the self-structure. When this situation exists, there is a basic or potential psychological tension

When I am disconnected from my own authentic being, I will deny awareness of significant actual embodied experience, so will be unable to make sense of this or integrate it into how I see myself and my world. This will cause deep unease and tension within me.

According to Rogers (1951), psychological maladjustment occurs when a person is not fully aware of their own feelings and sensations, and therefore does not integrate them into their sense of self. This creates a discrepancy between the person’s actual experience and their self-concept, which leads to psychological tension and distress. For example, a person who grew up in a family that valued academic achievement may ignore or suppress their feelings of boredom or frustration with their studies, and continue to pursue a career that does not match their true interests or values. This person may experience anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem as a result of denying their authentic self (Merry, 2020).

Any experience which is inconsistent with the organization of the structure of the self may be perceived as a threat, and the more of these perceptions there are, the more rigidly the self-structure is organised to maintain itself

I may find an experience threatening if it is inconsistent with how I see myself and my world. The more experiences I find threatening, the more rigid my sense of self becomes and the more tightly I cling to my viewpoint.

Rogers’ proposition that any experience which is inconsistent with the organization of the structure of the self may be perceived as a threat, and the more of these perceptions there are, the more rigidly the self-structure is organized to maintain itself (Rogers, 1951) is based on his phenomenological theory of personality and behaviour. According to this theory, each person has a self-concept, which is an organized and fluid pattern of perceptions and values related to the self. The self-concept is formed through interaction with the environment, especially with significant others who provide positive or negative evaluations of the person. The self-concept influences how the person perceives and reacts to their phenomenal field, which is their subjective reality. When the person encounters an experience that is congruent with their self-concept, they can symbolize it and integrate it into their self-structure. However, when the person encounters an experience that is incongruent with their self-concept, they may perceive it as a threat to their sense of identity and well-being.

To cope with this threat, the person may use various defence mechanisms, such as denial, distortion, or repression, to avoid or modify the experience so that it does not challenge their self-concept. The more the person relies on these defences, the more rigid and inflexible their self-structure becomes, and the more they lose touch with their actualizing tendency, which is their innate drive to grow and fulfil their potential (Rogers, 1961). An example of this proposition in action could be a person who has a self-concept of being smart and successful, but who fails an important exam. They may perceive this failure as a threat to their self-esteem and identity, and may react by denying the reality of their poor performance, blaming external factors, or rationalizing their failure as a fluke. By doing so, they avoid facing the inconsistency between their self-concept and their experience, but they also prevent themselves from learning from their mistakes and elevating their skills.

Under certain conditions, involving primarily complete absence of threat to the self-structure, experiences which are inconsistent with it may be perceived and examined, and the structure of self-revised to assimilate and include such experiences

If I feel safe enough, it becomes possible for me to look at experiences I have denied because I find them too threatening. I can begin to make sense of myself and the world in a different, fuller way, to take account of these denied experiences. This is healing.

Rogers’ proposition that under certain conditions, involving primarily complete absence of threat to the self-structure, experiences which are inconsistent with it may be perceived and examined, and the structure of self-revised to assimilate and include such experiences, can be explained as follows.

The self-structure is an organized configuration of perceptions of the self that are admissible to awareness (Rogers, 1951). It is formed by the interaction with the environment, especially with others who evaluate us (Rogers, 1951). The self-structure has values attached to it, which may be experienced directly by the organism or introjected from others (Rogers, 1951).

When an experience is consistent with the self-structure, it is symbolized and integrated into the self (Rogers, 1951). When an experience is inconsistent with the self-structure, it may be ignored, denied or distorted to fit the self (Rogers, 1951). However, if there is no threat to the self-structure, such as in a supportive and accepting environment, the inconsistent experience may be perceived and examined without defensiveness (Rogers, 1951). This may lead to a revision of the self-structure to accommodate and include the new experience (Rogers, 1951).

For example, a person who has a self-structure that values being strong and independent may have an experience of feeling vulnerable and needing help. If this person is in a situation where they feel judged or criticized for being weak, they may ignore or deny their feelings and act as if they are fine. However, if this person is in a situation where they feel understood and respected for being human, they may acknowledge and explore their feelings and realize that they are not incompatible with their self-structure. They may revise their self-structure to include being strong and independent as well as being vulnerable and needing help at times.

When the individual perceives and accepts into one consistent and integrated system all his sensory and visceral experiences, then he is necessarily more understanding of others and is more accepting of others as separate individuals

When I am able to hold in awareness and integrate all my actual embodied experiencing, I am inevitably more understanding and tolerant of others, and more able to understand, value and accept others as separate beings.

One of the propositions that Carl Rogers (1951) formulated to describe his person-centred theory of personality and behaviour is the following: “When the individual perceives and accepts into one consistent and integrated system all his sensory and visceral experiences, then he is necessarily more understanding of others and is more accepting of others as separate individuals” (p. 532). This proposition implies that self-acceptance is a prerequisite for empathy and respect for others. When a person can acknowledge and integrate all aspects of their experience, without denying or distorting them, they are more likely to have a congruent and authentic sense of self. This, in turn, enables them to perceive and appreciate the uniqueness and complexity of other people, without imposing their own expectations or judgments on them. An example of this proposition in action could be a person who has experienced trauma in their past, but has been able to process and accept it as part of their life story. They might be more understanding and compassionate towards others who have also suffered trauma, rather than avoiding or blaming them.

As the individual perceives and accepts into his self-structure more of his organic experiences, he finds that he is replacing his present value system – based extensively on introjections which have been distortedly symbolised – with a continuing organismic valuing process

When I am able to reshape my view of myself and my world to include denied experiences, I begin to reshape my values, letting go values that really belong to other people and forming values within my moment to moment awareness of the flow of my unique experiencing.

Rogers’ proposition that As the individual perceives and accepts into his self-structure more of his organic experiences, he finds that he is replacing his present value system – based extensively on introjections which have been distortedly symbolised – with a continuing organismic valuing process can be explained as follows:

According to Rogers (1951), the self is a part of the individual’s perceptual field that becomes differentiated from the rest of the experience through interaction with the environment and others. The self is composed of perceptions and values that are attached to them. Some of these values are experienced directly by the individual, while others are introjected from others, meaning that they are taken over without being critically examined. These introjected values may be distorted or inconsistent with the individual’s true nature and needs.

Rogers (1951) also proposed that the individual has an innate tendency to actualize, maintain and enhance the experiencing organism, which he called the actualizing tendency. This is a natural drive to grow, develop and fulfils potential. The actualizing tendency is expressed through an organismic valuing process (OVP), which is an internal mechanism that evaluates experiences based on their contribution to the organism’s well-being and growth.

However, when the individual receives conditional positive regard from others, meaning that they are accepted and valued only if they meet certain standards or expectations, they may lose touch with their OVP and adopt the values of others as their own. This creates a discrepancy between the self and the organism, or between what the individual thinks they should be and what they actually are. This discrepancy leads to incongruence, which is a state of psychological distress and maladjustment.

Rogers (1951) suggested that to reduce incongruence and achieve psychological health, the individual needs to perceive and accept more of their organic experiences into their self-structure, regardless of whether they are consistent or inconsistent with their current self-concept. By doing so, they will gradually replace their introjected and distorted value system with a continuing OVP, which will guide them to act in accordance with their true nature and needs.

An example of this process could be a person who has been raised in a strict religious family and has internalized their parents’ values and beliefs without questioning them. They may feel guilty or ashamed for having doubts or desires that contradict their religious teachings. However, through therapy or other means of self-exploration, they may start to recognize and accept their own feelings and thoughts as valid and meaningful. They may realize that their religious values are not congruent with their organismic experience and that they have been living according to someone else’s standards. They may then decide to revise or reject some of their religious values and follow their own OVP instead, which will allow them to live more authentically and happily.

Image of an imagined Carl Rogers, in his head, thoughts of people. To illustrate an article about Rogers' 10 propositions on self-transcendence.org

One of the main criticisms of Roger’s 19 propositions is that they are too vague, abstract and subjective, and that they lack empirical evidence and testability (Bohart & Tallman, 2010). Some critics argue that the propositions are not falsifiable, meaning that they cannot be proven or disproven by scientific methods, and that they are based on Rogers’ personal beliefs and values rather than on objective observations (Maddi, 1996). Another criticism is that the propositions are too optimistic and idealistic, and that they ignore the role of biological, social and environmental factors that may limit or constrain human potential and growth (Joseph & Linley, 2006). Some critics also contend that the propositions are too individualistic and egocentric, and that they neglect the importance of interpersonal relationships, cultural diversity and social justice in human development (McLeod, 2011).

Since Rogers published his 19 propositions in 1951, there have been several attempts to revise, update or expand them to address some of the criticisms and to incorporate new insights from research and practice. For example, Bohart and Tallman (2010) proposed a revised version of the propositions that emphasizes the role of agency, resilience and co-construction in human change processes. They also suggested that the propositions should be seen as working hypotheses rather than as definitive statements, and that they should be open to revision based on empirical evidence and feedback. Another example is Joseph and Linley’s (2006) positive psychology perspective on the propositions, which focuses on the strengths, virtues and well-being of human beings rather than on their problems or pathology. They also proposed a new proposition that states that human beings have a natural tendency to seek meaning and purpose in their lives, which can facilitate their growth and flourishing.

An example of how Roger’s 19 propositions can be applied in counselling is as follows: A client comes to counselling with low self-esteem and depression. The counsellor adopts a person-centred approach and tries to understand the client’s subjective experience of their situation. The counsellor also provides empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence to create a safe and supportive environment for the client. The counsellor helps the client to explore their self-concept, which may be incongruent with their actual experience or potential. The counsellor also encourages the client to express their feelings, thoughts and values freely without judgment or evaluation. The counsellor trusts that the client has the capacity to find their own solutions and direction in life, and facilitates their self-awareness, self-acceptance and Self-actualization.

References

Bohart, A. C., & Tallman, K. (2010). Clients: The neglected common factor in psychotherapy. In B. L. Duncan, S. D. Miller, B. E.

Wampold & M. A. Hubble (Eds.), The heart & soul of change: Delivering what works in therapy (2nd ed., pp. 83–111). Washington DC: American Psychological Association.

Joseph, S., & Linley, P. A. (2006). Positive therapy: A positive psychological theory of therapeutic practice. In P.A.Linley & S.Joseph (Eds.), Positive psychology in practice (pp. 354–368). Hoboken NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Maddi, S.R.(1996). Personality theories: A comparative analysis (6th ed.). Pacific Grove CA: Brooks/Cole.

McLeod, J.(2011). Qualitative research in counselling and psychotherapy (2nd ed.). London: Sage.

Mearns, D., & Thorne, B. (2000). Person-centred therapy today: New frontiers in theory and practice. London: Sage.

Merry, T. (2020). Learning and being in person-centred counselling. PCCS Books.

Merry, T. (2020). Carl Rogers’ 19 propositions: A theory of personality & behaviour. Retrieved from https://christhecounsellor.co.uk/carl-rogers-19-propositions/

Rogers, C.R.(1951). Client-centered therapy: Its current practice implications, and theory.Boston MA:Houghton Mifflin.

Rogers, C. R. (1959). A theory of therapy, personality and interpersonal relationships as developed in the Client-centered framework. In S. Koch (Ed.), Psychology: A study of a science. Vol. 3: Formulations of the person and the social context (pp. 184-256). New York: McGraw Hill.

Rogers, C. R. (1957). The necessary and sufficient conditions of therapeutic personality change. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 21(2), 95–103.

Rogers, C. R. (1961). On becoming a person: A therapist’s view of psychotherapy. Houghton Mifflin.

Rogers, C. R. (1980). A way of being. Houghton Mifflin.

Schunk, D. H. (2016). Learning theories: An educational perspective (7th ed.). Pearson.

Tudor, K., & Merry, T. (2006). Dictionary of person-centred psychology.London:PCCS Books.

Wolf, N. (2015). The beauty myth: How images of beauty are used against women. London: Vintage

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