Monthly Archives: August 2010

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These are some Carl Rogers’ audio and video, more are available on


New World / New Person Pt. 1 Carl Rogers [44 min.]. 2/22/81 – A world in turmoil and travail – chaos, terrorism and confusion. Carl’s predictions on how persons will be able to live in an uncertain future.

New World / New Person Pt. 2 Carl Rogers [25 min.]. 2/22/81 – Q & A

To Be the Self That Truly Is
Carl Rogers [55 min.]. 1957 – Citing Soren Kirkegaard Carl discusses psychology and a meaningful life

AHP, Do We Need “A Reality” Pt.1
Carl Rogers [35 min.]. 1974 – Social constructivist theory as a promising resource for learning and growth
AHP, Do We Need “A Reality” Pt.2 Q&A Carl Rogers [35 min.]. 1974

AHP Keynote Address
Carl Rogers [37 min.]. 1983 – Although it has had major impact on culture Humanistic Psychology has had too little impact on mainstream psychology

Carl Rogers was among the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology. The person-centered approach, Carl Rogers‘ own unique approach to understanding personality and human relationships, found wide application in various domains such as psychotherapy and counseling (client-centered therapy), education (student-centered learning), organizations, and other group settings.

Rogers stated the six necessary and sufficient conditions required for therapeutic change:
1. Therapist-Client Psychological Contact: a relationship between client and therapist must exist, and it must be a relationship in which each person’s perception of the other is important.
2. Client incongruence, or Vulnerability: that incongruence exists between the client’s experience and awareness. Furthermore, the client is vulnerable to anxiety which motivates them to stay in the relationship.
3. Therapist Congruence, or Genuineness: the therapist is congruent within the therapeutic relationship. The therapist is deeply involved him or herself – they are not “acting” – and they can draw on their own experiences (self-disclosure) to facilitate the relationship.
4. Therapist Unconditional Positive Regard (UPR): the therapist accepts the client unconditionally, without judgment, disapproval or approval. This facilitates increased self-regard in the client, as they can begin to become aware of experiences in which their view of self-worth was distorted by others.
5. Therapist Empathic understanding: the therapist experiences an empathic understanding of the client’s internal frame of reference. Accurate empathy on the part of the therapist helps the client believe the therapist’s unconditional love for them.
6. Client Perception: that the client perceives, to at least a minimal degree, the therapist’s UPR and empathic understanding.

Carl Rogers‘ theory of the self is considered to be humanistic and phenomenological, being based directly on the “phenomenal field” personality theory of Combs and Snygg (1949).

Carl Rogers Nineteen Propositions
His theory was based on nineteen propositions:
1. All individuals (organisms) exist in a continually changing world of experience (phenomenal field) of which they are the centre.
2. The organism reacts to the field as it is experienced and perceived. This perceptual field is “reality” for the individual.
3. The organism reacts as an organized whole to this phenomenal field.
4. A portion of the total perceptual field gradually becomes differentiated as the self.
5. 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.
6. The organism has one basic tendency and striving – to actualize, maintain and enhance the experiencing organism.
7. The best vantage point for understanding behaviour is from the internal frame of reference of the individual.
8. Behavior is basically the goal-directed attempt of the organism to satisfy its needs as experienced, in the field as perceived.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. As experiences occur in the life of the individual, they are either, a) symbolized, perceived and organized 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.
12. Most of the ways of behaving that are adopted by the organism are those that are consistent with the concept of self.
13. In some instances, behaviour may be brought about by organic experiences and needs which have not been symbolized. Such behaviour may be inconsistent with the structure of the self but in such instances the behaviour is not “owned” by the individual.
14. 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.
15. Psychological maladjustment exists when the organism denies awareness of significant sensory and visceral experiences, which consequently are not symbolized and organized into the gestalt of the self structure. When this situation exists, there is a basic or potential psychological tension.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. 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 symbolized – with a continuing organismic valuing process.

Additionally, Rogers is known for practicing “unconditional positive regard”, which is defined as accepting a person “without negative judgment of …. [a person’s] basic worth.”

Optimal development, as referred to in proposition 14, results in a certain process rather than static state. He describes this as the good life where the organism continually aims to fulfill its full potential. He listed characteristics of a fully functioning person (Rogers 1961):

1. A growing openness to experience – they move away from defensiveness and have no need for subception (a perceptual defense that involves unconsciously applying strategies to prevent a troubling stimulus from entering consciousness).
2. An increasingly existential lifestyle – living each moment fully – not distorting the moment to fit personality or self concept but allowing personality and self concept to emanate from the experience. This results in excitement, daring, adaptability, tolerance, spontaneity, and a lack of rigidity and suggests a foundation of trust. “To open one’s spirit to what is going on now, and discover in that present process whatever structure it appears to have” (Rogers 1961)[12]
3. Increasing organismic trust – they trust their own judgment and their ability to choose behaviour that is appropriate for each moment. They do not rely on existing codes and social norms but trust that as they are open to experiences they will be able to trust their own sense of right and wrong.
4. Freedom of choice – not being shackled by the restrictions that influence an incongruent individual, they are able to make a wider range of choices more fluently. They believe that they play a role in determining their own behaviour and so feel responsible for their own behaviour.
5. Creativity – it follows that they will feel more free to be creative. They will also be more creative in the way they adapt to their own circumstances without feeling a need to conform.
6. Reliability and constructiveness – they can be trusted to act constructively. An individual who is open to all their needs will be able to maintain a balance between them. Even aggressive needs will be matched and balanced by intrinsic goodness in congruent individuals.
7. A rich full life – he describes the life of the fully functioning individual as rich, full and exciting and suggests that they experience joy and pain, love and heartbreak, fear and courage more intensely.

Rogers’ description of the good life: “This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-hearted. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one’s potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life”.

Person-centered therapy
Person-centered therapy (PCT) is also known as person-centered psychotherapy, client-centered therapy and Rogerian psychotherapy. PCT is a form of talk-psychotherapy developed by psychologist Carl Rogers in the 1940s and 1950s. It’s one of the most widely used models in mental health and psychotherapy.[citation needed] In this technique, therapists create a comfortable, non-judgmental environment by demonstrating congruence (genuineness), empathy, and unconditional positive regard toward their patients while using a non-directive approach. This aids patients in finding their own solutions to their problems.

While in session, therapists encourage patients to discuss their experiences and express their feelings. Therapists then empathically repeat emotionally significant statements back to their patients. The purpose is to allow patients to arrive at solutions to their problems by examining their own thoughts. Patients can then decide for themselves in what ways they need to change.

Going far in life

August 31, 2010

How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.

A Psychology of Human Strengths: Fundamental Questions and Future Directions for a Positive Psychology features leading scholars of contemporary psychology, setting a research agenda for the scientific study of human strengths. In many cases, their findings have turned “established wisdom” on its head. What results is a comprehensive volume that provides a forward-looking forum for the discussion of the purpose, pitfalls, and future of the psychology of human strengths.

This volume is a must-read for those looking for new ways of thinking about such topics as intelligence, judgment, volition, social behavior, close relationships, development, aging, and health as well as applications to psychotherapy, education, organizational psychology, gender, politics, creativity, and other realms of life.

More information on:

This is a list of resources on Strengths-Based Approaches to Counseling Practice in College and University Counseling Centers (more information on

Allen, D., Carlson, D., & Ham, C. (2007). Well Being: New paradigms of wellness inspiring positive health outcomes and renewing hope. American Journal of Health Promotion

Bauman, S. S. (2002). Fostering resilience in children. In C. L. Juntunen and D. R. Atkinson (Eds.) Counseling across the lifespan: Prevention and treatment (pp. 41‐55). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Fava, G. A. (1999). Well-being therapy: Conceptual and technical issues. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 68, 171-179.

Kulka, J. (2006). Bright sides of positive psychology. Ceskoslovenska Psychologie, 50, 95-97

Linley, P. A., & Joseph, S. (2004). Positive psychology in practice. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons. (edited book: some strategies for practice, teaching, etc)

Peterson, C. & Seligman, M.E. (2003). Values in action (VIA) classification of strengths manual. Retrieved from
Peterson, C. & Seligman, M.E. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Positive aspects of human functioning: a cornerstone of counseling psychology, Special issue, The Counseling Psychologist, Vol 34, No. 2 (March, 2006)

Tritt, K., Loew, T. H., Meyer, M., Werner, B., Peseschkian, N. (1999). Positive psychotherapy: Effectiveness of an interdisciplinary approach. European Journal of Psychiatry, 13, 231‐242.

Waters, D.B. & Lawrence, E.C. (1993). Competence, courage, and change: An approach to family therapy. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Wong, Y. J. (2006). Strength-centered therapy: a social constructionist, virtues-based psychotherapy. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 43:2, 133–146

In “The Strength-Based Counseling Model. A Paradigm Shift in Psychology“, Elsie J. Smith states that, sometimes, it is difficult for a profession to move forward because its members interpret emerging conceptual models from the perspective of old frameworks. Each of the five reactants in this issue of The Counseling Psychologist interpreted the strength-based counseling model within their own self-adopted framework—Adlerian psychology, role strain theory, optimal development, self-efficacy, or wellness. Only one reactant had the courage to say that although counseling psychology has historically “talked the talk” about building strengths in individuals, it has steadily embraced the medical model. If counseling psychology is to go forward, we will need honest appraisals of what goals we have and have not accomplished. Strength-based counseling represents a paradigm shift in psychology from the deficit medical model to one that stresses clients’ strengths. The model will hopefully encourage the profession to act on its espoused commitment to strength development for individuals across the life span.

Full paper available on

In “Counseling Psychology and Strength-Based Counseling“, Peggy Kaczmarek provides a reaction to the proposed strength-based counseling model for at-risk youth. The Major Contribution initiates a dialogue about how to define strengths and how to operationalize a strength-based model of counseling. Discussing how this model adapts to adolescents by capitalizing on this developmental stage’s uniqueness would strengthen the model. In addition, research needs to test the model’s efficacy.

Full paper available on

These are selected Buddhist Psychology books for your consideration:

Caroline Brazier – The Buddhist Psychology: Liberate Your Mind, Embrace Life
Western therapeutic approaches have often put considerable emphasis on building self-esteem and enhancing a positive sense of self. This book challenges the assumption behind this approach. Most of us protect ourselves against being fully alive. Because we fear loss and pain, we escape by withdrawing from experiences and distracting ourselves with amusements. We fall into habitual ways of acting and limit our experience to the familiar. We create an identity which we think of as a ‘self’, and in so doing imprison our life-energy. For 2500 years Buddhism has developed an understanding of the way that we can easily fall into a deluded view. It has shown how the mind clings to false perceptions and tries to create permanence out of an ever changing world. Written by a practising therapist and committed Buddhist, this book explores the practical relevance of Buddhist teachings on psychology to our everyday experience. By letting go of our attachment to self, we open ourselves to full engagement with life and with others. We step out of our self-made prison.

As written on Amazon by user Anagarika: This book explores not only a very deep (linguistic and interpolation) meaning behind Four Noble Truth, The Six Senses, Five Skandhas, etc, other than the usual (common) explanation/translation but also provides different insights that helps building systematic understanding of the mind as described in Buddhist teachings.

By reading this, i have better intellectual understanding and can use some mental model to contemplate during meditation. It really helps to be really mindful, although i fail all the times to be mindful always, but the mental model helps tremendously!

At this point of view, i have not finished the book, but i read slowly and bring it to meditation, and i have no rush to complete it, just letting it grows on me at its own pace.(…)
Upon further reading and utilizing the mind models into daily practice, it is tremendously helpful to find tips on how to change the habitual pattern built since birth till the present. To recognize how a self conscious delusion arises, thus it is much easier to check and catch.
A highly recommended book for you if you really want to train your mind but you find traditional method of mind training too difficult and too abstract to apply, because it explains in very clear way what is the purpose of certain training (i.e. the bodhisattva vow).

Jack Kornfield – The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology
From Publishers Weekly: Author, psychologist and pioneering Buddhist teacher Kornfield writes his best book yet (and his previous ones were pretty good). His newest uses the same sweet narrative voice, provides convincing and illustrative anecdotes and stories, and reaches into world traditions and literature as well as contemporary scientific research. This book offers a systematic and well-organized view of Buddhist psychology, complete with occasional diagrams. Concepts and practices are placed in a framework that explains and connects them. It’s all done with an eye toward application; most chapters end with exercises. Kornfield has been practicing Buddhism for close to 40 years, a lasting discipline that has produced this masterful book and a seasoned view of life that acknowledges a lot of oopses. As a mediator and psychologist, he has also witnessed some serious angst, including his own, and draws on it for illustrative power. Not everything here is new, least of all the title, but then the Buddha isn’t either. The best is left for last: joy you can seek for yourself and others. Just keep your meditative seat, and this book by your bed. Kornfield comes across as the therapist you wish you’d had.

Jeremy D. Safran – Psychoanalysis and Buddhism: An Unfolding Dialogue

Psychoanalysis and Buddhism pairs Buddhist psychotherapists together with leading figures in psychoanalysis who have a general interest in the role of spirituality in psychology. The resulting essays present an illuminating discourse on these two disciplines and how they intersect. This landmark book challenges traditional thoughts on psychoanalysis and Buddhism and propels them to a higher level of understanding.

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