Carl Rogers

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rogers, Carl


Born Jan. 8, 1902, in Oak Park, III. American psychologist; one of the leaders of “humanistic psychology” and the founder of nondirective or “client-centered” psychotherapy, in which the physician enters into a close personal relationship with the patient and regards him not as a patient but as a client who assumes responsibility for solving his own problems by stimulating the creativity of his ego.

From 1940 to 1963, Rogers was a professor at Ohio State University and at the Universities of Chicago and Wisconsin. He became director of the Center for Studies of the Person in La Jolla, Calif., in 1964. In his theory of personality Rogers distinguishes two systems for regulating behavior: the organism, which strives to protect and strengthen itself, and the self, a special area in the individual’s experience, consisting of a system of perceptions and evaluations by the individual of his traits and of his attitudes toward the world. If the structure of the self is rigid, experiences that are inconsistent with it are perceived as a threat to personality and are consciously distorted or completely denied. The purpose of nondirective psychotherapy is to reorganize the structure of the self so that it becomes flexible and open to all experience.

Humanistic psychology, represented by Rogers and shaped by the irrationalist philosophy of existentialism, became very popular in the USA during the 1950’s and 1960’s. It aspires to the role of a “third force” in the study of human behavior, the other forces being Freudianism and behaviorism.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.