Rogers, Carl

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Rogers, Carl

Rogers, Carl, 1902–87, American psychologist, b. Oak Park, Ill. In 1930, Rogers served as director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in Rochester, New York. He lectured at the Univ. of Rochester (1935–40), Ohio State Univ. (1940–44), and the Univ. of Chicago (1945–57), where he helped to found a therapeutic counseling center. After teaching at Univ. of Wisconsin until 1963, he became a resident at the new Center for Studies of the Person in La Jolla. A prominent figure in the humanistic school of psychology, Rogers is best known for his client-centered therapy, which suggested that the client should have as much impact on the direction of the therapy as the psychologist. His works include Client-Centered Therapy (1951) and On Becoming a Person (1961).
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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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.


The Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child. Boston, 1939.
Counseling and Psychotherapy. Boston, 1942.
Client-centered Therapy. Boston, 1951.
Psychotherapy and Personality Change. Chicago, 1954.
“A Theory of Therapy, Personality and Interpersonal Relationships.” In Psychology, vol. 3. Edited by S. Koch. New York, 1959.
Freedom of Personality, 2nd ed. New York, 1972.


Bozhovich, L. I. Lichnost’ i ee formirovanie ν detskom vozraste. Moscow, 1968.
Iaroshevskii, M. G. Psikhologiia ν 20 stoletii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1974. Hall, C. S., and G. Lindsey. Theories of Personality, 2nd ed. New York, 1970.
Maddi, S. R. Personality Theories, rev. ed. New York, 1972.


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

Rogers, Carl (Ransom)

(1902–87) psychotherapist; born in Oak Park, Ill. He took his doctorate in psychology at Columbia University (1931) and published his first book, Clinical Treatment of Problem Children, in 1939. He taught at the University of Chicago (1945–57), where his research on the one-to-one relationship in therapy resulted in the book Client-Centered Therapy (1951). This nondirective approach rejected doctrinaire interpretations of the patient's symptoms and fostered the development of encounter groups in which the therapist acted primarily as a moderator. By the 1960s his method was being widely adopted, from drug treatment centers to business organizations, and he himself became one of the best-known professionals in his field. His other publications include Psychotherapy and Personality Change (1954) and On Becoming a Person (1961).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.