Carl Rogers

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Carl Ransom Rogers (January 8, 1902 – February 4, 1987), was a 20th-century humanistic (client-centered) psychologist. His 1969 collection of essays, Freedom to Learn, was influential for a young generation in the late 1960s and through the 1970s. Rebellions against college teaching methods, the deschooling movement, flower power and the alternative society often referred to Roger's ideas in their various pamphlets. Rogers is regarded as the second most influential therapist (clinical psychologist) of the 20th century (behind Freud).[1]

Biography[change | change source]

Rogers was born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. His parents were Walter Rogers and Julia Cushing. He was the fourth of six children. Rogers was educated in a strict, religious environment. He was first interested in studying agriculture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a focus on history and religion. His interest changed from agriculture to religion. He received a bachelor's degree in 1924. After that, he entered a liberal Protestant seminary in New York City. That went against the views of his conservative father. Rogers spent two years in seminary. He later transferred to Columbia University Teachers College, where he worked with John Dewey. Rogers received his master's degree in 1928. In 1931, he received a PhD in clinical psychology from Columbia University.[2]

After receiving his PhD, Rogers worked at Ohio State University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Wisconsin. During that time, he developed what was later known as client-centered therapy. After his work at the University of Wisconsin, Rogers worked at the Western Behavioral Studies Institute in LaJolla, California. From there he and several other people formed the Center for Studies of the Person (CSP).[2] He remained there until his death in 1987.

Legacy[change | change source]

During the last ten years of his life, Rogers used his person-centered approach in a broader field of work. He used helping relationships in the resolution of inter-group and international conflict.[3] He and his colleagues conducted many experiments in cross cultural communication and peacemaking in the Carl Rogers Peace Project. For this work, Rogers was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The work is not widely known, but it puts Rogers' contributions into a wider social and political context.[3]

Selected works by Carl Rogers[change | change source]

  • Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child (1939)
  • Counseling and Psychotherapy: newer concepts in practice (1942)
  • Client-Centered Therapy: its current practice, implications, and theory (1951)
  • On Becoming a Person: a therapist's view of psychotherapy (1961)
  • Person to Person: the problem of being human (1967)
  • Freedom to Learn: a view of what education might become (1969) ISBN 0-675-09579-4
  • On Encounter Groups (1970)
  • Becoming Partners: marriage and its alternatives (1972)
  • On Personal Power: inner strength and its revolutionary impact (1977)
  • A Way of Being (1980)

References[change | change source]

  1. Haggbloom S.J. et al 2002. The 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century. Review of General Psychology. 6, (2), 139–152.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Carl Rogers Biography (1902-1987)". Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kirschenbaum, Howard 1979. On Becoming Carl Rogers. Preface i.