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0px; font: 12.0px ‘Times New Roman’; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 15.0px}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}Carl Rogers, arguably the one of the most influential psychologists of the 21st century, can largely attribute his lasting influence to his theories regarding patient-centred care within the field of psychotherapy (American Psychologist, 1973). Rogers began his career in a children’s centre in Rochester, working with troubled, delinquent youths. At this time, an emphasis was placed on achieving results and ensuring that the youths did not commit crimes again.

However, Rogers began to grow weary of this distant approach to dealing with patients. This led Rogers to begin to question the methods of psychotherapy that he was practicing, from an ethical and moral standpoint. After what is now commonly referred to as the “illumination moment”, where on speaking with a troubled mother and her son, Rogers came to understand that the patient knew more about their own mind than a psychologist ever would, and that more value needed to be placed on them within therapy situations (Rogers, 1985). While he continued to develop this approach to psychotherapy, Rogers also worked in several universities, occupying various posts, it was while working in Ohio State University that Rogers realised the importance of recording sessions with patients. Rogers continued to value the importance of this practice throughout his career (Gendlin, 1988).

While practicing in the University of Chicago, Rogers concluded the importance of patient-centred care, and emphasised a need to call patients “clients” so as to reinforce their significance within their own therapy (Koch, 1959). It was these strides that led to Rogers winning the APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award in 1956. (American Psychologist, 1973). Rogers went on to develop and refine his concepts further. His beliefs centred on his inherent trust in humans as co operative and rational beings. He is also attributed to the development of the concept of actualizing tendency, which refers to the underlying desire in all beings to maintain themselves as well as to develop and accomplish themselves.

This theory developed to refer to an organismic valuing process, whereby people perceive obstacles to their growth and development as negative (Rogers, 1963). He also concluded that the key features of a healing relationship within psychotherapy were congruence, unconditional positive regard, and empathy. Rogers considered congruence to be the most crucial of these conditions, as it refers to a therapist truly embracing a client and not distancing themselves from them due to professionalism (Rogers, 1951). Rogers concluded that once these features were present, the client would feel trusted and open up about their experiences.

In order to aid in the implementation of his theories, Rogers took a keen interest in the teaching and training of counselling psychologists. However, despite his lasting legacy within the field of psychoanalysis and the many awards that he has received, Rogers work is not without its criticisms. Arguments that Rogers theories are too simplified and naive in their complete trusting of clients exist, as well as questioning the idea that psychologist should not advise or direct their clients at all (Quinn, 1993).Conceptually, Rogers believed in patient centred care, he came to understand that the patient, not the psychologist was the expert on their own life and mind and therefore more value needed to be placed on their expert knowledge within therapy situations (Rogers, 1986). In this one can see that he disagreed with other schools of thought in psychology, for example he did not hold Freud’s beliefs that early experiences in life would dictate development as an adult, he believed that an individual plays an active and continuous role in their own development as humans are intrinsically future orientated. He was however, in aggreeance with Maslow and the concept of the hierarchy of needs although he believed that unconditional positive regard self-disclosure and honesty were entirely necessary for the development of self.  Rogers also centred his beliefs around an inherent trust in humans, as co operative and rational beings, he believed that in order for the client to fully disclose with the therapist they must feel safe and free from judgement. Rogers is widely attributed to the conceptual development of what is known as actualizing tendency, that is, an underlying desire in all beings to maintain their own well being and to accomplish and develop themselves (Rogers, 1963).

This concept was developed in reference to an organismic valuing process, whereby people perceive hindrances to their growth as negative. Rogers believed that to be ‘self-actualising’ person one must have compatibility between their version of an ideal self and the behaviour that they express (McLeod, 2014). Once one has become self-actualised Roger would then believe them to be a fully functioning individual (Rogers, 1961).

Rogers believed that a deeply personal relationship should exist between the client and the therapist. This relationship should be based on a mutual respect, particularly towards the client. This is why Rogers believed in referring to a client as such, so as to reinforce their significance within their own therapy (Koch & Rogers, 1959). With regards to Rogers counselling process, he believed that a patient knew more about their own mind than a therapist and should therefore not advise the client rigidly, and rather allow them to draw their own conclusions based on their own experiences. Furthermore, Rogers believed that a therapist should not distance themselves from their client in any way. In order to aid in the implementation of these relationships, Rogers took a keen interest in the training of counselling psychologists.

Rogers also recognised the importance of recording counselling sessions with clients so as to chart their progress and development

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