Psychology of conversation: self-updating

The good in people and the pursuit of self-actualization

Rogers, unlike Siegmund Freud, represented an optimistic view of man, that of humanistic psychology. According to this, man is a being who strives to realize his inner possibilities and develop his creative abilities. In the end, human nature always tends to the good, and aberrations arise in an unfavorable human environment. The power of good causes everyone to try to move towards the greatest possible level of self-organization.

Man has to be able to develop

According to Rogers, psychotherapy should help people to be able to walk the path forward once they are locked up. In one of his books he quotes the phrase of the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu: "If I avoid influencing them, people will become them". Carl Rogers emphasizes the development, the development of man. For him, there is no final state that a person can achieve in their life. Man is in a process of constant change.

The more man is able to perceive the inner and outer stimuli undistorted, ie to be congruent with himself, the more he tends to accept himself and, consequently, to change himself if necessary. If a person is able to accept himself and possibly to change himself, he develops in the direction of his perfection.

This "updating tendency" is considered to be the overarching principle of human behavior and experience, and it causes the human organism to develop and maintain all physical, mental and spiritual possibilities. " (Swiss Society for Person-Centered Psychotherapy and Counseling (SGGT)) If this development unfavorably, it can lead to blockages, mental disorders and inhibitions or to destructive, irrational, antisocial behavior.

Carl Rogers' person-centered psychotherapy: first comes the human

For Rogers therapy is above all a meeting of two people. True to the "dialogic principle" of the philosopher Martin Buber, the self of a person can develop only in the contact of the I to the you, and not if a person becomes the object of consideration or treatment by another. The therapist as this "you" is to help the client to update his self.

Rogers was psychotherapeutic and consultant for 12 years as a clinical psychologist before teaching at three American universities from 1940 to 1963 as a professor of psychology and (in part) of psychiatry. In the 1960s, Rogers co-founded the Center for Studies of the Person at La Jolla, California, where he served until his death. The therapeutic and counseling approach went through several stages of development, which were also reflected in its designation: from "non-directive psychotherapy and counseling" to "client-centered therapy" to the "person-centered approach".

In the late 1950s, the Hamburg psychology professor Reinhard Tausch brought the concept into German-speaking countries and gave him the name "Conversational Psychotherapy". In 1972, the "Society for Scientific Counseling Psychotherapy" (GwG) was founded, which further established the concept through the development of continuing education and training.

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