Well I think I'm a person, but am I being authentic, showing my true self to people? Thats what Carl Rogers wants us to think about in his collections of essays on person-centred therapy.
I have just finished reading Rogers book and wanted to share some of the ideas for those who might be interested in learning how to be authentic. Rogers first published the book in 1961 and although the ideas in it are almost 60 years old they still ring true and have influenced modern integrative counselling techniques as well as the broader fields of disability services, aged care, education and management.
Within the book Rogers talks about his own experiences of being a therapist and what an ideal helping relationship should look like. This includes being genuine, accepting, and being able to truly empathise with the person. Being able to walk in their shoes.
By building this relationship Rogers is able to provide an experience for the person where essentially they are comfortable enough to reflect back on themselves their inner most feelings and emotions and slowly begin to learn that at a basic inner level they are essentially good. They begin to experience what Rogers calls "being one's organism', or "being one's experience". In other words, experiencing who they are without distortion or self deception.
As people begin to go through this experience Rogers describes a number of areas of growth that occur. These include an openness to experience (they become less defensive), trust in one's own self, an internal locus of evaluation (less reliant on others for decision making), and a willingness to accept that becoming an authentic person is a process rather than an end destination.
As this process plays out Rogers describes the development of a fully functioning person, a person who is able to make full use of their feelings and emotions, become more accepting of themselves, and empathise with others. Much like the core conditions of the helping relationship that I mentioned earlier on.
The book also includes a number of interesting essays about person-centred learning, which is very interesting, and a warning about the behavioral sciences which is very prophetic.
This book may not be everyone's cup of tea, but for those people who are interested in personal growth, and want to learn how to become a more authentic person, I definitely recommend reading this psychology classic. If you would like to purchase this book click on the following link https://amzn.to/2URqKor .
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