Documentary Review: Carl Rogers

616 words | 3 page(s)

1. What did you learn?
First, I learned that Carl Rogers is the founder of client-centered therapy. Carl Rogers sought to “create the proper climate, the proper relationship, [and] the proper conditions” in order to allow “a process of therapeutic movement” to occur “almost inevitably” in his clients (Rogers, 1965). In order to achieve this overarching goal, Rogers sought to practice congruence, to ensure that his therapeutic genuineness and his own internal experience would be present in his communication and relationship with his client. Further, Rogers placed a high amount of importance on listening to the client’s experience, feelings, and attitudes.

It was important to Rogers that he showed direct emotions and attention to his clients. By “prizing” things like the client’s experience, feelings, and attitudes, along with the clients themselves, Rogers theorized that this sort of work would lead to his clients discovering hidden parts of themselves of which they might not have been aware. Rogers believed that his techniques would lead to his clients beginning to prize themselves more and gaining the ability to be more “real” with themselves (Rogers, 1965). This video taught me a lot about who Carl Rogers was and what type of work he put forth into the world.

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2. Why is it important?
Rogers’ work in client-centered therapy is important because it has largely contributed to modern client-focused therapy techniques. Rogers put a high degree of importance on the humanistic aspect of the therapeutic endeavor. For Rogers, and for many popular viewpoints in modern therapy, focusing on the patient’s conscious mind, as opposed to his or her unconscious mind, created a mutual experience between the therapist and client. This means that a client would be able to become consciously aware of what is hurting them after he or she departs from a therapy session.

Another reason Rogers’ work is important is because is takes the approach that each client has a unique experience and personal story. Prior to his work, therapeutic techniques tended to view patients as subjects with singular afflictions that could be cured with singular methodologies. The development of client-centered therapy focused on the unique experiences of the client. Moreover, client-centered therapy allowed clients to have unique experiences in a therapeutic setting.

3. How does this material relate to your personal goals?
The work of Carl Rogers is important to me because I find it important to always be present in the moment. It is important to give attention to the moment at hand and the person in front of me. The material presented by Rogers in this video shows that presence can have a major impact on one’s self and on another person in the short-term and in the long-term. Further, Rogers shows that demonstrating and giving attention to presence yields positive results.

This material also speaks to my goal of being genuine. Genuineness is a very valuable attribute. Genuineness creates trusting relationships. Finally, genuineness allows one’s self to create a better internal relationship.

4. What new questions did this material evoke (e.g. I’d like to know more about…)?
Carl Rogers’ work is simply astonishing. To begin, I would like to know more about how he discovered or founded client-centered therapy. Client-centered therapy stands in such contrast to earlier psychotherapeutic techniques. Therefore, I am curious as to how he realized the benefit of focusing on conscious experience.

I would also like to know more about his in-session technique. Rogers mentions that he prizes giving attention, listening, and genuinely reacting to his clients. In the video, one can see Rogers giving Gloria much attention. I am curious about how Rogers balances the technical aspect of his therapeutic approach with the imperative presence he requires of himself.

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