» Startseite » Psychotherapie » Carl R. Rogers

Carl R. Rogers

The Following Text is an Excerpt from PERSONALITY, 3rd Ed., Jerry M. Burger

C.R. Rogers

Like the inevitable unfolding of oneís true self that he promoted, Carl Rogerís interest in science and his concern for people carried him from Midwest farm boy to leader of the humanistic revolution in psychology. Carl was a shy but very intelligent boy growing up in Illinois. He had a particular fondness for science, and by the time he was 13 had developed a reputation as the local expert on biology and agriculture. Ironically, the Rogers household was anything but warm and affectionate. Openly expressing emotions, later a key feature in Rogerian therapy, was not allowed. As a result, like two of his siblings, Carl developed an ulcer by age 15.

Rogers went to his mother and fatherís alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, to study agriculture in 1919. He planned a career in farming but soon found agriculture unchallenging. He took a correspondence course in psychology one summer but found it boring. Finally, he settled on religious studies. When he left Wisconsin with his new wife Helen in 1924, he went to Union Theological Seminary in New York to prepare for a career as a minister.

Two developments in NewYork again changed the direction of his life. First, intensely studying theology caused him to question his own religious beliefs. "The Christian religion satisfies very different psychological needs in different men," he observed. "The important thing is not the religion but the man" (in Kirschenbaum, 1979, p.45). The second development was a renewed introduction to psychology. While at the seminary, Rogers and several classmates took psychology courses across the street at Columbia University. These classmates included Theodore Newcomb and Ernest Hilgard, who also went on to become important figures in psychology.

A career in theology promised Rogers an opportunity to help people, but his faith continued to wane. "It would be a horrible thing to have to profess to a set of beliefs in order to remain in oneís profession," he said. "I wanted to find a field in which I could be sure my freedom of thought would not be limited" (in Kirschenbaum, 1979, pp.51-52). Much to his parentsí dismay, he left the church to pursue graduate study in psychology at Columbia.

After graduation, Rogers worked at a child guidance clinic in Rochester. Later he joined the faculty at Ohio State University and the University of Chicago before returning to the University of Wisconsin in 1957. Throughout this time Rogers battled with the established Freudian approach to psychotherapy and the dominant behavioral influence in academia. But in time he began to win many of these battles. When the American Psychological Association handed out its first annual award for distinguished scientific contribution in 1956, Carl Rogers was the recipient.

In 1963 Rogers moved to La Jolla, California, where he founded the Center for Studies of the Person. The thread that ties Rogersís career together is his genuine concern for people, "Rogers seemed ordinary," a colleague wrote. "He was not a sparkling conversationalist. [But] he would certainly listen to you, and with real interest" (Gendlin, 1988, p.127) Rogers devoted the last 15 years of his life to the issues of social conflict and world peace. Even in his eighties, he led workshops and communication groups in such places as the Soviet Union and South Africa. Rogers continued to write extensively and shape the discipline of psychology until his death in February 1987.

Disslergasse 5/4, A-1030 Wien | Tel: +43 / 1 / 713 7796 | Fax: +43 / 1 / 718 7832 | Email: office@apg-ips.at | © 1998-2017 APG.IPS , Wien, Austria | Haftungsausschluss | Impressum
login »