Carl Rogers

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Carl Rogers : biography

8 January 1902 – 4 February 1987

Selected works by Carl Rogers

  • Rogers, Carl. (1939). Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child.
  • Rogers, Carl. (1942). Counseling and Psychotherapy: Newer Concepts in Practice.
  • Rogers, Carl. (1951). Client-centered Therapy: Its Current Practice, Implications and Theory. London: Constable. ISBN 1-84119-840-4.
  • Rogers, Carl. (1959). A Theory of Therapy, Personality and Interpersonal Relationships as Developed in the Client-centered Framework. In (ed.) S. Koch, Psychology: A Study of a Science. Vol. 3: Formulations of the Person and the Social Context. New York: McGraw Hill.
  • Rogers, Carl. (1961). On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy. London: Constable. ISBN 1-84529-057-7.
  • Rogers, Carl. (1969). Freedom to Learn: A View of What Education Might Become. (1st ed.) Columbus, Ohio: Charles Merill.
  • Rogers, Carl. (1970). On Encounter Groups. New York: Harrow Books, Harper and Row, ISBN 0-06-087045-1
  • Rogers, Carl. (1977). On Personal Power: Inner Strength and Its Revolutionary Impact.
  • Rogers, Carl. (1980). A Way of Being. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  • Rogers, C. & Stevens, B. (1967). "Person to Person: The Problem of Being Human". Lafayette, CA: Real People Press.

Biography

Rogers was born on January 8, 1902, in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. His father, Walter A. Rogers, was a civil engineer and his mother, Julia M. Cushing, was a homemaker and devout Pentecostal Christian. Carl was the fourth of their six children.

Rogers was intelligent and could read well before kindergarten. Following an education in a strict religious and ethical environment as an altar boy at the vicarage of Jimpley, he became a rather isolated, independent and disciplined person, and acquired a knowledge and an appreciation for the scientific method in a practical world. His first career choice was agriculture, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, followed by history and then religion. At age 20, following his 1922 trip to Peking, China, for an international Christian conference, he started to doubt his religious convictions. To help him clarify his career choice, he attended a seminar entitled Why am I entering the Ministry?, after which he decided to change his career.

After two years he left the seminary to attend Teachers College, Columbia University, obtaining an MA in 1928 and a PhD in 1931. While completing his doctoral work, he engaged in child study. In 1930, Rogers served as director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in Rochester, New York. From 1935 to 1940 he lectured at the University of Rochester and wrote The Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child (1939), based on his experience in working with troubled children. He was strongly influenced in constructing his client-centered approach by the post-Freudian psychotherapeutic practice of Otto Rank.Kramer, Robert. "The Birth of Client-Centered Therapy : Carl Rogers, Otto Rank, and ‘The Beyond’". Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 35.4 (1995) p. 54-110. In 1940 Rogers became professor of clinical psychology at Ohio State University, where he wrote his second book, Counseling and Psychotherapy (1942). In it, Rogers suggested that the client, by establishing a relationship with an understanding, accepting therapist, can resolve difficulties and gain the insight necessary to restructure their life.

Client-Centered Therapy Psychotherapy and Personality Change On Becoming a Person

Rogers continued teaching at University of Wisconsin until 1963, when he became a resident at the new Center for Studies of the Person in La Jolla. Rogers left the WBSI to help found the Center for Studies of the Person in 1968. His later books include Carl Rogers on Personal Power (1977) and Freedom to Learn for the 80’s (1983). He remained a resident of La Jolla for the rest of his life, doing therapy, giving speeches and writing until his sudden death in 1987. In 1987, Rogers suffered a fall that resulted in a fractured pelvis: he had life alert and was able to contact paramedics. He had a successful operation, but his pancreas failed the next night and he died a few days later.

Rogers’ last years were devoted to applying his theories in situations of political oppression and national social conflict, traveling worldwide to do so. In Belfast, Northern Ireland, he brought together influential Protestants and Catholics; in South Africa, blacks and whites; in Brazil people emerging from dictatorship to democracy in the United States, consumers and providers in the health field. His last trip, at age 85, was to the Soviet Union, where he lectured and facilitated intensive experiential workshops fostering communication and creativity. He was astonished at the numbers of Russians who knew of his work.

Together with his daughter, Natalie Rogers, and psychologists Maria Bowen, Maureen O’Hara,and John K. Wood, between 1974 and 1984, Rogers convened a series of residential programs in the US, Europe, Brazil and Japan, the Person-Centered Approach Workshops, which focused on cross-cultural communications, personal growth, self-empowerment, and learning for social change. Rogers was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize for his work though the nomination arrived just days after his death.