What Are the Strengths and Weaknesses of Rogers’ Understanding of the Person? How Does This Understanding Fit with Your Own Experiences and Beliefs?

Title: What are the strengths and weaknesses of Rogers’ understanding of the person? How does this understanding fit with your own experiences and beliefs?

Person - centered approach has been developed by Dr Carl Rogers (1902-1987). Nowadays, he is still considered to be as the main figure of humanistic counselling (Palmer, Dainow & Milner, 1996). Rogers has been philosophically influenced by existential philosophy, which has been greatly exemplified in his approach as they share similar values and concepts (Ziegler 2002; Cervone & Pervin, 2008).   Rogers believed that all human beings are trustworthy, that they are capable of understanding themselves and being able to solve their personal issues, with no need of direction from the counsellor (Corey, 2009).
According to him, people can self-direct on their own. If the therapist establishes a therapeutic relationship that would effectively provide empathy, unconditional positive regards and last but far not least congruence (core conditions); there is a great chance that the client will gradually rediscover their personality (Corey, 2009). In the current essay I will attempt to identify the strengths and the weaknesses of Rogers understanding of the person and also try to fit his approach with my own beliefs and experiences.
The main concept of Roger’s theory was ‘Actualisation Tendency’. Roger’s approach sees people as positive forward- moving. Actualisation tendency can be suppressed but cannot be destroyed without the obliteration of the organism (Engler,1995).   He proposed that all people have the tendency towards growth, a chance for an integrated life that he defined as ‘actualisation’. This vast need for actualisation can be divided into two levels: a) on a physical level which are required to stay alive and b) on a psychological level were the self – actualization involves the need of testing and satisfying ones experiences, searching for new ones, engaging new skills e.t.c. (Engler,1995).