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On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy
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On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  8,293 ratings  ·  125 reviews
The late Carl Rogers, founder of the humanistic psychology movement, revolutionized psychotherapy with his concept of "client-centered therapy." His influence has spanned decades, but that influence has become so much a part of mainstream psychology that the ingenious nature of his work has almost been forgotten. A new introduction by Peter Kramer sheds light on the signif ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published September 7th 1995 by Mariner Books (first published 1961)
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The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.

This book has helped me through two of the toughest weeks of my life, and everyone interested in self-improvement should read it. On Becoming a Person will appeal to anyone inclined toward psychology or therapy, as Rogers does a fantastic job discussing his client-centered approach and how his model of therapy transcends the limitations of past psychotherapeutic frameworks. Even though the book was first published i
Zoe Thompson
Bluntly; although what was written often seemed foolish, impractical and fantastical I found Roger's style of writing cohesive and difficult to stop following. I know little of psychology and its various approaches and perspectives but I intuitively felt that Roger was at the time the book was written, revolutionary, bringing forward into the light a new way of regarding clients of psychotherapy. Mind you; the book did seem to drag on. Repetition. Repetition. On, further and on further still. Wh ...more
Picked this one up for a course I was taking in college- Personal Development.

It turned out to be one of the best psychology-related books I have ever read. It described the therapeutic process in a personal way, rather than clinical. Since this process was from the point of view of Carl Rogers himself as a therapist, I felt I was able to discern how we develop as a person using relationships.

I felt like I was given more insight into how people change from this book than from any other piece of
He writes of significant things he learned in his experience and study:

1. In my relationships with persons I have found that it does not help, in the long run, to act as though I were something that I am not. It does not help to act calm and pleasant when actually I am angry and critical. It does not help to act as though I know the answers when I do not. It does not help to act as though I were a loving person if actually, at the moment, I am hostile. ...

Most of the mistakes I make in personal
May 09, 2010 Morgan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anybody who wants to understand about listening and self-trust
Recommended to Morgan by: my wasband
Read it many years ago, and his simple, trusting view that we humans need witness and listening, and that will go a long way toward enabling the person to find their own answers within themselves.

At the time my husband was a Rogerian counselor. Later, I studied at Center for Studies of the Person, Carl Roger's center in LaJolla, CA, and experienced what he was talking about. He was there with us for a day each of the 2 summers I participated in their 17-day workshops. (In my 2nd summer, my weeke
Dave Labranche
this is an extremely valuable book for all "thinking humans" to read. It really helped me begin to understand myself, and it gave me insights that allowed me to eventually discover what makes me happy, what motivates me, what I truly need to AVOID in life (becuase I'm just not wired to deal with it) and in general it gives you a framework for finding your inner self.
This book is quite possibly the best book that I have read as a part of my graduate school experience thus far.

This is the third theory book that I have read (Skinner, Jung) and Rogers is the most easy to get along with and understand. Rogers is humble, and every step of the way takes you along his journey to how he developed person centered therapy. At no point does he insist that his theory is the right one, or the only, but he says that his theory is what he has developed from his own experi
This book was a pleasure to read. Reading Rogers helps me whenever I lose faith in the efficacy of long term psychotherapy. It is so important when practicing to get over your own worries and anxieties in order to be truly responsive to your patient. Through his anecdotes, teachings, and overall philosophy, I have been able to make major breakthroughs in my own comfort sitting with my patients.
If anyone wants to know Rogers' theoretical framework, I can explain it to you in 5 minutes and spare you the grief of reading this long, redundant book. It was somewhat interesting, but too repetitive.
Thought this was a pretty interesting read. As a psychology major in college, it is somewhat inevitable that some classes will concern themselves with therapy and therapy techniques, regardless of whether or not an individual wants to become a therapist, and this was where I first encountered the book. Nonetheless, all information is good and relevant in some way, and this book was incredibly interesting to me. I graduated, am not a therapist and have no interest in becoming a therapist, but I s ...more
This was the first book I read by Carl Rogers. I really like what i perceived as his foundation; that humans have pure wonderful cores that are surrounded by protective hurt layers. This premise rings true in my life. I believe that humans are capable of great beauty and great ugliness. I've seen wonderful people do ugly things, and vice versa, and I've always wondered why. Rogers draws on his unique history as an experienced psychoanalyst to try and answer this tough question. Something else I ...more
Jyotika Varmani
Apr 09, 2015 Jyotika Varmani rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
This book is as beautiful as the person who wrote it. It is wonderful how Roger's never gave importance to techniques but rather the process of psychotherapy. And I can connect to it.

This book is written straight from the hard and though the length requires lot of patience, it is well worth the effort. The approach of the therapist is vital to therapy and the philosophy of this book is not restricted to therapists alone, but can be easily practiced in everyday relationships.

There are two categories of people: Those who know what's up and those who don't.

Carl Rogers knew what's up.

I don't know how rare it is for someone to possess the kind of humanistic insight Rogers had, but I do know it's very rare for such a person to apply that kind of insight to his writing and his field. The influence Rogers had on client-centered therapy is huge, yet I had never heard of the man until my third year in college. . .why?

As a non therapist yet interested individual in personal growth, On Becoming a Person inspired me. It's actually a good read even though I expected it to be more of a technical read. Rogers writes in a similar way to his approach to therapy. It reeds warm and inclusive.
Toward the end of authenticity, the author astutely presents the case for accepting ourselves and accepting others as a prerequisite for healthy relationships.
one of the most important reads of my life. Highly recommended for those who are tracking certain progressions and their own maturity.
Gerald Jerome
There's quite a bit to cover here so I'll try not to make this succinct while communicating the many different thoughts I have concerning this book and Rogers' writings in general.

It is clear that Rogers has invested a great deal of thought and consideration to the topics he discusses but it seems the communication of his ideas can be lacking at times. So hopefully I represent fairly his ideas I examine. In his defense, he has stated that he feels verbal communication and isolated fact can never
Frank Della Torre
I’m going to get a little intimate in this review. I’m doing this because I’ve been touched deeply by Carl Rogers’ work, and I simply feel within me a passionate drive to express how his psychotherapeutic findings have impressed themselves upon me. So here it goes…

I think very many of us are extremely miserable. In our First World society, we possess enormous sums of money, luxury items, cars, food, technology, phones, safety, affluence, freedom, you name it. We live the “American Dream” (indeed
This is a profoundly insightful and human book from a man who is a father of client-centered therapy. Carl Rogers' farming and religious background seem to inform what was a uniquely American and emerging view of psychotherapy in 40s, 50s, and 60s as he wrote the papers which are compiled to form this book.

The book holds meaning for me because his views on forming a 'therapeutic' or 'helping' relationship with others extend well beyond the sphere of formal psychotherapy to encompass all human r
Steven Howard
It's amazing how this 40+ year old book still has relevance today.

Rogers provides clear reasoning and sound arguments for his beliefs, though this reader walked away wondering if Rogers believed that one can only become a person through therapy. I would love someone to take the gist of Rogers' thinking and apply this to the bulk of the population.

Warning: the eBook version contains numerous typos, some of which are quite disconcerting. Whoever converted this old text to the Kindle format should
Erik Akre
Oct 11, 2015 Erik Akre rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those in the helping professions; those in meaningful relationships
Carl Rogers affirms my inner-most values; this book taught me to trust myself, trust my intuition, and trust the human growth process. His practice confirms that the best psychotherapy is to simply listen and accept another person for who he/she is. He offers the motto of "unconditional positive regard" as a guide to relating to others, both in and out of the psychotherapeutic setting.

The best way to be is to be who you are at that moment--no walls, no faking, no defensiveness. By being so, you
Ribeiro Alvarenga
O livro é grande, o que o torna fastidioso. Não era nescessário tantos artigos para se apresentar o que realmente importa: a prática terapêutica de Rogers que consiste na chamada aceitação incondicional, na dança de devolução empática ao paciente de suas dificuldades. Há também uma fraqueza horrenda de flertar com escolas comportamentais quantitativistas que buscam uma espécie de equação da cura. Coisa feia de se ler.

Os recortes de terapia são o que realmente valem a pena. Está tudo lá.
A bit naive on the political side to say the least. Neither do I agree on the assumption that all of us are inherently good, although i can see why one needs to assume this to attempt psychotherapy.

One has to admit however that Rogers' person-centered approach is not only compassion epitomized but it can definitely be successfully applied to counselling, education or various group settings.

melike aydin
He is a true believer of human potential and proves in this book that this belief has power to help humanity.

You can be equipped with the best knowledge and tools yet if you don't believe everyone is unique and worthy, don't aspire to be a helper.

Foundation of a helping relationship lies on 3 things
1- Unconditional self-worth
2- Congruence
3- Empathy
Richard Clarke
A very interesting background to the man Carl Rogers and his thinkings. I was surprised at the depth of research, and this resonated with me in terms of making sense of the humanistic counselling. The structure of the book also provides a guide for becoming a person for oneself... a must read
In this book Carl Rogers explains the elements of client-centered therapy; unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence very clearly and attempts to back it up by experience and scientific evidence. Rogers reflects on his experiences and how he changed his views and refined his methods over time. He explains how his therapy can help patients see themselves directly, accept themselves and become the person they would like to be. He takes the relationships created through his method to ed ...more
Fantastic break-down of humanistic psychology, written in conversational English. This book contains essays that span the field in which humanistic psychology could be applied.
This book is a great tool for a new therapist to:
1. Understand him/herself at a deeper level,
2. Help gain clients' perspective of therapy.

Carl Rogers rocks!!!
Lee Adams
A beautifully written book written so the layman can understand and apply...simply life changing and brought me to tears in many places. I read the version with his own intro, a 'to the reader' and 'this is me' section which moved me. I just wish a lot of the more modern psychotherapy/psychology authors would put their writings in the simple to understand and accessible way that Rogers did. This is one of those books where you read a page and have to then put the book down to ponder and absorb. ...more
Great book, I think I will be reading this book forever. Brilliantly painted conceptual work making the abstract tangible.
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"Experience is, for me, the highest authority. The touchstone of validity is my own experience. No other person's ideas, and none of my own ideas, are as authoritative as my experience. It is to experience that I must return again and again, to discover a closer approximation to truth as it is in the process of becoming in me." -Carl Rogers, On Becoming a Person

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“What is most personal is most universal.” 64 likes
“I believe it will have become evident why, for me, adjectives such as happy, contented, blissful, enjoyable, do not seem quite appropriate to any general description of this process I have called the good life, even though the person in this process would experience each one of these at the appropriate times. But adjectives which seem more generally fitting are adjectives such as enriching, exciting, rewarding, challenging, meaningful. This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-fainthearted. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one's potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life. Yet the deeply exciting thing about human beings is that when the individual is inwardly free, he chooses as the good life this process of becoming.” 60 likes
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