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“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”
Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy
“People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don't find myself saying, "Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner." I don't try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.”
Carl R. Rogers, A Way of Being
“The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.”
Carl R. Rogers
“What is most personal is most universal.”
Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy
“What I am is good enough if I would only be it openly.”
Carl R. Rogers
“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.”
Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy
“I'm not perfect... But I'm enough.”
Carl R. Rogers
“The degree to which I can create relationships, which facilitate the growth of others as separate persons, is a measure of the growth I have achieved in myself.”
Carl R Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy
“In my early professional years I was asking the question: How can I treat, or cure, or change this person? Now I would phrase the question in this way: How can I provide a relationship which this person may use for his own personal growth?”
Carl R. Rogers
“When a person realizes he has been deeply heard, his eyes moisten. I think in some real sense he is weeping for joy. It is as though he were saying, "Thank God, somebody heard me. Someone knows what it's like to be me”
Carl R. Rogers
“a person is a fluid process, not a fixed and static entity; a flowing river of change, not a block of solid material; a continually changing constellation of potentialities, not a fixed quantity of traits.”
Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy
“Am I living in a way which is deeply satisfying to me, and which truly expresses me?”
Carl R. Rogers
“there is direction but there is no destination”
Carl R. Rogers
“When the other person is hurting, confused, troubled, anxious, alienated, terrified; or when he or she is doubtful of self-worth, uncertain as to identity, then understanding is called for. The gentle and sensitive companionship of an empathic stance… provides illumination and healing. In such situations deep understanding is, I believe, the most precious gift one can give to another.”
Carl R. Rogers
“If I let myself really understand another person, I might be changed by that understanding. And we all fear change. So as I say, it is not an easy thing to permit oneself to understand an individual,”
Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy
“we cannot change, we cannot move away from what we are, until we thoroughly accept what we are. Then change seems to come about almost unnoticed.”
Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person
“You know that I don't believe that anyone has ever taught anything to anyone. I question that efficacy of teaching. The only thing that I know is that anyone who wants to learn will learn. And maybe a teacher is a facilitator, a person who puts things down and shows people how exciting and wonderful it is and asks them to eat.”
Carl R. Rogers
“To be with another in this [empathic] way means that for the time being, you lay aside your own views and values in order to enter another's world without prejudice. In some sense it means that you lay aside your self; this can only be done by persons who are secure enough in themselves that they know they will not get lost in what may turn out to be the strange or bizarre world of the other, and that they can comfortably return to their own world when they wish.

Perhaps this description makes clear that being empathic is a complex, demanding, and strong - yet subtle and gentle - way of being.”
Carl R. Rogers, A Way of Being
“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.”
Carl R. Rogers
“The kind of caring that the client-centered therapist desires to achieve is a gullible caring, in which clients are accepted as they say they are, not with a lurking suspicion in the therapist's mind that they may, in fact, be otherwise. This attitude is not stupidity on the therapist's part; it is the kind of attitude that is most likely to lead to trust...”
Carl R. Rogers
“I have learned that my total organismic sensing of a situation is more trustworthy than my intellect.”
Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy
“True empathy is always free of any evaluative or diagnostic quality. This comes across to the recipient with some surprise. "If I am not being judged, perhaps I am not so evil or abnormal as I have thought.”
Carl R. Rogers
“the more I can keep a relationship free of judgment and evaluation, the more this will permit the other person to reach the point where he recognizes that the locus of evaluation, the center of responsibility, lies within himself.”
Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy
“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.”
Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy
“I hear the words, the thoughts, the feeling tones, the personal meaning, even the meaning that is below the conscious intent of the speaker. Sometimes too, in a message which superficially is not very important, I hear a deep human cry that lies buried and unknown far below the surface of the person.
So I have learned to ask myself, can I hear the sounds and sense the shape of this other person's inner world? Can I resonate to what he is saying so deeply that I sense the meanings he is afraid of, yet would like to communicate, as well as those he knows?”
Carl R. Rogers
“I’ve always felt I had to do things because they were expected of me, or more important, to make people like me. The hell with it! I think from now on I’m going to just be me—rich or poor, good or bad, rational or irrational, logical or illogical, famous or infamous.”
Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy
“Whether we are speaking of a flower or an oak tree, of an earthworm or a beautiful bird, of an ape or a person, we will do well, I believe, to recognize that life is an active process, not a passive one. Whether the stimulus arises from within or without, whether the environment is favorable or unfavorable, the behaviors of an organism can be counted on to be in the direction of maintaining, enhancing, and reproducing itself. This is the very nature of the process we call life. This tendency is operative at all times. Indeed, only the presence or absence of this total directional process enables us to tell whether a given organism is alive or dead.

The actualizing tendency can, of course, be thwarted or warped, but it cannot be destroyed without destroying the organism. I remember that in my boyhood, the bin in which we stored our winter's supply of potatoes was in the basement, several feet below a small window. The conditions were unfavorable, but the potatoes would begin to sprout—pale white sprouts, so unlike the healthy green shoots they sent up when planted in the soil in the spring. But these sad, spindly sprouts would grow 2 or 3 feet in length as they reached toward the distant light of the window. The sprouts were, in their bizarre, futile growth, a sort of desperate expression of the directional tendency I have been describing. They would never become plants, never mature, never fulfill their real potential. But under the most adverse circumstances, they were striving to become. Life would not give up, even if it could not flourish. In dealing with clients whose lives have been terribly warped, in working with men and women on the back wards of state hospitals, I often think of those potato sprouts. So unfavorable have been the conditions in which these people have developed that their lives often seem abnormal, twisted, scarcely human. Yet, the directional tendency in them can be trusted. The clue to understanding their behavior is that they are striving, in the only ways that they perceive as available to them, to move toward growth, toward becoming. To healthy persons, the results may seem bizarre and futile, but they are life's desperate attempt to become itself. This potent constructive tendency is an underlying basis of the person-centered approach.”
Carl R. Rogers
“It becomes easier for me to accept myself as a decidedly imperfect person, who by no means functions at all times in the way in which I would like to function. This must seem to some like a very strange direction in which to move. It seems to me to have value because the curious paradox is that when I accept myself as I am, then I change.”
Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy
“When I can relax, and be close to the transcendental core of me, then I may behave in strange and impulsive ways in the relationship, ways I cannot justify rationally, which have nothing to do with my thought processes. But these strange behaviors turn out to be right in some odd way. At these moments it seems that my inner spirit has reached out and touched the inner spirit of the other. Our relationship transcends itself and has become something larger.”
Carl R. Rogers
“I regret it when I suppress my feelings too long and they burst forth in ways that are distorted or attacking or hurtful.”
Carl R. Rogers, A Way of Being

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