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A Way of Being

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  2,071 ratings  ·  73 reviews
A profound and deeply personal collection of essays by renowned psychologist Carl Rogers

The late Carl Rogers, founder of the humanistic psychology movement and father of client-centered therapy, based his life's work on his fundamental belief in the human potential for growth. A Way of Being was written in the early 1980s, near the end of Carl Rogers's career, and serves a
Paperback, 395 pages
Published September 7th 1995 by Mariner Books (first published 1980)
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Shirl A way of being is all about how to live, how to be in work, family, life.
On becoming a person teaches you how to let go of certain social judgements. …more
A way of being is all about how to live, how to be in work, family, life.
On becoming a person teaches you how to let go of certain social judgements. Conditions of worth. How to become your true inner core you.(less)

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 ·  2,071 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Aug 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
I stole this book from my little brother, who took a seminar on existential and humanistic psychology during his last semester of college. Lucky duck!

Anyway, Carl Rogers is badass. I taught Introduction to Psychology this summer for the third time, and whenever we discuss his person-centered approach, I get bemused questions such as, "So he just...listened to his clients? Really listened to them? And it worked?" Well, yes. Essentially, Carl Rogers articulated the idea that what makes a therapist
Giovanni Generoso
Carl Rogers, a giant of psychological history, has here written personal essays - which read almost like a diary - about his way of being which center on authenticity, openness, empathy, gentleness, and love. It is a book about being human, loving oneself, loving others. It was absolutely wonderful and has undoubtedly changed the direction of my studies. Rogers calls his approach a "home-brewed" brand of existentialism that follows in the footsteps of Kierkegaard and Martin Buber, two of my phil ...more
Aug 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
i am not sure when i first read this book, but i think it was some time in high school (a book i saw from my dad's large collection of philosophy/psychology/mythology books).

as i read this, it inspired me to read more psychology books to motivate me to a better misunderstanding of myself and the world around me.

too bad, i am not "school smart", or else i would become a psychologist (never a psychiatrist!). although, after meeting a random person (indian with half singaporean blood) who said that
May 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
It looks like I’m an outlier in giving this 1 star, so I might leave a few lines of explanation. If, like me, you have never read anything else by Rogers, don’t start with this book.
The book is a collected series of disparate chapters by Rogers on his life, theories and encounter group sessions.
The chapters on his life, by and large, didn’t seem to offer much insight and spend a lot of time naming people and places.
The chapters on theory have a bit more content, but are limited to, for example,
Shelby M. (Read and Find Out)
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: counseling-psych
This was excellent. I started out loving it, though it got a bit dry around the middle. Each chapter is essentially a different essay by Rogers, so my enjoyment varied per chapter. I found the last chapter, The World and the Person of Tomorrow, to be particularly moving.
Leanne Hunt
Jun 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
This book was recommended to me as supplementary reading for a counselling skills course. As a result, I came to it already familiar with the basic principles of Rogerian therapy and a high appreciation for Carl Rogers' approach to individuals and groups. He believed that people have within themselves the resources and insight to chart their own destiny in life, and that all they need is to be reminded of their personal power in order to take it back and solve their own problems. The book itself ...more
Jason Dias
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: existentialism
This is one of a handful of books that changed my life.

I'm just now glancing over my professional library, and I find I have like 8 books on neuropsychology and no interest in that topic. I did a lot of reading that I didn't want to do in graduate school. Rogers saved my life. I read A Way of Being and I cried the whole time. Those tears are the foundation of who I am today.

I didn't cry because the subject matter is sad. I cried because I recognized something in it. I was at the time struggling
Dec 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: intellectua
This book is a collection of speeches and writings from Carl Rogers reflecting on his extensive experience in Psychology. He has had a big influence on the world of psychology in moving away from a prescriptive approach (I know what's best for you) to a non-directive approach (let the patient lead). It's very interesting and has certainly been a model of application in my own pastoral training. He makes reference to eastern philosophies of leadership which I also find fascinating - this sense of ...more
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book is a collection of Rogers’ papers done on different aspects of his person centred approach, organised into three main sections: personal experiences and perspectives, the person centred approach in psychotherapy, and it’s application in education.

The first noticeable quality of his writing is the clarity of it. The wordings are precise, the logic coherent, and even the slightest confusion over what he meant is almost not possible. The clarity is so noticeable that it naturally reminds
William Schram
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help, psychology
There isn't much I can say about this book that isn't already in the blurb. The book has four major parts and these parts are further divided into chapters. The first part talks about his personal experiences and retrospectives on reaching certain age-related milestones. The second part discusses his approach to his work. The third part discusses education and it's future. The fourth and final part discusses Dr. Rogers' personal ideal scenario of the future.

In my own experience, I had heard of D
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it
The book was like a heavy weight title fight between what I did like versus what I found to be disagreeable. While reading, I thought what was interesting would outweigh what seemed to be the parts I didn't like and then he would say something that I could not let slide. The author brushed upon the metaphysical and psychic powers of anecdotal evidence and I found it hard to ignore and felt like it brought down his credibility. At times he had eloquent profound prose, that make you stop and conce ...more
Masatoshi Nishimura
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
As much as I respect Carl Rogers as a pioneer of humanistic approach in our society, his core idea has disseminated to many self-help gurus of today that I didn't find his core message dull. I'm talking especially about the last chapter "The Person of Tomorrow". Be opened, authentic, nature-loving, caring, etc. It could be because I was already somewhat familiar with Buddhism material.

Still, there're a few ideas I picked up:

"With greater self-awareness, a more informed choice is possible, a choi
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was hard to put down. Rogers reflects on a life of developing and testing the kinds of hypotheses that one might expect from an INFP - that relationships, therapy, and leadership can be more successful when approached with empathy, warmth, and genuineness. His vision often starts out seeming untenably-vast (such as reciprocal causation in self-actualization), but his conscientiousness and honesty end up making it persuasive.

For me, the most interesting issue is congruence. Rogers observes t
Farouk Ramzan
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, psychology
This book is by no means an exploration of psychology or psychiatry, it's a deep dive into Carl Rogers's psyche. The readers get to psychoanalyze Rogers life as he pours out all his feelings and thoughts unrestrained. There were times when reading this that I felt pretty close to crying especially when Rogers talks about his wife and how she decided to pull the plug for reasons that are further explained in the book. This is a meditation on death and aging but not only that. Rogers also talks ab ...more
JY Tan
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I hesitant to say that I finished this, because I very clearly skimmed and skipped several chapters due to the repetitive nature of the essays, particularly considering that I have finished On Becoming A Person (which is one of my all time favourite book). In retrospect I am not convinced that this book added any particular depth that was missing from On Becoming A Person, aside from more vignettes about group work and a person centred approach to the classroom. The premise is fundamentally stil ...more
Kent Winward
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
This was an interesting look back into the early 80s and I'm left with the unsettling feel that there is so much that we've lost with the course the societal river has taken. The 1960s Vietnam protest still permeated much of what Rogers was writing and discussing and it felt almost reactionary. The impact of technology was grossly under-estimated, yet the ideas ebb and flow, but the connections Rogers talks about feel much more grounded in interpersonal interactions without the mediation of tech ...more
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Carl Rogers is maybe not at his best in this text, he becomes loquacious and speculative a little to often. He is at his absolute best when speaking about science and psychotherapy, his forays into the future and what to expect are a bit tedious and less grounded in reality. His experiments with groups are interesting but hard to verify. Who's right him or the centuries of people that came before? Maybe there is room for collaboration but he sometimes speaks as a dogmatist.
Tristan Stewart
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
My huge takeaways from this book are it’s notes on self reliance and how we can subtly manipulate others; this being a flaw. Believing that humans are innately good rather than evil is also a theme. The final chapter discussing the future eerily matches our times, keep in mind this book was written nearly forty years ago. I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface on what Rogers teaches and I’m intrigued to learn more.
Cameron J
Jun 16, 2020 rated it liked it
I wasn't the intended audience for this book and I knew that before I started reading it. I found the first half of the book interesting and insightful for someone who isn't in the field of psychology. I found the second half to be geared more towards professionals. No regrets reading (listening) to the book. It has sparked further interest for me to pursue related topics.
Ben Askin
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rodgers last thoughts. No one was better at getting down to what he was truly experiencing. No one embraced feelings more. Rodgers is a wonderful guide for those who want to escape religious and scientific dogma to embrace their own individual experience.
F.J. Commelin
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
Carl Rogers knows how to bring a subject to us in understandable text.
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Finally, it is complete. Only took me five extra days from my plan, I’m happy to know that.
Bonnie Scott
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A classic for many reasons.
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
A few excellent insights surrounded by rubbish.
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked the style and the way the writer explored the topic. Very interesting. highly recommended!
Peter Hudec
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wish that our education system adopts ideas from the book, we would not have young people having sympathy to nazi ideology, populism, hoaxes etc.
Felicity Chapman
What an amazing man. So progressive and 'before his time'.
Kenzo Amariyo
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good book for therapists
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Empathetic listening
Shaun Marais
Dec 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
While Rogers’ ideas and influence cannot be denied, I had some problems with this book: it doesn’t flow - it’s just a collection of thoughts - and he often writes in a complaining way.
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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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“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.” 413 likes
“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.”
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