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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

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  14,245 ratings  ·  360 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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Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Zoe Bell
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Dave Labranche
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 (because I'm just not wired to deal with it) and in general it gives you a framework for finding your inner self. ...more
Oct 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: redemption
'To be the self, one truly is ' is the core thesis of this book. For realising our true self, the need is to free ourselves from all the facades : pleasing others, trying to be good etc. We can then begin by accepting our real feeling. With it, comes the beginning of trusting ourself. It is the rise of a creative human being who is willing to take life as a endless river in constant flux.
For unlocking our potentialities, the therapist or the other person must be himself aware of his own attitude
Jan 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
The first chapter or two was interesting enough. Then it was simply one idea chewed over and over and over and over, then it was chewed some more.

I love Carl Rogers but this book is unforgivably, outrageously repetitive! Had to skip half of it. I was dozing off too much.
Feb 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Adam Shand
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: facilitation
Holy crap. This book just changed my life. I'm going to have to think about how to write a review for it. ...more
Apr 12, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
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
Dec 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Giovanni Generoso
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Lee Adams
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Came at the right moment—

Bought this book about a year ago, but never got around to reading it. And then one day last month, I woke up with a definite feeling that I should read it. And so my instinct proved to be quite correct, as I devoured the book (though skipping some chapters I found to be a little too technical and not worth the time). The stages of growth Rogers describes were so similar to what I'd been going through with meditation that I was just riveted—it was as if he was diagnosing
Steven Howard
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Iliyana Parashkevova
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Seriously people, forget all about positive psychology books and teachings. Nothing can compare to such GREAT psychotherapy books. It feels like a slap in the face, a really hard one, by someone who knows what you're thinking about (especially the thoughts no one wants to admit), without actually knowing you personally. I am barely half way, and have already recognized myself a million times between the pages. It taught me so much about myself. It reminded me of things I had forgotten about. Can ...more
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it
While Carl Rogers work is foundational to the field of counseling, I did not enjoy his writing. I read about half of this book, and much of the content was incorporated in the many textbooks I read in grad school. I decided to put my time into more current research in the field.
Sep 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: diehard Rogers fans
Recommended to Jonathan by: no one
Shelves: academic
First of all, there's really no reason to read this book if you have some exposure to his ideas through a class, a psych intro book, or even if you just read a wikipedia article I imagine. I think, in some ways, that simplicity speaks to why his ideas are so powerful and accessible. I can also see how this would be pretty revolutionary stuff in the time it was written - back in the 50s or 60s when expressing feelings was sort of a taboo thing. In all honesty, one might say people have a tendency ...more
Sep 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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?

Jyotika Varmani
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.

Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Everyone has long loved Carl. For him, it's all about being authentic. Not living in bad faith. You can give yourself your own authenticity score just by honestly answering for yourself a couple of questions:

1. What do you care most deeply about?
2. Given your everyday life, how much of it is dedicated to what you care most deeply about?

Authentic living consists of congruence between caring and living.

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.

May 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
"I trust that it is also evident that the whole emphasis is on process, not upon end states of being. I am suggesting that it is by choosing to value certain qualitative elements of the process of becoming, that we can find a pathway to the open society."
Oct 01, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!!!
Jan 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
one of the most important reads of my life. Highly recommended for those who are tracking certain progressions and their own maturity.
Dec 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I was definitely not a person before I started reading this
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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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