The purpose of the Center for Studies of the Person (CSP) is to explore the richness and complexity of the person, to help individuals discover and experience more fully in their own lives, relationships and organizations the wealth of what it means to be personal—of what it means, for example, to be private as well as open, to be accepting and present to others, to be self-affirming. The Center is concerned with new experience and with old truths. It is a Center of scientific and humanistic search and a Center of informal education. As members, we intend to experience anew and in our own lives, meanings of democracy and of community. We intend to invent and submit to the public our understandings of what it is to be fully human.
The following is our our attempt to convey our excitement about the experience we share when we come together, or when we relate to others in the deeply personal way that grows out of talks and discussions focused on and using Person Centered Approaches (PCA).
Who Are We
What does it mean to be a person-centered community?
How do persons seeking responsible freedom mutually support one another in their individual efforts?
Our name says it all – Center for Studies of the Person. Since our founding 50 years ago, our members have been united in the search for (greater) understanding, of ourselves and others, of what it means to be fully human, and to embrace that person-hood in all its aspects whether we find them attractive or not (the good, the bad and the ugly). We believe that our greatest understanding comes from paying attention to/studying ourselves as we interact with one another. Our gatherings are the laboratory in which we engage in this internal research. This distinguishes us from other groups that are more focused on understanding gained from more standard, non-experiental research.
We value the opportunity to connect and interact with others in a meaningful way. We respect each as she is, and endeavor to prize our differences in the values, attitudes and ways of being that personalize each of us as unique.
We hold dear the principles of a person-centered approach as developed by psychologist Carl Rogers and our colleagues. We seek to practice our individual approaches through our ways of being and doing in our personal lives and professional lives as well as in our community. Encounter is an important part of our process as we seek to be with one another in an authentic, empathic, understanding, and accepting manner.
We believe that each individual can grow and enhance himself through interactions with others. We experience our own personal growth as we share, explore, exchange ideas, collaborate and work together. We are able to incorporate this growth in the services we provide through our individual lives and careers.
We founded ourselves in 1968 guided by person centered practices. We began as a free-wheeling non-organization focusing on actualization of individual personhood. “Non- organization” meant a sense of persons gathering in their processes of being. It implies optimizing social flexibility and personal development.
We attempt experiential and experimental approaches to personal and organizational life. We study persons through ourselves, each other, our community and significant people we encounter in our lives. Members approach each other from personal motivation rather than from solely their roles in the organization. Each member gains his or her economic support outside CSP.
CSP has persisted over the years as a lightly structured, non-bureaucratic organization so that our members may flourish in a structure that encourages individual expression and holds up few constraints on our development and professional efforts.
The Center continues to draw people from different backgrounds who gain sustenance from a person centered way of being and doing.