Jan Ritt

I first became aware of the Center for Studies of the Person (CSP) at my place of employment in 1976. I was talking to one of my fellow workers, probably complaining about something, and she said, “I know how you feel”. No one had ever said that to me, and I was intrigued. She then told me about Carl Rogers and the La Jolla Program, and CSP’s weekend encounters groups. After I attended, I was hooked: I can say it changed my life. At the time, I had personal situations with which I was dealing and was able to work through them in the groups. I found that I couldn’t read enough of Carl Rogers’ writings and anything else associated with CSP. I began going to several weekend groups for about eight years and then signed up for the 17-day La Jolla Program with Bruce Meador. The next year Bruce brought me back as one of the facilitators. In subsequent years, I have attended almost all of the 7-day programs, both in La Jolla and more recently, in Silver Springs, Oregon. In my daily life I don’t have an opportunity to interact in a person-centered way – the way in which I am most comfortable – so the recent addition of the bi-monthly Wednesday night groups has given me that opportunity.

I don’t have a list of academic credentials, but I have some personal endeavors for which I am gratified. I have been helping to do away with the feral cat population at the Dana Point Harbor (lt took 18 years), volunteering at an animal shelter (I still do), singing with “Sweet Adeline’s” for 25 years, and quilting for “Quilts of Valor” in support of our servicemen. However, as I look back, there is one thing I did of which I am most proud-when I casually suggested to a friend that she go to the La Jolla Program after she said she was going to divorce her husband. She went to a 7-day program in La Jolla, and halfway through said “What have you gotten me into?” To make a long story short, after the program, she thanked me profusely, as her experience enabled her to work on and save her marriage. (I got a dinner out of it too!).

I feel the people whom I have gotten to know at CSP are an extension of my family. I have been an associate member for several years and now I am excited to be a full-fledged family member at CSP.