Gifts From 50

As part of the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Center, we offer these gifts from CSP members, past and present. Each of these highlights unique contributions to person centered and humanistic practice and thought.

Psychotherapy of Carl Rogers—How It Seems To Me

Will Stillwell

How does a person go about helping herself when she feels overcome by problems? How does a person risk seeking help when he doesn’t know a path forward? Psychologist Carl Rogers invented and perfected his singular and personal way to be with people in the context of their whole lives as they tried to come to grips with their life problems.

Dr. Will Stillwell’s “The Psychotherapy of Carl Rogers: How Does It Seem To You?” is a new extended essay and video contemplating the person and the artistry of Carl Rogers as he practices his one-to-one psychotherapy.

“For many years I have been appreciative — in close, edifying touch with this man and his work. A decade ago I worked intensively with four of Rogers’ videotaped psychotherapy demonstration interviews. I watched the videos repeatedly as colleagues and I transcribed, interpreted and translated the dialogue. I emerged freshly intrigued by new understanding and empathy with this master-at-work. “I was inspired then to become more available towards Rogers, to regard him more fully. What I now discern in Rogers’ approach toward these clients seems to me both unconventional and vital. Through my lens here, this undeniably humanistic scientist gains a unique artistic dimension.

“Carl Rogers was a gentle person. Carl Rogers was dedicated to your, my, and his own learning. From his work as a psychotherapist he came to deeply understand how each person’s learning is highly influenced by who that person feels him- or her-self to be. He did not lead us toward accumulating ideas, facts, or explanations. He knew that significant learning is internal to each individual, and these learnings lead to personal wisdom involving self-in-world — world of objects, world of facts, the animated world and world of people. He facilitates our learning through our committing ourselves to our experiences, our thinking and feeling our responses, and our opening ourselves to allow these experiences to alter our own understandings. When my knowledge is personal, it changes how I live in the world. I have learned how to live my life with those problems that arise for me.”

This is my meaning—my hope is that each of us find our own meaning in Rogers work with clients in the moment and what they express in terms of the unfoldment of Rogers as artist and genius in his own right.

I have put together short video clips that show Rogers at work together with my reflections on what they mean, bring up to me. It is my pleasure to share these observations with you.

A Personal Path to Universal Personhood

Anthony Rose

In early 1967 comparative psychologist Anthony “Tony” Rose took a break from his primate research laboratory to join a weeklong encounter group with 15 clinical psych grad students, facilitated by the renowned psychotherapist Carl Rogers. Carl and Tony connected. In September that same year, Tony left the UCLA Brain Research Institute and moved south to take an NIMH Postdoctoral Fellowship at Western Behavioral Sciences Institute in La Jolla, under Carl’s mentorship. Thus began Tony Rose’s personal path to the exploration of universal personhood.

Being Where You Are

Larry Pell

CSP member Larry Pell writes: “This is where I find a point of convergence between yoga meditation and client centered therapy. For both it’s about: BEING WHERE YOU ARE. That means not just saying I feel “X “ or I am thinking “X“ or “X“ is happening in me. It’s more a matter of acknowledging that where you are in your consciousness is, in the now, you.

Person Centered Approaches—A Cultural Movement

Veniamin Kolpachnikov

In this latest Gift from 50, CSP Member Veniamin Kolpachnikov proposes and demonstrates that Person Centered Approaches constitute a cultural movement, a sub-cultural initiative that has enormous potential to transform how people relate to each other and to our world.

Venya is the Program Chairperson of a Master’s Degree Training in Person-Centered Approach Counseling Psychology at the Moscow campus of National Research University, Higher School of Economics. Training is offered in English and Russian. At the end of his article you can find a more extensive announcement of this program.

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CSP Papers

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Gifts From 50