Carl Rogers: biography of the promoter of humanism in therapy

The name Carl Rogers is widely known in the world of psychology. A pioneer of humanistic psychology and creator of client-centered therapy, his contributions even earned him the presidency of the APA. Knowing the life of this author can be of great interest, which is why in this article we will do a summary of the biography of Carl Rogers.

    Brief biography of Carl Rogers

    Carl Ransom Rogers was born in January 1902 in Oak Park, Chicago, Being the fourth of six brothers. Her parents were Walter Rogers (civil engineer) and Julia Rogers (housewife), being the fourth of six siblings. The family had strong Christian and evangelical beliefs, being the important religion in the development of the author’s maturation and intellect. The family bond was positive and close, instilling in parents values ​​such as the importance of effort and perseverance.

    When she was twelve, her family bought a farm and moved in, spending her teenage years there and acquiring Rogers. a great interest in agriculture and biology, Actively participate in the care of animals and often read the scientific literature related to this sector.

      Years of formation and marriage

      In 1919 he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin to earn a degree in agriculture. However, throughout his studies and then his attendance at various religious festivals deciding to turn his interest and his studies towards theology and history.

      In 1922, during his penultimate year of study, he was chosen to participate in an international conference of the World Federation of Christian Students of China. During his stay on the Asian continent and during the conference, he observed a great diversity of beliefs and the confrontation that still exists between members of countries engaged in opposing camps during the First World War. This trip would cause Rogers to rethink his conception of life. After his return, he graduated in history.

      During his college years, he would reconnect with Ellen Elliott, a former elementary school classmate he would fall in love with and eventually marry in 1924. After that and after completing their studies, the couple moved to New York, where Rogers enrolled in “Union Theological Seminary”. There he will continue his studies in theology and philosophy while beginning to take various courses at the Columbia University School of Teachers. In the latter, he discovers and is interested in aspects related to psychology.

      After concluding at one of the seminars that his path and philosophy was not attributed to religion (although he retained an interest in aspects such as the meaning of life), he decided to give up his theological career. the same would enroll at Columbia University to study psychology, Specifically in the clinical psychology program, and would begin working with minors at the New York Institute for Child Guidance. He obtained his master’s degree in 1928 and his doctorate in psychology in 1931.

      Professional life, therapy and humanistic psychology

      During the year 1928 he was hired by the Rochester Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, in which he would work on aspects such as crime prevention among young people at risk of social exclusion and with different problems and from which it would get to be named director. There, he would work for twelve years, observing and working with several patients.

      Rochester has repeatedly observed that in working with patients, it is the client himself who knows best what affects him and where his problems lie, often knowing which direction to take to resolve them. too much tried to rush to present proposals on forms of therapy.

      In 1940, he was hired by Ohio State University as a lecturer, following the publication of his first book “Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child” the previous year. The same year would begin to realize conferences, being remarkable the realized one in the University of Minesotta in which it would establish the bases of the non-directive therapy. Rogers posited that the user of the psychologist’s services was not a patient but a client (This assumes that the subject is not limited to receiving the intervention but is an active subject and the architect of his own recovery) and that the role of the therapist is to help the client in a non-directive way, such as support for the subject’s own activity.

      In 1945, he was invited to establish a nursing home at the University of Chicago, learning by spending time to establish meaningful, close, and therapeutically productive relationships with his patients. Due to his many contributions in 1947 was named president of the American Psychological Association (APA). Throughout 1951 he published “Client-Centered Psychotherapy”, in which the author develops his well-known theory in which he emphasizes the role of the ability of each of us to achieve growth and a personal change.

      Rogers returned to the University of Wisconsin in 1957, where he would work as a professor in the Department of Psychology concurrently with research programs targeting the schizophrenic population. Yet various conflicts in this department have caused the author to become disillusioned with academia. In 1964 he was offered a job as a researcher in La Jolla, where he resided and worked until his death.

        Death and inheritance

        During his later years of life, Carl Rogers continued to research and publish a variety of books of great depth, as well as work on clinical practice and various conferences.

        In February 1987, Rogers fractured his hip in a fall that forced him to undergo surgery. The operation was successful, but suffered cardiac arrest shortly thereafter. Carl rogers died February 4, 1987 in San Diego, California.

        Rogers’ legacy is vast. He is one of the pioneering authors of humanistic psychology, Very interested in personal development and in the possibility for the person himself to direct his life and to evolve. In addition to this, the client-centered design of therapy, the emphasis on therapist-patient interaction and the provision of non-directive therapy, which were a revolution in their time, stand out. Many of his methods are still applied today or have served as inspiration for other authors.

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