Each person has their own way of capturing reality, Think about and process what happens to us and act according to our perceptions, past experiences, beliefs and values. In other words, each human being has their own personality.
This construct has been studied from very different theories and viewpoints, as well as from the problems and disorders that arise from a lack of coordination and fit between personality characteristics and everyday life events. One of them is the phenomenological theory of Carl Rogers, Focused on the formation of the Self and the personality and the adequacy of these, oriented towards clinical practice.
Rogers’ phenomenological theory
Carl Rogers was a psychologist of great importance in the history of psychology, being recognized for being one of the greatest representatives of humanistic psychology and for his contribution to the practice of psychotherapy with innovations such as client-centered therapy. Much of his contributions are due to his view of how human beings integrate reality to form themselves. And this aspect is particularly elaborated in the so-called phenomenological theory of Rogers.
This theory states that each person perceives the world and reality in a particular way from their experience and interpretation of it, so that they construct their own reality from these elements. This interpretation of reality is what Rogers calls the phenomenological field. By Rogers, reality is the perception that each person has of her, Since it is not possible to observe it other than through the filter of our own mind.
Thus, the professional who seeks to understand and treat another human being must start from the idea that in order to understand him, he must take into account not only what he is doing objectively, but the subjective view of the world that he is doing. possesses. and this led to it, working with both elements at the same time from the bond between the professional and the patient.
Rogers’ phenomenological theory is therefore based on the idea that behavior is mediated by internal elements, Like the tendency to update and rate experiences. The human being tries to find his place in the world, feeling with him self-realization and basing his conception on personal growth.
The human being as an updated organism
Throughout life, human beings are constantly exposed to a flow of situations that will force them to adapt in order to survive. The goal is to find your place in the world. To this end, we as an organism have the tendency to constantly update ourselves: we feel motivated to grow and develop continuously because this allows us on the one hand to survive and on the other hand to develop and to succeed. achieve autonomy and achieve goals.
We also learn to evaluate situations positively or negatively depending on whether we are allowed this update, by addressing the elements that allow us to be satisfied and by moving away from those that make us difficult. We learn to visualize reality in a certain way and this vision will mark our interaction with the environment.
This tendency is present from birth, Try to coordinate this development with our being to form a Self more or less stable over time, which will mark our identity and our personality.
Self-concept and need for acceptance and self-esteem
Phenomenological theory mainly focuses on behavior and personality change process throughout life. An important concept is the concept of self, which is understood as self-awareness and which serves as a model or frame of reference from which reality is perceived and to which the perceived experience is linked to concede it, at the same time. than ourselves. , a value.
This self-concept is based on the body, the person as a whole, both physically and mentally, and serves as the basis for conscious and unconscious experiences.
Self-concept is generated throughout a person’s evolution and growth, as they internalize and self-attribute the traits they perceive from the actions of others and from others. their effects. Based on these self-assigned traits a self-image is formed, Gradually acquire an awareness of their individuality
The child’s own actions elicit a reaction from others, which will become relevant throughout development as the need arises. to feel affection from others and be valued positively. Depending on whether the behavior is approved or punished, the person will learn to value themselves in a way that will ultimately strengthen their self-esteem.
This self-esteem or emotional assessment of the person will make it sketch 1 I ideal, What the subject would like to be, and try to achieve. But our ideal Self may be more or less close to our actual Self, which can trigger frustrations and lowered self-esteem if an approach to the former is not taken. Likewise, if the situations in which we live contradict our evolution, they are perceived as a threat.
When the concept of self and reality contradict each other, the human being tries to react through different reactions which make it possible to reduce the contradiction. This is when pathological reactions may occur like denial or dissociation, depending on whether the defensive reaction is insufficient or disorganized, which can lead to the appearance of mental disorders in the disintegration of the personality of the individual.
In therapy, Rogers believes that the professional must act out of empathy and make use of intuition and the link with the patient to come to understand his phenomenological field, so that he can help guide him in his acquisition of autonomy and development.
It is important to keep in mind that for Rogers, each person is responsible for himself, being the subject himself who will shape his development and lead the process of change. The therapist is a guide or a helperBut you can’t make the change for them, but help the person find ways to update in the best possible way.
The role of the professional is therefore to guide and help to show the subject that motivates him or in what direction he is developing from the link with the patient, who must allow and help to express himself. It is based on the complete acceptance of the patient, Unconditionally, to make him open his phenomenological field and be able to become aware of and accept these experiences which contradict his concept of self. This seeks to allow the person to reintegrate his personality and to develop positively.
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- Evans, RI (1987). The craftsmen of psychology and psychoanalysis. Conversations with great contemporary psychologists. Mexico: FCE, p. 267 and 254.
- Hernangómez, L. and Fernández, C. (2012). Personality and differential psychology. CEDE PIR preparation manual, 07. CEDE: Madrid.
- Martinez, JC (1998). Carl Rogers Personality Theory. Faculty of Psychology of the University of Colima.