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On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy [Paperback]

Carl R. Rogers
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
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On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy + Way of Being + Client Centred Therapy: Its Current Practice, Implications and Theory
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Product details

  • Paperback: 431 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (Trade); 2nd edition edition (31 Oct 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039575531X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395755310
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The late Carl Rogers, founder of the humanistic psychology movement, revolutionized psychotherapy with his concept of "client-centered therapy." His influence has spanned decades, but that influence has become so much a part of mainstream psychology that the ingenious nature of his work has almost

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First Sentence
I HAVE BEEN INFORMED that what I am expected to do in speaking to this group is to assume that my topic is "This is Me." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A humble masterpiece 15 Oct 2007
By calmly
This book by Carl Rogers on client-centered therapy may lack the drama, the force or the cleverness associated with some books on other forms of psychotherapy. What it doesn't seem to lack is a quiet wisdom that flowed from Rogers' many years of experience and sensitivity to his patients.

Despite some redundancy, being a collection of papers and presentations from Rogers over many years, "On Becoming A Person":

1) presents a branch of psychotherapy distinct from psychoanalysis and learning theories as well as from behaviorism, focused more on basically well people growing than on helping disturbed people get better.

2) is rooted in Roger's positive view of human nature as basically good and constructive, as he discovered in encounters with his patients. Roger's emphasis on empathic understanding, on not imposing theoretical speculations about the clients state of mind and on avoiding forceful interference would seem to avoid some of the abuses associated with some other psychotherapies.

3) presents ideas about the helping relationship that Rogers extended from psychotherapy into other areas such as education. Rogers's nondirective approach suggested to him the possibility of a progressive education free of examinations, of grades, of conclusions, and even of teachers.

4) despite its "fuzziness", Rogers does present some experimental evidence in favor of client-centered therapy as compared to those based on learning theory and behaviorism.

5) Rogers' shows appreciation of the growing power of the behavioral sciences but expresses concern less this science, like other sciences, becomes manipulated by politicians to the detriment of people.
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178 of 190 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This was one of the first books I read when doing my course work in counselling skills training. It was easy to read, and understand what Carl Rogers was trying to get over about the need for the Core Conditions in the building of a therapeutic relationship. I felt it was more of an autobiography than a training manual, as reading it gave a small insight into how Roger's told of his own personal growth and how everyone can live life to their own maximum potential if they want to.
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112 of 121 people found the following review helpful
Carl Roger's is one of the few theorists who you feel you really get to know through his writing, this book is no exception and helped me so much when I was training to become a counsellor. Roger's writes with ease and this book is essential for those trying to understand the importance of the Core Conditions to the therapeutic relationship. My copy is tattered now, read often and borrowed by many!
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94 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic in psychotherapy 29 July 2004
By A Customer
I've been told that this book is a classic among books about psychotherapy and I've found that, indeed, it is an interesting read for anyone interested in the inner world of humans - not only for the experts.
One of the main points of the author is that, in any personal relations, be it with patients, pupils, colleagues, friends or partners, the route to personal growth (for all sides) requires empathy, acceptance and thruthfullness. Trying to force "mental" change in a patient or, say, ones maritial partner does not provide lasting improvement, but providing a solid relationship helps the other on his way to finding his self. In other words, by becoming a friend, the councelor can help the patient become the person he is.
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71 of 83 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Are the core condtions truly 'enough'? 30 Aug 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am currently trying to read this book in preparation for a counselling diploma beginning next month. Having already read Rogers's book, "A Way of Being", I thought I would enjoy "On Becoming a Person", however I am struggling to be engaged with it.

I think the problem is that I feel as though I am just covering ground that he has already discussed in A WAY OF BEING. While I agree that for a relationship to be helpful there has to be the core conditions of empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence, I feel as though I need more than just this if I am to develop as a counsellor. I feel as though you need to have some knowledge of how your clients can help their situations - people come to counselling because they want to improve aspects of their life, and I am not sure that just the core conditions are enough.

While I shall try and continue with ON BECOMING A PERSON for my course, I have already started looking for alternative books whcih may offer more. One that has caught my eye is Egan's SKILLED HELPER - a book which suposedly takes Rogers's core conditions as a starting point, but then develops ways of actually helping clients meet goals which would be helpful to them.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
An interesting read, especially when the flavour of the private man seeps through, as it often does. Rogers guru-like status has been bolstered by this book but it left me wondering 'wheres the beef?'.

Being 'nice' has it's place but is also a good way of dancing round the heart of the matter without ever engaging with it.

That said, I would recommend it to people who favour an uncovering approach as it conveys much of the value of attending to the lived moment-by-moment relationship - never a bad thing to be reminded of but not sufficient on it's own, whatever the assertions.
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