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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A humble masterpiece
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...
Published on 15 Oct. 2007 by calmly

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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'?
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...
Published on 30 Aug. 2006 by Brida


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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A humble masterpiece, 15 Oct. 2007
This review is from: On Becoming a Person (Paperback)
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. He basically wonders, if a culture is to be designed, as Skinner had suggested, what safeguards there are on the designer.

Rogers may seem too rosy and to be cherry-picking his results. The kind of measurements he presents, such as a psychological test measuring "changes in the self" based on self reporting may seem too fuzzy. How long it takes, compared to other available approaches, to get effective change seems not to have been a primary consideration for Rogers and may explain the rise of more recent approaches like Cognitive Therapy and Constructive Living. As a lay person, I respect the humane treatment Rogers recommended toward those entering psychotherapy as clients.

A major contribution by Rogers seems to be his recognition that his clients were not objects to do things to but rather fellow people whose experience he could share in.
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180 of 192 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to understand where Rogers was coming from with book., 16 Sept. 2001
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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114 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's view of Psychotherapy, 5 Sept. 2003
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
This review is from: On Becoming a Person (Paperback)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile, 8 April 2014
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Is Carl Rogers boring? Well he is rather persistent and takes time to make a point. I have found that the Rogers I have read gave me something useful every time so I am glad to class Rogers as a 'useful author'. I don't think the reader with some kind of interest (including the self-interest of a patient such as myself) will miss out spending some time on Rogers work.

What interested me most - the revelation of what client-centred therapy is supposed to be- as compared to the practices actually delivered by the Mental Health Service - the phrase 'client centred approach' is often bandied about by medical and untrained staff. The truth is that the procedures and ideas outlined by their originator rarely put in appearance in the reality of an actual hospital setting.

I wanted to hear the story from the original and was not disappointed by what I have read.

A useful book that gives the reader something to work on.
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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
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Brida "izumi" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: On Becoming a Person (Paperback)
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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Helped me decide the person centred approach was not for me, 29 Mar. 2009
This review is from: On Becoming a Person (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Humility and wisdom, 11 Jan. 2014
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Reading Rogers has almost been a physical experience for me. What he says rings so true in my experience, and the way he says it so unassuming, so tentative, that I did not feel he was trying to convince me of anything, just sharing what he learnt through his decades of experience as a therapist. Here is an example of how he says things: "I would like to make it very plain that these are learnings which have significance for me. I do not know whether they would hold true for you. I have no desire to present them as a guide for anyone else. Yet I have found that when another person has been willing to tell me something of his inner directions this has been of value to me, if only in sharpening my realization that my directions are different. So it is in that spirit that I offer the learnings which follow."

And the kind of thing he says... "If I let myself really understand another person, I might be changed by that understanding. And we all fear change. So as I say, it is not an easy thing to permit oneself to understand an individual, to enter thoroughly and completely and empathically into his frame of reference. It is also a rare thing....And it is their experience as well as mine that when someone fully understands those feelings, this enables them to accept those feelings in themselves."

Or: "I believe that I have learned this from my clients as well as within my own experience -- that we cannot change, we cannot move away from what we are, until we thoroughly accept what we are. Then change seems to come about almost unnoticed...It is a very paradoxical thing -- that to the degree that each one of us is willing to be himself, then he finds not only himself changing; but he finds that other people to whom he relates are also changing. At least this is a very vivid part of my experience, and one of the deepest things I think I have learned in my personal and professional life."

I have discovered another way of seeing myself and others through this book, which led me further down the path of self-acceptance, leading me to deeper acceptance of others.

No instant recipes here, just deep and thougthful reflexion on what it means to be a human being in relationships with other human beings.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Some excellent insights and hardly dated., 20 April 2013
This review is from: On Becoming a Person (Paperback)
Some excellent insights and hardly dated.

This seminal text is really quite a unique affair, even more so viewed against a contemporary backdrop. Its uniqueness lies in four areas:
i) It is derided largely from primary research and the sum of Rogers' knowledge - it is not heavily referenced (read: plagiarised) from the words and thoughts of others,'
ii) The reports enclosed herein are short, concise and lacking in waste - they do not conform to modern faux-academic standards of 'more is better,'
iii) There is an originality of thought that one rarely encounters in contemporary academia,
iv) Its central thesis is very simple and yet is able to resonate all the louder for its lack of clutter and unnecessary detail.

As a professional educator I found this work to generally be very informative, useful, stimulating and engaging. As with any academic text, it is a dull read in parts, no doubt, but if one can persevere past those parts then `there is gold in them there hills!' Here are some quotations I found particularly inspiring:

"It is a type of learning which cannot be taught. The essence of it is the aspect of self-discovery. With "Knowledge" as we are accustomed to think of it, one person can teach it to another, providing each has adequate motivation and ability. But in the significant learning which takes place in therapy one person cannot teach another. The teaching would destroy the learning." (p.204)

"I believe it would be quite clear from my description of therapy, that an overal implication for education would be that the task for the teacher is creating a facilitating classroom climate in which significant learning can take place." (p.287)

"When we cease to form judgements of the other individual from the locus of our own evaluation, we are fostering creativity. For the individual to find himself in an atmosphere where he is not being evaluated, not being measured by some external standard, is enormously freeing. Evaluation is always a threat, always creates a need for defensiveness, always means that some portion of experience must be denied to awareness." (p.357)

"Where the leader or leaders hold attitudes customarily thought of as therapeutic , the results are good. In other words, if the leader is acceptant both of the feeling of group members and of his own feelings; if he permits and encourages free discussion; if he places responsibility with the group; then there is evidence of personality growth within the group and the group functions more effectively, with greater creativity and better spirit." (p.371)

Finally, if I had to find a detraction with this text, it would not be with the contents per se., rather with the publisher - Constable, and their physical manufacturing of the product. This book is a keeper, it is the kind of work one will refer to time and time again over the years and as such it should have been printed on quality, acid-free paper and bound with a high-quality cover. In fact the opposite is true, it is printed on cheap mass-market novel type paper and is bound in a Żber flimsy paper stock that is hardly fit for the job. As a result, my copy is already tattered and bruised and I have only just finished reading it - reading it at my desk, no less!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 11 Mar. 2010
I qualified as a psychologist seven years ago but thought it would be good to revisit Rogers,so glad i did, insightful, inspiring and thought provoking. Highly recommended.
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On Becoming a Person
On Becoming a Person by Carl Rogers (Paperback - 1 Mar. 2004)
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