Theoretical Explanation for Therapeutic Change

What theoretical formulation can explain the dynamics of therapeutic change? Rogers's (1980) explanation follows this line of reasoning. When persons come to experience themselves as prized and unconditionally accepted they realize, perhaps for the first thne, that they are lovable. The example of the therapist enables them to prize and accept themselves, to have unconditional positive self-regard. As clients perceive that they are emphatically understood they are freed to listen to themselves more accurately, to have empathy for then own feelings. As a consequence, when these persons come to prize themselves and to accurately understand themselves, then perceived self becomes more congruent with then organismic experiences. They now possess the same three therapeutic characteristics as any effective helper, and in effect, they become their own therapist.

Chapter 11 Rogers: Person-Centered Theory 325

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