Rogers 19 point theory

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Carl Rogers

This project is to interpret Carl Rogers' 19 point personality theory, which is the objective phenomenological field theory that is the basis of American humanistic psychology. Many humanists oppose the theory because it is objective as they insist that Rogerian therapy is subjective as it is about cleints' personal, and hence, subjective experience.

The paradox in therapy is that highly objectified research has provided the most humanistic approach separately in Europe and the New World. In other words, American existentialism is homegrown. The battle has been between a complex model of highly-aggregated experiential information VS the minutely-focused "slow boat" experimental model taken by the behaviorists.

Rogers' theory is highly beneficial because it creates groundwork for psychotherapy as a way for people to get on track irrespective of their problems. As it is organic, it does not look at a person as having abnormalities, but as an organism that is attempting to self-actualize the best way it can. Specifically, if an organism is allowed to interrelate to socially evolve naturally, especially during infancy, everything should turn out well irrespective of "vulnerabilities" such as birth defects. In the cases where early interrelation has been maligned, then the path to health is to restore the interrelatedness that should have been established during early growth.

The problem is that the theory looks like he wrote it on the subway during rush hour. I created a Rogers 19 point theory class. I took all the important words, and I believe they can be reassembled in any way to have meaning, and I think, anyway, it might be fun and therapeutic. (So far, people have tried to interpret the theory line by line, which is, of course, not conceptual.)

Absolutely key to Rogers' theory, or model, is the idea of "self and experience" where "process" connects the two. When the process that connects self and experience is broken, a person is said to have "fragile process." In humanistic terms, fragile process describes the very difficult to treat personality disorders (from the DSM), such as Narcissistic and Borderline Personality Disorders.

When the connecting process between experience and self is fundamentally broken, we become disassociated, which describes PDs. This creates, for instance, loneliness in a crowd--a way to describe modern cities. So I think that the fragile process that has evolved from Rogers' initial model is applicable to all as we all get disassociated at some time or other, and it isn't fun.

The topic of process has been exciting for a long time: David Hume thought process was God, Freud equated it to ego.

Reference material

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Here is recently written background material on Rogers' model to help with the exercise:

  • "Self, experience, and the connecting process" in Rogers' personality theory (APA style) [1]
  • Rogers 19 point theory of personality [2]
  • How field theory works in Gestalt [3]
  • Rogers' conditions for therapeutic change from his theories [4]
  • "A Gestalt" as a functional object [5]

The Game

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Link up these words and phrases taken from the 19 point model into a few normal sentences (here, if you want to):

-continually changing world of experience
-phenomenal field
-reacts to the field as it is experienced and perceived
-perceptual field is "reality" for the individual
-organized whole
-phenomenal field
-portion of the total perceptual field
-differentiated as the self
-evolutional interaction with others
-structure of the self is formed
-consistent conceptual pattern of perceptions of characteristics and relationships of the "I" or the "me", together with values attached to these concepts
-basic tendency
-actualize, maintain and enhance the experiencing organism
-vantage point
-internal frame of reference
-needs as experienced
-emotion accompanies
-perceived significance
-values experienced directly
-interjected or taken over from others
-distorted as if experienced directly
-experiences occur
-no perceived relationship
-self structure
-denied symbolization
-distorted symbolization
-experience is inconsistent with the structure of the self
-ways of behaving
-concept of self
-may be brought about
-organic experiences
-not been symbolized
-may be inconsistent
-structure of the self
-not "owned"
-psychological adjustment exists
-concept of the self
-all the sensory and visceral experiences of the organism
-symbolic level
-consistent relationship with the concept of self
-psychological maladjustment
-organism denies awareness
-significant sensory and visceral experiences
-not symbolized and organized into the gestalt of the self structure
-potential psychological tension
-experience which is inconsistent
-organization of the structure of the self
-perceived as a threat
-more rigidly the self structure is organized to maintain itself
-absence of threat to the self structure
-inconsistent with it
-structure of self revised
-individual perceives and accepts
-integrated system all
-sensory and visceral experiences
-more understanding of others and is more accepting of others as separate individuals
-perceives and accepts into his self structure more
-organic experiences
-present value system
-based extensively
-distortedly symbolized
-continuing organismic valuing process