Learning the Art of Writing

Carl Roders


These are some of the books that the humanist author Carl Rodgers has written since he first started practicing as a psychologist and counselling practitioner.

The Therapeutic Relationship and its Impact – A Study of Psychotherapy with Schizophrenics.    Freedom to Learn—     Encounter Groups — Carl Rodgers On personal Power


Carl Rodgers writes of his fundamental belief in the subjective, observing that “ Man lives essentially in his own personal and subjective world and even his most objective functioning, in science mathematics and the like is the result of subjective purpose and subjective choice”


When I first encountered this man’s theories in the early 80’s it was like a weight had been lifted. Someone who had a similar believes to myself, and although I had tried hard to practice “absolute positive regard” for others I had never quiet made it because I was still living with very abused and abusive people. I was still abusing myself with various states of ways. After all it’s what we had learnt to do. When I first came across this theory was like something had sparked me off. Energy had been ignited. When I finally decided to qualify in counselling and I was training in Nottingham on Heathcoat Street where the Mushroom Bookshop had lived for many years, a very therapeutic area.

The day was barmy and life changing. We sat in a circle and I began to get really excited that I was going to watch Carl Rodgers on video practicing “Absolute Positive Regard” with a thin blond woman whom I barely remember and I cried when I heard him talk. So in need was I of a sign, that what I believed was the way, and that was very subjective to me.  And yes why wouldn’t you want to be treated with respect and basic human kindness. It all made sense; I was on to something, something big.

As with plants so with people and the notion that there is a “real world” and that people increasingly understanding and singing the Levellers Song “There is only one way of life and that’s your own”

It’s a luxury the world can not afford since it leads to false beliefs. His alternative hypothesis is there are as many realities as there are people and people are increasingly “inwardly rejecting the view of one single, culture- approved reality”.  I agree and this is where I am basing my belief system that I am unique to this world and I would just want what we all want Respect and Freedom to learn.

He coined the term “ The Actualising Tendency” which I seem to have a lot of and have been very curious about over the past few years. This is my story of my own learning and development of these features and the active processes that has developed its capacities in the direction of maintaining, enhancing and reproducing me.



The difficulties I have had has been when these Tendencies have been blocked. My attempt at wholeness and towards actualization of my potential has made me the happiest. One of the main reason I attracted both Counselling and Meditation was to explore where I was blocked, and how could I solve these mysteries without language and understanding of who I was, what had happened and how would I get there. Firstly I recognised that I had a concept of myself that was not the “real me” I had learnt to adapt; I had learnt behaviour that was no longer appropriate to my situation and was destructive. It had been placed there by others because they needed me to believe they were right and had for me to take these false beliefs on.

I did not have someone who loved me just for me no matter what I did, and this is where I feel that the need to have approval became greatest. For someone to give me Positive Regard helps me to experience myself as unique and loved


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