The Therapeutic Relationship and its Impact –
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 from me. Someone who had a similar belief’d as mine, and although I had tried hard to practice “absolute positive regard” I then didnt have the language for what i thought and trying to do it for others, fell short because I was still living with very abused and abusive people, and still abusing myself in various 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 qualifed as a counsellor, I was training in Nottingham on Heathcote 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 explaining what “Absolute Positive Regard” was about. I remember I cried when I heard him talk.
As with plants animal so with people we all need feeding one way or another and for me it was human kindness I lacked in my spiritual diet.
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 agreed and this is where I was basing my belief system that I am unique to this world and I would just want what we all wanted respect and the freedom to learn. He coined the term “ The Actualising Tendency” which I seem to have a lot of and have striven for and 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 these capacities in the direction of maintaining, enhancing and reproducing the new real 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. They had been placed there by others because they needed me to believe they were right in order to control me and I had take these false beliefs on and was being controlled.