2 questions about Rogers

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I would like to ask two questions about the theory of Carl Rogers.

1) They say, that the theory of Rogers was influenced by that of Otto Rank. I can not trace this influence. What other influences did the theory of Rogers "absorbe"? I see much of Rousseau in Rogers.

2) The second question is about the key metaphors in the works of Rogers. In my opinion there is a strong metaphor of human being = plant- the idea of growth and constant development. Are there any other metaphors, Rogers uses to describe a human being? Could you please give me some hint, as to what should I read about the role of metaphor in science and in personality theories in particular?

-- Veronica Giulliani (silvae@mail.ru), June 11, 2003


The Rankian influence on Rogers was primarily Rank's focus on the will. You might read in that respect James A. Lieberman, Acts of Will: The Life and Work of Otto Rank (The Free Press, 1985). Rogers had theological training prior to his psychology doctorate, and was influenced by various theologians at Union Theological seminary-- Paul Tillich was an important influence. I would read his own book On Becoming Carl Rogers (Doubleday, 1980), which probably tells of the influences on him. Donald Moss, in his chapter on the person- centered approach in his edited book Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology: A Historical and Biographical Sourcebook (Greenwood, 1999) mentions these influences, but does not document them. You might also check reference lists and indexes in Rogers' books.

For the issue of metaphors, the classic source is Stephen Pepper's WOrld Hypotheses: A Study in Evidence (University of California Press, 1957). The four root metaphors he describes are formism, mechanism, contextualism, and organicism. A search on the internet with Pepper's name and those words will probably give you all you need to know.

-- Hendrika Vande Kemp (hendrika@earthlink.net), June 12, 2003.

Thank you very much for the answers.

Did I understand correctly that the actualising tendency is corresponding with the Rankian will?

I wonder if there is anything written about the impact (correspondence) of the Leo Tolstoy pilosophy of non resisting to violence on the theory of Rogers. I mean the Open letter of Rollo May to Rogers and the answer of Rogers.

I would be grateful if somebody could say if there exist any analysis of the theory of Rogers in terms of the theory self -organised systems (Ashby W. etc)and synergetics.

-- Veronica Giuliani (silvae@mail.ru), June 12, 2003.

In 1995 I published an article in Journal of Humanistic Psychology entitled "The Birth of Client-Centered Therapy: Carl Rogers, Otto Rank and The Beyond." This article documents the influence of Rank on Rogers. Let me know if you would like a copy.

Robert Kramer American University Washington, DC USA

-- Robert Kramer (kramer@american.edu), June 25, 2003.

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