On Becoming a Person

Written by: Carl R. Rogers

In 1961, Carl Rogers published what would become one of his most famous books and significant contributions to the study of psychology. The work is comprised of pieces he wrote between 1951 and 1961.

At the time, he had been a psychotherapist (or personal counselor) for over 33 years. He had hoped On Becoming a Person, A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy would provide readers with “more security in making and following his personal choices as he endeavors to move toward being the person he would like to be.” The work was a bit of a departure from the typical theoretical, professional psychological tomes. He wanted to make the material available to “the intelligent layman.” He mentions that it wasn’t designed as a “self-help” type of book but does express the hope that those who are not in academia or in the profession will find help.

That said, Carl Rogers, in the foreward, mentions his desire to make his more recent writings available in one convenient place for psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers, educators, school counselors, religious workers, social workers, speech therapists, industrial leaders, labor-management specialists, political scientist and others who have read his work with interest.

Often unaccepted by the more practitioners, Roger’s writings were often distributed privately, rather than published in professional and academic journals. He describes his person-centered approach and concepts such as self-actualization, becoming and growth.

He also refers to the “modern era” and references the “infinitude of space as well as the infinitude of sub-atomic particles.” His concern is that we all need to create a better understanding of interpersonal and inter-group tensions while we race ahead technologically.

A complete version of this text is available for free online. However, On Becoming a Person and other Carl Rogers books can be found on Amazon in print, ebook and audio versions.

Table of Contents for On Becoming a Person

Part I – Speaking Personally

Chapter 1 – “This is Me”

Part II – How Can I Be of Help?

Chapter 2 – Some Hypotheses Regarding the Facilitation of Personal Growth

Chapter 3 – The Characteristics of a Helping Relationship

Chapter 4 – What We Know About Psychotherapy – Objectively and Subjectively

Part III – The Process of Becoming a Person

Chapter 5 – Some of the Directions Evident in Therapy

Chapter 6 – What It Means to Become a Person

Chapter 7 – A Process Conception of Psychology

Part IV – A Philosophy of Persons

Chapter 8 – “To Be That Self Which One Truly Is”: A Therapist’s View of Personal Goals

Chapter 9 – A Therapist’s View of the Good Life: The Fully Functioning Person

Part V – Getting At the Facts: The Place of Research in Psychotherapy

Chapter 10 – Persons on Science? A Philosophical Question

Chapter 11 – Personality Change in Psychotherapy

Chapter 12 – Client-Centered Therapy in its Context of Research

Part VI – What are the Implications for Living?

Chapter 13 – Personal Thoughts on Teaching and Learning

Chapter 14 – Significant Learning: In Therapy and in Education

Chapter 15 – Student-Centered Teaching as Experienced by a Participant

Chapter 16 – The Implications of Client-centered Therapy for Family Life

Chapter 17 – Dealing with Breakdowns in Communication – Interpersonal and Intergroup

Chapter 18 – A Tentative Formulation of a General Law of Interpersonal Relationships

Chapter 19 – Toward a Theory of Creativity

Part VII – The Behavioral Sciences and the Person

Chapter 20 – The Growing Power of the Behavioral Sciences

Chapter 21 – The Place of the Individual in the New World of the Behavioral Sciences

Appendix – A Chronological Bibliography of the publications of Carl R. Rogers. 1930-1960.

The link provided to On Becoming a Person goes directly to a PDF scan of the text.


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On Becoming a Person

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