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Carl Rogers Quotes

We cannot change, we cannot move away from what we are, until we thoroughly accept what we are. Then change seems to come about almost unnoticed. Carl Rogers

On Becoming a Person, Constable, 1961: 17

Carl Rogers Quote: We cannot change, we cannot move away from what we are, until we thoroughly accept what we are. Then change seems to come about almost unnoticed.

We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know. Carl Rogers

A Way of Being, Houghton Mifflin, 1980: 116

Carl Rogers Quote on Listening

When the other person is hurting, confused, troubled, anxious, alienated, terrified; or when he or she is doubtful of self-worth, uncertain as to identity—then understanding is called for. The gentle and sensitive companionship offered by an empathic person… provides illumination and healing. In such situations deep understanding is, I believe, the most precious gift one can give to another. Carl Rogers

A Way of Being, Houghton Mifflin, 1980: 160–161

Carl Rogers Quote on Empathy: When the other person is hurting, confused, troubled, anxious, alienated, terrified; or when he or she is doubtful of self-worth, uncertain as to identity— then understanding is called for. The gentle and sensitive companionship offered by an empathic person… provides illumination and healing. In such situations deep understanding is, I believe, the most precious gift one can give to another.

People are just as wonderful as sunsets if I can let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don't find myself saying, "Soften the orange a little on the right hand corner, and put a bit more purple along the base, and use a little more pink in the cloud color." I don't do that. I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch it with awe as it unfolds. Carl Rogers

A Way of Being, Houghton Mifflin, 1980: 22

Carl Rogers Quote: People are just as wonderful as sunsets if I can let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don't find myself saying, "Soften the orange a little on the right hand corner, and put a bit more purple along the base, and use a little more pink in the cloud color." I don't do that. I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch it with awe as it unfolds.

I realize that if I were stable and steady and static, I would be living death. So I accept confusion and uncertainty and fear and emotional highs and lows because they are the price I willingly pay for a flowing, perplexing, exciting life. Carl Rogers

A Way of Being, Houghton Mifflin, 1980: 89

Carl Rogers Quote: I realize that if I were stable and steady and static, I would be living death. So I accept confusion and uncertainty and fear and emotional highs and lows because they are the price I willingly pay for a flowing, perplexing, exciting life.

It is astonishing how elements that seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens, how confusions that seem irremediable turn into relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard. Carl Rogers

A Way of Being, Houghton Mifflin, 1980: 12

Carl Rogers Quote: It is astonishing how elements that seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens, how confusions that seem irremediable turn into relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard.

What is most personal is most general. Carl Rogers

On Becoming a Person, Constable, 1961: 26

Carl Rogers Quote: What is most personal is most general.

The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination. Carl Rogers

On Becoming a Person, Constable, 1961: 186

Carl Rogers Quote: The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.

Experience is, for me, the highest authority. The touchstone of validity is my own experience. No other person's ideas, and none of my own ideas, are as authoritative as my experience. It is to experience that I must return again and again, to discover a closer approximation to truth as it is in the process of becoming me. Carl Rogers

On Becoming a Person, Constable, 1961: 23–24

Carl Rogers Quote: Experience is, for me, the highest authority. The touchstone of validity is my own experience. No other person's ideas, and none of my own ideas, are as authoritative as my experience. It is to experience that I must return again and again, to discover a closer approximation to truth as it is in the process of becoming me.

The kind of caring that the client-centered therapist desires to achieve is a gullible caring, in which clients are accepted as they say they are, not with a lurking suspicion in the therapist's mind that they may, in fact, be otherwise. This attitude is not stupidity on the therapist's part; it is the kind of attitude that is most likely to lead to trust, to further self-exploration, and to the correction of false statements as trust deepens. Carl Rogers

‘Client-Centered Psychotherapy’ (co-authored with R Sanford), in HI Kaplan & BJ Sadock (Eds), Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, Williams &v Wilkins, 1984: 1379

Carl Rogers Quote: The kind of caring that the client-centered therapist desires to achieve is a gullible caring, in which clients are accepted as they say they are, not with a lurking suspicion in the therapist's mind that they may, in fact, be otherwise. This attitude is not stupidity on the therapist's part; it is the kind of attitude that is most likely to lead to trust, to further self-exploration, and to the correction of false statements as trust deepens.

Am I living in a way which is deeply satisfying to me, and which truly expresses me? Carl Rogers

On Becoming a Person, Constable, 1961: 23–119

Carl Rogers Quote on Living: Am I living in a way which is deeply satisfying to me, and which truly expresses me?

One of the most revolutionary concepts to grow out of our clinical experience is the growing recognition that the innermost core of man's nature—the deepest layers of his personality, the base of his 'animal nature'—is basically socialized, forward-moving, rational and realistic... He is realistically able to control himself, and he is incorrigibly socialized in his desires. There is no beast in man; there is only man in man. Carl Rogers

Carl Rogers Quote: One of the most revolutionary concepts to grow out of our clinical experience is the growing recognition that innermost core of man's nature - the deepest layers of his personality, the base of his 'animal nature' - is basically socialized, forward-moving, rational and realistic... He is realistically able to control himself, and he is incorrigibly socialized in his desires. There is no beast in man, there is only man in man.

There is another peculiar satisfaction in really hearing someone: It is like listening to the music of the spheres, because beyond the immediate message of the person, no matter what that might be, there is the universal. Hidden in all of the personal communications which I really hear, there seem to be orderly psychological laws, aspects of the same order we find in the universe as a whole. So there is both the satisfaction of hearing this person and also the satisfaction of feeling one's self in touch with what is universally true. Carl Rogers

Carl Rogers Quote: There is another peculiar satisfaction in really hearing someone: It is like listening to the music of the spheres, because beyond the immediate message of the person, no matter what that might be, there is the universal. Hidden in all of the personal communications which I really hear there seem to be orderly psychological laws, aspects of the same order we find in the universe as a whole. So there is both the satisfaction of hearing this person and also the satisfaction of feeling one's self in touch with what is universally true.

We in the West seem to have made a fetish out of complete individual self-sufficiency, of not needing help, of being completely private except in a very few selected relationships. Carl Rogers

Carl Rogers Quote: We in the West seem to have made a fetish out of complete individual self-sufficiency, of not needing help, of being completely private except in a very few selected relationships.

Powerful is our need to be known, really known by ourselves and others, even if only for a moment. Carl Rogers

Carl Rogers Quote: Powerful is our need to be known, really known by ourselves and others, even if only for a moment.

The only person who cannot be helped is that person who blames others. Carl Rogers

Carl Rogers Quote on Blame: The only person who cannot be helped is that person who blames others.

In my early professional years, I was asking the question: How can I treat, or cure, or change this person? Now I would phrase the question in this way: How can I provide a relationship which this person may use for his own personal growth? Carl Rogers

Carl Rogers Quote on Relating with Clients: In my early professional years I was asking the question: How can I treat, or cure, or change this person? Now I would phrase the question in this way: How can I provide a relationship which this person may use for his own personal growth?

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