Well Functioning Relationships

The developmental direction of persons in a person-centered atmosphere

Research in the Person-Centered Approach showed a developmental direction of persons in a person-centered atmosphere: If the facilitator communicates the three core conditions such that the other person can perceive them, at least to some degree, “the other individual in the relationship:

  • will experience and understand aspects of himself which previously he has repressed;
  • will find himself becoming better integrated, more able to function effectively;
  • will become more similar to the person he would like to be;
  • will be more self-directing and self-confident;
  • will become more of a person, more unique and more self-expressive;
  • will be more understanding, more acceptant of others;
  • will be able to cope with the problems of life more adequately and more comfortably” (Rogers 1961, p. 37-38).

A more formal statement can be found in Rogers (1959) stated as Outcomes in Personality and Behavior (Rogers, 1959, pp. 218)

Outcomes in Personality and Behavior (Rogers, 1959, pp. 218)

There is no clear distinction between process and outcome. Items of process are simply differentiated aspects of outcome. Hence the statements which follow could have been included under process. For reasons of convenience in understanding, there have been grouped here those changes which are customarily associated with the terms outcomes, or results, or are observed outside of the therapeutic relationship. These are the changes which are hypothesized as being relatively permanent:

  1. The client is more congruent, more open to his experience, less defensive.
  2. He is consequently more realistic, objective, extensional in his perceptions.
  3. He is consequently more effective in problem solving.
  4. His psychological adjustment is improved, being closer to the optimum.  This is owing to, and is a continuation of, the changes in self-structure described in .87 and B8.
  5. As a result of the increased congruencei of self and experience (C4 above) his vulnerability to threat is reduced.
  6. As a consequence of C2 above, his perception of his ideal self is more realistic, more achievable.
  7. As a consequence of the changes in C4 and C5 his self is more congruent with his ideal self.
  8. As a consequence of the increased congruence of self and ideal self (C6) and the greater congruence of self and experience, tension of all types is reduced— physiological tension, psychological tension, and the specific type of psychological tension defined as anxiety.
  9. He has an increased degree of positive self-regard.
  10. He perceives the locus of evaluation and the locus of choice as residing within himself.
    a. As a consequence of C9 and C1O he feels more confident and more self-directing.
    b. As a consequence of C1 and C1O, his values are determined by an organismic valuing process.
  11. As a consequence of Cl, and C2, he perceives others more realistically and accurately.
  12. He experiences more acceptancei of others, as a consequence of less need for distortion of his perceptions of them.
  13. His behavior changes in various ways.
    a. Since the proportion of experience assimilated into the self-structure is increased, the proportion of behaviors which can be "owned" as belonging to the self is increased.
    b. Conversely,  the proportion of behaviors which are disowned as self-experiences, felt to be "not myself," is decreased. c. Hence his behavior is perceived as being more within his control.
  14. His behavior is perceived by others as more socialized, more mature.
  15. As a consequence of C 1, 2, 3, his behavior is more creative, more --uniquely adaptive to each new situation, and each new problem, more fully expressive of his own purposes and values.

Comment. The statement in part C which is essential is statement Cl. Items 2 through 15 are actually a more explicit spelling out of the theoretical implications of statement 1. The only reason for including them is that though such implications follow readily enough from the logic of the theory, they are often not perceived unless they are pointed out.