Psychotherapy of Carl Rogers

How It Seems To Me

By Will Stillwell

Video recordings of psychologist Carl R. Rogers in initial interviews with four male clients are the major source for this explication of Rogers’ psychotherapy. A long-time colleague of Rogers, author Will Stillwell lives his own variety of person-centered practice.

Carl Rogers


He is Kairos (or so ancient Greeks called him) and you sense him quicken with you. On rare occasions a god sprints into your life. Your past and your future call to you creating a moment come due only as you and your particular destiny meet.

Carl Rogers

He is chance, and if you move with him he will fully change your fate. Here he is–Act! Seize the moment! Grab ahold of his forelock or beard! for the back of his head is bald and offers you no handhold if he’s past.

Carl Rogers was a world-renown twentieth-century innovator in the practice of psychotherapy, counseling and communication. He drew from a deep stream in American culture, part of America’s optimistic gift to the world, of individual agency leading to self-fulfillment through continual experimentation, renewal, and growth. His professional reputation is based on his manner of being with people and the research he undertook and inspired that demonstrated the efficacy of a practice which, after 1946, he called “client-centered therapy.”

The perspective he gained from his work with individual clients in clinical settings led him to new ways of thinking about how scientists and other creative people work; it gave him a vision for his own innovations in learning, group dynamics, and national and international peace. Rogers lived to be eight-five; in his later years his professional interest was largely occupied by efforts to facilitate and publicize his methods of conflict resolution in situations of political and cultural crises. He came to recognize all these efforts in personal social action as a “person-centered approach.”