The Self Actualising Tendency Essay

1827 words - 7 pages

This essay will consider the terms ‘the self-actualising tendency’ and ‘the fully functioning person,’ and how they tie in with Roger’s six necessary and sufficient conditions for constructive personality change (Rogers, 1957). The essay will incorporate theoretical published evidence to support my understanding of the essay question. A summation will be given at the end to conclude the essay.
1. Two persons are in psychological contact.
The Relationship:

“I am hypothesising that significant positive personality change does not occur except in a relationship.” (Rogers, 1990: 221) Rogers believed that great importance should be placed on the need for a minimal psychological meeting of minds to occur in order to bring about a positive degree of personality change. This relationship however minimal seems to be the foundation from where all the other conditions rise from. It appears this condition, which was described by Rogers as a ‘pre-condition,’ is of considerable importance, as any foundation is for growth. (Rogers, 1990)


When the client becomes used to being in the moment with the therapist, the client begins to see how they function within the relationship, it seems the most important thing during these transactions, is the felt sense by both parties that they are truly engaged in a real and open experience. The essence of the experience appears to be more important than the actual words spoken, it is the quality and depth of the experience that seems to bring about the freedom to let go, releasing emotions that have been trapped inside, without fear of judgment or criticism. It appears that as the client begins the journey to search out their inner needs, and set aside other people’s values, the actualising tendency begins in earnest for the client, importance is placed within this relationship between client and therapist is to stay aware of each other. So when the client in just turns up for therapy he has already proved his striving to become something more, a little more, or a lot more, that is for the individual to realise, but the striving to become more, to become more fully aware and functional has begun. Rogers said "The organism has one basic tendency and striving - to actualize, maintain, and enhance the experiencing organism.” (Rogers, 1951: 48)


2. The first, whom we shall term the client, is in a state of incongruence, being
vulnerable or anxious.
The individual enters therapy in a state of incongruence. When the individual’s experience of self is not in tune with their image of themself, their natural self-actualising tendency seems to get stuck. When the ‘self-image’ and the individual’s experience of themself become more integrated, the person has less conflict within their organismic experiencing as a whole. Incongruence appears to come about as humans start out as small children knowing their needs; they are not worried by external values from others. As they grow, they become...

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