Carl Ransom Rogers (1902-1987) was an American psychologist and one of the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology. He was born in Oak Park, Illinois, the fourth of six children, to a devoutly religious family. Rogers was a bright student who enjoyed reading and learning, and he went on to attend the University of Wisconsin, where he earned a bachelor's degree in history in 1924.
After college, Rogers attended Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he intended to become a minister. However, he soon realized that his interests lay in psychology, and he transferred to Teachers College at Columbia University, where he earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 1931.
Rogers began his career as a psychotherapist in New York City, where he worked with troubled children and adolescents. He then moved to Ohio, where he took a job at the University of Chicago, where he began to develop his humanistic approach to psychology.
Rogers believed that people are fundamentally good and have an innate drive towards self-actualization. He also believed that the therapeutic relationship was crucial to the success of therapy, and that therapists should be empathetic, non-judgmental, and genuine with their clients. This approach, which he called client-centered therapy, was a radical departure from the prevailing psychoanalytic approach of the time.
In the 1950s, Rogers moved to California, where he continued to develop his ideas and influence the field of psychology. He wrote several influential books, including "Client-Centered Therapy" (1951) and "On Becoming a Person" (1961), and he became a professor at the University of California, San Diego.
Rogers received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions from the American Psychological Association in 1956, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1987, shortly before his death.
Today, Rogers is considered one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century, and his ideas have had a profound impact on the field of psychology, as well as on education, counseling, and other helping professions.
Rogers' approach to therapy emphasized the importance of creating a non-judgmental and empathic relationship between therapist and client. He believed that clients could be trusted to know what was best for themselves, and that the therapist's role was to provide support and guidance as clients worked towards their own goals.
Rogers' approach to therapy was also characterized by a focus on the present moment and an emphasis on personal growth and self-discovery. He believed that individuals have a natural inclination towards personal growth and development, and that therapy could help people to better understand themselves and their experiences, and to develop a stronger sense of self.
Rogers was also interested in the application of his ideas to education, and he believed that a client-centered approach could be used to create more effective and empowering learning environments. He advocated for an approach to education that emphasized the importance of self-directed learning, creativity, and critical thinking.
In addition to his work as a therapist and educator, Rogers was also an active participant in the civil rights movement and other social justice causes. He was a vocal opponent of discrimination and oppression, and he believed that it was essential for individuals and society as a whole to work towards greater understanding and empathy.
Rogers passed away in 1987, but his ideas continue to be influential in the field of psychology and beyond. His approach to therapy has been adapted and applied to a wide range of settings and populations, and his emphasis on empathy, authenticity, and personal growth continues to be a powerful force for positive change in the world.