Carl Rogers


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Let us now do some research about Carl Rogers. Rogers was born into a Protestant Evangelical home in 1902, a few years before the Evangelical churches in America experienced great revival in the first decade of the 1900’s. In his own words, Rogers says: “I lived my childhood as a middle child in a large, close-knit family, where hard work and a highly conservative (almost fundamentalist) Protestant Christianity were about equally revered…Having rejected the family views of religion I became interested in a more modern religious viewpoint and spent two profitable years in Union Theological Seminary, which at that time was deeply committed to a freedom of philosophical thought which respected any honest attempt to resolve significant problems, whether this led into or away from the church. My own thinking led me in the latter direction and I moved ‘across the street’ to Teachers College, Columbia University. Here I was exposed to the views of John Dewey, not directly, but through William H. Kilpatrick.” [1]

Here we see Rogers rejected Jesus Christ, the Word of God and Protestant Evangelical Christianity and turned to spiritually dead liberal-modernist “Christianity”. The theological college Rogers attended did not preach the Bible as the infallible Word of God but was pleased to integrate popular pagan philosophy with the Bible even if the study of this “Frankenstein” theology led one to reject Jesus Christ.


“By their fruits, you will know them”


In Matthew 7:20, Jesus said: “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Jesus here revealed that we can know what type of heart someone has by the fruits in their lives. Carl Rogers’ heart is shown by the way he treated his wife, Helen when she was dying with cancer. He began to have an adulterous affair with another woman during this time. Also, he concentrated so much on his own selfish interests that he did not care for her much.

Rogers wrote: “Then I have baffled and hurt her by the fact of my own independent life. While she was so ill, I felt heavily burdened by our close togetherness, heightened by her need for care. So I determined, for my own survival, to live a life of my own. She is often deeply hurt by this, and by the changing of my values. On her side, she is giving up the old model of being the supportive wife. This change brings her in touch with her anger at me and at society for giving her that socially approved role. On my part, I am angered at any move that would put us back in the old complete togetherness; I stubbornly resist anything that seems like control. So there are more tensions and difficulties in our relationship than ever before…” [2]


Rogers’ practice of contacting demons through spiritualism


By the late 1970’s, Carl Rogers and his wife began to consult spiritualist mediums and have demonic mystical experiences: ”In the eighteen months prior to my wife’s death in March 1979, there were a series of experiences in which Helen and I and a number of friends were all involved…Helen was a great skeptic about psychic phenomena and immortality. Yet, upon invitation, she and I visited a thoroughly honest medium, who would take no money. There, Helen experienced, and I observed, a ‘contact’ with her deceased sister, involving facts that the medium could not possibly have known. The messages were extraordinarily convincing, and all came through the tipping of a sturdy table, tapping out letters. Later, when the medium came to our home and my own table tapped out messages in our living room, I could only be open to an incredible, and certainly non-fraudulent experience. Helen also had visions and dreams of her family members, which made her increasingly certain that she would be welcomed ‘on the other side’…Also in these closing days, Helen had visions of an inspiring white light which came close, lifted her from the bed, and then deposited her back on the bed.” [3]

After his wife’s death, Rogers went to the spiritualist medium again and came away convinced about spiritualism, occult phenomena and re-incarnation: “That evening, friends of mine who had a longstanding appointment with the medium previously mentioned held a session with this woman. They were very soon in contact with Helen, who answered many questions: she had heard everything that was said while she was in a coma; she had experienced the white light and spirits coming for her; she was in contact with her family; she had the form of a young woman; her dying had been very peaceful and without pain…These experiences have left me very much interested in all types of paranormal phenomena…now consider it possible that each of us is a continuing spiritual essence lasting over time, and occasionally incarnated in a human body.” [4]


Rogers’ belief in occult and witchcraft


Rogers also came to believe in various occult practices: “I am open to even more mysterious phenomena – precognition, thought transference, clairvoyance, human auras, Kirlian photography, even out-of-the-body experiences. These phenomena may not fit with known scientific laws, but perhaps we are on the verge of discovering new types of lawful order. I feel I am learning a great deal in a new area, and I find the experience enjoyable and exciting.” [5]

Rogers also wrote in support of psychic dreams and Ouija boards: “A friend of mine is working on a book of psychic dreams, of which he has collected and studied a large number. A ‘psychic dream’ is defined as a dream about an actual event that occurs at a distance from the dreamer, and about which the dreamer has not been previously informed, or a dream that is precognitive, predicting an event that actually occurs. For example, a woman I know had a dream (or a vision) of a relative of hers being near death in a hospital bed in a foreign country. A phone call confirmed that this is true – the dream matched the fact. Another person I know received a message through the Ouija board that predicted ‘death soon’. The message was ambiguous as to the person concerned but gave the date when death was to be expected. Within two days of the date given, her brother was killed in an auto accident. I believe that many people have such dreams or precognitions, but we have quite systematically ruled them out of our general consciousness. But if we, or even some of us, have little-understood abilities and capacities, they should be a prime field for learning.” [6]

In the following, Rogers recommended clairvoyance, occult healing and mental telepathy: “Paranormal phenomena such as telepathy, precognition, and clairvoyance have been sufficiently tested that they have received scientific acceptance. Furthermore, there is evidence that most people can discover or develop such abilities in themselves. We are learning that we can often heal or alleviate many of our diseases through the intentional use of our conscious and nonconscious minds. Holistic health is broadening our understanding of the inner capacities of the person…It is possible that evolution will lead us to a supra-consciousness and supermind of vastly more power than mind and consciousness now possess (Brown, 1980)…” [7]


Rogers’ acceptance of pagan Eastern religion


Rogers also taught that physics should be interpreted in terms of pagan Hindu and other Eastern religious theories: “There is a convergence of theoretical physics and mysticism, especially Eastern mysticism – a recognition that the whole universe, including ourselves, is ‘a comic dance’. In this view, matter, time, and space disappear as meaningful concepts; there exist only oscillations. This change in our conceptual world view is revolutionary.” [8]

Carl Rogers admits that many of his foundational teachings are similar to the pagan Eastern mystical religion of Taoism. Taoism was founded by Lao-tse in the 6th century B.C. Rogers said: “But perhaps my favorite saying, which sums up many of my deeper beliefs, is another from Lao-tse:

If I keep from meddling with people, they take care of themselves,

If I keep from commanding people, they behave themselves,

If I keep from preaching at people, they improve themselves,

If I keep from imposing on people, they become themselves.” [9]


Rogers’ humanistic New-Age “Person of Tomorrow”


Rogers taught that the ideal person of the future would be an occultic person who made up their own morals, did not trust in any eternal authority such as schoolteachers, police and courts and were humanistic “do-gooders”: The Qualities of the Person of Tomorrow

As I have experienced these individuals, I find they have certain traits in common…They strive rather for a wholeness of life, with thought, feeling, physical energy, psychic energy, healing energy, all being integrated in experience…These persons are caring, eager to be of help to others when the need is real. It is a gentle, subtle, nonmoralistic, nonjudgemental caring…

The authority within These persons have a trust in their own experience and a profound distrust of external authority. They make their own moral judgements, even openly disobeying laws that they consider unjust.” [10]

Rogers said that the above type of person would be “nonmoralistic” and “nonjudgemental” – never judging the behaviour of others as evil or wrong. The practical foolish implications of this philosophy is that we should not say that Hitler, serial child killers, paedophiles, rapists and so on have done anything wrong.

Rogers’ “Persons of Tomorrow” are everywhere today. These lawless, immoral self-righteous do-gooders are producing massive social decline and chaos throughout the whole Western world.


Rogers’ teachings about marriage and adultery


Rogers believed marriage is a failing institution. [11] He taught adultery was an enriching experience, as long as both husband and wife agreed to it. [12] He stated that when a married couple learnt to see each other as separate persons, with separate as well as mutual needs and interests, they are likely to discover that extra-marital relationships are one of those needs. [13]

Therefore, Rogers believed that married couples may feel the need to date others or to have sexual intercourse with others. [14] Rogers wrote that such relationships should not be called by the “negative” expressions like “extramarital affairs” nor “adultery nor be regarded as immoral”. [15] He wrote in 1972 that such concepts are old-fashioned and ridiculous. [16] Rogers called adulterous affairs “satellite relationships”. [17]

Rogers therefore was one of many who helped to popularise adultery and wife-swapping in many Western countries in the 1970’s onwards. This resulted in multitudes of divorces, hurt spouses and emotionally scarred children.


One leader of the “if it feels good, do it” movement


Rogers taught that the most sensible humans are what he termed “fully functioning people”. [18] In his section “An Increasing Trust in His Organism” in his Chapter 9 “A Therapist’s View of the Good Life: The Fully Functioning Person” in his book “On Becoming A Person”, Rogers argued that the fully functioning person – Rogers’ hypothesised hero and heroine – did not follow the moral teachings or ethical codes of any group but instead did whatever they felt was right: “In choosing what course of action to take in any situation, many people rely upon guiding principles, upon a code of action laid down by some group or institution, upon the judgment of others (from wife and friends to Emily Post), or upon the way they have behaved in some similar past situation. Yet as I observe the clients whose experiences in living have taught me so much, I find that increasingly such individuals are able to trust their total organismic reaction to a new situation because they discover to an ever-increasing degree that if they are open to their experience, doing what ‘feels right’ proves to be a competent and trustworthy guide to behaviour which is truly satisfying.” [19]

In other words, Rogers here was partly attacking the belief that people should follow the absolute moral standards and ethical teachings of the Bible. Rogers’ beliefs above are based on the foolish pagan philosophies of relativism and existentialism.

In the same section, Rogers also wrote the following about his fully functioning “ideal” men and women: “If they ‘feel like’ expressing anger they do so and find that this comes out satisfactorily…” [20]

In recent decades, many psychologists, psychiatrists and counsellors have spread Rogers’ foolish advice above, resulting in thousands of poor unfortunates being encouraged not to control their anger and temper properly.

In his Chapter 9 “A Therapist’s View of the Good Life: The Fully Functioning Person”, Rogers wrote that the best products of psychological therapy are people who develop relativistic moral standards: “About 1952 or 1953 I wrote…a paper entitled ‘The Concept of the Fully Functioning Person.’ It was an attempt to spell out the picture of the person who would emerge if therapy were maximally successful. I was somewhat frightened by the fluid, relativistic individualistic person who seemed to be the logical outcome of the processes of therapy.” [21] Then Rogers explained how in the years after he wrote that paper, he became more sure of the ideas it contained. [22]

Relativism is the philosophy which teaches there are no absolute truths or absolute rights and wrongs.

Also in the same chapter, Rogers entitled one of his sections “Increasingly Existential Living” and went on to teach that the most psychologically healthy people are also existentialists. [23] Existentialism is the philosophy which says there is no such thing as absolute truth, all views of any issue are totally subjective and existence is meaningless, disordered and incapable of being explained. Existentialism teaches that there is no such thing as an objective view of reality and every person’s own view of reality can never be more than a product of their own subjective experiences. Existentialism over-emphasises personal experiences as a determinant of truth.

Rogers was one of the leaders of the “if it feels good, do it” movement that contributed greatly to the destruction of the morals of millions of Americans and other Western peoples in the 1960’s onwards. Note that Rogers’ book which pushed this wicked philosophy was first published in 1961.

The writings of Rogers, Dr Benjamin Spock and other similar academics were one contributing factor to the growth of the hippie movement with its immorality, drugs, occult, hatred of work and rebellious attitudes to all laws and authorities. The writings of Rogers, Spock and like-minded academics were popular in U.S. universities in the 1960’s. Not all hippies were university students, but many were. The hippies followed the “if it feels good, do it” philosophy. Millions of non-hippies in Western countries ended up following similar “if it feels good, do it” lifestyles.  


More on Rogers existentialist psychological beliefs


In his book “Freedom to Learn for the 80’s”, Carl Rogers expressed his strong belief in existentialist philosophy. He quotes Soren Kiekegaard (1813-1855 A.D.), the Danish founder of existentialism as an authority: “Kierkegaard has said, ‘The truth exists only in the process of becoming, in the process of appropriation.’” (6, p. 72). [24]

Kiekegaard was a son of a Jewish merchant and supposedly converted to Christianity in 1848. Kiekegaard rightly criticised the dead orthodoxy of the Danish State Church which at that time merely emphasised belief in right doctrines without any personal living experience of God. But Kiekegaard was wrong in his overemphasis on subjective personal experiences and subjective personal decisions and his opposition to the possibility of objective reality.

Then in his section “The Characteristics of the Person after Therapy” in his Chapter “The Goal: The Fully Functioning Person”, Rogers states what he believes are the characteristics of his hypothesised ideal male or female. Here are some quotes by Rogers about this: This person would live in an existential fashion.

I believe it would be evident that for the person who was fully open to his experience, completely without defensiveness, each moment would be new. The complex configuration of inner and outer stimuli which exists in this moment has never existed before in just this fashion. Consequently our hypothetical person would realize that ‘What I will be in the next moment, and what I will do, grows out of that moment, and cannot be predicted in advance either by me or by others’…

One way of expressing the fluidity that would be present in such existential living is to say that the self and personality would emerge from experience rather than experience being translated or twisted to fit a preconceived self-structure…

This whole train of experiencing, and the meaning that I have thus far discovered in it, seem to have launched me on a process which is both fascinating and at times a little frightening. It seems to mean letting my experience carry me on, in a direction which appears to be forward, toward goals that I can but dimly define, as I try to understand at least the current meaning of that experience. The sensation is that of floating with a complex stream of experience, with the fascinating possibility of trying to comprehend its everchanging complexity…

The personality and the self would be continually in flux, the only stable elements being the physiological capacities and limitations of the organism, the continuing or recurrent organismic needs for survival, enhancement, food, affection, sex, and the like. The most stable personality traits would be openness to experience, and the flexible resolution of the existing needs in the existing environment.

This person would find his organism a trustworthy means of arriving at the most satisfying behavior in each existential situation

He would do what ‘felt right’ in this immediate moment and he would find this in general to be a competent and trustworthy guide to his behavior.” [25]

Rogers here is basically saying we should make a “god” of our personal experiences, allowing these experiences to guide, mould, make and totally satisfy us.


Rogers’ rejected the concepts of psychological illnesses, normal behaviour and mental health


Psychopathologies are psychological illnesses. Because of his relativistic belief that there is nothing which is absolutely right or wrong, Carl Rogers rejected the idea that humans can suffer from psychological illnesses or psychopathologies and strongly doubted whether there are such things as normal behaviour and mental health in an objective sense: “I think of the concept, implicit in much psychological writing, that successful therapy means that a person will have moved from a diagnostic category considered pathological to one considered normal. But the evidence is accumulating that there is so little agreement on diagnostic categories as to make them practically meaningless as scientific concepts. And even if a person becomes ‘normal’, is that a suitable outcome of therapy? Furthermore, the experience of recent years has made me wonder whether the term ‘psychopathology’ may not be simply a convenient basket for all those aspects of personality that diagnosticians as a group are most afraid of in themselves…If I turn to another type of concept, I find that the person whose psychological growth is optimal is said to have achieved a positive mental health. But who defines ‘mental health’? I suspect that the Menninger Clinic and the Center for Studies of the Person would define it rather differently. I am sure that the Soviet state would have still another definition.” [26]

In the above, Rogers argues that because the Menninger Clinic, the Center for Studies of the Person and the Soviet Union State define mental health differently, this means that there is no such thing as a state of mental health which can be objectively defined in even the slightest way. This is typical of relativists who use the fact that humans have different views on issues to claim there is no absolute view on any issue.

In recent decades, we have experienced the dreadful inevitable practical results of the teachings of relativists and existentialists like Carl Rogers. This is evident in the constant push by many psychiatrists, psychologists and other academics to legalise paedophile relationships between adults and 12 to 15 year olds and to define sado-masochistic sexual practices such as urinating and defaecating on sex partners as being not perverted. These academics claim paedophilia and sado-masochistic sex are not psychological illnesses and are acceptable behaviours.


The strengths and weaknesses of Rogers’ approach to counselling


Rogers rightly emphasises the importance of counsellors showing empathy for their clients and of treating their clients as persons of unconditional worth and not just as a clinical scientific research projects: “I shall have to, make it clear at the outset that I am speaking from a background of client-centered or person-centered therapy…This would mean that the therapist has been able to enter into an intensely personal and subjective relationship with this client – relating not as a scientist to an object of study, not as a physician expecting to diagnose and cure, but as a person to a person. It would mean that the therapist feels this client to be a person of unconditional self-worth; of value no matter what his condition, his behavior, or his feelings. It means that the therapist is able to let himself go in understanding this client; that no inner barriers keep him from sensing what it feels like to be the client at each moment of the relationship; and that he can convey something of his empathic understanding to the client.”

But Rogers’ approach here easily deteriorates into a totally relativistic existentialist foolish charade in which the counsellors continually smile like Cheshire cats and constantly nod while their clients describe all their wrong attitudes, wicked behaviours and perversions, without the counsellors ever once committing supposedly the “unpardonable sin” of telling their clients that some of their behaviours are wrong and need to change.

It is very important to listen to, be sympathetic with, be empathetic with, smile at and show love and unconditional acceptance to those whom you counsel. But unless you at some present or future time also gently tell these people in what ways their behaviour is wrong and needs to change, you are a poor counsellor. Verses which command Christians to gently correct or admonish other Christians who are doing wrong are Romans 15:14, Galatians 6:1 and Colossians 3:16. Colossians 3:16 refers to all believers “admonishing one another.”





Are humans basically good and do evil only due to socialisation?


In his writings, Rogers strongly opposed the Christian idea that all people are born with a sinful nature. He stated that all humans are basically good. “I trust I have made it clear that over the years I have moved a long way from some of the beliefs with which I started: that man was essentially evil.” [27] In his section “Basic Trustworthiness of Human Nature”, Rogers also said, “It will be evident that another implication of the view I have been presenting is that the basic nature of the human being, when functioning freely, is constructive and trustworthy.” [28] In his section “Builds on Trustworthiness of Human Nature” in his Chapter “The Goal: The Fully Functioning Person” in his book “Freedom to Learn for the 80’s”, Rogers repeated the above words. [29] In other words, humans should trust in themselves. Note, however, in Luke 18:9-14, Jesus criticised those who trusted in themselves and who believed their nature, character and actions were right.

Rogers taught that antisocial behaviour and crime is a result of people being socialised wrongly by parents, teachers and others and is contrary to their basically good human nature. [30]

Rogers’ humanistic attitudes to the causes of crime and anti-social behaviour have been spread in the Church by one of his disciples – a popular American television preacher who wrote: “I contend that this unfulfilled need for self-esteem underlies every human act, both negative and positive. Every analysis of social or personal sins must recognise that the care of all sinful or unsocial behaviour is a conscious or subconscience attempt to feed the person’s need for self-esteem…What is really the driving force behind the hedonism and the immorality in the human race? It is precisely every person’s need for self-respect…There are many studies today which document the scientific fact that a lack of self-esteem is at the root of alcoholism, drug addiction, teenage rebellion, marriage and family breakup, and all sorts and varieties of crime.” The scientific studies referred to here are those done by Carl Rogers and his fellow humanists.

The same television preacher wrote: “What then does Christ mean, ‘Deliver us from evil’? If Scripture must interpret Scripture, then we can approach the word ‘evil’ the way we peel an onion. The outer layers are labeled murder, rape, exploitation, oppression, etc. Then as we continue to peel away more layers, we come to contributing sins like covetousness, greed, and jealousy. On still deeper levels, closer to the center, we find insecurities and inferiority. Next comes fear, also called lack of trust, because fear is the precise opposite of trust. Peel this layer away and you find the final nucleus – a negative self-image, a lack of self-esteem.”


Rogers’ large influence in many churches


One of the most tragic things about Carl Rogers could be seen in 1966 when in a conversation he said, “I don’t have very much standing in psychology itself, and I couldn’t care less. But in education and industry and group dynamics and social work and the philosophy of science and pastoral psychology and theology and other fields my ideas have penetrated and influenced in ways I never would have dreamt”.[31]

Here we see that even back in 1966, Rogers knew how much his existential, relativist and humanistic ideas had influenced education. The American, Australian and other Western education systems have had their discipline levels begin to decay badly since the 1960’s until now. In many American schools, they need armed security guards and metal detectors to keep order.

The humanistic, relativist and/or existential ideas of Rogers, Dr Spock and many other like-minded academics about discipline in families and schools, morals, marriage and the “if it feels good, do it” philosophy have contributed much to the breakdown of families, the increasing violence and lack of discipline in so many schools and the increases in crime and violence in society in general in many Western countries. There are obviously other causes as well. But the above philosophy of Rogers and his comrades has been a large contributor.

Observe also that Rogers knew how much he had influenced the training of Christian pastors, ministers and theologians by 1966. Here we see how enormously influential this false prophet has been among great numbers of Christians.


“Yes I know, but…”


You may say, “Yes I know Carl Rogers advocated occult, witchcraft, pagan Buddhist and Taoist ideas, rejected Evangelical Christianity, had a sexual affair while his wife was dying of cancer, taught ‘if it feels good, do it’, taught that adultery was not immoral, opposed the Biblical teaching that humans are born with a sinful fallen nature, undermined authority and discipline in the home and schools and taught other evil things. But I still believe Christians can learn much from him. For example, he taught about the great importance of listening to others, being sympathetic and having unconditional love for others. Also, Rogers advocated the importance of profoundly accepting other people as worthwhile human beings in counselling sessions and in other situations.”

But note what Rogers taught about these latter matters either were different from what the Bible teaches about these or were merely reflections of what the Bible already taught on these matters long before he was even born.

What Rogers meant by accepting other people as worthwhile is different from the Biblical teaching on this. Rogers believes we should accept other people as being basically constructive and trustworthy or good. [32] The Bible, however, teaches we should unconditionally love others (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-7), but not agree with or condone any of their sins (see Isaiah 5:20). Also, the Word says that God only accepts them if they are in Jesus Christ (see Ephesians 1:6). Also, the Scriptures do not teach us to accept or trust in other people as being basically good (see Jeremiah 17:9, Genesis 8:21, Psalm 51:5 and Mark 7:21-22).

The Bible taught about unconditional love, being compassionate, being sympathetic and listening to others thousands of years before Rogers did. Verses such as James 1:19, Proverbs 10:19, 17:27 and 18:13 teach the great importance of listening to others and not rushing in to give them our opinions or judgements. 1 Peter 3:8, Hebrews 10:34, Colossians 3:12, Jude 22 and Zechariah 7:9 all speak of having deep compassion or kindness or tender mercies for others. Hebrews 4:15 reveals how sympathetic Jesus Christ is towards our weaknesses. 1 John 1:6 commands us to be like Him.

Romans 5:8 reveals how unconditional God’s love for us is, in that there was nothing good about us or our actions that led Him to have Jesus die for us: “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” 1 John 4:10, Isaiah 49:15 and Psalm 27:10 all teach God’s unconditional unfailing love.



[1] Gardner Lindzey and Calvin S. Hall, (Editors), “Theories of Personality: Primary Source and Research”, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1965, pages 469-470.

[2] Carl Rogers, “A Way of Being”, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1980, page 86.

[3] Ibid, page 90.

[4] Ibid, pages 91-92.

[5] Ibid, page 83.

[6] Ibid, pages 313-314.

[7] Ibid, page 344.

[8] Ibid, page 345.

[9] Ibid, page 42.

[10] Ibid, pages 350-351.

[11] Richard M. Ryckman, “Theories of Personality”, 4th edition, Brooks/Cole, Pacific Grove, California, 1989, page 387.

[12] Ibid, page 389.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Carl Rogers, “On Becoming A Person”, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1961, pages 187-196.

[19] Ibid, page 189.

[20] Ibid, page 191.

[21] Ibid, page 183.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ibid, pages 188-189.

[24] Carl Rogers, “Freedom to Learn for the 80’s”, Charles E. Merril Publishing Coy, Columbus, 1983, page 279.

[25] Ibid, page 287-288.

[26] Ibid, page 284.

[27] Rogers, “A Way of Being”, page 43.

[28] Rogers, “On Becoming A Person”, page 194.

[29] Rogers, “Freedom to Learn for the 80’s”, page 292.

[30] Ryckman, pages 370-371.

[31] Carl Rogers, “Carl Rogers on Encounter Groups”, Harper and Row, New York, 1970, page 507 cited in Robert Frager and James Fadiman, “Personality and Personal Growth”, 2nd edition, Harper and Row, New York, 1984, page 356.

[32] Rogers, “On Becoming A Person”, pages 194-195.

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