Carl Rogers
Researched and written by:  Lauren Cosner
I attest that the following biography is a product of my own original work..



Carl Rogers was born January 8, 1902 in Illinois. His father was a civil engineer and his mother was a housewife and also a dedicated Christian, he had five brothers and sisters. He learned to read before kindergarten and so he skipped ahead and started his education in the second grade. When he was 12 his family moved to a farm that was 30 miles west of Chicago. He attended the University of Wisconsin and began as an agriculture major but later switched to religion. On a trip to Beijing he said that his experiences there challenged his belief of his religious views. He married Helen Elliot after graduation and moved to New York where he began the clinical psychology program at Columbia University where he received his Ph.D. in 1931.

            He was a professor at Ohio State beginning in 1940 and wrote his first book, Counseling and Psychotherapy in 1942. In 1945 he established a counseling center at the University of Chicago and while there he published Client-Centered therapy which outlined his theory in 1951 and was perhaps his most important work. He accepted a research position in LaJolla California in 1964 where he gave speeches, wrote and provided therapy until he died in 1987.

            Roger’s theory is a simple one built around what he called the actualizing tendency which is the motivation of living things to develop to the fullest extent possible. He believed that all people and animals strive to make the very best of their life. His theory is based on his experience with his clients and is therefore clinical. He began the move from psychoanalysis and began client-centered psychotherapy. He is also seen as a pioneer in Humanistic psychology and the most influential American psychologist.



Boerre, C.G. (1997). Personality Theories [Online] Retrieved March 14, 2005 from the

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