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Oak Park,

Carl Rogers was a significant American psychologist and educator who co-founded the Humanistic Approach to psychology with Abraham Moslow. While living on a farm as a teenager cultivated an interest in agriculture, which later developed into an interest in science, he also developed a unique compassion and understanding for people. He was an excellent listener, but it took him a while to discover his own path. He attempted three different majors before settling on clinical psychology. On the basis of his work with troubled children, he rejected the dominant approaches to psychotherapy and psychology at the time and began developing his own. While teaching, he worked as a psychotherapist, which provided him with unique opportunities to explore his ideas. His Person-Centered approach would have a profound effect on the fields of Psychotherapy and Psychology. The methodology was equally applicable to education, industry, and conflict resolution. His approach, based on the therapist and client being equals, forever altered the therapist-client relationship. He was a firm believer that, with assistance, people are capable of comprehending and resolving their own problems. He was unflinching in his pursuit of research, testing, and comprehension of his approach and the human mind. Today, in the United States, the Person-Centered Approach is the most widely used type of therapy.

Childhood & Adolescence

Carl Rogers was born in Oak Park, Illinois, on January 8, 1902. His father was a civil engineer, while his mother worked as a stay-at-home mother. Despite his strict Protestant upbringing, he developed a more compassionate view of Christianity.

He learned to read before entering kindergarten, and he developed an early interest in agriculture, which sparked his later interest in science.

He joined a Christian mission to China in 1922 while a student at the University of Wisconsin. He developed a more compassionate and less harsh understanding of Christianity during his six-month stay.

In 1924, he enrolled in the Union Theological Seminary in New York City, inspired by his experience on a Christian mission to China.

Career of Carl

Carl Rogers left the seminary in 1926, dissatisfied with the seminary’s fixed mindset, and enrolled in a clinical psychology program at Columbia University’s Teacher’s College in New York City.

In 1928, he joined the Rochester Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children as a child psychologist. His theories about personality began to develop during his tenure in the Child Study Department.

In 1931, he completed his doctorate in clinical psychotherapy, which included the development of a psychological test to aid in identifying ways to improve the lives of low-income children.

In 1939, he published his first book, ‘The Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child,’ based on his work with disadvantaged and frequently distressed children at the Rochester Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

In 1940, he joined the faculty of Ohio State University as a professor of psychology. This allowed him to conduct clinical research on his newly developed ‘non-directive approach.’

He published ‘Counseling and Psychotherapy’ in 1942, in which he described his ‘non-directive approach’ and included full transcripts of his therapy sessions with Herbert Bryan.

In 1945, he was invited to join the faculty of the University of Chicago as a professor of psychology and to help establish a new counseling center.

He was elected president of the newly formed American Psychological Association (APA) in 1946, which brought together academic and applied psychologists.

In 1951, he established a clear vision for his approach and published ‘Client-Centered Therapy’ based on his experiences and research at the University of Chicago’s Counseling Center.

In 1957, he joined the University of Wisconsin’s departments of psychology and psychiatry. Throughout his tenure at the University, he continued to study and test his theory; at one point, he conducted a large-scale study using client-centered therapy with schizophrenics from Mendota State Hospital.

In 1961, he published ‘On Becoming a Person,’ a collection of his recent writings and lectures. He described how he developed his person-centered approach to therapy in this book.

Between 1964 and 1974, he lectured throughout the United States, conducted research and wrote additional books and papers while continuing to practice as a therapist.

He conducted Person-Centered Approach workshops in the United States, Europe, South America, Japan, and Russia from 1975 to 1985.

Significant Works of Carl

Carl Rogers co-founded the Humanistic Approach to psychology with Abraham Maslow. They rejected the dominant paradigms of their era, namely behaviorism and psychoanalysis.

They believed they were too limited in their ability to comprehend human experience and the whole person.

Rather than that, they advanced the principle of self-actualization, a fundamental human need to fulfill one’s potential in life.

Carl Rogers’ Person-Centered (also known as Client-Centered) Approach revolutionized the therapist-client relationship. He placed a premium on listening, comprehending, and assisting the client in determining their own solution, rather than prescribing one for them. This approach has since been expanded to include applications in education, industry, and conflict resolution.

Awards and Accomplishments

He was honored with the ‘Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions’ by the American Psychological Association in 1956 for his groundbreaking psychotherapy research.

In 1972, the American Psychological Association presented him with the ‘Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Psychology’ for developing the Person-Centered Approach to psychotherapy and counseling.

Personal History and Legacies

On August 28, 1924, he married Helen Elliot over his parents’ objections. Their first child, David, was born in 1926; Natalie, who is now a prominent expressive arts therapist, was born in 1928.

Carl Rogers died of a heart attack in San Diego, California, on February 4, 1987. He had undergone hip surgery days before his death and had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work resolving conflict in South Africa and Northern Ireland.

His Person-Centered approach to psychotherapy is currently the most widely used approach in the United States. It is successfully used in psychotherapy, education, and business settings.

Estimated Net Worth

Carl Rogers is one of the wealthiest cricketers and is ranked among the most popular. Carl Rogers’ net worth is estimated to be between $1-5 million, based on our analysis of Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.


Carl Rogers pioneered the use of ‘non-directive’ counseling with returning World War II veterans. His 1969 book, ‘Freedom to Learn,’ inspired educators in the United States and abroad to embrace a more student-centered approach to education.