What does Carl Rogers mean by "organism?"  I know he is referring to people, but I don't understand why.  How does the person centered approach of therapy work?

Expert Answers
ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In biology and ecology, and organism is a living complex system of organs that influence each other in a way that they function as a stable whole. Carl Rogers had a background in agriculture so it was normal for him to relate to things in agricultural terms.  “Rogers promoted a more person-to-person approach to the traditional therapist-patient relationship, and emphasized the responsibility and intention in human behavior. Rogers believed that people are naturally good and the bad is abnormal.  He was concerned with opening up to, and theorizing from experience, the concept of the human organism as a whole and the belief in the possibilities of human existence. Rogers was able to join these with therapeutic insights and the belief, borne out of his practice experience that the client usually knows better to how to proceed within the therapy than the therapist.” This is the concept of the person centered approach instead of the clinical approach used by other psychologists of his era.


user5212673 | Student

the growth of living things. that need empathic approaches and genuiness mindset of change that may not see the road but are striving toward wanting to change, though the reassurance of positive words play a big influence on how the mindset can redirect thought patterns. i think carl rogers is trying to say we as a living organism know right and wrongs instinctivelly though we may have had some bad influences witch our ways got set, having a regualar positive regard to our theories of life can help re position our minds, kinda like a reset button.

katejones | Student

Rogers believed that all living things are organisms.. including humans and that just as plants need certains conditions in order to promote their growth, so do humans.

The conditions that Rogers thought the human organisms need in order to promote their growth are the core condition of his 'person centered' model. (Rogers is referring to emotional rather than physical growth.)The conditions are


Congrence (genuineness - from others and ourselves)

Unconditional positive regard (to feel that we are loved or approved of unconditionally by someone)


Hope this helps.