What are some components of Carl Rogers' theory that a typical person may agree with, and one that a person might disagree with.

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Many "typical" people find Carl Rogers very "person-centered" concept appealing as he strives to express the fact that there is potential in everyone to reach goals and achieve success. This is very encouraging; however, the interference of outside factors including the influence exerted by parents, carers and educators force people to accept standards that do not necessarily allow self-actualization and people then tend towards trying to please others and meet the expectations of others rather than having sufficient self-esteem to strive towards their own ideal. Conditional and unconditional positive regard where a child receives praise and recognition based either on meeting the expectations of others (conditional) or receives recognition even if they make mistakes and cause discomfort (unconditional) create an environment where self-worth is measured and risks taken -or not - according to high or low self-worth. 

Rogers maintains that self-image and self-ideal are often in conflict with each other as most people are continually striving towards the ideal but not necessarily reaching it. Defense mechanisms  are one way of coping with the less-than-perfect self and so denial and repressed feelings can become a problem when conflict remains unresolved. The "person-centered" approach is considered by some to be too individual, overlooking group co-operation and not fitting with some cultures which do not accept a typically selfish, westernized approach, as they see it. 

Most people want to live a fulfilled life such as Rogers' theory supports and so "living for the moment" is an attractive proposition. At the same time, psychological well-being is assured and a feeling of being in control ensures that challenges are accepted with confidence and trusting one's own instinct is expected.