Actualizing Tendency

According to Jerold Bozarth, a well-known modern Person-Centered theorist, the foundation block of Person-Centered Therapy is the actualizing tendency.

"Rogers stated: practice, theory and research make it clear that the Person-Centered Approach is built on a basic trust in the person ...  (It) depends on the actualizing tendency present in every living organism’s tendency to grow, to develop, to realize its full potential. This way of being trusts the constructive directional flow of the human being toward a more complex and complete development. It is this directional flow that we aim to release (Rogers, 1986b, p. 198)."

"The basic client/person-centered value is that the authority of the person rests in the person rather than in an outside expert. This value emphasizes the internal (i.e., the client's) rather than the external (i.e., the therapist’s) view. Clients are viewed as going in their own ways, allowed to go at their own pace, and to pursue their growth in their unique ways. The external view is meaningless in the therapy process since the only function of the therapist is to facilitate the client’s actualizing process. This process is a directional, growth directed process that includes movement towards realization, fulfillment and perfection of inherent capabilities and potentialities of the individual (Rogers, 1963). It is a selective process in that it is directional and constructive. It tends to enhance and maintain the whole organism/person.”

By Jerold D. Bozarth - The Foundation of Person-Centered Therapy

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