Carl Ransom Rogers (January 8, 1902, Oak Park, Illinois - February 4, 1987) was perhaps the most influential psychologist in American history and was instrumental in the development of non-directive psychotherapy, also known as 'client-centered' or 'Person centered psychotherapy'.

'Rogerian psychotherapy' became widely influential, embraced for its humanistic approach. Rogers also made significant contributions to the field of adult education, with his Experiential theory of learning. Rogers maintained that all human beings have a natural desire to learn. He defined two categories of learning: meaningless, or cognitive learning (e.g., memorizing multiplication tables) and significant, or experiential learning (applied knowledge which addresses the needs and wants of the learner).

Rogers' basic tenets were unconditional positive regard, genuineness, and empathic understanding, with each demonstrated by the counselor. According to Rogers, these tenets were both necessary and sufficient to create a relationship conducive to enhancing the client's psychological well being, by enabling the client to fully experience their phenomenological field, or self.

Rogers' father was an engineer, his mother a housewife and devoted Christian. Following an education in a strict, religious and ethical environment, he became a rather isolated, independent and disciplined person, and acquired a knowledge and an appreciation for the scientific method in a practical world. His first career choice was agriculture, followed by religion. At age 20, following his 1922 trip to Beijing, China, for an international Christian conference, he started to doubt his religious convictions; to help him clarify his career choice, he attended to a seminar entitled Why am I entering the Ministry?, after which he decided to change career.

After two years he left the seminary and took his M.A. (1928) and his Ph.D. (1931) from Columbia University's Teachers College. While completing his doctoral work, he engaged in child study at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, in Rochester, New York, becoming the agency's director in 1930.

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