Self Concept: Meaning and Rogers Theory of Self Concept

What is Self Concept?

Simply, Self-concept is what is your concept about yourselves. It is a perceiving way of your to yourself. For example, you perceive yourself as “I am a friendly person”, “I am a kind person”, “I am a bad person”, “I am a religious person”.

Carl Rogers: Theory of Self Concept

Carl Rogers is very influential as a psychotherapist. His theory can be divided into Self-concept and client-centered therapy.

Self Concept

Rogers’s theory of personality emphasizes “self-concept”. As human being develops they develop their self-concepts. It is of a conscious nature. It is how we perceive ourselves as “I” or “We” called subjective self. It develops through interaction with people in society. It is the perception of our abilities, behavior, and characteristics.

For example, if someone says you are a good singer, the singing ability enhances your self-concept. This ability goes on developing through interaction with others, receiving positive remarks.

Rogers further explained that a positive self-thought helps to be optimistic and build healthy ways of life whereas, a negative one leads to pessimism and unhappiness with depressive and frustrating signs.

Rogers divided self-concept into two parts:

  • The real self, and
  • The ideal self

The real self is a subjective feeling as “I am” or “me”. The ideal self is one you would “like to be” as the “model” or as an example. For instance, if you would like to be a polite worker, you may like to be “Mahatma Gandhi.”

Rogers remarked that both self-concepts are essential. A broad gap between these two may generate difficulties of adjustment. If the ideal self is unrealistically out of reach, the person may feel frustrated and an inferiority complex may erupt. However, a slight difference may lead to the positive feeling enhancing it.

Sometimes the wrong self-concept can create signs of maladjustment. According to Rogers, this can be created through unconditional positive regard in which a person will be accepted by another person no matter what they say or do.

Client Centered Therapy

Roger’s client-centered therapy played an important part in psychotherapy highlighting personality. Client-centered therapy focuses on three important qualities of a counselor:

  • Congruence (geniuses of feeling and interest): refers to integrating and being genuine toward the client’s feelings.
  • Understanding and empathy (Warmth and sympathy): empathy is respecting the emotions and sentiments of others as one’s own self, and behaving accordingly.
  • Unconditional positive regard refers to the genuine, caring, not possessive. It is acceptable as it is.

Roger’s contributions to the humanistic approach of personality are greatly highlighted and are significantly in use in explaining personality and treating human problems.

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