Carl Rogers on Psychological Freedom
on becoming a person: A Therapist View of Psychotherapy

"Prior to therapy the person is prone to ask himself, 'What would my parents want me to do?' During the process of therapy the individual come to ask himself, 'What does it mean to me?'"

"Experience is, for me, the highest authority."

"Neither the Bible nor the prophets, neither the revelations of God can take precedence over my own direct experience."

"The direction which constitutes the good life is psychological freedom to move in any direction [where] the general qualities of this selected direction appear to have a certain universality."

"We try to create a relationship with him in which he is safe and free. . . To accept him as he is, to create an atmosphere of freedom in which he can move in his thinking and feeling and being, in any direction he desires." "The individual in such a moment, is coming to be what he is. He has experienced himself." "The individual increasingly comes to feel that this locus of evaluation lies within himself."

"Walden Two: 'Now that we know how positive reinforcement works [dialoguing opinions to a consensus, i.e., 'liberating' the person's carnal nature], and why negative doesn't' [preaching and teaching commands, rules, facts, and truth to be accepted as is, by faith, and chastening for disobedience or for doing things wrong, i.e., restraining the person's carnal nature]. . . 'we can be more deliberate and hence more successful in our cultural design."  "We can achieve a sort of control under which the controlled, though they are following a code much more scrupulously than was ever the case under the old system, nevertheless feel free.  They are doing what they want to do, not what they are forced to do. That's the source of the tremendous power of positive reinforcement—there's no restrain and no revolt.  By a careful design, we control not the final behavior, but the inclination to behavior—the motives, the desires, the wishes.  The curious thing is that in that case the question of freedom never arises."  "If we have the power or authority to establish the necessary conditions, the predicted behaviors will follow."

"We can choose to use our growing knowledge to enslave people in ways never dreamed of before, depersonalizing them, controlling them by means so carefully selected that they will perhaps never be aware of their loss of personhood."

"Dr. Skinner says: 'We must accept the fact that some kind of control of human affairs is inevitable. We cannot use good sense in human affairs unless someone engages in the design and construction of environmental conditions which affect the behavior of men." "Environmental changes have always been the condition for the improvement of cultural patterns, and we can hardly use the more effective methods of science without making changes on a grander scale . . ."

"To create effectively a new set of attitudes and values, the individual must undergo great reorganization of his personal beliefs and attitudes and he must be involved in an environment which in many ways is separated from the previous environment in which he was developed." "...many of these changes are produced by association with peers who have less authoritarian points of view, as well as through the impact of a great many courses of study in which the authoritarian pattern is in some ways brought into question while more rational and nonauthoritarian behaviors are emphasized." (David Krathwohl, Benjamin Bloom et al., Taxonomy of Educational Objectives Book 2: Affective Domain)

"We know how to change the opinions of an individual in a selected direction, without his ever becoming aware of the stimuli which changed his opinion." "We know how to influence the ... behavior of individuals by setting up conditions which provide satisfaction for needs of which they are unconscious, but which we have been able to determine." "If we have the power or authority to establish the necessary conditions, the predicted behaviors our potential ability to influence or control the behavior of groups will follow."

© Institution for Authority Research, Dean Gotcher 2015