Carl Ransom Rogers was an influential American psychologist , known as one of the greatest exponents of the humanistic approach to psychology. His contributions to psychotherapy are numerous and his ideas are still alive today, as his vision of therapeutic practice was truly innovative.

If you still do not know his theory, you can read this article: “The Theory of Personality proposed by Carl Rogers”, although to better understand his way of thinking you can also read some of his phrases and reflections on psychology and the human mind in general.

Best of Carl Rogers’ quotes

Throughout his life, this psychologist left great reflections for the memory. In this article we have collected some of Carl Rogers’ best phrases so that you can enjoy his thoughts.

1. The man who is educated is the one who learns to learn

For Rogers, self-knowledge is key to achieving well-being and self-realization . Human beings often have difficulties in finding themselves.

2. The very essence of creativity is its novelty, and therefore we have no standards to judge it

According to the author, when a person feels free and responsible, he or she connects with nature. This can be through the creative process of the arts or sciences or through social concern or love.

3. We cannot change, we cannot move away from what we are until we accept what we are. Then change seems to come almost unnoticed

There is no point in hiding reality, because if we do not accept ourselves, problems will arise again and again.

4. True happiness is in accepting oneself and coming into contact with oneself

One of the three fundamental human attitudes towards well-being is “unconditional acceptance”, in which a person must fully accept his or her person and his or her behaviour. Self-respect is key to good mental health.

5. I feel moved and fulfilled when I see the fact, or allow myself to feel, that someone cares for me, accepts me, admires me, or praises me

We do not stop being social beings and therefore when we receive love and respect that also makes us feel good.

6. It is not that this approach empowers the person, it is that it never takes it away

In this sentence, Rogers clearly defends the humanist method , of which he, along with Abraham Maslow, is one of the greatest exponents.

7. All I know is that anyone who wants to can improve their well-being

For Rogers, people are masters of their destiny and their emotional state, and therefore we can work to improve it.

8. When I look at the world I am pessimistic, but when I look at people I am optimistic

The world is not a perfect place, and we can often suffer situations of difficulty. However, people are active beings and can strive to be better despite adversity thanks to the processes of resilience.

9. A person, upon discovering that she is loved for who she is, not for what she pretends to be, will feel that she deserves respect and love

When one is true to oneself, one is able to feel self-fulfilling and is able to enjoy authentic well-being.

10. It is not often that such a deep and mutual personal encounter takes place, but I am convinced that if it does not happen from time to time, we do not live as human beings

Deep self-reflection can have a great effect on our emotional and mental well-being . It helps us to connect with ourselves.

11. To be empathetic is to see the world through the eyes of another and not to see our world reflected in their eyes

Empathy is a great quality that we human beings can possess, but we can also do the same with ourselves, with our own internal experience.

12. The degree to which I can create relationships that facilitate the growth of others as separate people is a measure of the growth I have achieved in myself.

A deep reflection of this well known psychologist. His thinking has influenced many professionals in psychology because of the emphasis he placed on private and subjective mental phenomena.

13. In my relationships with people I have found that it does not help, in the long run, to act as if I am something I am not

For one to be at ease with oneself and happy, the first step is to find oneself and connect with one’s inner experience.

14. Neither the Bible, nor the prophets, nor the revelations of God or man, nothing takes precedence over my direct experience

For Rogers, there is no better way to learn than through one’s own experience, that which leads to self-reflection.

15. People are as beautiful as sunsets, if they’re allowed to be. In fact, the reason we may truly appreciate a sunset is because we cannot control it

As a good humanist, self-realization and personal development are two of the main ideas of his theory.

16. I have observed that I am more effective when I open up to myself, accepting myself

Again, a quote about his concept of intentional acceptance. Key to his therapeutic model .

17. The curious paradox is that when I accept myself as I am, then I can change

The concept of intentional acceptance is the basis for any change. If we do not accept ourselves, we resist change.

18. Love, both in painful anxiety and in happiness, is present in everything

Love for oneself is indispensable to cope with any event that happens around us.

19. What is most personal is most universal

One of those quotes that invite us to deep reflection. With these words he makes clear his existentialist basis.

20. I realize that if I were stable, prudent and static I would live in death. Therefore, I accept the confusion, uncertainty, fear, and emotional ups and downs, because that is the price I am willing to pay for a fluid, perplexing, and exciting life

A concept that was developed later, but is influenced by this thinking of Rogers, is the “comfort zone”. You can learn about it in this article: “How to get out of your comfort zone? 7 keys to achieve it”.

21. Everything looks different when you look into your heart

When one accepts oneself, life seems to have a different color. A much lighter color.

22. The only well educated person is one who has learned to learn and change

When one looks within and learns from the experience, one achieves a much more powerful learning.

23. In my early professional years I asked myself this question: how can I treat, cure or change this person? I would now ask the question in this way: how can I provide a relationship that this person can use for his or her own personal growth?

According to Rogers’ theory, the relationship with the therapist is essential for the proper recovery of the patient, whom the therapist calls the client.

24. You cannot be afraid of death, in fact, you can only be afraid of life

A quote with a certain touch of irony, but which leaves a very clear message.

25. Experience is for me the supreme authority

Through experience, we can learn valuable things for our mental health and personal development.

26. For meaningful learning, that which causes profound changes in the individual, one must be strong, and not be limited to an increase in knowledge, but encompass all parts of existence

It is necessary for all the senses to be alert during experiential learning.

27. It seems to me that anything that can be taught to another is relatively inconsequential, and has little or no significant influence on behavior

A quote about the importance of supporting each other in learning.

28. The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination

Welfare is a place we all want to be, but you have to work to be there. It is not something static, but dynamic .

29. Acceptance of oneself is the first step to genuine acceptance of others

In order to relate to other individuals in a healthy way, it is necessary that we first relate to ourselves in the best way.

30. There is address but no destination

The importance of goals is not to get where we want to go, but to live the process in the best way. When we reach a goal, we unconsciously look for a new one.