Learning as Therapy
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
Carl Rogers (1961) wrote about the significant learning that occurs in the psychotherapeutic relationship, based on research and his many years of clinical experience as a mental health counselor. The “significant learning” he describes below is what healthy individuals also might achieve in their self-study. He writes about learning:
“By significant learning I mean learning which is more than an accumulation of facts. It is learning which makes a difference—in the individual’s behavior, in the course of action he chooses in the future, in his attitudes and in his personality. It is a pervasive learning which is not just an accretion of knowledge, but which interpenetrates with every portion of his existence…”
The changes that occur within client-centered therapy that Rogers (1961) lists below happened to me, as I engaged in self-study. Through Bikram Yoga practice which involved looking at myself in a mirror under voluntary stress, movement, and conscious breath work, and through daily journal writing, I was able to build a better, more healthy relationship with myself, and this transformed my life in the ways Rogers lists below. Please NOTE, I Iearned these things––– not from any book, research, brilliant person, or with a mental health counselor, but through paying attention to myself honestly in the ways included in this Self-Study curriculum.
- The person comes to see himself differently.
- He accepts himself and his feelings more fully.
- He becomes more self-confident and self-directing.
- He becomes more the person he would like to be.
- He becomes more flexible, less rigid, in his perceptions.
- He adopts more realistic goals for himself.
- He behaves in a more mature fashion.
- He changes his maladjustive behaviors, even such a long-established one as chronic alcoholism.
- He becomes more acceptant of others.
- He becomes more open to the evidence, both to what is going on outside of himself, and to what is going on inside of himself.
- He changes in his basic personality characteristics, in constructive ways.
Reflect on the nature of your relationship to learning about yourself.
Write about your relationship with yourself and how it has changed (and hopefully improved?) through self-study.