What conditions require other conditions, if examined independently?
Barbara Brodley, PhD

Rogers assertion is "For therapy to occur it is necessary that conditions exist" ( pg 213 in the 1959 theory in the Koch book). In the therapy situation, all 6 conditions are assumed to exist "to some degree", with variable quanitities in different situations, different states of clients, different therapists and their variable states. The theory really implies that there must be "enough" of each condition for therapeutic change to occur, and "enough" obviously (we know from experience) depends on many factors.

Here is how I "read" the theory in regard to the relation among conditons:

1. Rogers' definition of "contact" - "Two persons are in psychological contact, or have the minimum essential of a relationship, when each makes a perceived or subceived difference in the periential field of the other". (pg 207 - same reference as above).

As Rogers mentions following the definition, "contact" does not refer to the "depth and quality" of a good relationship. Thus Goff understandably suggests it is a precondition. The other qualities (conditions # 4, 5 & 6) further define the therapy relationship.

However, I don't think it is precisely conceived as a precondition because the other therapeutic conditions may exist (though perhaps uselessly) without it. The theory condition #1 does refer to "two people" and the other conditions only require the perceptions of one or the other.

As a set of therapy conditions, it seems to me that Rogers is asserting that all must be present to some extent, thus they are all conditions for therapy to happen. None are preconditions for the others, examined one at a time.

2. Incongruence of the client. My view: This may exist with or without any of the other condtions being present.

3. Congruent therapist. My view: This may exist with or without any of the other conditions being present.

4. Therapist UPR. My view: This may exist with or without any of the other conditions being present.

5. Therapist EU. My view: This may exist with our without any of the other conditions being present. If it exists without the 6th condition, then it is purely subjective to the therapist and unsupported by the client. Usually EU comes into being as a process due to an interaction, not a solitary entity (not just the therapist's hopes or imaginings) but
nevertheless, basically EU is in the psyche of the therapist at any given moment, right or wrong according to the client's inner intention or sense
of his experience. It is still subjective to the therapist. It may be correct, although unsupported by evidence from the client.

6. The client perceives conditions 4 and 5 at least to a minimal degree p. 112) . My view: This may exist with or without any of the other conditions being present. It may also not exist at all, although any or all of the other conditions are present. It is a perception, not a validation of what the therapist is offering or not offering.

Therapy, to Rogers theory, requires the totality of the conditions in some variable or adequate quantities. We can change the theory, but I think this is how it stands from him.

I don't think it helps the theory, or it's application to any group of clients, to elaborate the general definition.

Barbara Brodley, PhD (P-C INTL., Sept. 3, 2000)


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