7th PCE Conference

Potsdam, Germany

12 July 2006

Leading a Good Life - A PCE perspective of health

Kongresszentrum am Templiner See

The 4th General Assembly of the WAPCEPC took place during the conference

hosted by GwG (German Association for PCA)

Scientific Committee Local Organizing Committee
Prof. Dr. Michael Behr Dipl. Psych. Ulrich Esser
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kriz Prof. Dr. Klaus Heinerth
Prof. Dr. Gerd-Walter Speierer Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kriz
Prof. Ursula Straumann Prof. Dr. Eleonore Ploil
Prof. Dr.Dr. Günter Zurhorst Prof. Dr. Paulus G. Wacker

Conference website  

Keynote lectures:

Reinhard Tausch (Germany), Art Bohart (USA), Jürge Kriz (Germany), Maureen O'Hara (USA)

Taking Steps Along A Path: Full functioning, openness, and personal creativity.
Arthur C. Bohart

Abstract. For Carl Rogers, living the good life was the equivalent of being fully functioning. This meant living a life of growth, flow and change. Change happened because the fully functioning person was open to experience, information, ideas, and others. I present an elaboration of Rogers' views. People are seen as constantly changing on a moment to moment basis as they creatively cope with life's challenges. This feeds into change in personality over time. I cite research supporting this view. I consider how a particular form of openness which I call receptive openness, holding concepts tentatively, and also productive agency may contribute to productive change. I then consider obstacles to receptive openness and how blocks to openness relate to psychopathology. Finally I look at how clients in psychotherapy exhibit the kind of creativity I have been discussing.

Actualizing Tendency: The link between PCEP and interdisciplinary systems theory
Jürgen Kriz

Abstract. Actualizing Tendency is a core concept in person-centered and experiential psychotherapy (PCEP). It is neither a belief nor an assumption in Rogers' theory, but a simple description of the consequences of seriously taking interconnectedness and relationships into account. This paper discusses some (sub)concepts of the actualizing tendency as well as terminological problems and looks at notions such as emergence and phase transitions also investigated in modern interdisciplinary systems science.. It is argued that utilizing this link between PCEP and systems science is not intended to explain the pro­cesses of psychotherapy in terms of the frame of natural science, but enables PCEP to take part in the interdisciplinary discourses and by this means parry accusations that PCEP is not "scientific". Moreover, this link can also help to scrutinize the prin­ciples and metaphors which we use in PCEP and provide a consistent theoretical basis for our own practice.

Promoting Health: Challenges for person-centered communication in psychotherapy, counseling and human relationships in daily life.
Reinhard Tausch

Abstract. For person-centered psychotherapy and counseling to be scientifically acknowledged and accepted by public health services, the following are required: (a) more empirical research on effectiveness of person-centered therapy for different diagnostic categories (ICD-10) and counseling modes (group, family, health-related counseling), (b) incorporation of alternative interventions to increase the effectiveness of short-term person-centered psychotherapy consistent with the approach and the client-centered behavior of the therapist, such as having patients choose their therapists, providing written information on stress reduction and self-help, teaching daily relaxation exercises, using EMDR with minor anxiety, and suggesting homework assignments, (c) improvement of the therapist-patient relationship via regular written feedback from the patient for the therapist, reflections that incorporate cognitions and emotions in proportion to clients' expressions, and active, intensive (non-directive) efforts by the therapist to improve the therapeutic relationship, and (d) promotion of person-centered behaviors by people in daily situations and relationships outside the therapeutic setting (e.g., teachers, parents, partners).

Psychological Literacy for an Emerging Global Society: Another look at Rogers' "persons of tomorrow" as a model.
Maureen O'Hara

Abstract. The cultural contexts in which we live and find meaning are no longer stable and are being disrupted on an unprecedented scale. The result is a rupture between human minds and the external contexts that must be navigated by them. Three possible responses to these crises of psychological coherence are reactive, psychotic and transformational. Carl Rogers recognized the characteristics of people who could respond in a transformational way and called them persons of tomorrow. He described an emerging new mode of consciousness with a more advanced level of psychological literacy. The Person-Centered Approach process is not merely an effective therapeutic approach but also a powerful pedagogy that supports the transformational learning needed to become persons of tomorrow. Now is the time to reframe the mission and purpose of Person-Centered theory and practice, and expand it beyond the individual therapeutic context into larger social and civic spheres.

Leading a Good Life: The evolving paradigm from the PCE 2006 keynote addresses.
Jeffrey H. D. Cornelius-White

Abstract. This article analyzes and synthesizes the core ideas of the three keynote addresses from the PCE 2006 conference. Bohart (2007) asserted that leading a good life involves "receptive openness, holding constructs tentatively, and adopting a task focus". O'Hara (2007) explained how leading a good life is "psychological capacity building for a world in transition". Kriz (2007) focused upon the contextual, systemic processes of chaos and actualization to understand the good life, especially in terms of "seriously taking interconnectedness and relationships into account". This author integrates themes of the three presentations to illuminate an evolving paradigm of PCE, including emphasis on the ecological context, dialectics of rationality and intuition, appreciating creativity, living the approach in the world, and fundamental transformation.

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