Carl Rogers believed that the concept of self-actualization or Full Function occurred because of everyone's potential to achieve the set goals, desires, or wishes in life. This is similar to Abraham Maslow’s concept of self-actualization, which explains the desire for self-fulfillment, whereby an individual’s potential determines his or her actualization. Another similarity is that Carl Rogers considered the tendency of self-actualization to be driven by an inner biological desire for growth and development, both psychologically and physically. Rogers indicated that fully functioning people are always in the process of continuous change or growth. Maslow also indicates that the tendency to seek actualization drives the desire to become much more than what one has become and continues striving to achieve everything that they can. This simply means that the need for individual growth that is never static throughout an individual’s life is what forms the basis of self-actualization. Maslow continues to explain that self-actualization is not deficiency motivated but rather motivated by growth.
Carl Roger’s concept of self-actualization appears to be more valid than Maslow’s, because Rogers believed that human beings are the best experts of perceiving and achieving the highest levels of actualization and must be in a state of congruence. Although Maslow’s concept of self-actualization uses highly intelligent figures, he never believed that a prerequisite for self-actualization could be exceptional intelligence (Rogers, 2005).
The first condition described by Carl Rogers is congruence. This involves an aspect of being real and genuine, i.e. the therapist has to open up his or her feelings and attitudes for him/her to connect easily with the client. The second condition is unconditional positive regard, which involves the creation of a favorable environment for acceptance. The therapist needs to show a positive attitude of acceptance to the client in order to achieve therapeutic change. The third element is empathic understanding, which requires the therapist to sense the personal interpretations and feelings of the client (Sanders, 2006).
The most valid aspect for therapeutic change is unconditional positive regard, which means that the therapist listens and handles the client in a warm and a non-judgmental way. It enables the clients to open up their feelings without the fear of rejection or judgment. It enhances the relationship between the therapist and the client and hastens the healing process.
The element I consider being least valid is congruence, genuineness or realness. It could be possible that at the time Rogers was describing these conditions of therapy, there was the façade of doctors with an authoritarian attitude. In the current times, this plastic mask of doctors has changed as they embrace a human look that makes a client connect easily to the therapist (Sanders, 2006).
The core conditions of therapy described by Rogers improve the relationship between the therapist and the client, which is essential for the healing process to progress. Application of these conditions as a package ensures that the therapist can deal even with the most difficult client and establish a working relationship. Other conditions that can be essential include psychological connection and effective communication. The therapist also needs to note that the client is incongruent and can become vulnerable or anxious to a minimum degree.
Nefesh represents the lowest level of the soul concerning the physical instinct and desire. Ruach represents the middle level of the soul concerning the spirit that can differentiate between good and evil, while Neshamah represents the part of the soul that elevates a man above other forms of life and helps him realize the intellectual elements and knowledge of God. The soul is an integral part of all human beings, with its own set of rules different from those of life. The events of the soul are repetitive and cyclic, with a focus on the past rather than on the future. The soul does not grow but rather exists in the realm of the invisible and vanishes into concealment (Mijares, 2003).
The icon of the Tree of Life is a map representing the human body. There is a balance between love and strength, as illustrated in the middle branches of the Tree of Life. There is a need to focus on the future with some faith and hope in order to achieve inner satisfaction of the soul as well as emotional growth by working on the sphere of love, kindness, and strength. The elements of emotional growth and its qualities link to the parts of the Tree of Life, and, therefore, explaining them in this way will promote a strong healing relationship with the Jewish client (Mijares, 2003).
The principle of Tzimtzum represents the elements concealment, contradiction, and self-limitation. It is applicable in circumstances when the therapist needs to connect to the thoughts, behavior and creative impression of the client. It is sometimes necessary to apply active intervention in order to enhance the client’s capacity of self-creation. One can also apply the act of Tzimtzum by controlling, limiting, and measuring one’s malicious speech and avoiding malicious gossip. This is because when one tends to talk much in a malicious way, they can be at risk of spilling some thoughtless words that can result into unhappiness (Chefetz, 2003).