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Kendra Cherry

Unconditional Positive Regard - Psychology Definition of the Week

By June 1, 2010

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Definition: Unconditional positive regard is an important part of the non-directive, client-centered therapy created by humanist psychologist Carl Rogers. According to Rogers, unconditional positive regard involves showing complete support and acceptance of a person no matter what that person says or does.

Image courtesy Piotr Bizior

"This is an attitude of grace, an attitude that values us even knowing our ailings," explains David G. Meyers in his book Psychology: Eighth Edition in Modules. "It is a profound relief to drop our pretenses, confess our worst feelings, and discover that we are still accepted. In a good marriage, a close family, or an intimate friendship, we are free to be spontaneous without fearing the loss of others' esteem." Learn more about unconditional positive regard.

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June 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm
(1) Julie Bishop says:

I love the newsletter and all the information that it provides.
I have a B.A. in Psychology with some Masters work in Social Work. I am now retired; however, I do volunteering in the
areas of Psychology and Social Work. I could never withdraw
from the field permanently. Thanks again for the valuable
information. Julie

June 3, 2010 at 10:24 am
(2) Deri Latimer says:

Hi Kendra! Thanks for this definition. I could not agree more, about the importance of having this competency of unconditional positive regard. I work with helping leaders, managers and supervisors develop this so they can better serve their teams. Do you have exercises or resources that you use to help people develop unconditional positive regard?

August 27, 2013 at 10:31 pm
(3) Maury Castro says:

It can also mean “love” – plain and unadulterated love. Not sexual attachment or lust and not a needy kind of attraction. But an unconditional love “or regard for others – including animals, plants, the earth and the whole solar system. With your partner it is no demands to the other to come up to expectations. It is to not limit their freedom (or our own). And or as one contemporary author placed it: ” Love is not having to say you’re sorry!” To me all of this means unconditional positive regard!

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