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What Is Unconditional Positive Regard?

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Definition:

Unconditional positive regard is a term used by humanist psychologist Carl Rogers to describe a technique used in his non-directive, client-centered therapy. According to Rogers, unconditional positive regard involves showing complete support and acceptance of a person no matter what that person says or does.

Rogers believed that it was essential for therapists to show unconditional positive regard to their clients. He also suggested that individuals who don't have this type of acceptance from people in their life can eventually come to hold negative beliefs about themselves.

"People also nurture our growth by being accepting—by offering us what Rogers called unconditional positive regard," explains David G. Meyers in his book Psychology: Eighth Edition in Modules. "This is an attitude of grace, an attitude that values us even knowing our ailings. 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."

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References:

Meyers, D. G. (2006) Psychology: Eighth edition in modules. Worth Publishers.

Rogers, C. (1961). On Becoming A Person. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

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