HOW CAN ANYONE GUARANTEE UNCONDITIONAL POSITIVE REGARD?

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HOW CAN ANYONE GUARANTEE UNCONDITIONAL POSITIVE REGARD?

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The unconditional positive regard of the counsellor for the client is a necessary condition for constructive change. Indeed Bozarth (1998, pp. 83–8 and in this volume) concludes that UPR is the necessary and sufficient condition for constructive change as presented in Rogers’ theory of therapy. However, the world is full of hostile, reprehensible, malefic individuals. How can they possibly be acceptable to anybody? Not unreasonably and leaving aside the important matter of definition, Masson (1992, p. 234) asks, ‘faced with a brutal rapist who murders children, why should any therapist have unconditional regard for him?’ (Masson omits ‘positive’). There is no reason at all why any therapist should but the therapeutic endeavour will be pointless without it. While therapists may be limited by their ability to offer unconditional positive regard, this in no way implies that person-centred therapy is similarly limited. Theory asserts that if (for example) a paedophile consistently experien

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