Observation calls to place attention to the process – it calls us to bring awareness to the way thoughts are coming and going, appearing, developing and disappearing. One is asked to acknowledge patterns of thinking as well as the expression of emotions in the body, the subtle changes in body sensation, the movement of the breath in and out of the body and so forth. Even though the content of thoughts is there and being recognized, the intention is not to be engaged with it, to cling to it or to feed it. In a similar way – in therapy, the past, traumas and personal stories are important to acknowledge, but they don’t become the center and focus of the therapy, rather the focus is on what is happening now, how the feelings express themselves in the body and what triggers reactivity. This approach allows a release of attachment to “my story”, “my depression” or “my anxiety”. Observation gives the client the power to develop an ability to choose between letting the thoughts, emotions and even real life events control his or her life, actions and reactions, or alternatively – be more active and present in his/her outer and inner life and choose how to respond to challenges that present themselves at any moment.
It’s a busy world. You fold the laundry while keeping one eye on the kids and another on the television. You plan your day while listening to the radio and commuting to work, and then plan your weekend. But in the rush to accomplish necessary tasks, you may find yourself losing your connection with the present moment — missing out on what you’re doing and how you’re feeling. Did you notice whether you felt well-rested this morning or that forsythia is in bloom along your route to work?
Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment—and accepting it without judgment. Mindfulness is now being examined scientifically and has been found to be a key element in happiness.
Carl Rogers is one of the most influential psychologists of the twentieth century. His influence is similarly outstanding in the fields of education, counselling, psychotherapy, conflict resolution, and peace.
On Becoming an Effective Teacher presents the final unpublished writings of Rogers and as such has, not only unique historical value, but also a vital message for today’s educational crises, and can be read as a prescription against violence in our schools. It documents the research results of four highly relevant, related but independent studies which comprise the biggest collection of data ever accumulated to test a person-centred theory in the field of education. This body of comprehensive research on effective teaching was accomplished over a twenty-year period in 42 U.S. States and in six other countries including the UK, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Israel, and Mexico and is highly relevant to the concerns of teachers, psychologists, students, and parents.
The principal findings of the research in this book show that teachers and schools can significantly improve their effectiveness through programs focusing on facilitative interpersonal relationships. Teachers who either naturally have, or are trained to have empathy, genuineness (congruence), and who prize their students (positive regard) create an important level of trust in the classroom and exert significant positive effects on student outcomes including achievement scores, interpersonal functioning, self-concept, attendance, and violence.
The dialogues between Rogers and Lyon offer a unique and timeless perspective on teaching, counselling and learning. The work of Reinhard Tausch on person-centered teaching for counselors, parents, athletics, and even textbook materials, and the empathic interactions of teachers and students, is among the most thorough and rigorous research ever accomplished on the significance and potential of a person-centered approach to teaching and learning.