S.P.A.R.K. Framework and Underpinnings: The Fully Functioning Person
” The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change…If we value independence, if we are disturbed by the growing conformity of knowledge, of values, of attitudes, which our present system induces, then we may wish to set up conditions of learning which make for uniqueness, for self-direction, and for self-initiated learning.” Dr. Carl Rogers
Dr. Carl Rogers, father of Client-Centered Therapy (1961), believed that every person could achieve their goals wishes, and desires in life. When they did so self-actualization took place. This humanistic approach for Rogers was based on the belief that most people when provided the right conditions, support and structure are able to become more self-directed learners, self-aware, and self-actualized. These person’s were called fully functioning persons. This means that the person is in touch with the here and now, their subjective experiences and feelings, their strengths and weaknesses and a belief in continuous learning, growing and changing in life.
In many ways Rogers, regarded the fully functioning person as an ideal and one that people do not necessarily or ultimately achieve.
It is wrong to think of this as an end or completion of life’s journey; rather it is a process of always becoming and changing.
Rogers identified five characteristics of the fully functioning person:
1. Open to experience
- : both positive and negative emotions accepted. Negative feelings are not denied, but worked through (rather than resort to ego defence mechanisms).
2. Existential living: in touch with different experiences as they occur in life, avoiding prejudging and preconceptions. Being able to live and fully appreciate the present, not always looking back to the past or forward to the future (i.e. living for the moment).
3. Trust in feelings: feeling, instincts and gut-reactions are paid attention to and trusted. People’s own decisions are the right ones and we should trust ourselves to make the right choices.
4. Creativity and Openness: the ability to adjust and change and seek new experiences.
5. Fulfilled life: person is happy and satisfied with life, and always looking for new challenges and experiences.
For Rogers, fully functioning people are well-adjusted, well-balanced and interesting to know. Often such people are high achievers in society. Critics claim that the fully functioning person is a product and myth of Western culture. In other cultures, such as Eastern cultures, the achievement of the group is valued more highly than the achievement of any one person.
Announcing an exciting personal and leadership development modules for 2014:
The Self-Coaching Guided Mastery Process: S.P.A.R.K.
S--tructure withProcess and Plus-One Approach for personal development
P—urpose for living a Meaningful and fulfilling Life
A—wareness of Inner and Emotional Self 3 through Awareness
R-–elationships with Self and Others
K—now and Do what you need to do to reach full potential