Congruence has two components — an internal component involving awareness of one’s own flow of experience and transparency, and an outer component, that refers to explicit communication. Rogers defines congruence in relation to experience and awareness. Both of these elements describe the therapist’s internal state.
Elsewhere, Rogers writes about congruence involving experience, awareness and the therapist’s behavior and communication.
A therapist is congruent (or genuine or real) in the relationship, his picture of himself and the way he communicates matching his immediate experiencing.
Experience in today’s era, results from a multitude of stimuli, much more than in the past. We move constantly, forced or willingly, we are influenced by multiple cultures in our everyday life, we encounter repeated social crises and collective traumas. Our identity is now structured by multiple voices, and this polyphony “resounds” both inside and outside of us
How does this complexity impede our efforts to be congruent?
How can we sift through these triggers and keep only the voices that resonate with our authentic selves?
How do we focus on the experience and feelings that guide us towards self-realization?
With reference to lived experience, we will look for the processes that help us in today’s world, in the midst of polyphony, to continue developing, to stay in the realm of “Becoming a person”, a person who constantly changes and adapts his behavior to new situations.
Maria Malikiosi-Loizos is Professor Emeritus of Counselling Psychology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece. She studied Psychology (M.A. 1974, Ed.D. 1978) in the USA, where she also worked as a research and teaching assistant.
She has worked as a Researcher at the National Center of Social Research in Athens, Greece; as a post-doctoral intern at the Laboratory of Social Psychology of the National Centre of Scientific Research, (C.N.R.S.) Université Paris VII; and at UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning in Paris, France.
She founded, directed, and supervised the Peer Counseling Center of the University of Athens, Greece for twenty years, where she also trained peer counsellors. She initiated the first post graduate program in counseling and counseling psychology in Greece. She has taught counselling psychology courses at the undergraduate and graduate level in Greece, the US and several European countries. She has been invited as a lecturer in seminars and congresses in Greece and abroad. She has authored and co-authored several books, edited and also participated in publications in Greece and abroad with research articles for journals and book chapters.
She is and has been member of several scientific societies, in Europe and the United States including the APA and Division 17 of counselling psychology
She has been granted the award of outstanding contribution to European counselling psychology (the European Association for Counselling); an honorary award for her contribution to the development of counselling psychology in Greece (the Hellenic Psychological Society); the honorary membership of the Hellenic Association for Person Centered and Experiential Approach (hapcea); and also, the honorary memebership of the Hellenic Association for Counselling.
She founded the Greek Association of Peer Counselling (Hellenic Scientific Association of Peer Counselling),which she presides since its foundation in 2013 and is active as a trainer, supervisor and counselling psychologist.