Unconditional Positive Regard

Unconditional Positive Regard
What it is
Why is it a core condition?
How can we develop it?
Setting the Scene. UPR
Deep Openness. A Poem.
Openness and emptying. Fear and
excitement of the unknown.
Meeting and experiencing the other and
myself in our moments of meeting.
Empathy from inner self- from the
Deeply genuine, transformational.
Armin Klein
Personal Reflection
Take some time to reflect on your own
definition of Unconditional Positive
Is there a symbol, word, phrase, image,
song, which would represent your
Labels and Blocks. Conditional
Think of a person with whom you
imagine it would be challenging to
experience UPR.
Are there particular personality traits or
behaviours which would make this
difficult for you ?
Unconditional Positive
Self Regard
Unconditional Positive Regard is an extremely
difficult attitude to develop…it involves the
counsellor in considerable personal
development work to attain a level of
personal security and self acceptance which
reduces her need to protect herself against
Dave Mearns
As the client experiences the attitude of
acceptance which the therapist holds
towards him, he is able to take and
experience this same attitude towards
himself. As he thus begins to accept ,
respect , like and love himself, he is
capable of experiencing these attitudes
towards others.
Carl Rogers
I only walked with her, following her self
direction, going with her at her own pace. I
trusted her self determination. I did not try to
diminish her desperation, fear or powerless
feelings. To the extent that I was fully present
with her as she experienced these feelings, I
accepted the feelings. It was never my
intention to change her or her feelings…to me
her panic , her desperation, and depression
were acceptable parts of her…
Elizabeth Freire
Belief in Self and in the Other
I believe that I am of infinite worth and all others with me.
I believe that I need not be afraid of my inner world and must
strive fearlessly to be in touch with it even if this is painful or
I believe that it is my task to remain open to experience both
inner and outer
I believe that the other deserves my understanding and not my
I believe that to understand the other’s world and to
communicate that understanding is an essential part of being
I believe that unconditional acceptance both offered and
received, dispels fear and opens up the path to authentic living.
Brian Thorne
Some Pointers
Be congruent in the relationship
Maximize your own Unconditional Self Regard.
Maximize UPR through empathic experiencing of the
Focus extensively on the frame of reference of the
Keep asking yourself,' what is it like for this person?
Trust the client to develop her own direction at her
own pace, and in her own way.
Let go of any pre-suppositions of what might or
should happen in any given session.
Jerold Bozarth
Mearns, D (1994) Developing Person Centred
Counselling. London: Sage Publications.
Rogers,C R (1951) Client-Centred Therapy: It’s
Current Practice, Implications and Theory. Boston:
Houghton Mifflin
Freire,E (2001) Unconditional positive regard: the
distinctive feature of client centred therapy. In J.
Bozarth and P. Wilkins (eds), UPR: Unconditional
Positive Regard (pp. 145-54). Ross-on-Wye: PCCS
Thorne, B (2002) The human person: hope or
despair?. In: The Mystical Power of Person –Centred
Therapy. London: Whurr Publishers. P.13