The public expression of private experience: A relativity unexplored dimension of person-centered psychology


J. Guthrie Ford


The congruence of psychological "pairs" is central to person-centered psychology. Two well-known pairs are the perceived self and ideal aspirations, and the perceived self and experiences of the organism. There is yet another pair that is relatively unexplored. One element of this pair is the private (covert) process; the other is the public (oven) process. Rogers has described the incongruence of these processes and the psychological consequences of this incongruence, My students and I have developed a way to measure public/private incongruence, documented the association between incongruence and maladjustment, and integrated public/private incongruence into person-centered theory. Should you read any further? Well, if you have ever said, "Let others know the real you," you may feel congruent and wise after reading this article.