As explained by Rogers, human beings are endowed with an actualizing tendency that can enable them develop their capabilities and provide them with a sense of autonomy. On the other hand, self-actualizing tendency is considered to encompass such characteristics like motivation, needs or drives; as such, each individual has a responsibility to realize his or her potential. Rogers in his development of personality theory, does not recognize a deterministic nature associated with behaviorism or psychoanalysis, but maintains a focus on behavior being influenced by the conditions that individuals find themselves. In this sense, every individual is an expert of his or her own self (Wickman & Campbell, 2003).
According to Rogers’s theory, individuals are endowed with a basic motive, which is self-actualization. In this regard, depending on the environment, it is possible for individuals to realize their potential. However, it is important to note that, individuals develop their potential in unique ways and in tandem to one’s personality. In the model developed by Rogers and related to personality, people are considered naturally good and creative. However, individuals can become self-destructive in the event that they develop a low self-concept and as such, it is important for individuals to develop in a state of congruence. This means that self-actualization is influenced by an individual’s ideal self-being in congruent with an individual’s self-image (actual behavior). As noted by Rogers, one is self-actualized when he or she becomes a fully functioning person and in most cases, the major determinant of self-actualization among individuals, is their childhood experience (Moon, 2007).
During human growth and development, the “self” develops because of the interactions an individual has with other persons. Conversely,