Unconditional positive self-regard

Tom G. Patterson, Stephen Joseph

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this chapter is to discuss the concept of unconditional positive self-regard (UPSR), its assessment and utility in clinical practice and research. First, we will provide an historical overview of the concept of UPSR which will describe its origins within the person-centered psychology of Carl Rogers, based on his theory that living according to internalized conditions of worth thwarts the natural organismic tendencies of the person predisposing them to poorer psychological health. The main point we wish to emphasize is that person-centered psychology is a social psychology that grounds experiencing of the self within the social and cultural context of the developing person. Second, we will describe the development of a scale to measure UPSR and discuss recent developments in social psychological research and theory in unconditional or noncontingent self-relating, which are consistent with and advance the person-centered conceptualization of UPSR. Third, we will consider the therapeutic applications of the UPSR construct and person-centered theory in relation to recent developments in healthful approaches to self-relating from other therapeutic traditions (namely third wave cognitive therapies). We will consider points of conceptual and theoretical overlap and implications for future research and practice between the third wave therapies and person-centered psychology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Strength of Self-Acceptance
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, Practice and Research
EditorsMichael E. Bernard
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4614-6806-6
ISBN (Print)978-1-4614-6805-9, 978-1-4939-0143-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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