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Unconditional Positive Regard: Definition & Examples Video

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  • 0:46 Application of…
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shamekia Thomas

Shamekia has taught English at the secondary level and has her doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

Unconditional positive regard is an important aspect of many forms of psychotherapy. Learn more about the definition of unconditional positive regard, learn how to apply this concept to your life, and test your knowledge with a quiz.

Unconditional Positive Regard Defined

Unconditional positive regard (UPR) is a term credited to humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers and is used in client-centered therapy. Practicing unconditional positive regard means accepting and respecting others as they are without judgment or evaluation. This is different from unconditional love; unconditional positive regard does not require love or affection - it simply refers to acceptance of others whether you like them or not. Unconditional positive regard can be misunderstood as being nice, pleasant, or agreeable with others; however, unconditional positive regard is not an action towards others. Rather, it's more like a feeling or mindset.

Application of Unconditional Positive Regard

Unconditional positive regard encourages us to share our thoughts, feelings, and actions with others without fear. When working with a client using unconditional positive regard, a therapist might respond to the client's negative behavior by focusing on the feelings associated with the action rather than the action itself. As a result, a client feels free to try things out and make mistakes, because the client knows he or she will be accepted no matter what. For example, children may become more likely to explore their environments and discover new things about the world they live in when they don't fear judgment from their parents because of their behavior.

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