chapter  18
3 requirement to `be' and not necessarily to `do'
Pages 4

There is a great deal of misunderstanding about the third of Rogers' necessary and suf®cient conditions that the therapist be congruent in the relationship. This seems to be because there is a tendency to think about and to attempt to operationalise `congruence' as action but congruence does not involve the counsellor in doing anything. It is a way of being in which outward behaviour is an accurate re¯ection of inner state, that is there is a matching of awareness and experience. Brodley (2001: 56±57) concludes from the original formulations of congruence by Rogers that it is de®ned in terms of distinction between self and experience, not in terms of the therapist's behaviour. She (p. 57) also points out that, according to the statement of the necessary and suf®cient conditions, there is no requirement that the client perceive the congruence of the therapist. So, although it is a necessary condition for therapy it is not necessary that it is communicated. However, it seems to me (see Wilkins 1997a: 38) incongruence does jar and is more likely to be directly perceived or at least subceived in such a way as to disrupt the therapeutic endeavour. Cornelius-White (2007: 174) is of the opinion that congruence (and therefore incongruence) is perceived largely through unconscious body language.