Experience which, if assimilated, would involve a change in the organisation of self tends to be resisted through denial or distortion of symbolisation. The structure and organisation of self appears to become more rigid under threat; to relax its boundaries when completely free from threat. Experience which is perceived as inconsistent with the self can only be assimilated if the current organisation of self is relaxed and expanded to include it.
Carl Rogers. ‘Student-Centred Teaching.’ In Teaching Thinking by Discussion. ed. Donald Bligh. SHRE & NFER-NELSON, 1986.