Read e-book The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 10: Case Readings and Demonstrations

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Although these extensively edited, transcribed sessions offer merely a small window into the case analysis and consulting process, rather than a comprehensive exposition, they give a vivid impression of Adler's exceptional ability to make immediate contact with children and adults, his quick, yet profound insights, and his vigorous optimism about human nature.

Through his case comments to students, brief interviews with family members, and advice to children, parents, and teachers, he introduced American psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and teachers to a new method of helping families. Washington State Only.

Early life

All Other States in U. For residents of all other states in the U. Adler's orientation towards mental and social well-being. Adler was influenced by the mental construct ideas of the philosopher Hans Vaihinger "The Philosophy of As If" and the literature of Dostoyevsky. While still a member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society he developed a theory of organic inferiority and compensation that was the prototype for his later turn to phenomenology and the development of his famous concept, the inferiority complex.

Adler was also influenced by the philosophies of Immanuel Kant , Friedrich Nietzsche , Rudolf Virchow and the statesman Jan Smuts who coined the term "holism".

[PDF] The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler Volume 12: The General System of Individual

Adler's School, known as "Individual Psychology" an arcane reference to the Latin "individuus" meaning indivisibility - a term intended to emphasise holism , is both a social and community psychology as well as a depth psychology. Adler was an early advocate in psychology for prevention and emphasised the training of parents, teachers, social workers and so on in democratic approaches that allow a child to exercise their power through reasoned decision making whilst co-operating with others.

He was a social idealist, and was known as a socialist in his early years of association with psychoanalysis His allegiance to Marxism dissipated over time he retained Marx's social idealism yet distanced himself from Marx's economic theories. Adler was a very pragmatic man and believed that lay people could make practical use of the insights of psychology. He sought to construct a social movement united under the principles of "Gemeinschaftsgefuehl" community feeling and social interest the practical actions that are exercised for the social good.

[PDF] The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler Volume 12: The General System of Individual

Adler was also an early supporter of feminism in psychology and the social world believing that feelings of superiority and inferiority were often gendered and expressed symptomatically in characteristic masculine and feminine styles. These styles could form the basis of psychic compensation and lead to mental health difficulties. Adler also spoke of "safeguarding tendencies" and neurotic behaviour long before Anna Freud wrote about the same phenomena in her famous book "The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense".

Adlerians have extensively theorised, discoursed, researched and implemented clinical and social practices based on the following topics:. Mental Health Prevention 2. Social Interest and Community Feeling 3.

Alfred Adler - Wikiwand

Holism and the Creative Self 4. Fictional Finalism, Teleology, and Goals 5. Psychological and Social Encouragement 6. Inferiority, Superiority and Compensation 7. Early Recollections a projective technique 9. Family Constellation and Birth Order Symptoms and Neurosis Safeguarding Behaviour Guilt and Guilt Feelings Socratic Questioning Dreams and Interpretation Working with Children and Adolescents Democratic approaches to Parenting and Families Adlerian Approaches to Classroom Management Leadership and organisational psychology.

Adlerian psychology has always included both professional and lay adherents.

1870 - 1937

Indeed, Adler felt that all people could make use of the scientific insights garnered by psychology and he welcomed everyone, from decorated academics to those with no formal education to participate in spreading the principles of Adlerian psychology. Adler's book, ber den nervesen Charakter The Neurotic Character defines his key ideas. He argued that human personality could be explained teleologically, separate strands dominated by the guiding purpose of the individual's unconscious self ideal to convert feelings of inferiority to superiority or rather completeness.

The desires of the self ideal were countered by social and ethical demands.

Influence on depth psychology

If the corrective factors were disregarded and the individual over-compensated, then an inferiority complex would occur, fostering the danger of the individual becoming egocentric, power-hungry and aggressive or worse. Common therapeutic tools include the use of humour, historical instances, and paradoxical injunctions.


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Adler believed that human psychology is psychodynamic in nature yet unlike Freud's metapsychology, which emphasises instinctual demands, human psychology is guided by goals and fuelled by a yet unknown creative force. Like Freud's instincts, Adler's fictive goals are largely unconscious. These goals have a 'teleological' function. Constructivist Adlerians, influenced by neo-Kantian and Nietzschean ideas, view these 'teleological' goals as "fictions" in the sense that Hans Vaihinger spoke of "fictio".

Usually there is a fictional final goal which can be deciphered alongside of innumerable sub-goals. For example, in anorexia nervosa the fictive final goal is to "be perfectly thin" overcompensation on the basis of a feeling of inferiority. Hence, the fictive final goal can serve a persecutory function that is ever-present in subjectivity though its trace springs are usually unconscious. The end goal of being 'thin' is fictive however since it can never be subjectively achieved. Teleology also serves another vital function for Adlerians. Chilon's "hora telos" "see the end, consider the consequences" provides for both healthy and maladaptive psychodynamics.

The metaphysical thread of Adlerian theory does not problematise the notion of teleology since concepts such as eternity an ungraspable end where time ceases to exist match the religious aspects that are held in tandem. Here, 'teleology' itself is fictive yet experienced as quite real. Both Albert Ellis and Aaron T. Metaphysical Adlerians emphasise a spiritual holism in keeping with what Jan Smuts emphasised Smuts coined the term holism , that is, the spiritual sense of one-ness that holism usually implies etymology of holism - traced to Holy-ness.

Smuts believed that evolution involves a progressive series of lesser wholes integrating into larger ones. Whilst Smuts' text "Holism and Evolution" is thought to be a work of science, it actually attempts to unify evolution with a higher metaphysical principle holism.

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The sense of connection and one-ness revered in various religious traditions e. Baha'i, Chrisitanity, Judaism, Islam, etc. Adler did develop a scheme of the so called personality types. These 'types' are to be taken as provisional or heuristic since Adler did not, in essence, believe in personality types in a reductive sense. Nevertheless, he intended to illustrate patterns that could denote a characteristic governed under the overall style of life:.

Although many of these ideas differed from Freud's in many ways, he did agree with Freud that early childhood experiences are important to development.

Many of Adler's theories on individual psychology focus on birth order, referring to the placement of siblings within the family. Adler believed that the firstborn child would be loved and nurtured by the family until the arrival of a second child. This second child would cause the first born to suffer feelings of dethronement, no longer being the center of attention.

Adler believed that in a three-child family, the oldest child would be the most likely to suffer from neuroticism and substance addiction. As a result, Adler predicted that this child was the most likely to end up in jail or an asylum. Youngest children would tend to be overindulged, leading to poor social empathy. Consequently, the middle child, who would experience neither dethronement nor overindulgence, was most likely to develop into a successful individual.

While Adler argued this viewpoint throughout the early s, he never produced any scientific support for the birth order roles. Adler's ideas regarding non heteronormative sexuality and various social forms of deviance have long been controversial. Adler's theory of homosexuality was deeply entrenched in the dominant culture of the time, one that ubiquitously disparaged same sex erotic and romantic relationships. Along with prostitution and criminality, Adler had classified 'homosexuals' as falling among the "failures of life".