Adlerian psychology, also known as Individual Psychology, was developed by Alfred Adler after his separation from the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society in 1911. Individual Psychology is often misinterpreted as a psychology of the individual or of individual differences, when it actually refers to the indivisibility of the person, to the person viewed as a totality.
Alfred Adler (1870-1937) was a Viennese ophthalmologist-tumed-Nervenarzt (psychiatrist) whom Freud invited to participate in his Wednesday night discussions In 1907 Adler published his Study of organ inferiority and its psychical compensation, which Freud applauded as a significant contribution to Freudian psychology. While the concepts of organ inferiority and compensation found a place m later Adlerian theory, they are no longer regarded as the cornerstones of Adlerian theory In 1908 Adler advanced the notion of the aggressive instincts to complement Freud’s sexual instincts While Freud initially rejected Adler’s introduction of the aggressive instincts, he later integrated them into the corpus of psychoanalytic theory in 1923.
Adler rose in the ranks of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. He became editor of its journal and president. During this period Adler engaged Freud in controversy over Freud’s concept of penis envy. Freud considered penis envy as the universal wish among women Adler substituted for it the concept of masculine protest, which held that women wish to have equal status with men (which for some means having a penis) or even a status superior to them, while some men strive for the status of “real” men. After acrimonious debate, a vote was taken Adler and his followers, losing the vote, left the society and founded the Society for Free Psychoanalytic Research. Shortly thereafter Adler’s first Adlerian book. The neurotic constitution, was published.
After a suspension of the new society’s activities during World War I. when Adler served in the Austrian army, it resumed as the Society of Individual Psychology and introduced its journal, the Zcitschnft fur Indivtdualpsychologie. The movement flourished in Vienna and elsewhere in Europe until the advent of the Nazi era. Adler dunng the last decade of his life divided his time between Europe and the United States. The umbrella organization for the Adlerian movement is the International Association of Individual Psychology. National societies exist in the United States. Germany. Switzerland. Austria. France, the Netherlands, Italy, and Great Britain.