What Is Adlerian Psychology:10 Key Concepts of Alderain Theory

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.

 Basic Assumptions And Concepts of Alderain Theory In Adlerian Psychology.

Adlerian theory is predicated on and follows several basic assumptions.
1. Following Smuts, it views the person holistically. rather than reduce nationalistically. All part-functions of the person are seen as being in the service of the whole person.
2. People are not determined nor are they victims of their past, their heredity, or their environments. People have and make choices. The theory teaches individual responsibility.
3. AH behavior is goal-directed and can best be understood in terms of the person’s goal striving, the person’s unique line of movement The person is always in the process of becoming This movement toward the goal is designed to move the person from a minus to a plus situation.
4. Since people can choose. they arc seen as proactive rather than merely reactive. They can perceive events, appraise them, and arrive at conclusions about these events.
5. People are not merely adaptive to their environments, events, or stimuli They can create, modify, or alter these stimuli objectively or subjectively.
6. People apprehend the world subjectively; therefore, to understand the person “we must be able to see with his eyes and listen with his ears” (Alfred Adler).
7. Adlerian psychology is a social psychology All behavior must be understood within the social context People move about, as the early Gestalt school described it. within a phenomenal field Adlerian psychology is often described as a field theory.
8 Adler introduced a psychology of values The highest salue—the ideal value for people—lay in social interest, which many view a% a psychological reformulation of such religious precepts as “Love thy neighbor as thyself’ and “Do not keep thyself aloof from the community.” Much of Adlerian thought and practice conveys norms for living Adler was the forerunner of current existentialism in that he emphasized such concepts as choice, individual responsibility, and the meaning of life.
9. Adlerian psychology may be described as an idiographic psychology Nomothetic descriptions may also be utilized for leaching purpose.But whenever Adler indulged in such formulations, he would caution his students. “But then, it could also be entirely different.”
10 Adlerian psychology is a psychology of use rather than a psychology of possession. It is functional, it is dynamic. Except for heuristic purposes. Adlerians do not categorize. Diagnostic nomenclature is not particularly congenial to Adlerian practice.

by Abdullah Sam
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