Alfred Adler Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:06:56
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Alfred Adler born February 7, 1870, received his medical degree in 1895, he took an interest in social issues and, in 1902, became part of Sigmund Freuds circle of friends. He created the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA) in 1910. He and Feud worked together for many years but eventually their relationship soured and Adler left to form his own school of individual psychology. Their major point of disagreements stems from the aspect of sexuality Adler rejected Sigmund Freuds emphasis on sexuality and theorized that neurotic behavior is overcompensation for feelings of inferiority.

He objected to the Freudian emphasis upon sex as the root of neurosis. To him a feeling of helplessness during childhood usually leads to an inferiority complex, as he too was ill during his childhood. Adlers theory focused on social forces, and his therapy focused on overcoming the inferiority complex through positive social interaction. Adler also rejected Freuds theory of the libido. He considered the individual as a complete being, whose social goals at the present began earlier on as an infant who has feelings of inferiority.

And therefore compensation and the search for power and supremacy, as well as the sense of belonging to a collectivity is the most basic goal for such a client. Adler considered psychic development to be the formation a lifestyle, starting with early childhood, and that later symptom had to be taken into account from this point of view. Freud on the other hand placed more emphasis on sexuality as a motive. The Psychoanalysts say behavior is determined by unconscious motivations, irrational forces, instinctual drives and psychosexual events occurring during the first six years of life.

Freud once commented: For, whether a man is a homosexual or a necrophilic, a hysteric suffering from anxiety, an obsessional neurotic cut off from society, or a raving lunatic, the Individual Psychologist of the Adlerian school will declare that the impelling motive of his condition is that he wishes to assert himself, to overcompensate for his inferiority, to remain on top, to pass from the feminine to the masculine line. 1 To Adler, the most important motive is the feeling of inferiority, which he felt originated in the sense of dependence and helplessness which infants experience which differs remarkably from Freud concept.

In essence Psychoanalysts strive for fundamental reconstruction of an individuals total personality whereas Adlerian thought focuses on the patient re-educating and re-organizing his priorities and goals. True changes to a Psychoanalyst therefore comes from an individual gaining self awareness by bringing unconscious thoughts ,motivation, feelings and experience into the conscious so that behavior is based more on past reality than present social state of the mind. A second difference is on the nature of environmental stimuli. Adler stressed consideration of the individual in relation to his total environment.

His system emphasizes the uniqueness of the individual and his relationships with society. Adler said it is not the childhood experiences that are crucial, it is our present interpretation of these events that matter. Unconscious instincts and our past do not determine behavior. Mental health therefore is measured by the degree to which we successfully share with each other and are concerned with their welfare. To them, encouragement is the most important method available for change of a persons belief and clients are told they have the power to choose to act differently.

Adlers early career was marked by a zeal for social reform, often expressed in articles in socialist newspapers. His first professional publication was a social-medicine monograph on the health of tailors. He could not agree with Freuds basic assumption that sex was the main determinant of personality, and all that this implied: the dominance of biological factors over the psychological; the push of drives, making for identical, predictable patterns; the part commanding the whole; pleasure-seeking as mans prime motivation.

Whereas Freud tried to explain man in terms of machines and animals, Adler sought to understand and influence man precisely in terms of what makes him different from machines and animals. Individual psychology therefore has the kind of simplicity which comes with concreteness, dealing as much as possible with what can be observed and as little as possible with what must be taken on faith.

A chagrin that Freud was not amused with when he commented Such doctrine is extremely welcome for the lay man because a theory such as this is bound to be very welcome to the great mass of the people, a theory which recognizes no complications, which introduces no new concepts that are hard to grasp, which knows nothing of the unconscious, which gets rid at a single blow of the universally oppressive problem of sexuality and which restricts itself to the discovery of the artifices by which people seek to make life easy.

As: the mass of the people themselves take things easily: they call for no more than a single reason by way of explanation, they do not thank science for its diffuseness, they want to have simple solutions and to know that problems are solved. 2 Many of the aspects on which these two fields differ are. Goal-striving Adler saw man imbued with a unitary dynamic force, a striving from below to above. Since this striving is an intrinsic necessity of life itself, like physical growth, there is no need to infer a further source of energy for it.

Which energy the psychoanalyst believed can be got from reflection through free association To Adler. To understand the personality or any behavior, one must seek its purpose. The desires of the self ideal were countered by social and ethical demands. 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. To a psychoanalyst like Anna Freud each development phase constructs on the previous one.

She says that psychological disorders could be most effectively studied in its developmental and evolutionary phase. We must look at beginnings and end points of a clients life. She encouraged the observance of clients in their natural settings and then constructs the relationship with systematic observation from the consulting room. Another concrete phase was the relationship between the Therapist and the Patient. The therapists function, according to Adler, is not to treat mental disease as is the case with psychoanalysis, but to divine the error in the patients way of life and lead him to greater maturity.

To this end Adler introduced a number of diagnostic approaches. Among these, his theory of dreams, the meaning of early childhood recollections, and the role of birth order in the family. Alfred Adler believed a great deal in the effect that birth order has on an individual. Adler believed that family constellation, where ones position was in birth order, played a crucial part in individual development. Adlerian therapy entails several stages.

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