Alfred Adler

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Alfred Adler : biography

February 7, 1870 – May 28, 1937
  • Volume 1 : The Neurotic Character — 1907
  • Volume 2 : Journal Articles 1898-1909
  • Volume 3 : Journal Articles 1910-1913
  • Volume 4 : Journal Articles 1914-1920
  • Volume 5 : Journal Articles 1921-1926
  • Volume 6 : Journal Articles 1927-1931
  • Volume 7 : Journal Articles 1931-1937
  • Volume 8 : Lectures to Physicians & Medical Students
  • Volume 9 : Case Histories
  • Volume 10 : Case Readings & Demonstrations
  • Volume 11 : Education for Prevention
  • Volume 12 : The General System of Individual Psychology

Artistic and cultural references

The two main characters in the novel, Plant Teacher, engage in a session of Adlerian lifestyle interpretation, including early memory interpretation.Alethia, Caroline. Plant Teacher. Viator. United States. (2011) ISBN: 1468138391. ASIN B006QAECNO.

The Adlerian School

Following Adler’s break from Freud, he enjoyed considerable success and celebrity in building an independent school of psychotherapy and a unique personality theory. He traveled and lectured for a period of 25 years promoting his socially oriented approach. His intent was to build a movement that would rival, even supplant, others in psychology by arguing for the holistic integrity of psychological well-being with that of social equality. Adler’s efforts were halted by World War I, during which he served as a doctor with the Austrian Army. After the conclusion of the war, his influence increased greatly. In the 1930s, he established a number of child guidance clinics. From 1921 onwards, he was a frequent lecturer in Europe and the United States, becoming a visiting professor at Columbia University in 1927. His clinical treatment methods for adults were aimed at uncovering the hidden purpose of symptoms using the therapeutic functions of insight and meaning.

Adler was concerned with the overcoming of the superiority/inferiority dynamic and was one of the first psychotherapists to discard the analytic couch in favor of two chairs. This allows the clinician and patient to sit together more or less as equals. Clinically, Adler’s methods are not limited to treatment after-the-fact but extend to the realm of prevention by preempting future problems in the child. Prevention strategies include encouraging and promoting social interest, belonging, and a cultural shift within families and communities that leads to the eradication of pampering and neglect (especially corporal punishment). Adler’s popularity was related to the comparative optimism and comprehensibility of his ideas. He often wrote for the lay public. Adler always retained a pragmatic approach that was task-oriented. These "Life tasks" are occupation/work, society/friendship, and love/sexuality. Their success depends on cooperation. The tasks of life are not to be considered in isolation since, as Adler famously commented, "they all throw cross-lights on one another".The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler, 1956, edited by H. L. Ansbacher, R. R. Ansbacher, pp. 132–133

In his bestselling book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Dr. Viktor E. Frankl compared his own "Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy" (after Freud’s and Adler’s schools) to Adler’s analysis:

Other key Adlerian texts

  • Adler, A. (1964). The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler. H. L. Ansbacher and R. R. Ansbacher (Eds.). New York: Harper Torchbooks. ISBN 0-06-131154-5.
  • Adler, A. (1979). Superiority and Social Interest: A Collection of Later Writings. H. L. Ansbacher and R. R. Ansbacher (Eds.). New York, NY: W. W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-00910-6.
  • Alfred AdlerOrgler, THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOCIAL PSYCHIATRY, V. 22 (1), 1976-Spring, p. 67
  • Phyllis Bottome (1939). Alfred Adler – A Biography. G. P. Putnam’s Sons. New York.