[PDF DOWNLOAD] (The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler) AUTHOR Alfred Adler

Panama - Culture Smart! jUite interesting and detailed theory within the humanistic perspective of psychology I think Heinz and Rowena Ansbacher has done a goodob assembling Adler s texts into a coherent theory of the psyche and its development in this book and contextualizing his historical relationship with Freud and differences between their theories The essential difference between Freud and Adler is highlighted by the uestion what drives the unconscious Freud was very deterministic and thought it was solely biological processes the libido the Oedipus complex that determined the nature of the unconscious Adler on the other hand thought it had to do with an inferiority complex we all have We re all inferior to something and we always have something higher to strive for to compare ourselves to That s what Adler bases his theory on the striving for superiority This striving creates an ultimate goal for the individual one which the individual in the beginning even himself doesn t know Perhaps you could put it in context with Maslow s concept of self actualization as the ultimate need and see that it s rooted in Adler s concept of this striving The ultimate goal however is flexible in the normal individual that is the one who has well developed social interest or relationship with surroundings esp other people or in Ayn Rand s words learned to respect the other person s rights and liberty For the neurotic however this goal develops into the will to power Nietzsche spoke of which manifests itself like the willingness to dominate over one s surrounding in a God like manner much like Hitler and Stalin When they don t manage to overcome a situation however they tend to develop safe guarding mechanisms All neurotic patients exclude every part of life in which they do not feel strong enough to be the conueror he wrote He played a bit around with the type theory of personality with this in mind referring to the theory of Hippocrates and Galenos of the four gallons which determined different personality types and abstracted it to mean a ruling expressing dominance leaning relying on others too much avoiding isolating and socially useful personality type Of course however he didn t want to generalize too much as it would go against his Individual Psychology but that those could potentially be apt categories to look for in an individual s behavior Another important distinction from Freud is the subjectivism he gets from Hans Vaihinger s philosophy of as if also called fictionalism which is based on that claims within a discourse is best not to regard as literal truths but rather as what he calls fictions which is essentially only a different word of ideas The worldviews of individuals can differ a lot and though many ideas may be said to be empirical or truthful none of us can honestly say we have the full universal truth which would be incomprehensible for any person This does not mean however that we should be indifferent in our perspective of knowledge and truth We should put as part of our striving for self enhancement to further compare our current worldview with how the world actually is and seek to make them as similar as we canRegarding therapy Adler has six main factors he s specifically concerned with when helping a patient 1 early childhood recollections 2 dreams 3 the child s order in the family seuence 4 childhood difficulties and 5 the exogenous factor the breaking point causing the disease On the significance of dreams and sleep Adler partly adapted to Freud s theories but developed much of his theory himself He listed a number of traits of Freud s theory which he adapted for his Individual Psychology 1 The affective or mental attitudes in a dream indicate nearly its real meaning than do the purely figurative or verbal elements 2 The distinction between the manifest and the latent contents of the dream The manifest content is the way elements 2 The distinction between the manifest and the latent contents of the dream The manifest content is the way dream appears to the dreamer The latent content consists of the associated thoughts memories and emotional attitudes The latter is the dream interpretation 3 Dreams are not uniue as mental phenomena They employ the same mental dynamisms as are used in slips of the tongue daydreams fantasies and other waking behavior and 4 Dreams are not uniue as mental phenomena They employ the same mental dynamisms as are used in slips of the tongue daydreams fantasies and other waking behavior Adler referred to insomnia as only occurring in situations where the individual is confronted with a situation he is not prepared for and thought that dreams only occur in those whom to some degree try to escape reality as they don t feel they can accept it This had potential to be a good book I rather think Adler s main thesis that of inferiority complex being the chief motivator has some merit that coupled with Freud can really I think cover most of the neurosis in the world I don t really dig much of how he says it and he always comes back to the same thing So it gets boring Not my favorite psyche work objective determiners such as biological factors AND PAST HISTORY BECOME RELATIVE TO THE GOAL IDEA past history become relative to the goal idea do not function as direct causes but provide probabilities only The individual uses all objective factors in accordance with his sty1e of life Their significance and effectiveness is developed only in the intermediary psychological metabolism so to speak 1 Adler had already taken the observable forward orientation of the individual and his concern with the future as the *Center Of His Dynamic Psychology By Now Describing Goals And *of his dynamic psychology By now describing goals and future as fictional he expressed in effect that this future was not the objective future but a subjective future as experienced in the present Thus he avoided the teleological dilemma of the determination of present events by something which remains in the future This solution is of course the one generally p 88 accepted today in one form or another Wolfgang Kohler stated it most succinctly from the point of view of Gestalt psychology when he said It is not the actual future the future as such toward which we are directed in our planning and in which we perceive our goals it is that part of an actually present phenomenal field which we call the future 62 p 380 Adler s fictional or subjective finalism or teleology does not violate Kurt Lewin s principle of the contemporaneity of motivation 68 p 34 Adler s fictional subjective goal is a present one it derives its great importance from the postulate that it is an ever present goal 1930a p 5 although it is not necessarily present in consciousness We can comprehend every single life phenomen. 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The Individual Psychology of Alfred AdlerFeelings Adler distinguishes between socially useful and socially useless forms of compensating for these feelings Socially useless forms involve compensating for feelings of inferiority by harming others in order to make oneself feel powerful The remedy for mental illness for Adler involves adopting socially useful styles of life which involve serving others and being a part of something larger than oneselfWhen the individual s will to power goes astray it can manifest itself in symptoms of what Adler calls neurosis an obsolete and horrible word Unlike Freud however Adler believed that neurosis is caused by socially useless attempts to compensate for inferiority feelings An example of something like this might involve someone wanting to become a dictator so he can dominate other people with this desire being rooted in a deep rooted sense of inferiority because he was abused by his father Instead the individual should compensate by using as a standard one s usefulness in contributing to the welfare in others Adler acknowledges that one s psychological system is necessarily going to be an expression of their life philosophy and he is uite open about his presuppositions in this respectIn biology compensation is understood as an increase in activity or size of a specific part of either an organ or organism which makes up for dysfunction or loss of another A woman feels unattractive because of what she thinks is a big nose and so she may obsessively engage in accentuating other parts of her body in order to draw attention away from the supposedly malformed organ and toward something which will give her feelings of superiority and alleviate painful feelings of inferiorityWhether physiological or psychical or both life proceeds by way of compensation one chemical increasing or decreasing to make up for an increase or decrease elsewhere metabolism slowing down during starvation to compensate for low amounts of food intake and a need to conserve calories On all levels of granularity the entire organism is complicit in ensuring that the relevant differentials are such as to maintain the stability homeostasis or euilibrium of a open emergent systemFor Adler the goal is not to not compensate since compensation is an essential component of what maintains the stability of euilibria but rather to compensate well As open emergent systems dependent upon a robust but delicate euilibrium continually deluged with one shock after another compensation is a regular fact of life So compensation doesn t have a negative connotation at all in Adler s system It s how emergent systems like us are even able to function This is true he argued on both a physiological and psychological level indeed his early work had much to do with feelings of inferiority resulting from faulty organs whereas he reversed the order in his later workCompensating well for Adler involves cultivating what he refers to as social feeling or social interest and involves taking one s focus off of one s own inferiority and instead throwing oneself into contributing to the welfare of others Adler himself was a Social Democrat and his political interests long preceded his career as a psychoanalyst but he later abandoned these views and the notion that humans are social creatures and reuire interpersonally meaningful relationships to maintain mental health is hardly a distinctly Marxist insightIndeed Adler s psychology is essentially a social psychology The human person develops in continual interaction with other individuals Increasing feelings of superiority and decreasing feelings of inferiority are centered around how we believe we are perceived by other people Compensating for these feelings byAs much as I love Adler I ve never really liked his writing style On the one hand I definitely appreciate his insistence on the importance of communicating ideas clearly so that the individual of ordinary intelligence can understand his teachings really of an Anglo American virtue than a Germanic one I m the other hand he is oftentimes so terse that his message ends up kind of vague and certainly inelegant I d also really like to see *HIS IDEAS ARTICULATED WITHIN A RIGOROUSLY *ideas articulated within a rigorously framework Whether this is necessarily a fault of the translation or of his own style I m not sure Be that as it may it is really not enough to warrant the omission of a starThough Adler appreciated the inferiority complex like no one before him except perhaps Nietzsche and Dostoevsky the only psychologist according to Nietzche s testimony from whom he had ever learned anything he could be really crassly reductionistic in a way not dissimilar to Freud to the point of being almost archaic That is he considers basically all forms of way not dissimilar to Freud to the point of being almost archaic That is he considers basically all forms of illness to be the result of lack of social feeling or social interest and socially useless attempts at attempting to compensate for inferiority feelings This is true he thought for schizophrenia for example which is obviously absurd Schizophrenia is now known to be highly though not entirely heritableI think his comments on homosexuality may be of than historical interest as with other psychodynamic complexes he attributes inversion or homosexuality to attempts to avoid inferiority feelings by defaulting to the same sex So he basically sees it as a kind of cop out or failure of nerve on the part of the homosexual While this stereotype is pretty widely known with respect to women Adler argues that men and women both exhibit psychic hermaphroditism and switch to attraction to the opposite sex out of insecurity As a Christian I do see homosexuality as sinful but even non Christian scientists understand that sexual orientation is only modestly heritableWhy not explore a largely or at least partially psychodynamics of such an orientation I ll admit I kind of chuckled at the effusively apologetic footnotes which stressed that Adler s views on homosexuality were presented only for historical accuracy but that Neo Adlerians reject Adler on this Even in the absence this is interestingly accuracy but that Neo Adlerians reject Adler on this Even in the absence this is interestingly the spirit of the age Homosexuality was actually not removed from the DSM until 1973 But I digress Returning to the theme of the early experience of inferiority feelings the child may begin to cultivate socially useless behavioral patterns if he lacks the the courage to face head on what Alfred Adler reviews to as the three great problems of life friendship love and occupation Adler believed that failure in any of these areas produced neurosis and that failure in all of them produced psychosis which as we have said has been refuted. 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On as if the past the present and the future together with a superordinated guiding idea were present in it in traces 1912a p iii If we translate as if into subjective we find that this sentence refers to the subjective past present and future as being present in the phenomenological field in tranceVaihinger Fictions are mental structures The psyche weaves this aid to thought out of itself for the mind is inventive see pp 77 78 Fictional structures are thus creations of the individual It is the true nature of the individual s hidden goal which constitutes according to Adler the essential content of the unconscious The term fictional goal also expressed Adler s conviction that the origin of the goal is in the last analysis not reducible to objective determiners Although the objective factors of heredity and environment organ inferiorities and past experiences are utilized by the individual in the process of forming his final goal the latter is still a fiction a fabrication the individual s own creation Such causality corresponds to soft determinism that is determinism from the inner nature of life as contrasted to hard determinism from external pressures alone William James according to Murphy 84 pp 644 645 Adler was not aware of the term soft determinism nor of Jaspers distinction between external objective causation and internal subjective causation see pp 13 14 When Adler rejects causality without ualification he is in fact rejecting hard determinism or external causation Thus each time the word cause or any of its derivatives is found below the reader should understand it to signify external objective causation the old causa efficiens It is only this which Adler rejected and not internal causation or the old causa finalisAdler developed a theory of personality based upon 1 inferiority feelings and inferiority complex 2 striving for superiority 3 style of life 4 social interest 5 birth order 6 fictional finalism 7 the creative self 8 masculine protest 9 the interpretation of dreams and 10 theory of psychotherapy I finally found all the answers that I ve been looking for Freud and Jung are kids compared to Adler I think that individual psychology has the best theory of personalitybetter than Freud and JungAdler was much explenatory clear about things that Freud didn t focusedWell the best theory yesbut not the best therapyAnyway there is no perfect therapy Old school psychology The Viennese doctor is blissfully ignorant of political correctness while writing about women children homosexuals and especially the poor neurotics After Understanding Human Nature this is the second book of Adler I read In this book I have learned that Adler is the founder of the school of individual psychology which is a kind of criticising of psychoanalysis of Freud in some points Although Adler had studied with Freud for some years then he started to be suspicious with psychoanalysis and broke with Freud Freud was very popular and mostly accepted by science world in those years actually like now Thus Adler lived many problems but again he persisted in his theory Anyway this book became a good preliminary at the point of knowing Adler and his theory Now I will try to learn individual psychology deeply which provide a new insight apart from the common known of Freudian thought One important point that I want to warn you please choose a different publisher It had many mistakes This *took me forever to get through Though I m still in love with most of the basic *me forever to get through Though I m still in love with most of the basic ideas and principles there were definitely some dated ideas in this book mainly when Adler was making comparisons with Freud It seems fitting though that I finished this the day after the Adlerian Play Therapy workshop that I went to I m pretty sure that when I finish my program next year I will still basically be an Adlerian at heart I went straight from Grinnell College in Iowa to Union Theological Seminary in New York with the intention of obtaining an MDiv in psychology proceeding to clinical training and setting up a practice preferably through a not for profit so I wouldn t be personally involved with charging clientsDuring the first semester at UTS I took a course entitled Theories of Depth Psychology with Robert Neale I already knew Jung very well and Freud pretty well but Alfred Adler was pretty much ust a name from the early psychoanalytic movement This book of excerpts was my introduction to his thinkingWhat most impressed me with Adler was his common sense practicality Both Freud and Jung were grand theorists albeit in very different ways Adler was apparently not much of a system builder which to me was a debit as I love the theoretic speculation Yet for the general reader or psychotherapeutic practitioner his work appears to be immediately accessible and relevant Indeed years later I worked for an agency which employed Adlerian appears to be immediately accessible and relevant Indeed years later I worked for an agency which employed Adlerian with a population of supposedly psychotic adolescent boys and found it to work wellFinally it is noteworthy that Adler differs from Freud and Jung in another way as well He and his politically active wife were committed democratic socialists and he was substantially responsible for the community mental health movement Definitely one of the best books I ve ever read Though I studied philosophy at the university I ve always been a really avid reader of psychology I d known about Alfred Adler for a while as one of the Big Three founders of psychoanalysis along with Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung but I d never realized the depth and profundity of his thoughtHere s my summary of Alfred Adler s thought which is the content of the book For Adler to exist is to feel inferior What he means by this is that from the moment the human being is able to compare himself to others he is conscious of his relative feebleness and weakness in the face of massive grownups An upshot of the huge human brain is our ability to compare our own endowments and abilities with those of others and this ability develops very early In this way we all learn to be insecure to at least some degreeWe attempt to compensate for these feelings of inferiority by striving for superiority in his language This is rooted in Adler s appropriation of Nietzsche s concept of the will to power Contrary to the Darwinians of his day Nietzsche maintained that evolution is driven mostly fundamentally by a kind of upward striving force known as will to power rather than merely to survival Instead survival is merely an instance of a fundamental will to powerThis will to power in humans seeks above all to alleviate inferiority. G Jung Sigmund Freud Jean Piaget Otto Rank James Hillman Erich Fromm Karen Horney and Susan Isaacs Each volume is available on its own as part of a themed min.