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Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler

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Alfred Adler

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  1. Alfred Adler 1870 - 1937 INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGY

  2. Alfred Adler • 1902 Joined Freud's discussion group on neurotics • 1910 Co-founder with Freud Journal of Psychoanalyses • 1912 Separates from Freud and founds the Society for Individual Psychology

  3. Symptoms have a purpose Dreams are meaningful Influence of early life on later life Theory of instincts Biological determinism Role of transference in therapy Freud and AdlerAgreementsDisagreements

  4. View of Human Nature • Holistic and social view of humans • Humans are • Social beings who choose their goals, they are self-determined, decision-makers • All behavior is purposeful • Freedom to choose implies values and meanings • Social interest is the most important value • The main motivation for behavior is striving for significance • Phenomenological approach

  5. Social Interest • Adler’s most significant and distinctive concept • Refers to an individual’s attitudetoward and awarenessof being a part of the human community • Mental healthis measured by the degree to which we successfully share with others and are concerned with their welfare • Happiness and success are largely related to social connectedness

  6. Striving for Significance • Compensating for weaknesses • Attaining a unique identity • Achieving a sense of belonging • Security • Competence (vs. sense of inferiority)

  7. Phenomenological Approach • Adlerians attempt to view the world from the client’s subjective frame of reference • How life is in reality, is less important than how the individual believes life to be • It is not the childhood experiences per se that are crucial, but our recollections and interpretations of these events

  8. Life presents challenges in the form of Life Tasks • Society ability to share with others • Work making a contribution to others • Sex achieving intimacy • Spiritual personal meaning in life, relation with cosmos • Coping with oneself self-acceptance

  9. Family Constellation • Primary social environment where the child, through exploration and observation, • learns what gains approval and • how to achieve significance (sense of competence and acceptance).

  10. Life Style • Conclusions about the self, others, and the environment based on subjective experiences with parents and siblings. • Conceptualized as a cognitive structure or map from which we apprehend reality and interpret experience

  11. Life Style • It is largely out of awareness and includes convictions about: • Self-concept Who I am • Self-ideal Who should I be to be significant • The World around What others demand of me • Ethical beliefs Sense of right and wrong

  12. Psychologically Healthy Individuals • Have developed social interest • Commit self to life-tasks w/o excuses • Have a sense of belonging • Have positive self-esteem and feel acceptable • Are able to accept their imperfections

  13. Concept of Psychopathology • Discouragement • Acting as if one is inferior • Avoid life tasks • Symptoms function as excuses for avoiding life-tasks and save face

  14. Behavior Call Attention Power Struggle Revenge Display Hopelessness Feeling Irritated Challenged Hurt Hopeless Purpose of Maladaptive Behaviors (Dinkmeyer)

  15. Adlerian Therapy • Cooperative and educational enterprise • Goals -- Help clients: • Change faulty thinking and mistaken assumptions • Increase social interest • Decrease inferiority complex • Overcome discouragement • Make changes in their lifestyle (mistakes, perceptions, goals)

  16. Faulty Thinking and Mistaken Assumptions (Private Logic) • Overgeneralizations: life is dangerous; people are mean • False or impossible goals of security: I must please everybody • Misperceptions of life demands: To succeed you must be perfect. • Denial of self-worth • Faulty values: succeed no matter what.

  17. Stages of Therapy • Establishing the Relationship • Assessment: Exploring the Individual’s Dynamics • Gaining Insight • Reorientation

  18. I. Establishing the Relationship • Collaborative relationship • Based on trust • Attend to subjective experience of client • Exploration of client’s issues • Setting general goals • Learning process

  19. II. Assessment • To explore the clients’ life-style and how it affects life tasks • Techniques • The Life Assessment: Topics • Explore how initial concern(s) relates to life tasks • Experiences in family constellation • Early recollections (content and associated affect) • Number one priority of client • The Question – examine secondary gain of symptom (What if…?) (e.g. psychosomatic symptoms)

  20. III. Gaining Insight • Help the client understand their life style and how it affects engagement in the life-tasks: • Explore faulty perceptions, mistaken beliefs, and values • Understand their own role in creating problems • Gain awareness of responsibility for actions

  21. III. Gaining Insight : Techniques • Interpretation • Bring to awareness client's goals and beliefs and how they motivate their behaviors • Focus on purposes and consequences of behaviors • Confrontation – Challenge clients with: • Discrepancies in clients conduct • Rationalizations for behavior, mistaken beliefs, private goals, and unproductive behavior

  22. IV. Reorientation • Action oriented phase to help clients put insights into practice and get the courage to make changes in their lives. • Techniques: ImmediacyActing as-if Paradoxical IntentionPush-button technique Spitting on the soupTask setting Catching oneself

  23. IV. Reorientation: Techniques 1/2 • Immediacy (parallel process) • attending to behaviors occurring in the therapy relation to help clients explore their motivations and behaviors • Paradoxical intention • prescribe the symptom • Spitting in the soup • identify secondary gain of a given behavior or symptom • Catching oneself • to help gain control of behaviors one wants to change

  24. IV. Reorientation: Techniques 2/2 • Acting as-if • Rehearse desired behaviors • Push button technique • Imagine pleasant and unpleasant situations and attend to feelings generated • Task setting • Step-wise process of behavior change to assure success, foster feelings of encouragement, and increase self-esteem

  25. Encouragement • Encouragement is the most powerful method available for changing a person’s beliefs • Helps build self-confidence and stimulates courage • Discouragement is the basic condition that prevents people from functioning • Courage develops when people • Become aware of their strengths • Feel that they belong • Have hope for their lives

  26. Adler’s Contributions • Precursor of cognitive-based therapies and the existential approach • Emphasis on educational and preventive aspects of psychology – • Adler’s ideas have been applied to marriage counseling, family counseling and group work. • Influential in the training of counselors for schools and community health services • Emphasis on human’s ability to change and focus on positive aspects and strengths of patients

  27. Limitations • Adler’s writings were difficult to apply directly to developing counseling interventions • Applications of his theory have been formulated by his followers

  28. Neo-Freudian • Minimized role of psycho-sexual stages • Culture, spirituality, society also influence personality and behavior • Personality development occurs through life-span