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Therapy Focus

Importance of the feelings of self (ego) that arise from interactions and conflicts.

The sense of self, or The Ego is the core individuality/personality of a person

Adlerian therapy got its start from psychoanalysis.

It places emphasis on motivation and social interaction

A phenomenological approach

Social interest is stressed

Study of birth order and sibling relationships.

Purpose of therapy is teaching, informing, and encouraging.

Basic mistakes of client logic o Overgeneralization o Exaggerated need for security o Misperceptions of life o Denial of ones worth o Faulty values

The therapeutic relationship is a collaborative partnership.

Focus on the importance of each person s: o Unique motivations o Perceived niche in society o Goal directedness

Phenomenological Approach

Adlerian's attempt to view the world from the client s subjective frame of reference.

Belief in how life in reality is less important than how the individual believes life to be.

Belief that it is not the childhood experiences that are crucial, but rather our present interpretation of these events.

Belief that unconscious instincts and our past do not determine our behavior. Social Interest

Adler s most significant and distinctive concept. Refers to an individual community. s attitude toward and awareness of being part of the human

Mental health is 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.

Role of Birth Order Psychological Positions

Motivates later behavior. First born/ Oldest o Favored pseudo-parents, high achievers o Receives more attention, spoiled Second born o Rivalry and competition o Behaves a in a race, often opposite first child Middle Child o Often feels squeezed out Last born o More pampered, baby, creative, rebellious, revolutionary, avant-garde Only Child o Does not learn to share or cooperate with other children o Learns to deal with adults


Encouragement is the most powerful method available for changing a person Helps build self-confidence and stimulates courage Discouragement is the basic condition that prevents people from functioning

s beliefs

Clients are encouraged to recognize that they have he power to choose and act differently

5 Basic Tasks

Acceptance Achieving Intimacy Work Spiritual Dimension Community/Friendship Adlerian Concepts

Basic Mistake- faulty, self defeating perceptions attitudes and beliefs, personal myths

Fictional Finalism- imagined central goal that gives direction to behavior and unity

Holism- study of humans as integrated beings

Insight- special form of self awareness

Style of Life- individual

s ways of thinking feeling and acting

Complexes o Inferiority complex- normal feelings of incompetence exaggerated, feeling its impossible and hopeless to reach goals o Superiority complex- very high opinion of self, bragging, quick to argues often

Organ Inferiority- everyone is born with some physical weakness, this motivates life choices

Aggression Drive- reaction to perceived helplessness or inferiority, lashing out against the inability to achieve or master

Masculine Protest- kids work to become independent from adults and people in power.

Perfection striving- people who are not neurotically bound to an inferiority complex spend their lives trying to meet fictional goals o Elimination of perceived flaws o As if philosophy o Gives motivation and focus

Social responsibility and understanding of social issues

o Occupation tasks career, self worth o Societal tasks Creating friendships Social networks o Love tasks Life partner

Positive and Goal Oriented Humanity o People striving to overcome weakness to function productively o Urge to contribute to society Adlerian Therapy Process

The role of the client o Explore private logic- concepts about self, others and life o Discover purposes of behavior or symptoms of basic mistakes associated with their coping. o Learn how to correct faulty assumptions and conclusions

The Client Therapist Relationship o Based on mutual trust, respect, confidence and alignment of goals. o Collaborative relationship o Develop a therapeutic contract (goals for therapy) o Emphasis of responsibility on client for his or her own behaviors


Establish a therapeutic relationship o Therapists gets to know the client as a person o Collaborate on goals for therapy o Supportive therapist creates caring human connection o Therapist work to make client feel deeply understood and accepted. o Client focuses on what needs to change in therapy.

Explore the psychological dynamic operating in the client o Consists of a subjective interview o Clients tells own story as expert on own life o Therapists listens for cues to client s coping and approach to life o Objective interview Family constellation Early recollections Personal priorities Integration and summary

Encourage development of self understanding (insight into purpose) o Understanding motivates that operate in client s life

o Client disclosure and therapist interpretation (open ended manner) o Make unconscious into conscious o Confront resistance to help client and therapist align o Explore purposes of symptoms, feelings, behaviors and human difficulties or block

Help client make new choices (reorientation and reeducation) o Encouragement process o Change and search for new possibilities o Make a difference through change in behavior, attitude and perceptions.