Thursday, September 14, 2006

Theories and Methods - Adler

Adler, initially a disciple of Freud, parted ways with him to form an approach to individual psychology that was teleological and formulated that a person was largely motivated by future goals. Adler’s theory posits four major concepts. Inferiority feelings develop during childhood as a result of real or perceived weaknesses. Striving for superiority is a person’s tendency to move toward perfect completion. The way a person chooses to compensate for their inferiority and strive for superiority results in their style of life. Furthermore, Adler posits two different styles of life, healthy and mistaken. A healthy style of life is reflected through an optimistic outlook and contribution to the welfare of others. On the other hand, a mistaken style of life is marked by self-centeredness and striving for personal power.

Adler believes that maladaptive behavior is the result of taking on a mistaken style of life. In order to combat this Adler believed that therapists should establish a collaborative relationship with the client, understand their style of life, and help the client reorient their beliefs and goals. Adler proposes six techniques to further enhance this process, which include: the lifestyle investigation, study of dreams, interpretation of resistance and transference, role-playing of desired behaviors, paradoxical intentions, and encouragement and advice.

No comments: