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Adler's Individual Psychology: The Original Positive Psychology



In addressing foundational perspectives, proponents of the current positive psychology movement typically identify Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Gordon Allport as precursors and ancestors. This article demonstrates that the Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler preceded the aforementioned ancestors of positive psychology and could be viewed as the original positive psychology. Following a brief overview of key ideas from Adler’s Individual Psychology, the authors specifically address two foundational tenets of Adler’s theory that particularly resonate with those from positive psychology and then address more broadly the remarkable common ground between Adler’s mature theoretical ideas and the positive psychology movement.
REVISTA DE PSICOTERAPIA, noviembre, 2015, Vol. 26, Nº 102, págs. 123-131
ISSN: 1130-5142 (Print) –2339-7950 (Online)
Richard E. Watts
Sam Houston State University
Richard E. Watts, Ph.D., is a Texas State University System Regents’ Professor, University
Distinguished Professor, and Director of the Ph.D. program in Counseling at Sam Houston State
University, Huntsville, TX, USA.
This article was published in Spanish. This is the English version.
Link to the Spanish version: (
How to reference this article:
Watts, R. E. (2015). La Psicología Individual de Adler: La Psicología Positiva original [Adler’s Individual
Psychology: The Original Positive Psychology]. Revista de Psicoterapia, 26(102), 81-89.
In addressing foundational perspectives, proponents of
the current positive psychology movement typically
identify Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Gordon
Allport as precursors and ancestors. This article dem-
onstrates that the Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler
preceded the aforementioned ancestors of positive psy-
chology and could be viewed as the original positive
psychology. Following a brief overview of key ideas
from Adler’s Individual Psychology, the authors spe-
cifically address two foundational tenets of Adler’s
theory that particularly resonate with those from posi-
tive psychology and then address more broadly the
remarkable common ground between Adler’s mature
theoretical ideas and the positive psychology move-
Keywords: Alfred Adler, Adlerian Psychology,
Individual Psychology, Humanistic Psychology, Posi-
tive Psychology
Los defensores de la Psicología Positiva, cuando
abordan las perspectivas fundacionales, suelen
identificar a Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers y Gordon
Allport como precursores y predecesores. Este artículo
demuestra que la Psicología Individual de Alfred Adler
precedió a estos precursores de la Psicología Positiva
y se podría considerar como la Psicología Positiva
original. Tras un breve resumen de las ideas clave de la
Psicología Individual de Adler, los autores presentan
específicamente los dos principios fundacionales de la
teoría de Adler que se repiten particularmente en la
Psicología Positiva y a continuación ofrecen una
perspectiva más amplia de las bases comunes notables
entre las ideas teóricas tardías de Adler y el movimiento
de la Psicología Positiva.
Palabras clave: Alfred Adler, Psicología Adleriana,
Psicología Individual, Psicología Humanista,
Psicología Positiva
Received: July 22, 2015. Accepted: September 7, 2015.
Postal address: Counselor Education Center, 1932 Bobby K. Marks Drive, Huntsville, TX 77340
© 2015 Revista de Psicoterapia
The original positive psychology
Alfred Adler developed a theory of personality and maladjustment, and an
approach to counseling and psychotherapy, that he called Individual Psychology.
Adler was born in 1870 in a suburb of Vienna. He attended public school in Vienna
and then trained as a physician at the University of Vienna. Adler entered private
practice as an ophthalmologist. A short time later he switched to general practice
and then to neurology. In 1902, he was invited by Sigmund Freud to join the Vienna
Psychoanalytic Society. Due to significant theoretical disagreement with Freud,
Adler resigned from the Society in 1911 (Ellenberger, 1970; Hoffman, 1994). He
spent the remainder of his life –he died in 1937– developing a personality theory and
approach to counseling and psychotherapy so far ahead of his time that Albert Ellis
(1970) declared, “Alfred Adler, more than even Freud, is probably the true father
of modern psychotherapy” (p. 11). Corey (1996, 2005) stated that Adler’s most
important contribution was his influence on other theoretical perspectives. Adler’s
influence has been acknowledged by –or his vision traced to– neo-Freudian
approaches, existential therapy, person-centered therapy, cognitive-behavioral
therapies, reality therapy, family systems approaches, and, more recently,
constructivist and social constructionist (e.g., solution-focused and narrative)
therapies (Oberst & Stewart, 2003; Watts, 1999; Watts & Critelli, 1997; Watts &
Pietrzak, 2000).
Unfortunately, many scholars appear to be unaware of the evolution of Adler’s
theory. All too often, Adler is erroneously identified in the secondary source
literature as “neo-Freudian” and place alongside discussions of other psychoana-
lytic theories (Watts & Critelli, 1997). Although it is true that the neo-Freudians
were significantly influenced by Adler (Ellenberger, 1970), is not true that Adler’s
Individual Psychology was merely the first neo-Freudian position.
When Maslow introduced his ‘third force,” subsequently known as “hu-
manistic psychology,” he listed Adlerians first among the groups included
and the Journal of Individual Psychology among the five journals where
these groups are most likely to publish. He also invited H. L. Ansbacher,
as representing Adlerian psychology, to become a founding sponsor of the
Association for Humanistic Psychology and member of the editorial board
of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology. (Ansbacher, 1990, p. 46)
Adler’s theory development evolved from his early psychoanalytic (1902-
1911) views and post-psychoanalytic (1911-WWI) perspectives, to his humanistic
and constructivist (post WWI-1937). When examining Adler’s later phase, one can
readily see the contemporary relevance of Adler’s thinking in several streams of
psychological thinking. In particular, I would like to address Adler’s thoughts on
striving for perfection or superiority and gemeinschaftsgefuhl (community feeling/
social interest) as evincing Adlerian psychology’s position as arguably the first
positive psychology in the 20th century (Watts, 2012). Prochaska and Norcross
(2010), echoing Ellenberger (1970), stated that many of “Adler’s ideas have quietly
permeated modern psychological thinking, often without notice. It would not be
REVISTA DE PSICOTERAPIA, noviembre, 2015, Vol. 26, Nº 102, págs. 123-131
easy to find another author from which so much has been borrowed from all sides
without acknowledgment than Alfred Adler” (p. 91). This appears particularly true
regarding the positive psychology movement. Adlerian ideas are replete in the
positive psychology literature but there is no substantive mention of Adler or
Adlerian psychology. To demonstrate the contemporary relevance of Adler’s ideas,
I will first provide a brief overview of some key ideas from Adler’s Individual
Psychology. Next I will specifically address two foundational tenets of Adler’s
theory that particularly resonate with those from positive psychology: striving for
perfection or superiority and gemeinschaftsgefuhl (community feeling/social inter-
est). Lastly, I will address more broadly the remarkable common ground between
Adler’s mature theoretical ideas and the positive psychology movement.
A Few Key Concepts from Adler’s Individual Psychology
Individual Psychology, or Adlerian Psychology, is often misunderstood as
primarily focusing on individuals. However, Adler chose the name Individual
Psychology (from the Latin, “individuum” meaning indivisible) for his theoretical
approach because he eschewed reductionism. He emphasized that persons cannot
be properly understood as a collection of parts (e.g., Freud), but rather should be
viewed as a unity, as a whole. An integration of cognitive, existential-humanistic,
psychodynamic, and systemic perspectives, Adlerian theory is a holistic, phenom-
enological, socially-oriented, and teleological (goal-directed) approach to under-
standing and working with people. It emphasizes the proactive, form-giving and
fictional nature of human cognition and its role in constructing the “realities” that
persons know and to which they respond. Adlerian theory asserts that humans
construct, manufacture, or narratize ways of viewing and experiencing the world
and then take these fictions f or tr uth . I t i s an o pt imi st ic theo ry aff ir mi ng t ha t h uman s
are not determined by heredity or environment. Rather, they are creative, proactive,
meaning-making beings, having the ability to choose and to be responsible for their
choices (Adler, 1956; Carlson, Watts, & Maniacci, 2006; Mosak & Maniacci, 1999;
Watts, 1999; Watts & Shulman, 2003; Watts & Eckstein, 2009).
Adler affirmed that humans are characterized by unity across the broad
spectrum of personality—cognitions, affect, and behavior. Life style or style of life,
the Adlerian nomenclature for personality, is a cognitive blueprint or personal
metanarrative containing the person’s unique and individually created convictions,
goals and personal beliefs for coping with the tasks and challenges of life. This life
plan is uniquely created by each person, begins as a prototype in early childhood,
and is progressively refined throughout life. The social context of children includes
both the cultural values of their culture of origin and their experiences within their
family constellation, Adler’s phrase for the operative influences of the family’s
structure (including one’s position in the family or psychological birth order),
values, and dynamics. Children, therefore, perceive others and the world as
paralleling their first social environment, their family, and eventually frame or filter
The original positive psychology
the larger experience of life –and interpersonal relationships– on the basis of these
initial relationships and perceptions of the same (Carlson et al., 2006; Oberst &
Stewart, 2003; Watts & Shulman, 2003).
According to Adlerian theory, humans are proactive –versus reactive and
representational– in regard to the development of the style of life. This idea is
inherent in the Adlerian construct known as the creative power of the self or the
creative self. Because of this creative power, people function like actors authoring
their own scripts, directing their own actions, and constructing their own personali-
ties within a socially-embedded context. Humans co-construct the realities to which
they respond (Watts & Shulman, 2003).
Striving for Perfection or Superiority
Adler’s understanding of “striving” evolved over time and he used various
words like completion, mastery, perfection, and superiority to describe how
humans seek to move from “the present situation, as observed and interpreted, to a
better one, one that was superior to the present status” (Manaster & Corsini, 1982,
p. 41). According to Adler, the central human directionality is toward competence
or self-mastery, what Adler called striving for perfection or superiority. This is the
individual’s creative and compensatory answer to the normal and universal feelings
of insignificance and disempowerment, and the accompanying beliefs that one is
less that what one should be (i.e., feelings of inferiority). Thus, striving for
perfection or superiority is the natural human desire to move from a perceived
negative position to a perceived positive one.
This concept of striving or teleological/teleonomical movement is seen in the
writings of various personality theorists including Kurt Goldstein, Karen Horney,
Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow, Otto Rank, Carl Rogers, and Robert White (Jorgensen
& Nafstad, 2004; Manaster & Corsini, 1982). One can find similar ideas in various
contemporary theoretical perspectives, including constructivist, evolutionary, and
positive psychologies (Linley & Joseph, 2004; Mahoney, 2003; Rasmussen, 2010;
Snyder, Lopez, & Pedrotti, 2011). For example, in discussing happiness and human
potential, Ryan and Deci (2001) described optimal functioning and development as
“the striving for perfection the represents the realization of one’s true potential” (p.
144). Ryan and Deci’s position is essentially verbatim to that of Adler’s Individual
All of the aforementioned personality theorists agree with Adler that humans
are striving, seeking to actualize potential, and in the process of “becoming”, and
most of the theories created by these theorists are listed as early exemplars of
positive psychology in that literature. Adler’s theory, however, is not found in the
various lists; the positive psychology literature typically lists Maslow and Rogers
as the earliest exemplars, even though Adler clearly preceded both in his formula-
tion of an optimistic, growth-oriented psychology.
REVISTA DE PSICOTERAPIA, noviembre, 2015, Vol. 26, Nº 102, págs. 123-131
Gemeinschaftsgefuhl (Community Feeling/Social Interest)
Adlerian Psychology is a relational theory. It asserts that humans are socially-
embedded and that knowledge is relationally distributed. Adler stressed that
persons cannot be properly understood apart from their social context. Conse-
quently, the Adlerian perspective on the tasks of life –love, society, work, spiritu-
ality, and self– is a strongly relational one. These tasks of life address intimate love
relationships, relationships with friends and fellow beings in society, our relation-
ships at work, our relationship with self, and our relationship with God or the
universe (Carlson et al., 2006; Watts, 2003; Watts, Williamson, & Williamson,
According to Manaster and Corsini (1982), the most unique and valuable
concept in Adlerian psychology is gemeinschaftsgefuhl. The cardinal tenet of
Adler’s theory, it is typically translated social interest or community feeling, and
emphasizes the relational, social-contextual nature of the theory. I believe both
community feeling and social interest are needed for a holistic understanding of
gemeinschaftsgefuhl; that is, community feeling addresses the affective and moti-
vational aspects and social interest the cognitive and behavioral ones. Thus, true
community feeling (i.e., sense of belonging, empathy, caring, compassion, accep-
tance of others, etc.) results in social interest (i.e., thoughts and behaviors that
contribute to the common good, the good of the whole at both micro- and macro-
systemic levels); true social interest is motivated by community feeling (Watts &
Eckstein, 2009).
A significant difference between Adler and other personality theorists regard-
ing the aforementioned “striving” is the role of community feeling/social interest.
Adler emphasized that striving for perfection or superiority occurs in a relational
context and this striving may occur in either a socially useful or a socially useless
manner. How one strives, and the manifest behaviors, are predicated on one’s
community feeling/social interest. Thus, in Adler’s (1933/2012) mature theoretical
formulation, striving for perfection means that one is striving toward greater
competence, both for oneself and the common good of humanity. This is a
horizontal striving that is useful both for self and others, seeking to build both self-
and other-esteem. Striving for superiority means to move in a self-centered manner,
seeking to be superior over others. This is a vertical striving that primarily pursues
personal gain without contribution to or consideration of others and the common
good. The manner one chooses to strive constitutes the Adlerian criterion for mental
health: healthy development follows the goal of community feeling and social
interest; maladjustment is the consequence of pursuing narcissistic self-interest
(Adler, 1933/2012, 1956; Manaster & Corsini, 1982).
Recent research by Leak and Leak (2006) and Barlow, Tobin, and Schmidt
(2009) indicated that social interest is related to numerous aspects of positive
psychology (e.g., hope, other-centered values, optimism, prosocial moral reason-
ing, psychosocial maturity, subjective well-being). Nevertheless, positive psychol-
The original positive psychology
ogy authors appear to have ignored an important early positive psychology
construct: Adler’s gemeinschaftsgefuhl.
Adler’s Individual Psychology and Contemporary Positive Psychology
Snyder and Lopez (2002) identified the positive psychology movement as a
“new approach” because “psychology and its sister disciplines... focus on the
weaknesses in humankind” (p. ix). In affirming the positive qualities of humankind,
the editors state, “no science, including psychology, looks seriously at this positive
side of people” [emphasis in original, p. x]. Seligman (2002) noted that the goal of
positive psychology is to move from a preoccupation with pathology to a more
balanced perspective that includes the idea of “a fulfilled individual and a thriving
community” by emphasizing that building strengths in people “is the most potent
weapon in the arsenal of therapy” (p. 3). It is remarkable that Seligman’s goal is
exactly the evolution of Adler’s theory development. Prior to World War I, Adler
was more focused on deficits, pathology, and remediation. Adler’s mature theory,
however, focused on strengths, healthy human development, and prevention.
Given Adler’s evolution from a deficit and pathology focus to one emphasiz-
ing strength, health, and prevention, it is not surprising to find significant common
ground between Adlerian theory and the positive psychology movement. Although
not an exhaustive list, Carlson et al. (2006) identified the following shared
emphases: normal human growth and development; prevention/education rather
than merely remediation; moving away from the medical model perspective; a focus
on mental health and clients’ strengths, resources, and abilities rather than psycho-
pathology and clients’ disabilities; and holism, spirituality, wellness,
multiculturalism, and social justice. Adler’s 1933 paper on striving and social
interest alludes to several of the emphases listed above.
Cowen and Kilmer (2002) criticized the positive psychology literature for its
lack of attention to prior literature regarding prevention and wellness, its lack of a
cohesive undergirding theoretical framework, and its lack of a developmental
perspective. Adlerian theory has a rich literature addressing prevention and healthy
development, and could serve as a useful cohesive theoretical framework that
Cowen and Kilmer indicated is lacking in positive psychology.
Adlerian psychology is a growth model that emphasizes the holistic, phenom-
enological, teleological, field-theoretically, and socially-embedded aspects of
human functioning. It is an optimistic perspective that views people as unique,
creative, capable, and responsible. Adlerians disdain the deficit or “medical model”
orientation to maladjustment, preferring a nonpathological perspective. Thus,
clients are not sick (as in having a disease) and are not identified or “labeled” by their
diagnoses. Because Adlerians believe the growth model of personality makes more
sense than the sickness model, they see clients as discouraged rather than sick. Thus,
Adlerians are not about “curing” anything; therapy is a process of encouragement.
In fact, Adlerians consider encouragement a crucial aspect of human growth and
REVISTA DE PSICOTERAPIA, noviembre, 2015, Vol. 26, Nº 102, págs. 123-131
development (Carlson et al., 2006; Manaster & Corsini, 1982; Mosak & Maniacci,
1999; Watts & Pietrzak, 2000).
Adlerian therapists focus on developing a respectful, egalitarian, optimistic,
and growth-oriented therapeutic alliance that emphasizes clients’ assets, abilities,
resources and strengths. Watts (1998) noted that Adler’s descriptions of therapist-
modeled social interest look very similar to Rogers’s descriptions of the core
facilitative conditions of client change; congruence, unconditional positive regard,
and empathic understanding. The above qualities and characteristics of the thera-
peutic alliance are embedded in what Adlerians have historically called encourage-
ment, or the therapeutic modeling of social interest (Mosak & Maniacci, 1999;
Watts, 1998; Watts & Pietrzak, 2000). Stressing the importance of encouragement
in therapy, Adler (1956) stated: “Altogether, in every step of the treatment, we must
not deviate from the path of encouragement” (p. 342). In addition, Dreikurs (1967)
stated that therapeutic success was largely dependent upon “(the therapist’s) ability
to provide encouragement” and failure generally occurred “due to the inability of
the therapist to encourage” (pp. 12-13). Encouragement skills include demonstrat-
ing concern for clients through active listening and empathy, communicating
respect for and confidence in clients, focusing on clients’ strengths, assets, and
resources, helping clients generate perceptual alternatives for discouraging fic-
tional beliefs, focusing on efforts and progress, and helping clients see the humor
in life experiences (Carlson et al., 2006; Watts & Pietrzak, 2000).
Adler and many subsequent Adlerian have focused on prevention rather than
simply remediation and, consequently, they have been extensively involved in
education. Throughout his career, Adler was actively involved in public health,
medical and psychological prevention, and social welfare. He wrote, lectured on,
and advocated for children at risk, women’s rights and the equality of the sexes,
women’s rights to abortion, adult education, teacher training, community mental
health, family counseling and education and the establishment of family counseling
clinics, experimental schools for public students, and brief psychotherapy. Adlerians
have continued Adler’s emphasis on prevention and education. For example, they
have been perhaps the strongest proponents of child guidance and parent and family
education, and have written extensively on parent and family education, couple-
enrichment, and teacher education (Carlson et al., 2006; Mosak & Maniacci, 1999;
Oberst & Stewart, 2003; Watts, 2012).
As noted earlier, the basic tenets of Adlerian theory and therapy permeate
contemporary psychology, typically without acknowledgement of Adler’s pioneer-
ing influence (Mosak & Maniacci, 1999; Watts, 1999; Watts & Critelli, 1997). This
appears to be evident in the positive psychology literature as well. Seligman (2002),
considered the “Father of Positive Psychology,” stated: “I well recognize that
positive psychology is not a new idea. It has many distinguished ancestors” (p. 7).
The original positive psychology
The two examples he mentions are Gordon Allport and Abraham Maslow. I can find
no evidence of Seligman ever acknowledging Adler’s pioneering positive psychol-
ogy. Adler clearly addressed key positive psychology tenets long before the
“ancestors” (e.g., Allport, Maslow, Rogers) typically identified in the positive
psychology literature (Jorgensen & Nafstad, 2004; Seligman, 2002; Seligman,
Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005; Snyder & Lopez, 2002; Snyder, Lopez, & Pedrotti,
2011). Thus, I believe that Adler’s Individual Psychology is the original positive
psychology in the modern psychology and psychotherapy era. Adlerian theory is
clearly relevant for today’s psychological zeitgeist because it evinced the charac-
teristics of positive psychology long before the emergence of the positive psychol-
ogy movement.
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... The theory of individual psychology affirms that individuals are not influenced by merely hereditary or environmental factors. Instead, they are creative, proactive, meaning-making beings, with the power to choose and be in control of their choices Carlson, Watts & Maniacci, 2006;Watts, 2009Watts, , 2013Watts, , 2015Watts & Eckstein, 2009). ...
... The individual's creative self emphasise that they possessed the ability to create their own life goals as well as the plans on how to achieve them. People are thus proactive in developing their own lifestyles, especially since they possess a creative self (Watts, 2009(Watts, , 2015. This creative self is not a structural element, but an inborn individual ability. ...
... The subjective set of guidelines people develop and use to help them move toward their goals and approach the main tasks of life (which are discussed in Section is called the lifestyle or the style of life (Carlson et al., 2006;Stein & Edwards, 1998). One can thus consider the 'style of life' as Adler's nomenclature for the personality (Watts, 2009(Watts, , 2015. Adler (1930) stated, for example, that "individual psychology tries to see individual lives as a whole and regards each single reaction, each movement and impulse as an articulated part of an individual attitude towards life" (p. ...
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This psychobiographical study focused on South African poet, writer and ethologist Eugéne Nielen (1871–1936). His poetry and short stories have secured him a place as one of South Africa’s most renowned writers, while his ethological books and naturalistic studies have secured him international recognition. Marais was selected as subject through purposive sampling, with the aim of providing a psychological exploration and description of aspects of his life, against the backdrop of his socio-historical context. Adler’s theory of individual psychology was applied to the publicly available biographical and historical data collected on Marais. The study’s primary aim was to explore and describe Marais’s individual psychological development throughout his life. The exploratory-descriptive nature of this study, meant that the objective falls within the inductive research approach. Specific methodological guidelines were used in the extraction and analysis of the data. Particularly, Alexander’s nine indicators of psychological saliency, which was used to assist in organising and selecting Marais's most relevant biographical data. Specific questions were also posed to the data, which enabled the extraction of relevant units of analysis that focused on the study objectives. A psycho-historical matrix was also incorporated to facilitate the data analysis, which assisted in the systematic categorisation and consistent analysis of the collected biographical data on Marais, according to the constructs of his individual psychological development, and in terms of his socio-historical contexts. Findings suggested that Marais possibly had an inferiority complex as represented by his dependence on morphine throughout most of his adult life. Despite this he also seemed to have had a strong social interest towards people as well as animals. This was seen his love for animals, willingness to help not only his own people but the enemy in times of war, as well as his practice as an amateur doctor without asking compensation. This study contributed to the body of knowledge on Marais, the framework of Adler’s theory of individual psychology, and the educational objectives in psychobiography. Keywords: Psychobiography, Eugène Nielen Marais, Alfred Adler, Individual Psychology.
... 91). This appears particularly true in the positive psychology movement, so much so that one can plausibly suggest that Adlerian psychology was the original positive psychology and that the contemporary positive psychology movement is a neo-Adlerian perspective (Carlson et al., 2006;Erguner-Tekinalp, 2016;Watts, 2012Watts, , 2015. ...
... When examining Adler's later phase of theory development, one can readily see the contemporary relevance of Adler's thinking in several streams of psychological thinking. In this article, we address Adler's thoughts on striving for perfection or superiority and Gemeinschaftsgefühl (community feeling or social interest) as these two foundational tenets of Adler's theory particularly resonate with positive psychology concepts and research and, therefore, evince Adlerian psychology's position as arguably the first positive psychology of the 20th century (Erguner-Tekinalp, 2016;Watts, 2012Watts, , 2015. Then, we address more broadly the remarkable common ground between Adler's mature theoretical ideas and the positive psychology movement. ...
... All of the aforementioned personality theorists agree with Adler that humans are striving, seeking to actualize potential, and in the process of "becoming," and most of the theories created by these theorists are listed as early exemplars of positive psychology in that literature. Adler's theory, however, is not mentioned and not found in the various lists; the positive psychology literature typically lists Maslow and Rogers as the earliest exemplars, even though Adler clearly preceded both in his formulation of an optimistic, growth-oriented psychology (Carlson et al., 2006;Dreikurs-Ferguson, 2009;Erguner-Tekinalp, 2016;Watts, 2015). Adlerian theory was mentioned, however, as the basis of constructivist and phenomenological approaches that preceded positive psychology (Higgins & Gallagher, 2009). ...
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The contemporary relevance of Adler’s thinking is evident in many streams of contemporary psychological thinking, including positive psychology. This article demonstrates the enormous common ground between Adler’s mature theoretical ideas and the positive psychology movement and argues for Adler’s acknowledgment as the original positive psychology. Key words: Alfred Adler, Adlerian psychology, Positive Psychology, Gemeinschaftsgefuhl, Striving for Perfection/Superiority.
... The process of compensation facilitates individual growth which emanates from the individual's attempts to overcome real or imagined inferiorities (Watts, 2015). Throughout life, Adler believed that humans are driven by the need to overcome a sense of inferiority and to strive for increasingly better levels of development. ...
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This article sought to establish educators' perceptions on positive learner discipline, where positive discipline focuses on discipline as opposed to punishment, thrives for correction, promotion of responsibility and self-discipline without undermining learner dignity. A qualitative approach to data collection was followed. Convenience and purposive sampling were used for identifying education districts and participants respectively. Data was gathered using semi-structured interviews and document analysis. Six schools in two districts of the Mpumalanga province were selected for data collection purposes. In total 24 participants were interviewed. Six each of principals, class educators, Life Orientation Skills educators and chairpersons of School Governing Bodies formed the study sample. Document analysis paid attention to incidence record books, schools codes of conduct, minutes for school disciplinary committee and minutes for school safety committee. Data was analysed and presented through thematic content analysis. The findings and literature revealed that positive discipline pursues a preventive approach rather than a punitive one and demands that discipline should be proactive rather than reactive. Participants expressed both positive and negative perceptions of positive discipline.
... Albert Ellis (1970) once stated that, Alfred Adler more than Freud is probably the true father of modern psychotherapy. Models of counselling and psychotherapy such as the person centered, cognitive, cognitive behavioral, constructivist, dialectical behavioral, feminist, rational emotive, reality, and others can be seen as further evolution and development of some of Adler's original theoretical ideas (Corey, 2005;Watts, 2015). As noted by Prochaska & Norcross (2010), "Adler's ideas have quietly permeated modern psychological thinking, often without notice. ...
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This chapter discusses the significant common ground between Adlerian and constructivist therapies, and suggests aspects from each perspective that may be usefully integrated into the other,
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Brief introduction to Adlerian counseling theory.
A review of H. F. ELLENBERGER's book, The Discovery of the Unconscious, opens up this section. In this monumental work the author shows how the main schools of dynamic psychiatry over the past two centuries had their roots in the broad cultural movements of their time. A wide perspective of psychotherapeutic approaches ranging from faith healing to psychoanalysis is presented. J. ZUBIN highlights cultural factors regarding etiological models of schizophrenia and regarding the diagnosis of this illness. He comprehensively discusses emerging trends in descriptive psychopathology and cross-cultural studies. E. F. TORREY has provided us with a preview of his book, The Mind Game: Witchdoctors and Psychiatrists. Based on his experiences in several cultures he has identified com monalities in the activities of psychotherapists all over the world. He offers models based on his experiences with different ethnic groups for future mental health services for these groups and others. The last paper in this section concerns itself with the application of verbal psychological tests in translation for cross-cultural psychological or psychiatric purposes. K. GLATT compared differences in the responses to the MMPI in French, Spanish, and German translations (see also R. Prince and W. Mombour, Transcultural Psychiatric Research.
A Revitalization of Aristotelian PhilosophyFrom a Pathology-Oriented Understanding to a Perspective of Growth and Positive DevelopmentFrom the Individual as Asocial to the Individual as Socially and Ethically ResponsibleOn Aristotelian Developmental TheoryThe Concept of Optimal or More Perfect Functioning in Modern PsychologyThe Eudaimonic Approach to the Good Life in Positive PsychologyThe Multicultural PerspectiveThe Human Being: Universal, Local, or Unique?Different Levels of Scientific ActivityConcluding Remarks
Emotions, rather than simply being the result of random or disordered biochemical processes, are adaptive mechanisms that are often overly relied upon as a function of basic learning processes. The Quest to Feel Good helps the reader understand that negative emotions serve a critical adaptive purpose that functions in relation to one’s ultimate desire for a felt-positive state. Paul Rasmussen addresses the role of emotions as adaptive components, in combination with cognitive and behavioral processes, to our overall orchestration of life. To this end, the therapist is directed to use a client’s negative affect as a means of guiding critical therapeutic conclusions and decisions. Rasmussen emphasizes an integration of the basic premises of Adlerian psychology with the evolutionary-imperative model presented by Theodore Millon (1990, 1999). This integration is used to explain the primacy of emotions in the manifestation of most clinical conditions. This critical integration and focus makes the volume important, necessary, and unique to mental health professionals. Case examples and illustrations are also offered throughout the text.