Adler Case Study

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Adler Theory
September 22, 2009

Mary and John grew up in two very different socioeconomic backgrounds. Mary's family was in a “tight” financial situation. John was in a very comfortable situation and money was never an issue. Looking at Freud and the Psychoanalytic theory Mary and John are in two different places. “Freud hypothesized three basic systems that are contained within the structure of personality: the id, the ego, and the superego” (Sharf, 2008). Mary is very concerned about money. Since becoming engaged she wants John to change his lifestyle which includes enrolling in school and getting a job. She is very focused on where they will live and what the financial situation will be. John sees this as pushy and he is seeing a side of Mary that he has not seen before. According to Freud's Psychoanalytic theory Mary has remained in the Id. “The Id is the primitive mind. It contains all the basic needs and feelings. It is the source for libido (psychic energy) and it has only one rule, the “pleasure principle”. I want it and I want it all now (Neill, 2004). Mary grew up in a family that had limited financial resources. This made Mary very unhappy and she decided that her children would not experience the same situation as her. She would make sure that her children did not want for anything. Since John and Mary have become engaged ,she is focusing on what the financial future will be for her and John. Knowing that she does not want to struggle financially she is focused on John going to school to get an education , which will allow him to have a financially stable job. She will be able to stay at home with the children and he can make a comfortable living for their family. John, according the Freud's theory is in the Superego. “It represents behaviors that parent approve of, whereas the conscience refers to behaviors disproved of by parents” (Sharf, 2008). John has continued to do what his parents felt was important and that is to play sports. While growing up John and his brothers focused and excelled at their particular sport. As a family they would spend their weekends attending all the sons sporting events. The children were constantly encouraged to be committed to their sport. John has continued his commitment into his adult life. John's focus currently is playing or watching sports. During the first three years of their relationship Mary attended all of Johns sporting events. Now that they are engaged her focused has turned to their financial outlook.

According to Freud “the Id is driven by the pleasure principle, which strives for immediate gratification of all desires, wants, and needs. If these needs are not satisfied immediately, the result is a state of anxiety or tension” (Van Wagner, 2008). Mary is concerned that as a couple, she and John will not have their financial needs met which is causing Mary anxiety and tension. John again is seeing Mary as being pushy. “The Superego is the aspect of personality that holds all of our internalized moral standards and ideals that we acquire from both parents and society our sense of right and wrong. The superego provides guidelines for making judgments” (Van Wagner, 2008). John has been told by his parents repeatedly that his main focus was to be his sport. John has carried this with him into adulthood. A defense mechanism Mary is dealing with is Intellectualization. Mary is still bothered by the financial problems from her childhood. Mary found John and meshed with his family, filling many of the unmet voids she felt as a child. She attended the sporting events, went on family vacations and enjoyed the family lifestyle. Now that she and John are engaged she is insecure about their financial future and does not want to repeat her own childhood. The important things to assess in this case study is family history which includes both the past of Mary and John. Psychoanalytic theory emphasizes the role of the unconscious...
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