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Adlerian Therapy

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  • November 6, 2008
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Alfred Adler’s (1870-1937) early childhood struggles of poor health, physical limitations, feelings of inferiority, and relationship problems with his siblings had influence on the development of his theory. Adlerian Therapy is a growth model which emphasizes an optimistic outlook on human nature and confirms that people have power over their own fate and are not victims to it. Unlike Freud, Adler stresses choice and responsibility, meaning in life, and the striving for success, completion, and perfection. Adler believed that human behavior is not determined solely by heredity and environment, and that people have the capacity to interpret, influence and create their own life events. The Adlerian Therapist uses a lifestyle assessment to gather as much family history as possible because Adler’s view believed that in order to understand people; one must first understand the systems of which they are part. The lifestyle assessment is holistic and systemic, including family constellation, early recollections, and priorities. The plan of life or style of life is the core recurring pattern of perceiving, thinking, feeling, and behaving that characterizes the client’s unique attitude toward the tasks of life. After the client summarizes and interprets this information, the Adlerian Therapist will help the client identify self-defeating views and faulty conclusions about his or her life. The information the counselor reviews and interprets assists the client in gaining understanding and self- awareness, therefore helps the client realize that (s)he is simply discouraged, rather than “sick”. The data gathered from the lifestyle assessment is used to help set goals for the client and to understand the clients' previous life functioning, which will also help ensure the goal is not too low or high, and that the client has the capacity to reach it. The objective of Adlerian Therapy is to challenge and encourage the clients' ideas and goals, and to encourage goals...