Adlerian, Cognitive Behavioral, and Solution Focused Brief Therapy are three major theories that are used today. All three theories have things that make them similar as well as different.
Adlerian Theory, founded by Alfred Adler, is stated as a social psychology. The theory is relatively simple, and it puts the responsibility for behavior and success solely on the person. (Seligman & Reichenberg) Adlerian pays considerable attention to social context, family dynamics, and child rearing. This approach is phenomenological, empowering, and oriented towards both present and future. There were two elements of the Adlerian Theory as to why it was not really accepted: (1) If humans can be simply described and understood, I may not be as fantastically complex and interesting as I always thought, and may be responsible for far more of my life than I thought; and (2) if we are responsible for our own behavior I may not be as good, strong, right, controlling, smart, and so on, as I thought, or want to think. If one believes in these two aspects of Adlerian Theory, I have a lot to carry, and a lot to do (Manaster, pg. 282). According to the Adlerian Theory if you do not accept these tenets, “ I can muddle through with the support of another theory that says I can be no or little different from what I am. My faults, my errors, my neurosis, mania, compulsion is not my creation, not something I developed. My culture, society, chemicals, genes, species, parents, or teachers made me this way. They are my handicap. They are my fault. This is my plight (Manaster, pg. 282). Using the Alderian Theory, clinicians are educators, fostering social interest and teaching people ways to modify their lifestyles, behaviors, and goals. Clinicians using the Alderian Theory are analysts who identify faulty logic and assumptions, they explore and interpret the meaning and impact of clients’ birth order, dreams, early recollections and drives. They have to be role models, demonstrating ways to think clearly, search for meaning, collaborate with others, and establish and reach meaningful goals. Clinicians have to be supportive, encouraging, urging clients to take risks and helping them accept their own mistakes and imperfections. There are four treatment phases in the Adlerian Model. The first phase is Establishment of a Collaborative Relationship and Setting goals. It is very important to have a positive therapeutic relationship. (Seligman & Reichenberg) Adler believed in the importance of true caring and involvement, the use of empathy, and both verbal and nonverbal techniques of listening to overcome the feelings of inferiority and fear that many clients bring with them into treatment. The second phase of the Adlerian Therapy is Assessment, Analysis, and Understanding of the person and the problem. Both the initial interview and the lifestyle interview provide detailed information about the client’s current level of functioning and background leading up to the current distress (Carlson et al., 2006). Adler refers “the general diagnosis,” where the clinician conducts a general assessment of six domains: identifying information, background, current level of functioning, presenting problem, expectations for treatment, and summary. The third phase is Reeducation, Insight, and Interpretation. Clinicians use interpretation and confrontation to help people gain awareness of their lifestyles, recognize the covert reasons behind their behaviors, appreciate the negative consequences of those behaviors, and move toward positive change. Clinicians focus on present rather than the past, and are more concerned with consequences than with unconscious motivation, and present their interpretations in ways that are likely to be accepted by clients. According to Adler (1998), emphasis is on beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions because it is only by cognitive means and social interest that behavioral change will occur. The final phase four is Reorientation,...
References: Seligman, L. & Reichenberg, L.W. (2010). Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy: Systems, Strategies and Skills. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.
Manaster, G. Individual Psychology: The Journal of Adlerian Theory, Research and Practice.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document