Adlerian Theory and Models of Counseling
CCMH/506 – Personality Theories and Counseling Models
Adlerian Theory and Models of Counseling
The separate aspects that add up to the entire sum of what each individual develops into developed the basis of Adlerian Theory. This paper will address the connection between Adlerian theory and early psychodynamic theory and contemporary family systems. Adler’s greatest contribution to modern psychology will be included. The important influences on personality development that Adler thought important will be discussed. A treatment plan from an Adlerian approach will be used to respond to Darnell, a cases study that is correlated with this class.
Alfred Adler was a follower of Freud but separated himself to develop his own school of Individual Psychology. He thought that Freud’s views were too strongly influence by sexual instincts. Alfred Adler theory looked at how a person is influenced by his or her social urges and conscious thought, not every thing being influenced by sexual urges and the unconscious (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Adlerian theory has an emphasis in birth order, social interests, and individual’s lifestyle, along with the concepts of inferiority and superiority as key components in the personality development. Much of Adlerian theory is based in socialistic ideology. Alfred Adler professed to be influenced by Karl Marx and much of his theory contains the inspirations from this type of ideology. Adler thought that psychological health is measured and determined by a person’s level of social contribution and the benefit received to the community for the greater good (Hunter, n.d.). “Social contribution is increased through the reduction of mistaken beliefs, which frequently lead to maladaptive feelings of inferiority or superiority. This goal of combating false beliefs is attained through an understanding of family constellations, early memories, and dreams” Hunter (n.d.). Adler’s Contributions to Psychology
Alfred Adler founded the Society of Individual Psychology in 1912. The author’s perspective believes that Adler’s greatest contribution to modern psychology is the suggestion that every person has a sense of inferiority. Early in childhood individuals work at trying to overcome their inferiority by asserting their superiority over others. Adler’s thoughts of striving for superiority was a concept that he believed to be a motivating force behind human behaviors, along with their thoughts and emotions ("Alfred Adler's Contributions", n.d.). This was known as the concept of the inferiority complex.
Adler also contributed to psychology with his theory of position within the family system and the influence of birth order (University of Phoenix, 2013). The Adlerian theory states that a person’s lifestyle is comprised of four attributes are: self-concept, self-ideal, picture of the world, and ethical convictions (University of Phoenix, 2013). Adler also explored the family constellation and an individual’s relationship, early recollections, and the level of dominant or inferior role in that family system. Adlerian Theory for Case Analysis
Darnell Yardley is the subject of this case study. Darnell is a 25-year-old African American College student referred for counseling by his academic advisor. Darnell has an athletic build, is well dressed and clean-shaven. He is reporting feelings of depression, anxiety, loneliness, and uncertainty with regard to career goals. His appearance is incongruent with his responses (University of Phoenix, 2013).
Adlerian counseling would look at the influences on personality development for Darnell. The fact that Darnell was the youngest of four children and he was the only male child would be influential. Adlerian would look at the family constellation that Darnell grew up in. He describes his childhood as chaotic, with many fights. His father an electrical engineer was aloof,...
References: Alfred Adler 's Contributions. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Cervone, D., & Pervin, L.A. (2010). Personality theory and research (11th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database
Hunter, C. (n.d.). Adlerian Therapy. Retrieved from
University of Phoenix. (2013). Week Five Faculty Notes. Retrieved from University of Phoenix,
CCMH/506 - Personality Theories and Counseling Models website
University of Phoenix. (2013). Expert Theory Case Analysis. Retrieved from University of
Phoenix, CCMH/506 - Personality Theories and Counseling Models website
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