Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler Famous PsychologistAlfred Adler (02.07.1870-05.28.1937) was an Austrian medical doctor, psychotherapist, and founder of the school of individual psychology. In collaboration with Sigmund Freud and a small group of Freud’s colleagues, Adler was among the co-founders of the psychoanalytic movement as a core member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. He was the first major figure to break away from psychoanalysis to form an independent school of psychotherapy and personality theory. This was after Freud declared Adler ideas as too contrary, leading to an ultimatum to all members of society (which Freud had shepherded) to drop Adler or be expelled, denial of the right to dissent (Makari, 2008 ). Following this part, Adler would come to have an enormous effect, independent of the disciplines of counseling and psychotherapy as they developed during the 20th century . He influenced notable figures in subsequent schools of psychotherapy such as Rollo May, Viktor Frankl, Abraham Maslow and Albert Ellis. His writings preceded, and were at times surprisingly consistent with, later neo-Freudian insights such as those evidenced in the works of Otto Rank, Karen Horney, Harry Stack Sullivan and Erich Fromm.

Adler stressed the importance of equality in preventing various forms of psychopathology, and espoused the development of social and democratic structures, family childcare. [4] His most famous concept is the inferiority complex which speaks to the issue of self-esteem and negative effects on human health (eg sometimes producing paradoxical superiority fight). His emphasis on power dynamics is rooted in the philosophy of Nietzsche, whose works were published decades before Adler’s. However, Adler conceptualization of “Will to Power” focuses on individual creative power to change for the better. Adler argued for holism, viewing the individual holistically rather than reductively, the latter being the dominant objective for viewing human psychology. Adler was also among the first in psychology to argue in favor of feminism is if the power dynamics between men and women . Adler began his career as a medical ophthalmologist, but soon switched to general practice, and established his office in a less affluent part opposite the Vienna Prater, a combination amusement park and circus. Among its clients circus people, and it has been suggested [9] that the strengths and weaknesses of unusual performers led to his insights in “inferiority organ” and “compensation”.

In 1907 Adler received an invitation from Sigmund Freud to join an informal discussion group that included Rudolf and Wilhelm Stekel Reitler. Group, “Wednesday Society” , met regularly on Wednesday evenings at Freud’s house and was beginning psychoanalytic movement, expanding over time to include many more members. A long-serving member of the group, Adler became president of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society eight years later (1910). He remained a member of the company until 1911, when he and a group of his supporters formally disengaged from Freud’s circle, the first of the great dissenters from orthodox psychoanalysis (preceding Carl Jung divided ‘s in 1914). This departure suited both Freud and Adler as grew to dislike each other. During his association with Freud, Adler frequently maintained his own ideas, which often diverged from Freud. While Adler is often referred to as “a pupil of Freud”, in fact this was not true, they were colleagues. In 1929 Adler showed a reporter with the New York Herald a copy of faded postcard that Freud had sent him in 1902. He wanted to prove that he was never a disciple of Freud, but rather that Freud sought him to share his ideas.