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Alfred Adler as a psychologist is less famous than his colleagues, Sigmund Feud and Carl Young, although all of them made a huge contribution in the psychology development. Adler is often called a founder of the school of individual psychology. His theory of personality was based on the researches with clear and intelligible sense (Clark, 1985). His works represented an unusual understanding of the nature of psychic disorders, and very deep and detailed studies of the healing processes and support of the normal and healthy development of the human personality.
Studying the Adler’s theory of personality, I want to underline its high value, as it was the basis for the various psychological researches. The part of the theory I found the best and the most efficient is that Adler stated that when being embolden, people feel themselves talented and appreciated; therefore, become more open to communication and social contact. This notion proved its reliability and efficiency, when being applied to the children development. According to the theory, children have to be valued and supported in order to make them behave properly, and to help them to escape the future psychological trauma. Adler also believed that every person can change his/her life order and has an ability to find a harmony within the society (Luttrell, 2009).
On the other hand, I find this theory strongly subjective, as Adler based his concepts on his own unique experience. In his childhood, Adler constantly felt inferiority, when comparing himself to his strong and healthy older brother and other children. However, this childhood trauma is not a common one for the children. According to his theory, we can say that Adler elaborated his theory of personality because he wanted to get out of his inferiority feeling, and he did it by stating that his trauma was not making him a black ship, but it was a normal process of personal psychological development (Fisher, 2001). With the development of his theory, he also gained superiority as a well-known psychologist that also suits his theory.
If I were a psychotherapist, I would implement the Adler’s ideas when working with children. Although not all of us face the problems that Adler faced, it is necessary to protect children from them. I also find it important to take into account that people do see their future in a subjective way, and that their expectations can be based not on the past experience, but on the subjective reality perception. This theory can be compared to the Freud’s theory, as he also found one dominant force that determines people’s life, but unlike Adler, Freud emphasized sex, or Eros and Thanatos. In addition, Adler differed in his thoughts about conscious and unconscious that he thought could work together reaching the final image of perfect self.
Talking about the implementation of Adler’s ideas into my personal life, I must mention that in my childhood I cannot find the inferiority feeling that might have affected my whole life in such a strong way. I was supported, loved, and encouraged by my family that, on the other hand, can be regarded as the practical implementation of his studies in the child fosterage. In addition, I have never strived for superiority in relations with close people, and I never tolerated to be ruled by others. It can be seen in my group of friend that has no leader, as all of us are equally interesting and strong personalities. I also find it doubtful to state that at the age of five, I have already had a shaped life style.
However, on the other hand, I can state that a series of ideas of Adler’s personality theory can find their reflection in my life experience. I find it reasonable that a person is goal-oriented. I always felt the best, when I had a clear target and worked hard to reach it. It was especially strong in my sport achievements, when I knew that I had to win the competition, and worked harder than I could imagine in order to reach the perfect physical shape and to improve my skills. Here I can also mention the striving for superiority, as when participating in the sport contest, I really wanted to win, not just to take part.
I can also mention that when talking to my friends about politics, as it is a topic that is almost impossible to escape these days, I mentioned the way the strong views of some of them are influenced by their parents or older friends and relatives. Many of them preferred to copy the views and priorities of the society that proves the Adler’s concept of social interest or feeling of community. People are really influenced by the society they live in, their culture, and traditions. That is because they want to be accepted and respected by the society, so they adapt to the social views and beliefs.
I also can support the concept of the importance of social connection to the individual, as in my life I feel really happy, when I am surrounded by my family and close people, or when I play with my dog. Adler explained that the connections that people are involved in exist in a lot of different types and scales that include both flora and fauna. He explained that if these connections are strong, people feel the connection with the whole infinite world, and a lot of life problems they create, such as warfare, discrimination, and prejudice, will disappear. In my life, I faced the truth of this notion, as when I found contact with people and can feel the connection, the relations become easier and the compromise can be reached faster.
- Clark, P. A. (1985). Individual Education: Application of Adler's Personality Theory. The Clear House, 59, 35-38.
- Fisher, M. (2001). Alfred Adler. History of Psychology Archives. Retrieved September 7, 2013, from: http://www.muskingum.edu/~psych/psycweb/history/adler.htm
- Luttrell, A. (2009). The Personality Theory of Alfred Adler. Suite 101. Retrieved September 7, 2013, from: https://suite101.com/a/the-personality-theory-of-alfred-adler-a157755