Note: Page numbers enclosed in parentheses are citations from The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler: A systematic presentation in selections from his writings. (H. L. and R. R. Ansbacher, Eds.). © 1964, Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. Used by permission of Perseus Books Group.
The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler (Adler, 1964) contains, in excerpts throughout the text, accounts of Adler’s techniques of psychotherapy, or ways of understanding and treating the patient. Especially relevant is Chapter 13 (pp. 326-349), the Introduction, “Understanding the patient,” “Explaining the Patient to Himself,” “The Therapeutic Relationship,” and “Special Aspects and Techniques of Treatment.” Similarly, there are valuable examples of understanding and treating the patient throughout Superiority and Social Interest (Adler, 1979.) Also pertinent is Part III: “Case Interpretation and Treatment” (pp.139-201), the Introduction, “Two Grade-School Girls,” “The Case of Mrs. A.,” and “Technique of Treatment.”
Rudolf Dreikurs (1973) systematized Adler’s work by identifying four phases of psychotherapy: (a) rapport, or establishing and maintaining the therapeutic relationship; (b) investigation of the client’s past and present life situations and the client’s lifestyle; (c) interpretations and the development of the client self-understanding; and (d) reorientation. The “phases” are not set in a temporal sequence; they proceed in a logical order of primacy and dependency that pertains throughout the therapeutic encounter. By “rapport” is meant the alignment of goals of client and therapist. [See Lifestyle/Life-Style/Style of Living/Style of Life; Exogenous Factor.]
From the very beginning the consultant must try to make clear that the responsibility for his cure is the patient’s business. . . . The adviser can only point out the mistakes, it is the patient who must make the truth living (p. 336).
The most trustworthy approaches to the exploration of personality are given in a comprehensive understanding of (1) the earliest of childhood memories [early recollections], (2) the position of the birth order, (3) childhood disorders [organ inferiority; overburdening childhood situations], (4) day and night dreams, and (5) the nature of the exogenous factor (pp. 327-328).
[The client’s] apperception-schema must always be traced and unmasked as being immature and untenable, but suited to the purpose of continued fighting (p. 333).
A real explanation must be so clear that the patient knows and feels his own experience instantly (p. 335).
The increased insight into himself then stands like a guardian over the patient and forces him to find more useful paths for his desire to be above, and to dampen his depreciation tendency (p. 357).
In practice we attempt to undo the great errors, to substitute smaller errors, and to reduce these further until they are no longer harmful (p. 187).
The cure or reorientation is brought about by a correction of the faulty picture of the world and the unequivocal acceptance of a mature picture of the world (p. 333).
Nobody who has understood anything of Individual Psychology would attempt to cure by unbraiding the patient, as if we could do good by taking up a moralistic attitude. A patient has to be brought into such a state of feeling that he likes to listen, and wants to understand. Only then can he be influenced to live what he has understood (p. 335).
In every step of treatment we must not deviate from the path of encouragement (p. 342).
© Griffith, J., & Powers, R. L. (2007). The Lexicon of Adlerian Psychology: 106 terms Associated with the Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler (2nd ed.). Port Townsend, WA: Adlerian Psychology Associates (p. 1).
Definitions of concepts are used by permission of Jane Griffith. A comprehensive list of concepts and definitions can be found in The Lexicon of Adlerian Psychology: 106 Terms Associated with the Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler by Jane Griffith and Robert L. Powers, available for purchase on Amazon.com.
Adler, A. (1964). The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler: A systematic presentation in selections from his writing. (H. L. Ansbacher & R. R. Ansbacher, Eds.). New York: Harper Torchbooks. (Original work published 1956)
Adler, A. (1979). Superiority and social interest: A collection of later writings (3rd Rev. ed.). (H. L. Ansbacher & R. R. Ansbacher, Eds.). New York: Viking Compass. (Original work published 1964)
Dreikurs, R. (1973, Rev. ed.). Psychodynamics, psychotherapy and counseling: Collected papers of Rudolf Dreikurs, M. D. Chicago: Alfred Adler Institute.