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.
Adler deferred to the creative power of the individual as at the center of human development. From the earliest years, “how the child assimilates impressions” and shapes responses depends upon “the creative power of the child” (Adler, 1979, p. 195).
We must refute the causal significance of situation, milieu, or experiences of the child. Their significance and effectiveness develop only in the intermediary psychological metabolism (p. 178).
All inherited possibilities and all influences of the body, all environmental influences, including educational application, are perceived, assimilated, digested, and answered by a living and striving being, striving for a successful achievement (p. 178).
We cannot know in advance what the child will make of [influences and experiences]. . . . Here the child works in the realm of freedom with his own creative power. . . . Here there are thousands of possibilities in the realm of freedom and of error (p. 187).
The creative striving of the child takes place in an environment which is individually comprehended and which posits individual difficulties. . . . [A child] depending on a hundred influences and errors, can never be comprehended causally (pp. 184-185).
Every individual represents both a unity of personality and the individual fashioning of that unity. The individual is thus both the picture and the artist (p. 177).
Who can say that the same environmental influences are apprehended, worked over, digested, and responded to by any two individuals the same way? To understand this fact we find it necessary to assume the existence of still another force, the creative power of the individual (pp. 176-177).
© 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. 21).
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. (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)
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