Gender Guiding Lines and Role Models
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.
In lifestyle assessment Dreikurs used Adler's concept of guiding lines to delineate a person's ideas about masculine and feminine and what it means to be a man or a woman. To uncover masculine and feminine guiding lines he considered the way father and mother were remembered from the client's childhood years.
Powers and Griffith (1987) further developed the therapeutic application of the concept of gender guiding lines, first, by proposing that a person's childhood images of mother and father form the norms for what it means to be a man or a woman, against which all men and women are evaluated; second, that the same-sex gender guiding line feels like a destiny to the person, as if the small child believed, "When I grow up, I'm going to be like that unless I do something about it." Further, these expectations form part of a person's private sense, and so are not likely to be in full conscious awareness. Role models differ from gender guiding lines in that they are chosen or rejected by the child in conscious awareness. When a person's same-sex gender guiding line and role models are consonant, one can expect that the individual is clear about gender identity and feels untroubled in his or her gender adaptation. The converse is also predictable: when the gender guiding line and role models are dissonant, one often finds a sense of unease or distress connected with the person's way of addressing the task of love and sexual functioning (Powers & Griffith, 1987, pp. 132-149).
See Powers, R. L., Griffith, J., & Maybell, S. A. (1993).
© 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. 43).
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.
Powers, R. L., & Griffith, J. (1987). Understanding life-style: The psycho-clarity process. Port Townsend, WA: Adlerian Psychology Associates.
Powers, R. L., Griffith, J., & Maybell, S.A. (1993). Gender guiding lines and couples therapy. Individual Psychology, 49(3 & 4), 361-371.Gender Guiding Lines