Manford A. Sonstegard
On Saturday, February 7, 2009, Manford A. Sonstegard, past President of NASAP, dear friend, colleague, and student of Rudolf Dreikurs, and a foremost expert in Adlerian group counseling died in Stow-on-the-Wold in County Gloustershire in England. He was exactly two weeks and two days away from his 98th birthday, which he would have celebrated on February 23rd. He was married to Rita Sonstegard who was with him, and he is survived by three of his four children, Kirsten, Tamar, and Val. His first wife Ruth and his eldest daughter Karen both preceded him in death.
He was one of the first editors of The Individual Psychologist, and he held the position for the longest time. This journal was later incorporated into what is now The Journal of Individual Psychology. Sonste started and supported over 70 family education centers in the United States, Jamaica, Canada, and parts of Europe. He was the co-author of three books, Living in Harmony with Our Children, Wages for Wee Folks, and Adlerian Group Counseling and Therapy: Step-by-Step.
He had difficulty hearing for most of the last half of his life, and he turned it to his advantage as often as he could. He would consistently tell adolescents with whom he was fond of working that he needed them to speak up so he could understand them, and they would do it for him when they would not for others. Many of us have watched him counsel a family in conflict and see him turn his hearing aids off until the fight was over, and then he would turn them back on and carefully, slowly help the family to sort life out and initiate a new harmony in their families.