focuses on the feelings of self that arise from interactions and
conflicts. This sense of self can also be called ones ego. The
ego is the central core of personality; it is what makes someone
an individual. Adlerian therapy is a therapy of teaching, informing
and encouraging the client, in order to help the client fix basic
mistakes in their personal logic, and the therapeutic relationship
is a collaborative one. His idea of individual psychology is based
on the unique motivations of individuals and the importance of
each individuals perceived niche in society.
He believes that human are goal
directed by nature, and he feels that social conditions and how
one sees themselves in this society can cause disturbances in
personality and measures need to be taken to avoid this. Therefore,
the therapist should attempt to view the world from their clients
subjective frame of reference and that how life in reality is
not as important as how an individual perceives it to be. Childhood
experiences are not necessarily important - what is important
is our perception of these experiences, it is not unconscious
instincts and our past that determine behaviour but our present
perceptions. Adlers distinctive concept is how an individual feel
towards and is aware of being part of a human community. He measures
mental health by the degree to which one successfully share with
others and is concerned for others welfare. He feels that happiness
and success are largely related to social "connectedness."
Adler feels that birth order is
important, and that it motivates later behaviour. The oldest child
receives more attention and is spoiled and therefore likes to
be the centre of attention. If there is only two children, the
second will behave as if they are in a race to the first child,
and they will act in opposite ways from the first. The middle
child often feels squeezed out. The youngest is the baby, they
are more pampered, creative, rebellious, revolutionary and avant-garde.
An only child does not learn to share and co-operate with other
children and must therefore learn to deal with other adults.
Adler thinks that encouragement
is the most powerful method of changing a persons beliefs - it
can help build self-confidence and stimulate courage. Therefore,
discouragement is that basic condition that prevents people from
functioning. Clients of Adlerian therapy are encouraged to recognize
that they have the power to choose and act differently.
Adler also feels that people who
are not functioning properly in society may be experiencing complexes.
Someone with an inferiority complex takes normal feelings of incompetence
and exaggerates them so that they feel that it is impossible for
them to achieve their goals.
In therapy, assessment
is done using lifestyle assessment (identifying targets for therapy
and identifying major successes and mistakes in a clients life)
and early reflections where one talks about childhood experiences.
The client is encouraged to think about their private logic, their
concepts about themselves and others and the philosophy that their
lifestyle is based on. They are encouraged to discover the purposes
of behaviour and symptoms and their basic mistakes associated
with coping. The client will learn how to correct their faulty
assumptions and conclusions about themselves. This is done using
a subjective interview technique and by encouraging self-understanding
Person Centre Therapy