I am trained in Adlerian psychology. A hallmark of Adlerian Psychology is the promotion family-member equality, parent education, balance in life style, and holism in individuals.
This Therapeutic model originated in the early 1900s from the work of Alfred Adler. Adler was a contemporary of Freud and Jung, yet he had a different take on people and how we work.
Adler saw individuals as creative, goal-directed selves that need a sense of belonging, connectedness to others, desire to contribute to the greater good of the community. He was optimistic about people and encouraging to his patients. Alfred Adler was focussed on developing a model of therapy that was useful in helping all people including children, parents and couples create and achieve harmonious relationships, while being responsible for their behaviour.
Adler believed that people have choices about how they behave rather than being “pushed into behaviour” as was a popular belief with other Psychiatrists at the time.
Adler’s goal for individual or family counselling was for each member of a family or couple to spend time with their therapist/ counsellor. As this one-to-one relationship develops Adler believed the therapist/counsellor can then provide critical encouragement, foster insight, and promote change in each family member’s style of life. Family members “lay down their weapons? to discover new, positive aspects of each other.
Adler had placed a lot of emphasis on how important an early child’s training in life developed and how those early learnings were compiled into their little rulebook for living. This guide book he believed became their “private logic” for living their life. This Private Logic Adler believed was an individual’s guide book directing them throughout their life. The challenge then becomes the understanding that what a child viewed as appropriate, with our adult learning and knowledge might not be a suitable way to move through life.
Therapy assits with understanding the “mistaken beliefs” of the child and remodelling those beliefs into an appropriate system for us as adults.
Adler also was a strong proponent of parenting that fostered a child to become a responsible contributing member of their family which he felt would translate later to a good contributing member of the community. He was friends with Maria Montessori and their shared similar passions for positive encouragement, requiring responsibility and the importance of good parenting.
In my University training at the Adler School I was required to teach a 6 week Parenting Course following the Adlerian philosophy.
In later sessions, the family or couple is unified as a cooperative, caring whole with a more generous view of everyone’s welfare.
During sessions, clients set paths toward long-term goals, develop maps and plans for dealing with life situations, and harness the power in knowing that we can make choices and thus make changes if we choose. Everything can be different tomorrow than it is today.