Adler Alfred

Adler, Alfred Adler, Alfred (1870-1937), Austrian psychologist and psychiatrist, born in Vienna, and educated at Vienna University. After leaving the university he studied and was associated with Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. In 1911 Adler left the orthodox psychoanalytic school to found a neo-Freudian school of psychoanalysis. After 1926 he was a visiting professor at Columbia University, and in 1935 he and his family moved to the United States. In his analysis of individual development, Adler stressed the sense of inferiority, rather than sexual drives, as the motivating force in human life. According to Adler, conscious or subconscious feelings of inferiority (to which he gave the name inferiority complex), combined with compensatory defense mechanisms, are the basic causes of psychopathological behavior. The function of the psychoanalyst, furthermore, is to discover and rationalize such feelings and break down the compensatory, neurotic will for power that they engender in the patient. Adler’s works include The Theory and Practice of Individual Psychology (1918) and The Pattern of Life (1930). Alfred Adler studied personality around the time of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung but developed very different ideas (Cloninger, 1996). Although he changed his theory many times during his lifetime, he always believed people had control over their lives and made choices concerning themselves. He named his theory Individual Psychology because he felt each person was unique and no previous theory applied to all people. Adler;s theory is comprised primarily of four aspects: striving towards superiority, the unity of personality, the development of personality, and psychological health, which includes intervention. Motivation of Actions Adler believed the main goal of all people is to move to a better way of life, although he admits the ways to achieve this goal varies among people (Cloninger, 1996). Hefirst used the term inf…

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