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Comparing theories and counseling models affective and adlerian systems paper

Purpose of this chapter This introductory chapter provides a bird's-eye view of Adler's system. We begin with a paragraph found on the inside front cover of every issue of the Journal of Individual Psychology, as written by Dr. Ansbacher, its editor from 1957 to 1973. The Journal of Individual Psychology is devoted to a holistic, phenomenological, teleological, field-theoretical, and socially oriented approach to psychology and related fields. This approach is based on the assumption of the uniqueness, self-consistency, activity, and creativity of the human individual style of life ; an open dynamic system of motivation striving for a subjectively conceived goal of success ; and an innate potentiality for social life social interest.

In this chapter we shall examine this statement in detail. We recommend that the reader re-read, this summary. We shall now expand on every important term of this statement in detail. Holism Is a human like a flower or like an automobile? Are we essentially unitary or are we made up of parts? Are we an entity or an assemblage? Do we have a conscious mind and a separate unconscious mind, or do we have a mind with various aspects? Are we still ourselves when asleep or when drunk or when sick, or are we like Dr.

Individual Psychology firmly takes the position that we are indivisible units. Like the flower which came from a single fertilized cell, we are a unity; we are not an assemblage of parts like a machine. Adlerians deny concepts such as those of Sigmund Freud that the human being can be divided into parts such as the ego, the id, and the superego.

While such division can be done for heuristic i. Now this may seem to be some abstract philosophical conception of little importance. Nothing could comparing theories and counseling models affective and adlerian systems paper further from the truth. In explaining human nature one always begins with basic hypotheses.

Should the basic hypotheses be incorrect, further assumptions based on these hypotheses will also be incor rect, and a whole system of resulting beliefs will be essentially erroneous. For this reason it's important to begin with patently true assumptions. What do you think: Are humans' integrals or disjunctives? Are you a unity, essentially a single individual, or are you composed of discrete parts in a clever assemblage?

Do you have thoughts and feelings and desires and goals and memories, are you the sum of these or are they part of you? The word individual in Individual Psychology does not mean the opposite of "social" or "group. The term individual in German has the connotation and denotation of a unity, an indivisible whole.

It refers to the unique individuality of individuals. Smuts 1961 coined this word holism which we are discussing. Smuts said that personality was "fundamentally an organ of self-realization" p. According to Ansbacher 1961Smuts himself was a self-realized or self-actualized man as described by Abraham Maslow 1954.

  1. Smuts said that personality was "fundamentally an organ of self-realization" p.
  2. Essentially, what others see and what the individual knows about self is based on deeply established personal constructs, the so-called private logic.
  3. Ansbacher, its editor from 1957 to 1973. IP has been accepted by many people as the best explanation for human nature, the best vehicle for dealing effectively with people socially, educationally, organizationally, therapeutically-the most useful guide for successful human behavior.
  4. We start life when the sperm and egg fuse into a single cell, the zygote.

Holism also relates to other concepts. One is the notion of Gestalt-the idea that the total is more than the sum of its parts. A simple example would be to take three equal straight lines. Line them up next to each other and you have one configuration; put them so that the end of each touches the end of another and you now have a different configuration.

  • We treat maladjusted people as successfully as those who use more complicated terms;
  • The reflex-arc concept Dewey, 1896 which introduced the concept of a non-elementaristic view of behavior is still another associated idea;
  • We do not believe in split selves or in internal conflicts or in anything, no matter how reasonable it may sound or how obvious it may appear, which in effect says that one part of the individual wants to go one way and one part wants to go another;
  • This difference in actual accomplishment may be due to phenomenology;
  • You might even begin to wonder at this point what is new and different about IP;
  • We see the human person as constantly moving toward goals.

The first set is three parallel lines, but the second is a triangle! Surely the two configurations are not the same. The reflex-arc concept Dewey, 1896 which introduced the concept of a non-elementaristic view of behavior is still another associated idea. Holism is also related to creativity. If anything happens only because something else caused it, then everything is determined. Then there would be no responsibility. No one would create anything. A poem would be caused, not created, as would any work of art.

Holism presents a challenge to the sciences of physics and chemistry based on Isaac Comparing theories and counseling models affective and adlerian systems paper laws of thermodynamics, specifically the first law, which reads, "Quantities of heat may be converted into mechanical work and con versely. What goes into something cannot be more or less than what goes out. Smuts 1961 said, "Either the first law of thermodynamics must be given up, or life and mind are nullities" p. Physics and chemistry and biology are physi cal sciences.

Newton's laws hold for the human body as a machine that uses calories of heat to operate, but this law of conservation does not apply to the mind. According to Ansbacher 1961, p. Smuts reciprocated his feelings for Adler and stated that Individual Psychology was "in a way closer to common sense and kinder to human nature than was the science of the nineteenth century" p. We can contrast some psychological theories in terms of holism: The other point of view is that people are unitary organisms.

Biologically, the issue is clear enough: We start life when the sperm and egg fuse into a single cell, the zygote. As the zygote begins to expand and divide, subparts or organs begin to develop, and so the final entity, the human body, originates from a single egg.

  1. This approach is based on the assumption of the uniqueness, self-consistency, activity, and creativity of the human individual style of life ; an open dynamic system of motivation striving for a subjectively conceived goal of success ; and an innate potentiality for social life social interest.
  2. Say that what you saw was a coat. Well, we have to admit it.
  3. This is one of the purposes of psychotherapy. Like the flower which came from a single fertilized cell, we are a unity; we are not an assemblage of parts like a machine.

It is not put together piece by piece, as occurs with an airplane, an automobile, or a foun tain pen. Phenomenology Phenomenology essentially means "subjective, personal. That is, if you look at a picture by Paul Klee or Pablo Picasso or Margaret Keene, that picture is that picture-it is the reality.

But your reality is your impression of it-what it means to you. You may find one picture exciting, another dull, another ugly. These are all personal views-and they are true for you. Reality then is your impression, your view, your percep tion. Adolf Hitler was idolized by millions and hated by millions. Every individ ual who had an opinion of Hitler had a personal, private view. This view for them was reality. If you come into a semi dark room and you see a dog on the bed, this is your reality at that moment and you will react to what you see as though it were really a dog.

Say that what you saw was a coat: Now if you are afraid of dogs, you will be scared by the coat because to you at that time the coat was a dog!

IP deals with this "subjective reality"-our impressions, views, perceptions, apperceptions, conclusions-and not with physical reality.

Counseling models and theories

If you believe you are God, this is your reality. Phenomenology has important human consequences. Consider two children and say that one of them is much brighter than the other-actually has greater brain power.

Now let us say that this "bright" child actually does poorly in school compared to the other. This difference in actual accomplishment may be due to phenomenology. The bright child may be discouraged, may have feelings of inferiority, and may not like to study, and may want to punish his parents by doing poorly, and so on. The reason for the academic differences may be due to the phenomenology of the two children-one is ambitious, alert, and eager while the other is discouraged, resentful, and unwilling to learn.

This leads to one of the maxims of IP: Adlerian Psychology is a psychology of use rather than of possession.

It is not what you have that counts, but rather what you do with what you have. Some people with advantages will fail while some people with disadvantages will succeed. Happiness, good grades, good children, and so on-the things that people want to attain-are a function more of phenomenology; that is, the person's view, and not only of "facts" such as high IQ, good environment, or favorable opportunities. Let us now put in a caveat.

Adlerian psychology is not 100 percent phenomenological. We recognize the importance of reality, of limits. A child born without legs has no chance of becoming a high jumper; a child with Down's syndrome will most probably never go to college. We recognize objective reality-conditions outside of and beyond the individual: For this reason, Individual Psychology takes an intermediate position relative to the determinism-indetermmism point of view.

We neither say "You can become anything you want" the pure indeterministic position or "You are completely controlled by outside events" the pure deterministic position but, rather, we say, "Within the limits established by your biology and the environment, there is generally a lot you can do.

  • He feels torn, and worries about his decision;
  • Two people may have exactly the same goals, the same amount of energy, everything may appear identical, but one has courage and pursues goals actively, persistently, intelligently, and consistently, while an other person will hesitate, fumble, and back away;
  • Adler saw people in movement, directed toward personal goals, and these movements were always in a social field;
  • A second viewpoint is the here-and-now position;
  • Nevertheless, each of us as we develop in life begins to assemble a series of conclusions about life-what is right and what is wrong, how to get what one wants, what people are like, what we are like, and so on;
  • Adler is reputed to have said, "And, what's wrong with common sense?

Teleology Teleology means "purposive, moving toward goals. We ask about a person when we don't understand him: Some systems of psychology, especially those that view the human as object, see the person as the result of the past, controlled by past experiences. They conceive of people as "learned," "trained," "conditioned"-and otherwise not free. The past determines the present. The individual is seen at any moment as the result of his or her past. This deterministic point of view is best found in the behaviorist psychologies.

A second viewpoint is the here-and-now position. This view says that any person at any time makes decisions in terms of how the immediate moment is perceived. So, the past and the future are not that important; the now is important.