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Adlerian group counseling is perhaps better positioned than most approaches to meet the needs of people in the new millennium. Adlerians have been using group methods for most of the 20th century. Teleological interventions have been devised for a wide population, including very young children, school-age children, adolescents, college students, and adults. Adlerian group methods have been used in community agencies, hospitals, clinics, and schools. The Adlerian approach is the basis for at least one school consultation model (Dinkmeyer & Carlson, 2001); it is also the foundation for the largest parent education and teacher education programs in the United States. It is still the only approach to have created open-forum family education centers to serve groups of parents and their children. Whether the need is remedial or preventative, Adlerian group counseling processes have been developed, and practitioners are available to demonstrate the effectiveness of the model.
Group counseling and therapy build on the natural group experiences of the family, one's peers, and the community by providing a safe, accepting, and encouraging place in which ones ideas, feelings, and behaviors can be reconsidered within a social context where individual concerns are addressed as community issues. In this sense, groups are experiential learning systems that encourage the individual development of voice as well as a community feeling characterized by contribution, connection, and commitment to others. Groups provide social support and invest real interactions and problem solving with meaning. Groups are a venue in which values are clarified and formed, and they provide a structure for experiencing the very foundation of democratic process.
Because Adlerians believe that all human problems are essentially social and interactive in nature, group approaches are and have been central to the development of this model. Starting...