Adlerian theory of counselling

Essay by arthurmdCollege, Undergraduate April 2009

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AbstractThis essay will discuss the Adlerian theory of counselling. After providing a brief overview of some of the key concepts including feelings of inferiority, purposeful behaviour and social interest, it will focus on the idea that a person can only be understood holistically. The paper will then discuss the related idea that an individual's perception of life events affects a person's psychology more than the actual events themselves (Kazdin 2000). This essay will also look at the counselling techniques that can be used to understand and help the client, not only in terms of his or her entire context, but also in terms their subjective perspective of life. The Adlerian technique has application in contemporary counselling and the number of Adlerian training centres continue to grow.

This paper will address a therapeutic approach known as the Adlerian technique named after its designer, Alfred Adler. In the early part of his career, Adler collaborated with Sigmund Freud in the development of the psychodynamic approach to therapy (Corey, 2005).

However, Adler defected and founded the Society for Individual Psychology in 1912 (Corey, 2005). He went on to develop the Adlerian technique, also known as Individual Psychology, during the early twentieth century and, until his death in 1937, educated practitioners, schools and parents about its principles. After Adler's death, Rudolf Dreikurs continued to practice and promote counselling techniques premised on Individual Psychology, finding a willing audience in the United States (Corey, 2005). According to Sperry (2007), core beliefs of a "True Adlerian" include that individuals are holistic and goal directed; and strive for social belongingness. The topics that will discuss these topics, with a particular focus on a connected Adlerian idea- the subjective reality of an individual. The essay will then focus on the counselling techniques advocated by Adlerians in response to...