Adlerian Psychology Introduction

Adlerian Psychology is founded on the belief that the basis of good mental health is the ability of the individual and of groups to cooperate with each other thereby contributing to the welfare of humanity in general and our society at large. Our approach values the unique contributions of each individual. Adlerian Psychology views the individual as being in a constant process of growth and overcoming in a search to find a sense of belonging and significance within the human community. The best way for this is through a feeling of connectedness with others. Adler called this feeling “Gemeinschaftsgefuehl,” generally translated as ‘social feeling / social interest;’ or community feeling/s and the ‘ability to see with the eyes of another, hear with the ears of another and feel through the heart of another.

As Adlerian clinicians, we see our work as re-education, building on strength and encouragement as we help the individual to uncover and understand his/her life pattern and goals instead of a focusing on pathology. We seek to understand the individual within his/her social roles. Adlerian psychology, therefore addresses such issues as parenting, teaching (in and outside the classroom) relationships and the world of work.

Adlerian principles are as relevant today as they were when Alfred Adler began his work. We believe the philosophy of ‘social interest’ can play a vital role in securing the mental health of the individual and the well-being of society. Today, more than ever, a philosophy of Gemeinschaftsgefuehl, of understanding each other in an atmosphere of support, encouragement and mutual respect can benefit us as individuals, couples, in our families, schools, community, country, and within the world at large.

Adlerian Psychology Overview

Alfred Adler called his theory “Individual Psychology “. 

Adlerians are concerned with understanding the unique and private beliefs and strategies that each individual creates in childhood and which then serve as the individual’s reference for attitudes, behavior, and private view of self, others and the world.

Adlerian psychotherapy favors a therapeutic relationship which is interactive,cooperative, supportive, empathic, non-dogmatic and “common-sensical”.We use and encourage a creative approach to problem solving. Individual Psychology is a system of theory and practice built upon psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, existential and humanistic principles. 

For particular topic discussions, please see the discussion of Adlerian Topics in our News/FYI section.