Adlerian Theory Of Counselling Essay

1694 words - 7 pages

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 this. That is, Adlerian counsellors try to view the world from the client's view, an orientation described as phenomenological (Corey, 2005). The counsellor looks at whether mistakes in thinking exist that lead to an inability of the individual to feel social belongingness. The counsellor then encourages the client to improve his or her self-understanding and correct the mistaken beliefs for a happier life.One of the main concepts associated with the Adlerian theory is that the individual's approach to life is formed in the first 6 years. Adler contends that, in these early years, because of a necessary dependence on others to survive, feelings of inferiority begin in the individual. However, it is these feelings of inferiority that motivate the individual to succeed and to overcome inabilities and inadequacies (Corey, 2005). As such, Adler (1924) states, "…The child arrives at the positing of a goal, an imagined goal of superiority, whereby his poverty is transformed into wealth, his subordination into domination, his...

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