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Individual Psychology In The Real World

872 words - 4 pages

Individual psychology is a theory developed by Alfred Alder to explain human personality and the behaviors that stem from that personality. His personality theory regards people in a positive light especially in their potential to overcome physical disabilities and the feelings of inferiority that stem from them. Individual psychology can also be used to explain underlying causes of mental and physical disorders. Susan E. Belangee in her article “Couples and Eating Disorders: An Individual Psychology Approach” examines the factors that lead to eating disorders and how eating disorders affect adult intimate relationships through Adler’s personality theory. Belangee deems individual ...view middle of the document...

Approaching eating disorders and its treatment through individual psychology extends an individual’s understanding of Adler’s personality theory. The text not only demonstrates that Adler’s theory can generate research; it also sheds light on how personality development and maladjusted personalities are susceptible to conditions such as eating disorders. This assessment offers readers a practical view of what maladjustment in personality can actually look like in the real world. These maladjustments can be expressed through eating disorders. For example, Belangee (2007) states that, “eating disorders are examples of… problem solving strategies a person could choose to cope with the inferiority complex” (p.297).
Belangee’s analysis of eating disorders from an individual psychology perspective offers a practical application of Adler’s personality theory and its use as a therapy tool. This view of eating disorders also goes hand in hand with prior research regarding understanding and treating eating disorders. Studies have determined that the treatment of eating disorders is best approached from multiple angles and not just focusing solely on the client (Belangee, 2007, p.294). Adler’s theory allows for a multidimensional approach as it looks into family, feelings of inadequacy and mechanisms used to gain family and social approval to reduce those feelings. For instance, Belangee (2007) notes that the Adler’s “concept of family atmosphere” is in line with current research that associates problems in one’s original family as an influence on the development and continuation of eating disorders (pp. 295-296). The concept of family atmosphere is the idea that “family members’ values, beliefs, communication patterns and experiences” influence a child’s development. Specifically, it can lead to the formation of eating disorders when...

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