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Personality Theory Essay

1074 words - 5 pages

Alfred Adler was born on February 7, 1870 in Vienna, Austria. He was the second child out of six or seven children. Adler suffered from many illnesses when he was a child such as rickets, a disease that prevented him from walking until he was four years old. When he was four he got sick from pneumonia and this sparked an interest in him in medicine.
Adler was closer to his father and was said to feel rejected by his mother. He had an inferiority complex when he was little, he felt small and unattractive and this made him try really hard to be popular in school to compensate the rejection he felt at home. “In school Adler was initially not a very good student, but when one of his teachers suggested to his father to take him out of school and have him work as a shoemaker’s apprentice, his father rejected this suggestion and felt offended by the teacher and told Adler what the teacher had said”(psyography). From there on Adler decided to prove his teacher wrong and became one of her best students (Adler Biography).
Adler went to the University of Vienna Medical School in 1888 and received his degree in 1895. He practiced general medicine but specialized in ophthalmology. In 1897 Adler married Raissa Timofeivna Epstien and had three children, Valentine, Alexandra and Kurt. Adler published articles “in the Medical News Bulletin and started writing his first book that covered some of his thoughts on psychology such as; looking at man as a whole, functioning entity, reacting to his environment and physical endowment as opposed to a sum of instincts and other psychological manifestations”(psyography). As a doctor Adler developed an interest in patients with physical handicaps and studied their organic and psychological reactions to the handicaps, leading his insights to the study of organ inferiorities and compensation.
Adler liked some of Freud’s work, such as his book on dream analysis and later received a personal invitation from Freud to join a weekly meeting he held in his home to discuss aspects of psychopathology. Adler worked with Freud for several years but they did not agree on a lot of things and ended up parting in not very amicable terms.
Adler published several books such as: The Physician as Educator, which was about child guidance and education; A Study of Organ Inferiority, a book on his thinking about organ dialect and an overview of the human organ systems; The Neurotic Constitution, where he introduced “Individual Psychology” and the idea that people should be viewed as a whole rather than their parts. He also founded several guidance centers in Vienna. Alfred Adler died in Aberdeen, Scotland while delivering a lecture on May 28, 1937(psyography).
Individual Psychology was Adler’s social psychological system. He believed that our plans for the future affected us and the strife for goals influenced our present behavior. Adler’s personality theory differed from Freud’s in that he minimized the influence of sex on personality and...

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