Concept of the Person
Adlerian Psychotherapy employs a holistic approach to understanding the individual. Adler provides us with an all-encompassing view of the human being, who is a primarily conscious, rather than unconscious creature. Adlerians believe that the most important life problems are social and therefore, the individual must be considered within the social context (Daniels, 1998). Adlerian theory proposes that a human’s principle motive in life is to strive for perfection and that his or her opinion of self, and the world, influences all of the individual’s psychological processes. “Adlerian counseling seeks to correct mistakes in perception and logic that people make in their effort to fit into social relationships and to overcome feelings of inferiority” (Brown & Srebalus 1998). Once the individual has adopted a “mistaken goal”, he or she will formulate other misconceptions to support the “faulty logic” (Brown & Srebalus 1998). Adlerian theory studies the whole person and how that person experiences life.
According to this theory, the individual possesses four “life-style convictions” (Mosak 1995). These are: “The self-concept – the convictions I have about who I am; the self-ideal – the convictions of what I should be or am obliged to be to have a place; the weltbild, or ‘picture of the world’ – convictions about the not self and what the world demands of me; and the ethical convictions- personal ‘right-wrong’ code” (Mosak 1995). When there is conflict between the self-concept and the ideal,...
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