Alfred Adler Essays

Alfred Adler Essays

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Alfred Adler was born outside of Vienna, Austria on February 7, 1870. He was the third child (second son) of what would eventually be seven total children. As a child, Alfred developed rickets, which kept him from walking until he was four years old. At five, he nearly died of pneumonia. At one point, Adler heard the doctor tell his father that “Alfred is lost”. It was around this time that Adler decided to become a physician. (Corey 2005)

Due to frequent illness, Adler was pampered by his mother throughout most of the first few years of his life. This ended, however, with the arrival of a third son, a younger brother, who “dethroned” him. This left Adler in the middle, so to speak, due to being “dethroned” by the newly arrived sibling while still being overshadowed by his older brother Sigmund. The difficulty in his relationship with Sigmund was not short-lived. In fact, it lasted throughout his childhood and into adolescence.
The relationship with his parents also showed contrast. While he maintained a trusting relationship with his father, the relationship with his mother was extremely flawed. Adler did not feel close to her, and that could have stemmed from the jealousy produced by the subsequent children and the relation lack of attention he received.
During his school years, Adler was an average student. Despite his illnesses and physical limitations, he preferred activities outdoors to remaining indoors for his education. However, with his schoolwork, his primary goal at times was competing and possibly surpassing his brother Sigmund.

In 1895, at the age of 25, he received a medical degree from the University of Vienna. During his college years he became attached to a group of socialist students. It was there that he found his future wife, Raissa Timofeyewna Epstein. She was a social activist who had immigrated to Austria from Russia for higher education. They married in 1897 and eventually had four children, two of whom became psychiatrists. (Boeree 1997)
His medical career began far from the world of mental health. His first post in the medical field came as an ophthalmologist, but he soon switched to general practice, and established his office in a lower-class part of Vienna. His clients included, among others, the performers who worked with the nearby circus and it has been suggested that the extraordinary abilities of the performers le...


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...ment, and therapy concepts that could be nothing but beneficial to anyone seeking counseling.
     I’ve yet to fully understand how much true training in the Adlerian model is available for graduate school, but I can only hope it’s an available option because it seems to be the best route for me, personally, to take.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Psi Café: A Psychology Resource Site (2001). Alfred Adler. Retrieved April 19, 2005, from the World Wide Web: http://www.psy.pdx.edu/PsiCafe/KeyTheorists/Adler.htm#About

Boeree, Dr. C. George (1997). Personality Theories: Alfred Adler. Retrieved April 21, 2005, from the Shippensburg University Website: http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/adler.html

The Alfred Adler Institute of New York (2004). About Alfred Adler. Retrieved April 22, 2005, from the World Wide Web: http://www.alfredadler-ny.org/alfred_adler.htm

Minnesota State University-Moorhead “MSUM” (2005). Adlerian Overview of Birth Order Characteristics. Retrieved April 16, 2005, from the MSU-M Website: http://www.mnstate.edu/kausar/psyc202/Birth%20order%20Characteristics.htm

Corey, G. (2005). Theory and Practice Of Counseling and Psychotherapy. Belmont, California: Thomson Learning

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