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Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler

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Alfred Adler

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  1. Alfred Adler 1870 - 1937

  2. Overview of Theory • All individuals feel inferior • Inferiority complex • Superiority Complex • Individuals deal with inferiority through • Compensation: • concentrate on building the weakness • emphasize other functions • Masculine protest

  3. Overview of Theory • Motivated to strive from a “felt minus”(feeling of inferiority) towards a “felt plus” (feelings of superiority, perfection, and totality) • Motivating force behind all behavior is called Striving for Perfection or Superiority • the desire for competence and mastery over ones environment

  4. Overview of Theory • Results in the development of the Fictional Goal (Fictional Finalism) • The imagined goal or desirable future state that motivates and guides us (whether true or not) • Unhealthy are inflexible (“The neurotic is nailed to the cross of his fiction…”) • Healthy people modify (“… The normal individual, too, can and will create his deity …… but will never lose sight of reality …) • Later called this Guiding Self Idea

  5. Overview of Theory • Fictional Goal directs an individuals style of life (lifestyle) • Our unique combination of motives, interests, attitudes and values. • Determines how we will act in any situation. • Helps lead to consistency and uniqueness of personality • Begins as a compensatory process making up for a particular inferiority • Includes individual concepts about self, the world and one’s unique way of striving for goals (unifier of personality)

  6. Overview of Theory Style of Life • Established by age 4 or 5 using the Creative Self • the dynamic force that allows us to use our experiences and heredity to construct our style of life • Can be identified through an individual’s early memories • Doesn’t matter if memories are true or not • Represents individuals first perceptions of self, world, etc

  7. Overview of Theory • Four types of lifestyles • Ruling type • Getting type • Avoiding type • Socially useful type Mistaken lifestyles (neurotic)

  8. Overview of Theory • Ruling type: • Seeks to dominate others • Directly by bullying, etc • Indirectly by suicide attempts, addictions, etc.

  9. Overview of Theory • Getting type • Dependent • Leans on others for everything • Most common according to Adler

  10. Overview of Theory • Avoiding type • Try to not deal with problems, etc. • Phobias part of this

  11. Overview of Theory • Socially useful type • Innate trait that makes all humans value contributing to society and the common good of others. • The most productive way to compensate for individual feelings of inferiority • The more socially oriented the healthier the individual • Gemeinschaftsgefuhl

  12. Overview of Theory • Factors of maladjustment of neurotics • Underdeveloped social interest • Live in their own private world • Set their goals too high • Have rigid and dogmatic style of life

  13. Overview of Theory • Neuroticism creates need for Safeguarding Strategies (defense mechanisms) • Three types • Excuses or rationalizing strategies • As if excusing them from life due to their illness or symptoms • “Yes, but…” • “If only ….” • Often experience secondary gain as a result of this

  14. Overview of Theory • Aggressive strategies • Open or disguised hostility toward self or others • Depreciation * devalue others through threats or inflating own value • Accusation * blame others (no personal responsibility) • Self accusation * blame self in such a way that it attracts attention, sympathy, etc. * sometimes induces guilt in others

  15. Overview of Theory • Distancing strategies • Distances themselves from life’s problems • Restricts participation in life • Avoids challenging situations when there is risk of failure

  16. Impact of Family • Family Constellation • Family Roles • Treatment • Pampering • Rejection

  17. Impact of Family • Birth Order (situation into which child is born) • Oldest child • Worst position • Middle child • Second born is most fortunate • Youngest child • Second worst position • Only child