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Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler, the pioneer of individual psychology was born on February 7, 1870 in Rudolfsheim located close to Vienna. He was a medical doctor from Austria as well as a psychotherapist. He laid the foundation of individual psychology which says that human beings are complex individuals, separate from each other. He was very frail as a child often attacked by asthma and other severe medical conditions but it got cured with the passage of time. As a child he was full of curiosity and often took expeditions of children along with him to study different species of animal kingdom.

One of the major works of Alfred Adler is related to the study of individuals from a complete perspective, social as well as individual. His theories regarding personality are much different from that of Sigmund Freud. Adler discussed that humans should not be separated from society and must be studied together to see the effect of one on the other. His thought underlies the perspective that individuals and societies are co-integrated with each other.

Alfred Adler interest lied in studying organic inferiorities and compensation, his interest in this subject grew more when he was working with a circus, he observed that their work includes strength and weaknesses that are not a common phenomena and thus it compelled him towards studying organic inferiorities and compensation.

The much talked about inferiority complex was actually a concept given by Adler. The concept of inferiority complex proposed by him considers organ inferiority as the focal point of this theory. According to him every person suffers from inferiority complex at one point or the other in his life but they usually compensate it in other ways like grooming or attaining a better personality or learning a new skill.

He was invited at a discussion by Sigmund Freud about his theories but Sigmund Freud rejected his ideas. Adler formed free psychoanalytic society in 1911 as a result of disagreement with Sigmund Freud and criticisms of his ideas and concepts regarding individual psychology. While serving the Austrian army during World War I he noticed the damages caused by war so he became more inclined on working towards social interest. Adler certainly had a completely different idea in his mind which conflicted with the most popular concepts of psychology prevailing in that era.

His profound work on child psychology has identified major traits and behavior in children. According to him, lifestyle and personality is developed in early life and he has proposed solid theories regarding childhood psychology.

It is not wrong to say that Alfred Adler was a social idealist concerned with application of psychology towards the betterment of individuals and societal well-being. He wanted to create a holistic view of an individual that is why his theories significantly differed from Sigmund Freud. An individual’s co-integration with the society can create a better and more enduring environment for the survival of the whole society.

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