The Drive for Self: Alfred Adler and the Founding of Individual Psychology

The Drive for Self: Alfred Adler and the Founding of Individual Psychology

The Drive for Self: Alfred Adler and the Founding of Individual Psychology

The Drive for Self: Alfred Adler and the Founding of Individual Psychology

Excerpt

As I reflect upon my father's life, I am impressed by his ability to affect so many people—not only as a social theorist and the creator of individual psychology—but also as a parent, healer, teacher, lecturer and friend. Never seeking to isolate his work from the wider social and political events of his time, my father was the complete antithesis of the armchair intellectual. He considered himself a man of the people and not of the intellectual elite. Despite the many philosophical, psychological, and sociological formulations and constructs he expounded, he always tried to use simple language, so that his ideas could be understood by all.

At the end of the first World War, during which he served as a military physician, his belief in democratic socialism became even stronger than it had been in his student years. It was at that time that he developed the key concept of social interest ( Gemeinschaftsgefühl ), by which he meant the need to be and to feel at one with all humankind. He considered social interest the only salvation for humanity, and the only valid test of an individual's mental health. Modern psychologists acknowledge that Alfred Adler, with ideas like social interest, returned dignity to human beings—a dignity that the instinct theories had stolen from them. My father placed psychology back in the hands of us all by declaring that the self-created goals of each individual are the determining influences that create the human character.

Previous books about Alfred Adler have been fragmentary. However noteworthy, they have examined only bits and pieces of his career, such as his initial involvement and subsequent decisive break with Sigmund Freud. Other volumes have tended to focus on particular features of my father's theories and therapeutic methods concerning children, adults, and families.

This work is the first full-length biography to paint a vivid picture of both the man and his times. It is the story of his life, as well as his development and emergence as the great psychologist who influenced not only the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.