Adlerian Therapy Reflection essay lp3 [Type the author name] Adlerian Therapy

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Adlerian Therapy

Reflection essay LP3

[Type the author name]

Adlerian Therapy

Jamie M. Floeter

Moraine Park Technical College

AODA Program

Counseling Theory and Practice

Jerome M. VanKirk 550-140

February 22, 2013


Adlerian Therapy was named after Alfred Adler who was a major contributor to the initial development of the psychodynamic approach in therapy. For 8 to 10 years Adler worked with Freud until Adler resigned. He was more about making the unconscious, conscious. Adler believed that that the conscious mind is the center a personality, when Freud believed that is was the unconscious mind. Adler discusses our Lifestyles or our personality styles and how our life style can be influenced by our birth order, thus stressing the importance of the first 6 years of life. Our personality style plays as our orientation of life. Adler came up with the four personality styles and their dimensions, the basic needs of a person, what the 5 life task for a person should be, and the 5 basic mistakes people can make causing an unhappy lifestyle.

Adlerian Therapy

Alfred Adler theories to me seem like they would be much more effective than Sigmund Freud’s theories. Freud’s theories state that our basic needs are to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Those 2 needs seem way too basic for me and they are more like common sense. Adler’s theories consist of the basic needs; 1) to feel accepted, 2) To feel secure, & 3) to feel worthwhile. When I compare Freud’s theories to Adler’s, I feel that Adler’s makes much more sense to me.

What I have learned

One of the first things that really caught me attention when I started to read about Adler’s theory was the difference between what Adler believed vs. Freud. When Adler talks about making the unconscious, conscious and that the conscious mind is the center of personality. In some ways I can relate to how the personality is always looking for perfection. It’s like I’m always trying to one up myself and I don’t see anything wrong with it. I find myself trying to be a better listener and communicator, which I feel are skills I’m good at but nothing wrong with improvement.

When Adler talked about the personality he referenced it as a Life-style or personality style. Our personality is our orientation of life that has two dimensions, our social interest and activity. Also, lifestyle can be influenced by a person’s birth order. Adler’s theory states that people strive to overcome inferiority which is a normal human condition and when a person develops their social interest those feelings of inferiority and alienation begin to fade. This can stress the importance of the first 6 years of life. This is because a person’s perceptions of the past and the interpretations of early events can create a continuous influence.

I believe that negative perceptions about our past and incorrect interpretations of our past or early events can cause a person to have unconscious issues in life. Adler talks about the 5 basic mistakes, 1) Overgeneralizations 2) False or impossible goals 3) Misperceptions of life and life’s demands 4) Denial of ones worth & 5) Faulty values.

AODA Counseling

I feel that this theory will be very helpful to me as an AODA Counselor. For example; I may have a client that is dependent on alcohol and I would be able to learn a lot about this person’s personality style type and Lifestyle by using the Adlerian theories. I could have my client look into their past as a child and give me some of their earliest memories. This could help me find out how his relationship with his family and siblings (if any). This could also help me find out if there is a family history of consuming alcohol. Along with getting to know my clients past, I would also want to look into their present to help me understand their need to drink. I can look into the 5 life task to see if there are any areas that are not being fulfilled. The 5 life task are; 1) Friendship 2) Work/Career 3) Love/Intimacy 4) Getting along with ourselves & 5) Developing values, beliefs, and faith. This will also help me discover if there are any of the 5 basic mistakes occurring.


I feel that looking into a client’s dreams can be an hit or miss approach. I don’t remember my dreams. If my dreams were truly significant to my life, I feel that I would remember them, and I have noticed that there are a few of my class mates that feel the same way, so I am sure that I will have clients that feel the same as well. I feel that dreams can be very open-minded as well as open-ended. Though maybe there is a reason I don’t remember my dreams and when I think about it more that can tie into the patterns I saw in my early memories when I did the Lifestyle assessment.

Professional Gains

I feel much more competent about becoming a counselor after learning about these theories. These theories gave me a better understanding about why people may act the way they do during hard times. These theories will help me with me with getting to know my clients and finding the source of the problem.

Personal Gains

The Life assessment helped me to learn more about myself. This assessment went deep and made me realize and issue that I really didn’t know that exist. When I looked into my earliest memories I began to notice the patterns after a couple of days. I can remember back to 2 years of age. The pattern is me being independent and or alone. Early childhood I was left alone at night because my mother and step father worked 2nd shift. That’s when I realized that I remain distant from relationships (love). After talking to my son’s father (talking nothing of the assessment) it made a lot more sense. Then the fallowing day I did tell him about the assessment and the patterns I saw in my memories. He made a sound as if he just made a discovery and now wants me to make a copy of the assessment for him. How do I fix this? Well me and my son’s father have a great friendship and are awesome parents. As of this moment, I don’t feel the need to try and focus on this issue. I’m focused on my son, school, and work. Relationships are not my thing as of right now. But when the time is right, I feel I should seek a counselor of my own because I really don’t know what the next step would be.

My Question

My questions is, what about families that divorce and step parents and siblings come into the picture?

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