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An Overview: Adlerian Therapy
 

An Overview: Adlerian Therapy

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Adlerian Therapy as it relates to Student Affairs

Adlerian Therapy as it relates to Student Affairs
Source: Theory & Practice of Counseling & Psychotherapy by Gerald Corey

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    An Overview: Adlerian Therapy An Overview: Adlerian Therapy Document Transcript

    • Form  A  -­‐  Peter  ‘Max’  Quinn  Critical  Evaluation  Format  CN528  Counseling  &  Development  Professor  Ciri  -­‐  November  21,  2011    Theory:  Adlerian  Theory     KEY  CONCEPTS  OF  Adlerian  Theory:    View  of  Human  Nature  /  Basic  Assumptions  Underlying  Adlerian  Theory   § Behavior  is  purposeful  &  Goal-­‐directed   § Consciousness  more  than  Unconsciousness   § Choice  &  Responsibility   § Meaning  in  Life   § Striving  for  success,  completion  and  perfection   § Driven  to  overcome  our  sense  of  inferiority    -­‐  Motivate  us  to  strive  for  mastery,  success  (superiority)  and  completion   § The  Life  Goal  unifies  the  personality  and  becomes  the  source  of  human  motivation   § Humans  have  the  capacity  to  interpret,  influence,  and  create  events   § Genetics  and  heredity  are  not  as  important  as  what  we  choose  to  do  with  the  abilities  and  limitations  we  possess   § Recognize  that  biological  &  environmental  conditions  limit  our  capacity  to  choose  and  to  create   § Focus  on  reeducation  &  reshaping  of  society   § Focus  on  internal  determinants  of  behavior  (values,  beliefs,  attitudes,  goals,  interested,  and  the  individual  perception   of  reality)   § It  is  essential  to  understand  people  within  the  systems  that  they  live     Most  Important  concepts  of  Adlerian  Theory:    Subjective  Perception  of  Reality   § View  the  world  from  the  students  subjective  frame  of  reference  -­‐  Basic  factor  explaining  behavior   § Phenomenology  -­‐  The  individual  way  in  which  people  perceive  their  world   § Subjective  Reality    -­‐  Individuals  perceptions,  thoughts,  feelings,  values,  beliefs,  convictions,  and  conclusions   § Objective  reality  is  less  important  than  how  we  interpret  reality  and  the  meanings  we  attach  to  what  we  experience    Unity  &  Patterns  of  Human  Personality   § Understanding  the  Whole-­‐Student  (Individual  Psychology)   o How  all  the  dimensions  of  a  person  are  interconnected  components,  and  how  all  of  these  components  are   unified  by  the  individuals  movement  toward  a  life  goal   § Emphasis  on  unity  and  indivisibility  of  the  student   § Holistic  Concept  -­‐  We  cannot  be  understood  in  parts,  but  all  aspects  of  ourselves  must  be  understood  in  relationship   § Understanding  the  Whole-­‐Student  within  their  socially  embedded  contexts  of  family,  culture,  school,  and  work   § We  are  social,  creative,  decision-­‐making  beings  who  act  with  purpose  and  cannot  be  fully  known  outside  the  contexts   that  have  meaning  in  our  lives   § Human  personality  becomes  unified  through  development  of  a  life  goal   § A  students  thoughts,  feelings,  beliefs,  convictions,  attitudes,  character,  and  actions  are  expressions  of  their   uniqueness,  and  all  reflect  a  plan  of  life  that  allows  for  movement  toward  a  self-­‐selected  life  goal   § Student  is  an  integral  part  of  a  social  system  Behavior  as  purposeful  and  goal  oriented   § All  human  behavior  has  a  purpose   § Humans  set  goals  for  themselves,  and  behavior  becomes  unified  in  the  context  of  these  goals   § We  can  only  think,  feel,  and  act  in  relation  to  our  perception  of  our  goal   § Students  can  only  be  fully  understood  in  light  of  knowing  the  purposes  and  goals  toward  which  they  are  striving   § Interested  in  future  without  minimizing  the  importance  of  past  influences   § Decisions  are  based  on  the  students  experiences,  on  the  present  situation  and  on  the  direction  in  which  they  are   moving   § Fictional  Finalism  -­‐  Imagined  central  goal  that  guides  a  students  behavior  (Striving  toward  superiority  or  perfection)   § Guiding  Self-­‐Ideal  -­‐  Students  image  of  a  goal  of  perfection,  for  which  they  strive  to  achieve  in  any  given  situation   o Because  of  our  subjective  final  goal,  we  have  the  creative  power  to  choose  what  we  will  accept  as  truth,  how   we  will  behave,  and  how  we  will  interpret  events      
    • Striving  for  Significance  &  Superiority   § Striving  for  perfection  and  coping  with  inferiority  by  seeking  mastery  are  innate   § The  goal  of  success  pulls  people  forward  toward  master  and  enables  them  to  overcome  obstacles   § “Superiority”  as  defined  by  Adler  =  Moving  from  a  perceived  lower  position  to  a  perceived  higher  position   § Students  cope  with  feelings  of  helplessness  by  striving  for  competence,  mastery,  &  perfection  (weakness  to  strength)  Lifestyle   § An  individuals  core  beliefs  and  assumptions  guide  each  person’s  movement  through  life  and  organize  their  reality,   giving  meaning  to  life  events   § Connecting  themes  and  rules  of  interaction  that  unify  all  our  actions   § Our  perceptions  regarding  self,  others,  and  the  world   § Includes  an  individuals  characteristic  way  of  thinking,  acting,  feeling,  living,  and  striving  toward  long-­‐term  goals   § Style  of  Life  -­‐  Accounts  for  why  all  of  our  behaviors  fit  together  to  provide  consistency  to  our  actions   § People  are  viewed  as  adopting  a  proactive,  rather  than  reactive,  approach  to  their  social  environment   § Events  in  the  environment  influence  the  development  of  personality,  such  events  are  not  the  causes  of  what  people   become   § Experiences  in  themselves  are  not  decisive  factors;  rather,  it  is  our  interpretation  of  these  events  that  shape   personality   § Faulty  interpretations  may  lead  to  mistaken  notions  in  our  private  logic,  which  significantly  influences  present   behavior   § Once  we  become  aware  of  the  patterns  and  continuity  of  our  lives,  we  are  in  a  position  to  modify  those  faulty   assumptions  and  make  basic  changes   § Consciously  create  a  new  style  of  life    Social  Interest  &  Community  Feeling   § Individuals  awareness  of  being  part  of  the  human  community  and  to  individuals  attitudes  in  dealing  with  the  socil   world   § Social  Interest  -­‐  An  action  line  of  one’s  community  feeling,  and  it  involves  the  individuals  positive  attitude  toward   other  people  in  the  world  -­‐  The  capacity  to  cooperate  and  contribute   § Social  Interest  requires  that  we  have  enough  contact  with  the  present  to  make  a  move  toward  a  meaningful  future,   that  we  are  willing  to  give  and  take,  and  that  we  develop  our  capacity  for  contributing  to  the  welfare  of  others   § “To  see  with  the  eyes  of  another,  to  hear  with  the  ears  of  another,  to  feel  with  the  heart  of  another”   § Central  indicator  of  mental  health   § Life  Tasks:  Building  Friendships  (social  task),  Establishing  intimacy  (Love-­‐Marriage  task),  Contributing  to  society   (occupational  task),  Getting  along  with  ourselves  (self-­‐acceptance),  Developing  our  spiritual  dimension  (including   values,  meaning,  life  goals,  and  our  relationship  with  the  universe,  or  cosmos)   o Requires  the  development  of  psychological  capacities  for  friendship  and  belonging,  for  contribution  and  self-­‐ worth,  and  for  cooperation     Therapeutic  Process:  Most  important  Therapeutic  Goals   • Collaborative  arrangement  between  professional  &  student   • Forming  a  relationship  based  on  mutual  respect;  a  holistic  psychological  investigation  or  life-­‐style  assessment;  and   disclosing  mistaken  goals  and  family  assumptions  within  the  student’s  style  of  living   • Re-­‐education  of  the  student  toward  the  useful  side  of  life   • Develop  the  students  sense  of  belonging  and  to  assist  in  the  adoption  of  behaviors  and  processes  characterized  by   community  feeling  and  social  interest   • Increase  students’  self-­‐awareness  and  challenging  and  modifying  their  fundamental  premises,  life  goals,  and  basic   concepts.   • Provide  information,  teaching,  guiding,  and  offering  encouragement  to  discouraged  students   • Foster  social  interests   • Help  students  overcome  feelings  of  discouragement  and  inferiority   • Modify  students’  views  and  goals  (changing  their  lifestyle)   • Changing  faulty  motivation   • Encouraging  the  student  to  recognize  equality  among  people   • Helping  students  to  become  contributing  members  of  society    Functions  and  Role  of  the  Student  Affairs  Professional   • Operate  on  the  assumption  that  students  will  feel  and  behave  better  if  they  discover  and  correct  their  mistakes   • Look  for  major  mistakes  in  thinking  and  valuing  such  as  mistrust,  selfishness,  unrealistic  ambitions,  and  lack  of   confidence  
    • • Assist  students  in  better  understanding,  challenging,  and  changing  their  life  story   • Make  comprehensive  assessment  of  the  students’  functioning    The  student’s  role  in  the  Therapeutic  process   • To  understand  their  lifestyle  and  why  they  resist  changing  it   • Understand  errors  in  their  thinking  and  the  purposes  o  their  behaviors   • Become  un-­‐fearful  of  learning  new  behaviors  and  correcting  old  patterns   • Understand  their  Private  Logic  -­‐  The  concepts  about  self,  others,  and  life  that  constitute  the  philosophy  on  which   their  lifestyle  is  based.     • Understand  convictions  &  beliefs  that  get  in  the  way  of  social  interest  and  how  to  facilitate  useful,  constructive   belonging     Techniques  and  Procedures  of  Adlerian  Theory:    -­‐Techniques  and  methods  to  incorporate  into  counseling  practice  in  Student  Affairs:  Phase  1:  Establish  the  Relationship   § Collaboratively  establish  a  sense  of  deep  caring,  involvement,  and  professional  relationship   § Person-­‐to-­‐person  contact   § Help  students  to  become  aware  of  their  assets  and  strengths   § Listen,  respond,  demonstrate  respect,  exhibit  faith,  hope,  and  caring  towards  students   § Provide  support  (antecdote  to  despair  and  discouragement)   § Pay  attention  to  the  subjective  experiences  of  the  student   § Provide  a  wide-­‐angle  perspective  that  will  eventually  help  the  student  view  their  world  differently    Phase  2:  Explore  the  Individuals  Psychological  Dynamics   § Get  a  deeper  understanding  of  the  students  lifestyle   § Focus  on  students  social  and  cultural  context   § Assist  with  overcoming  the  ‘Five  basic  mistakes’:   1. Overgeneralizations  -­‐  “There  is  no  fairness  in  the  world”   2. False  of  impossible  goals  of  security  -­‐  “I  must  please  everyone  if  I  am  to  feel  loved”   3. Misperceptions  of  life  and  life’s  demands  -­‐  “Life  is  so  very  difficult  for  me”   4. Minimization  of  denial  of  one’s  basic  worth  -­‐  “I’m  basically  stupid  so  why  would  anyone  like  me”   5. Faulty  Values  -­‐  “I  must  get  to  the  top,  regardless  of  who  gets  hurt  in  the  process”   § Help  students  to  identify  common  fears:  Imperfect,  being  vulnerable,  being  disapproved  of,  and  suffering  from  past   regrets    Phase  3:  Encourage  Self  Understanding  &  Insight   § Insight  -­‐  Understanding  translated  into  constructive  action  -­‐  Foundation  for  change   o Understanding  of  the  motivations  that  operate  in  a  students  life   § Self-­‐Understanding  -­‐  Only  possible  when  hidden  purposes  and  goals  of  behavior  are  made  conscious   § Interpretation  -­‐  Students  underlying  motives  for  behaving  the  way  tey  do  in  the  here  and  now   o Creating  awareness  of  ones  direction  in  life,  ones  goals  and  purposes,  ones  private  logic  and  how  it  works  and   ones  current  behavior   o “It  seems  to  me  that…   o “Could  it  be  that…   o “This  is  how  it  appears  to  me….   § Come  to  understand  motivations,  the  ways  in  which  these  motivations  are  now  contributing  to  the  maintenance  of  the   problem,  and  what  the  student(s)  can  do  to  correct  the  situation    Phase  4:  Reorientation  &  Reeducation   § Putting  insights  into  practice   § Helping  students  discover  a  new  and  more  functional  perspective   § Encourage  and  challenge  students  to  develop  the  courage  to  take  risks  and  make  changes  in  their  life   § Reorientation  -­‐  Shifting  rules  of  interaction,  process,  and  motivation   o Facilitated  through  changes  in  awareness  (put  into  practice)   § Reeducation  -­‐  Teach,  guide,  provide  information  (resources),  and  offer  encouragement  to  students   § Reorientate  students  toward  the  “Useful  side  of  life”  -­‐  A  sense  of  belonging  and  being  valued,  having  an  interest  in   others  and  their  welfare,  courage,  the  acceptance  of  imperfection,  confidence,  a  sense  of  humor,  a  willingness  to   contribute,  and  an  outgoing  friendliness    
    • Encouragement  Process:   § Courage  develops  when  students  become  aware  of  their  strengths,  when  they  feel  they  belong  and  are  not  alone,  and   when  they  have  a  sense  of  hope  and  can  see  new  possibilities  for  themselves  and  their  daily  living   § Showing  faith  in  students   § Expecting  them  to  assume  responsibility  for  their  lives   § Valuing  students  for  who  they  are   § Acknowledging  that  life  can  be  difficult,  yet  it  is  critical  to  instill  a  sense  of  faith  in  students  that  they  can  make   changes  in  their  life,  their  school,  and  the  world   § Fundamental  attitude,  rather  than  a  technique   § Help  students  to  recognize  or  accept  their  positive  qualities,  strengths,  &  internal  &  external  resources    Change  &  he  Search  for  New  Possibilities   § Allow  students  to  “catch”  themselves  in  the  process  of  repeating  old  patterns  that  have  lead  to  ineffective  behavior   § Students  must  commit  to  change  -­‐  Willing  to  set  tasks  for  themselves  in  everyday  life  and  do  something  specific  about   their  problems   o Transfer  new  insights  into  concrete  actions    Making  a  Difference   § Seek  to  make  a  difference  in  the  lives  of  students   § Manifest  a  change  in  behavior,  attitude,  or  perception   § Focus  on  motivation  modification  more  than  behavior  change  and  encourage  students  to  make  holistic  changes  on  the   useful  side  of  living    -­‐Strength  of  Adlerian  theory  from  a  diversity  perspective:   § Focus  on  the  importance  of  the  cultural  context  of  the  student   § Emphasis  is  on  health  as  opposed  to  pathology   § Show  a  holistic  perspective  on  life   § Value  the  understanding  of  individuals  in  terms  of  their  core  goals  and  purposes   § Exercise  freedom  within  the  context  of  societal  constraints   § Focus  on  prevention  and  the  development  of  a  proactive  approach  in  dealing  with  problems   § Focus  on  their  student  in  a  social  context   § Encourage  students  to  define  themselves  within  their  social  environments   § Discuss  the  effects  of  age,  ethnicity,  lifestyle,  and  gender  differences   § Be  flexible   § Understand  the  student  in  a  familial  and  sociocultural  context      -­‐Evaluation  of  the  Adlerian  Theory    I  see  this  approach  able  to  be  used  throughout  most  interactions  with  students.  As  the  textbook  concludes,  “The  basic  goal  of  the  Adlerian  approach  is  to  help  [students]  identify  and  change  their  mistaken  beliefs  about  self,  others,  and  life  and  thus  participate  more  fully  in  a  social  world.”  This  synopsis  speaks  volumes  to  the  work  Student  Affairs  practitioners  do.  We  help  students  develop,  grow,  and  work  through  problems.  As  educators,  we  help  them  develop  themselves  -­‐  the  Whole-­‐Student  -­‐  and  foster  their  relationship  and  view  of  the  institution  we  are  collectively  apart  of.  In  my  evaluation,  thus  far,  the  Adlerian  approach  is  the  most  applicable  to  Student  Affairs  practice.    -­‐What  do  you  consider  the  most  significant  contribution  of  this  approach?    Adlerian  therapists,  like  Student  Affairs  practitioners,  “are  resourceful  and  flexible  in  drawing  on  many  methods,  which  can  be  applied  to  a  diverse  range  of  [students]  in  a  variety  of  settings.”  The  framework  Adler  created  allows  professionals  to  take  aspects  of  his  theory  that  apply  to  the  student  at  hand  and  “forget  the  rest”,  whereas;  Freud  for  example,  required  that  systemic  steps  be  taken  to  achieve  progress.  Adlerian  theory  focuses  on  the  importance  of  recognizing  a  students  life  goals,  putting  them  in  their  own  unique  social  context  and  help  them  to  navigate  through  their  mistakes  in  a  hope  to  allow  them  to  grow  and  develop  while  attaining  the  goals  they  have  set  for  themselves.    -­‐What  is  the  most  significant  limitation?  According  to  Corey,  the  lack  of  empirical  testing  and  comparative  analysis  is  the  most  significant  limitation.  I  don’t  see  many  limitations  of  this  theory,  however,  validity  and  reliability  are  essential  for  success  of  any  experiment  or  theory.