Very interesting stuff!

Full article about Alfred Adler’s theories van be found here.

Please replace person/individual with cooperation… I am very eager to explore to see if Adler’s model of Psychotherapy (See image below) can be used to help cooperations in their current feeling of inferiority. Yes inferiority. Their need to grow comes from feeling inferior(not complete).

Parts from the article:

The scientific paradigm shift and intellectual climate of the 1990’s might well be ripe for a re-discovery of Adler’s original and full contribution to an understanding of human beings and their relationship to the world. He created an exquisitely integrated, holistic theory of human nature and psychopathology, a set of principles and techniques of psychotherapy, a world view, and a philosophy of living.

The core of Adler’s integrated complex of philosophy, theory, and practice was a vigorously optimistic, humanistic view of life. He offered a value-oriented psychology that envisioned human beings as capable of profound cooperation in living together and striving for self-improvement, self-fulfillment, and contribution to the common welfare.

If people have developed social interest at the affective level, they are likely to feel a deep belonging to the human race and, as a result, are able to empathize with their fellow humans. They can then feel very much at home on the earth — accepting both the comforts as well as the discomforts of life. At the cognitive level, they can acknowledge the necessary interdependence with others, recognizing that the welfare of any one individual ultimately depends on the welfare of everyone. At the behavioral level, these thoughts and feelings can then be translated into actions aimed at self development as well as cooperative and helpful movements directed toward others. Thus, at its heart, the concept of feeling of community encompasses individuals’ full development of their capacities, a process that is both personally fulfilling and results in people who have something worthwhile to contribute to one another. At the same time, the concept denotes a recognition and acceptance of the interconnectedness of all people.

These ideas of Adler’s also speak to the current discussion of the relationship between self and society. Unlike others, he saw no fundamental conflict between self and society, individuality, and relatedness, self interest and social interest. These are false dichotomies. The development of self and connectedness are recursive processes that influence one another in positive ways. The greater one’s personal development, the more able one can connect positively with others; the greater one’s ability to connect with others, the more one is able to learn from them and develop oneself. This idea has been rediscovered by recent authors (Guisinger and Blatt 1994).

Adler saw the connections among living beings in many different spheres and on many different levels. An individual can feel connected with another, with family, friends, community, and so on, in ever widening circles. This connectedness can encompass animals, plants, even inanimate objects until, in the largest sense, the person feels connected with the entire cosmos (Müller, 1992, 138). If people truly understood and felt this connectedness, then many of the self-created problems of life — war, prejudice, persecution, discrimination — might cease to exist.

The feeling of interconnectedness among people is essential not only for living together in society, but also for the development of each individual person. It has long been well known that if human infants do not have emotional connections with their caregivers they will fail to thrive and are likely to die.

Furthermore, individuals need to acknowledge their connectedness both to the past as well as to the future. What we are able to do in our lives depends very much on the contributions made in the past by others. A critical question that Adler saw facing each person was, “What will be your contribution to life? Will it be on the useful or useless side of life

The title that Adler gave to his system, “Individual Psychology,” does not immediately suggest its social foundation. It does not mean a psychology of individuals. On the contrary, Adler’s psychology is very much a social psychology in which the individual is seen and understood within his or her social context. Accordingly, Adler devised interventions not only for individual clients but also for families and schools.

In German, the term Individualpsychologie means the psychology of the unique, indivisible, and undivided person (Davidson 1991, 6). What Adler meant by this is that, first, Individual Psychology is an idiographic science. How an individual develops is unique, creative, and dependent on the subjective interpretations the person gives to life. Second, Adler meant to convey that an individual behaves as a unit in which the thoughts, feelings, actions, dreams, memories, and even physiology all lead in the same direction. The person is a system in which the whole is greater than and different from the sum of its parts. In this whole, Adler saw the unity of the person. In the symphony of a person’s behavior, he discerned the consistent melodic theme running throughout. This theme may have many variations in tempo, pitch, or intricacy, but it is nevertheless recognizable. Thus, to understand a person, we must look at the whole person, not at the parts, isolated from one another. After we grasp the guiding theme, however, it is easy to see how each individual part is consistent with the theme.

Adler