chapter  3
36 Pages

Adlerian counselling and psychotherapy today

Our objectives in this chapter are to convey the basic principles and procedures for conducting Adlerian counselling and psychotherapy. Beyond discussing the foundational aspects of Adler’s approach (Adler 1927, 1929, 1931, Ansbacher and Ansbacher 1956), we also will attempt to present a contemporary perspective on the ways that individual psychologists work with their clients. Because a wide spectrum of psychotherapeutic approaches now exist (Snyder and Ingram 2000), we will illustrate, where appropriate and informative, how other therapeutic perspectives might be integrated with Adlerian counselling and psychotherapy. The chapter begins with a discussion of two issues that frame the context of Adlerian interventions, the first of which involves the differences between counselling and psychotherapy and what these mean for the nature of the intervention. Second, we briefly review Adler’s conceptualisations of three categories of client problems (i.e. neurosis, psychosis, and criminal/antisocial behaviour) and discuss the objectives of Adlerian therapy. Beyond these introductory considerations the remaining sections of this chapter draw on Dreikurs’ (1967) framework to discuss the issues of: (1) establishing a therapeutic relationship with the client, (2) assessing the Life Style and clients’ mistaken goals, (3) promotion of clients’ insight and understanding of their mistakes, their life plan, and private logic, and (4) reorientation of clients toward fulfilling, meaningful, and co-operative life goals and roles. We also will discuss both recent and classical contributions to the Individual Psychology literature that relate to these intervention phases.