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A Brief Introduction of Adlerian Theory

The Adlerian theory is an approach towards psychology that generally gives the main emphasis to the significance of overcoming the feelings of subjugation and inferiority. It helps in the gaining of a sense of belonging and a sense of success which will ultimately bring happiness. This particular theory also focuses on the significance of the social relationships that individuals have as well as the importance of community involvement in order to maintain individual health and growth. This approach to psychological therapy is based on the theories, which were formulated by Alfred Adler who was an Austrian psychiatrist and was also a colleague of Sigmund Freud. He was a part of the psychoanalytic community, which was created by Freud, but he had eventually parted ways from Freud in order to create his own theory of psychology, which was referred to as individual psychology.

His theory and his perspective generally give emphasis to the need of the individual for a larger form of social connection and a sense of belonging in order to overcome the feelings of inferiority. The theory of Adler also gave significant stress to the understanding of how an individual was influenced by the social environment.  This perception also suggested the fact that people were generally driven by a requirement to feel that they belonged into a social community and that they were accepted in the society. Adelairean therapy is a humanistic and a positive approach that can be executed for particular needs of the client. One of the key principles of this theory is that human behaviour is always oriented towards a particular goal. Humans always have a purpose of doing or saying something and everything is very goal oriented. The people who generally experience hurdles and problems in their life tend to work with therapist in order to gain proper perception into their internal problems and the reasons of their behaviours. Once they have already gained a deeper perception of their own inner self, these people can start working on their learning capabilities as well as their behaviours, which would help them overcome the hurdles in the internal sales.  The Adelairean theory gives emphasis to different techniques and instruments in order to promote growth as well as resilience towards negative thoughts. Some of the most important techniques that are used in this type of therapy include providing encouragement. This is where the therapist generally shows the fact that they are caring towards the clients and they are ready to listen to them and show empathy. This involves a lot of interpersonal connection and helping people learn how to recognise their own weaknesses and their strengths in order to achieve more confidence and believe in themselves. The second part is to create different forms of expectations. This pertains to the therapist asking the clients to think of how they would act in certain situations where they are already the person that they wish to become. This helps the client visualise their ideal self and their success and this helps them overcome the resistance to any form of change. The third is to examine the main aim of the behaviour. As the clients or the individuals start to explore their internal behaviours, the therapist might ask questions to the client which are related to reflecting on the main purpose of the behaviours. The understanding of the aim of the behaviour, which is maladaptive, can help the clients develop coping strategies, which are very healthy. The last technique is to examine certain memories that might be triggering this form of behaviours in the client. The recollection of past memories can be a certain manner to gain insight into the past formations of behaviour that are contributing to the present problems in the person‘s life. Therefore, it is extremely important to explore the past memories and it will help the client as well as the therapist to understand the main reasons why the manner of the behaviours is occurring.

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Stages of Adlerian Theory

There are several stages to the Adelairean therapy. The first step is engagement which focuses on the establishment of an honest and transparent alliance between the individual client and the therapist. This transparent and therapeutic alliance is a cooperative relationship between the client and the therapist. This is extremely important because this will help the client trust therapy so that the client can share the most vulnerable things in their life. The second is assessment in which the therapist generally attempts to learn the personal aspects about the client who has come for the therapy. This mainly includes the research of the client’s history as well as the recollection of experiences using different psychological assessments. This also includes the conversations about family dynamics and past memories that might be triggering the maladaptive behaviour in the individual. The third step is insight where the therapist generally focuses on helping the client learn more about their own situation and your own self so that the client can understand the reasons for their behaviour. The therapist acts as a guide for the client so that the client themselves can navigate the reason for their maladaptive behaviours. It is extremely important for the person in treatment to understand their personal self and accept their beliefs and their behaviours in order to change them. The last stage is re-orientation. This happens when the individual has already gained new forms of insights about their personal and innate behaviours and the therapist starts working on them so that the behaviours can be converted into positive habits and positive behaviours which will support the growth of the individual. This process involves different techniques such as reframing of older experiences and development of new forms of behavioural patterns.


Therefore, the Adelairean therapy is very helpful to treat several forms of mental health conditions such as anxiety, eating disorders, depression, personality disorders as well as schizophrenia. This is a holistic and humanistic approach to psychology and therapy, which is very helpful to the clients because it emphasises the significance of social and community involvement in order to maintain individual development. 

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