The field of psychology today is extremely oriented towards empirical data, which means concepts must be proven scientifically. Adlerian therapy tends to be criticized for its lack of scientific data, which is difficult to prove because it’s not based on cause and effect. Instead, it takes the view of “teology” which state that people are moved by their ideals, goals, values, and final “fictions.” To scientists, these ideas are illusions that cannot be proven. They also say that many of the details in his theory are to “anecdotal,” in that it may work for some people, but not all (Kelly & Main, 1998). Hence, this paper will describe the main components and key concepts of Adlerian therapy from the perspective of Jones and Butman, as well as through interjections of various journals. This paper will also discuss the role of the Adlerian therapist, as well as the strength and weaknesses of therapy, and finally how it applies to the Christian urban setting.
Alfred Adler was born on February 7, 1870 in the suburbs of Vienna. He was a very sick child who did not walk until he was four because he suffered from rickets. Throughout his life, Adler went from working in ophthalmology to general practice, neurology and lastly to psychiatry. For a while Adler worked with Sigmund Freud as one of his main associates.
Adler and Freud began having conflicts because Adler’s views became unacceptable to Freud (Jones & Butman, 1991). Adler departed from Freud’s focus on drives and instincts to his view that human beings are, “not as static machines designated by labels but as moving, living purpose-filling entities striving for significance in a perplexing world” (Adler, 1930, p. 16 as cited in Wood, 2004).
Adler later left his position as the president of the Vienna psychoanalytic Society, and broke away from the psychoanalytic movement to form his own school of individual psychology. However Adler was not just interested in therapy. He was also concerned about...