From cognitive-behavioral, to existential, phenomenological, schema, and humanistic therapies, the ideas of Alfred Adler are at the heart of many contemporary approaches to psychotherapy. In some ways, however, Adler’s ubiquity has made him invisible.
In this book, Jon Carlson and Matt Englar-Carlson explore the theory, history, research, and practice of a person-centered approach to psychotherapy that was far ahead of its time.
In Adler’s view, all behavior has social meaning, and the socio-cultural context of a person’s life is a driving influence on his or her mental health and life experiences. With his emphasis on social interest — a sense of belonging to and participating in the common good — Adler envisioned a psychology of growth, where people could strive to overcome difficulties and change their lives under their own power.
Counseling and psychotherapy must therefore encourage the client to master the core tasks of life: work, friendship, and love-intimacy.