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  #41  
Unread October 28th, 2004, 11:25 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

Abe, observing a new child daily, might prompt you to support or challenge the ideas about early childhood development that unfold on this thread. Assuming that you are getting enough sleep, please post your "field research" comments, even briefly, if and when you have the time. Welcome to the forum.
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  #42  
Unread October 28th, 2004, 04:11 PM
Manu Jaaskelainen Manu Jaaskelainen is offline
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Default Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

George, it is interesting to note in this connection that in one university-based research-project here in Finland it was observed (based on systematically planned experiments) that some prenatal learning occurs in human beings. So it seems to me rather clear that at some point during the prenatal development, the foetus becomes a human being, or at least a proto-human being, not just by fiat when she is born. We know that human beings tend to prefer the conditions that have prevailed for a long time ("the old good times", "I want to return home again", c.f the innumerable songs where everything that was past is hailed in emotional and nostalgic style). So I find it natural that there may be even be some longing for the beautiful time spent in mother's womb. It would be very human. Of course, it is very difficult to verify but so far emotional and learning reactions during the prenatal period have been registered. If this hypothesis is right, the change from the warm womb to the harsh outer world world would be a great shock and would probably provoke strong adverse emotional reactions and kind of extreme inferiority. But all this, of course, with a big "IF ...".

Last edited by Manu Jaaskelainen; October 29th, 2004 at 03:42 PM. Reason: Minor linguistic corrections
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  #43  
Unread October 28th, 2004, 06:23 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Thumbs up Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

Abe thank you for your encouragement and I am so pleased you have joined the forum, As a new father you will have a keener eye regarding the child than some of us old fellows so your addition is most welcome. The sad fact is that many babies are not received with the loving warmth you grant to yours. They me be a result of a "one nighter" or of a violent rape or may be an unwanted child. Thus, since each child is so very helpless, the world into which they "explode" will influence the depth of the inferiority feeling. The child on whom the sun rises and sets may be "King for a Day" and not wish to surrender the kingdom. The child who was unwelcome in the uterus may sense the rejection in his mother's arms and eyes. The neglected child may conclude he is on his own and it is "every man for himself" but then as Adler so wonderfully points out, it may be the very opposite conclusion that is drawn because each and every human is uniquely creative. The "life style" is from this creative driving force but not a drive that Freud spoke about. It is the reach to overcome, or the drop to surrender to, the perceived problems of life.
This creative force takes on a direction or movement quality that to the trained Adlerian eye has a "vector" quality. As in a mathematical vector it has a direction and force or strength. It leads from the minus feeling to the perceived and uniquely created plus feeling. We will know, if we are good observers, the direction of the line but we will not always know which way the arrow points. When we may assume reasonably that the patient would probably move "thus", they may not. The direction of the move will be either North or South, or East and West. We thus get some help in delimiting the myriad choices the person may make because it will always follow this line ... but we must yet determine in which direction.
eg. This
------------------->or
this<-------------------
but not this
^
|
|
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Last edited by George Neeson; October 29th, 2004 at 08:02 AM. Reason: Gender Bender
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  #44  
Unread October 28th, 2004, 11:05 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Lightbulb Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

So as we move from the ground up, it becomes apparent that the ground underlying all of the perceived difficulties is this feeling of deficiency. It takes root as the child makes note of its surroundings. We do not know how early this process starts, but it may even start before birth. The conclusions however, are drawn in a social context. They are not drawn in a vacuum. They are connected to the perceived abilities of those about the child, from its very minus position at birth with a little developing brain that wishes all too soon to have all of the abilities of the "big people". Very early therefore, Adler proposes, the inferiority feeling is already growing, the sense of "incompetude" in French ... the sense that it is less and does not measure up. All of this is done with almost no valid information other than the flood of sensory inputs to the mind with nothing stored in association areas yet, save that which it can hear, and feel, and see. The input information grows to conclusions of deficiency long before the child can communicate this with others. It has no social support network but rather receives on command, the answer to all its needs first from mother, then from father, then the family and eventually the extended community. This reenforces the deficiency feeling. This child has no logical basis to draw these conclusions. It struggles to make sense of all the environmental noise. It must be overwhelming to have no ability to interpret the mass of data flooding its little life and it starts to draw conclusions about itself, that it really is helpless although not in those words. It starts to develop a "private logic" ... its own tentative efforts to interpret this flood of data, becomes its very own "reallity". This private logic is put in place in the earliest days and weeks and years. It is not tested by "common sense" and it concludes a deep feeling of insufficiency is present. Now this is very troubling. ( I sometime describe the "inferiority feeling" as "Hell on earth".) It becomes a most troubling secret just below the surface of available conscious processes and there it begins to work its mischief.
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  #45  
Unread October 29th, 2004, 01:35 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

Manu, it is tempting to envision the womb as a warm, comfortable paradise, and perhaps is usually is, but there are also possible exceptions. Thomas Verney, in "The Secret Life of the Unborn Child," claims that the varying attitudes of mothers about their pregnancy, as well as the father's relationship with the mother may have significant impact on the fetus. He also explores the physiological consequences of alcohol, caffeine, smoking, drugs, over-eating, loud music, and illness, as well as the psychological/physiological impact of depression, mental illness, chronic anger, and conflict. Verney then ventures into the range of birth experiences and their potential impact: normal, vaginal, Caesarian, breech, premature, forceps delivery, and general anesthesia. Finally, his research correlates many of these pregnancy and birth influences with later character development and learning disabilities. Perhaps the earliest prenatal experiences are simply pleasure-pain, safety-danger, and comfort-discomfort. However, the drastic change of environment at birth would seem to justify the "gentle birth" recommendations of Frederick Le Boyer, the French obstetrician.
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  #46  
Unread October 29th, 2004, 08:09 AM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Question Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

This assumes that "the good old times" were indeed good. Should the child be in utero in a hostile environment with a mother who "hates its very presence" could that not be a frightening experience? What about the child whose mother constantly rushes about pacing in her anxiety? The child may sense the utter restlessness and conclude the world is always in turmoil. What about the mother who is always angry? Some adrenalin does cross the placental barrier. May the child then conclude the world is a frightening place? Not all children may have a memory of the womb as the "halcion days of yore".
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  #47  
Unread October 29th, 2004, 08:29 AM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Red face Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

Henry sent me a private email very kindly. I did the "male thing". Someone talks about a baby ... must be a lady. In the posting I did a "sex change operation" and now have you referred to correctly as a father! Very sorry for the mistake and hope I have not embarrassed you. Regards.
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  #48  
Unread October 29th, 2004, 01:15 PM
James Wolf James Wolf is offline
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Default Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

George, I think the same way about the DSM. Re: the child who grows up in a loving and encouraging home and chooses a wrong path - it would seem to me that the subjective evaluation that child makes would itself generate inferiority feelings as from early on the child makes comparisons and conclusions with its own creative power.
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  #49  
Unread October 29th, 2004, 01:37 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Lightbulb Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

From below to above, another chapter:
And now the next in the long series of challenges rears its ugly head, the problem of horizontal distance. Mother here to fore had been omnipresent, all around but now she distances herself in space. The child has no ability to go to her and initially no way to even see her. The visual apparatus is poorly focused and the eyes are yet unable to track. Slowly the vision clears and the child notices that certain sounds may draw the mother to it (or may not!). It is at the mercy of the mother’s good will alone. Sometimes it calls and no one answers. It feels hunger and discomfort. But cannot solve the problem alone. Once more it is helpless to resolve the situation and the feeling of incompleteness grows a pace.
One day it finds that it can raise its little head and behold, there are mothers eyes. It can do something about it at last. It can move from below to above and the problem ameliorates a little. Now the upward movement is rewarded day by day with new and more adaptive skills, skills that later transfer from motor life to soul (1) life.

Another chapter opens!

Foot Note:
(1) The word "soul life" is carefully chosen to be faithful to Adler. He very commonly uses the German word "Seelenleben" which correctly translates soul life, not the psyche etc. This is counter to the unacknowledged Post Modernist philosophic influences in some of our "institutions of higher learning".
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Last edited by George Neeson; October 29th, 2004 at 02:21 PM. Reason: Clarification
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  #50  
Unread October 29th, 2004, 01:54 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Smile Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

James thank you for the comments. I wish to have this thread catch as much of the spirit of Adler and his truth as I am able while maintaining an artistic quality that renders the information transfer more palatable and inviting to read. Thus I shall make very few direct references to the texts we have. I hope that since the folks are on this forum, they will take note of the so helpful translation project and with their interest piqued, take advantage both of the new translations and Henry's wonderful knowledge and encouraging teaching style.
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