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Unread February 4th, 2006, 09:03 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 7, Chapt. XXII & XXIII (Neurosis, Symptoms)

On February 4th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 7, Chapters XXII & XXIII. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen.

Ch. XXII The Neurotic's Picture of the World (1936) is a paper on the world as experienced by a neurotic person. Adler's idea in this paper is that neurosis is a problem-complex that occurs because the person has a wrong philosophy of life: he/she is insufficiently able to cooperate because his/her social feeling is distorted or diminished. The paper contains some case studies that illustrate the argument. "The individual develops his life-style as his unique manner of coping with life's problems, according to how he feels and sees them in his particular picture of the world. Those who grasp this point understand the full heights and depths in the science of psychology."

Ch. XXIII How the Child Selects His Symptoms (1936) is another paper on the problem of symptom-selection. Adler says that this is the most difficult subject in neurosis-psychology and psychology in general. "Understanding symptom-selection requires looking at symptoms as creations, as works of art. We must ... accept with admiration that every individual is an artist in his mode of life, even in his errors. Behind his mistakes lie influences that could not have been good ones and to which he reacted with an erroneous response." The paper contains again a critique of the hereditary theory; Adler emphasizes that the children actually do decide how they react in different life-situations. Everything depends upon the individual and his/her attitude to life. The individual is a unique and creative person; thus, there are limits for any general methods to define any "laws" or "formulae" of behavior. In order to understand, one must study the individual, his habitual ways of acting and characteristic ways of thinking and feeling.

To order your copy of Volume 7, go to http://go.ourworld.nu/hstein/cwaa-v7.htm .
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Henry T. Stein, Ph.D,

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