Thread: Adler and Jung
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Unread February 27th, 2005, 12:07 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Adler and Jung

Joseph Wilder wrote in 1959 (Introduction to Essays in Individual Psychology, edited by Kurt Adler and Danica Deutsch): "I realize that most observations and ideas of Alfred Adler have subtly and quietly permeated modern psychological thinking to such a degree that the proper question is not whether one is Adlerian, but how much of an Adlerian one is." Henri Ellenberger in The Discovery of the Unconscious, and Heinz Ansbacher in The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler, agree that most of the Neo-Freudian directions could be called Neo-Adlerian. Ellenberger goes on to state that Adler inaugurated modern psychosomatic medicine, was the forerunner of social psychology, and the father of ego-psychology. (I think it may have been Murray Bowen or Nathan Ackerman who declared Adler to be the grandfather of family therapy.) Ellenberger concludes a segment on page 645 with: "However, there is the puzzling phenomenon of a collective denial of Adler's work and the systematic attribution of anything coined by him to other authors." The London Time obituary of Freud, mistakenly attributes the term "inferiority complex" to Freud; ironically, twenty-two-years later, The New York Times' obituary of Carl Jung mistakenly attributes the inferiority complex to Jung.

On pages 698 and 718 of The Discovery of the Unconscious, Ellenberger states that Jung's view of neurosis ("a sick system of social relationships")is similar to Adler's. On page 709, he connects Adler's masculine protest with manifestations of the animus in Jung. On page 715, he claims that Jung offered his more educated patients Adler's writings to read, and that, like Adler, Jung chose to face the patient rather than have the patient lie on a couch. Finally, on page 728, Ellenberger concludes: "Jung repeatedly acknowledged the importance of Adler; he admitted that the drive for superiority can be found at the root of certain neurosis, and that Adler's theory of dreams could give clues to the interpretation of certain dreams, and that neurotics tend to manipulate their environment, and like Adler, Jung seated the patient on a chair facing his own. What Jung taught about the individual's 'social age' and his 'social duties' has much in common with Adler's concept of the 'three great life-tasks'; and Jung made 'therapeutic reeducation' a part of his own psychotherapy." One of Jung's disciples, Gehrard Adler, in sketching the history of modern psychotherapy, presented Adler and Freud as the precursors of Jung. By contrast, Ansbacher (IPAA, page 3) states: "Adler gives no indication of having been stimulated by Jung."

It is fascinating that many fragments of Adler's theory are echoed throughout contemporary psychology, with one exception--no one has borrowed his construct of "the feeling of community." The widespread omission of this construct in other systems of psychology has significant philosophical implications.
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Henry T. Stein, Ph.D,

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Last edited by Henry Stein; March 2nd, 2005 at 04:49 PM.
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