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  #21  
Unread June 18th, 2005, 11:18 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XXIII-XXV (Hatred Between Nations, Abortion)

(Re: Chapter XXIV)

Back in 1925, Adler offered a perspective on healing the hatreds and jealousies between individual, groups, and nations.
"Most of the methods employed today to solve pressing problems in the lives of peoples are obsolete and inadequate. They are mostly based on stimulating nationalistic and religious passions and lead to oppression, persecution, and war. An education based on the principles of Individual Psychology would eliminate these delusions of egotism and folly and would substitute a general zeal for common welfare. Individual Psychology could rally all the latent forces for good which are inherent in groups, just as it is already rallying such latent forces in individuals. War, national hatreds and class struggle, these greatest enemies of humankind, root in the desire of groups to escape or compensate for the crushing sense of their inferiority. Individual psychology, which can cure individuals from the evil effects of this sense of inferiority, might be developed into a most powerful instrument of ridding nations and groups of the menace of their collective inferiority complexes."
In 1928, William Walsh, in his book The Inferiority Feeling, attempted to explore "every possible phase of the inferiority feeling." In 1950, Oliver Brachfield addressed some of the broader implication of group and national inferiority in his book Inferiority Feelings in the Individual and the Group.
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  #22  
Unread June 23rd, 2005, 03:49 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XXVI-XXVIII (Talent, Love, Sexual Roles)

On June 27th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 5, Chapters XXVI-XXVIII. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen

Ch. XXVI On Neurosis and Talent (1925) is a study on the problems of productivity, as Adler says, or creativity as we today would like to say. This short chapter treats the problem of unproductivity in neurotic people. Adler says that one syndrome is increased striving for prestige, which is marked by an effort "to act as if one were doing something". These unproductive activities become a subject to a feeling of inferiority. Despair about one's own worth is caused by a disastrous talent delusion.

Ch. XXVII Disturbances in Love Relationships (1926) starts with an aphorism: "In order to know people well, it is necessary to understand their love relationships." Adler refers to the three tasks of life and states that one of them is love. The other two are ability to social relationships, and work. Adler describes how children are influenced by outside role-models when they think about these three life-tasks. Adler remarks also that early impulses of affection may be accompanied by something like shame about the expression of a felt weakness. The development of social feelings is associated with innate mechanisms; Darwin demonstrated that animals not favored by nature live in herds. The relationships between sexes always occur in the context of social feeling. A number of neurotic problems connected with love-relationships are examined. There are many comments on the cultural background. Adler says e.g. that art today is mainly masculine, conveying the male tradition, raising primarily male problems, and revealing women as enchanting or dreadful figures.

Ch. XXVIII Psychological Attitude of Women Toward Sex (1926) is another important paper on an important question. The writer of this summary is not able to judge, whether this paper would be acceptable for a feminist of today, or not, but this contribution is in any case very modern and impressive. Adler refers to the saying by George Sand: "The virtuosity of woman - that is a good invention by men!" Here, again, Adler emphasizes the role of educational and cultural in producing attitudes concerning sex and gender. Adler says that the role of women is not satisfactory from their standpoint: "... all these disparaging manifestations of the female role, we shall find it in the dissatisfaction of girls with their status in society, nurtured by an assumed or real overwhelming role of men, which leads to an aggressive stance." Adler defines four points that should contribute to a healthier psychological atmosphere in society: 1. Early enlightenment regarding the gender-related roles, and the need to reconcile oneself with these roles. 2. Education and preparation toward a love life that is in consonance with social feeling. 3. Respect of the female role. 4. Affirmation of life and humanity. The paper contains a very interesting selected bibliography. Names such as Otto Weininger, John Stuart Mill, the Swedish writer and humanist Ellen Key, an Adlerian herself, Joseph Bachofen, and Helene Deutsch may be found in this list of references.

To order your copy of Volume 5, go to http://go.ourworld.nu/hstein/cwaa-v5.htm .
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  #23  
Unread June 30th, 2005, 09:39 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XXVI-XXVIII (Talent, Love, Sexual Roles)

(Re: Vol. 5, Ch. XXVI)

It is interesting to counterpoint Adler's views of talent with Maslow's ideas about creativity. In The Father Reaches of Human Nature, (p. 73) Maslow states, "the problem of creativeness is the problem of the creative person, rather than of creative products, creative behaviors, etc." On page 78 he states "...psychotherapy, where it is good and is sucessful, can be counted on to enhance the creativity of the person..."
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  #24  
Unread June 30th, 2005, 08:21 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XXIX-XXXI (Sexuality, Puberty, Homosexuality)

On July 4th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 5, Chapters XXIX-XXXI. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen

Ch. XXIX Mans Psycho-sexual Behavior (1926) is a parallel-paper to the previous one, Ch. XXVIII that discussed the subject of female sexual behavior. The chapter starts with Adler's statement that "the principal viewpoints on this subject agree with those that we had to draw on in our discussion of the love life of the female." Adler says that the men in our culture have certain freedoms that are generally not granted for women. "The freedom given to the man in his love life is primarily conditioned by the freedom generally allotted him in life." There is even more than that: one may find "a relaxed gentleman's morality" that does not set the same narrow limits that apply to women. Adler finds that during the early years, the boy's behavior displays toward girls superior and even hostile attitudes. Adler's insights concerning the cultural and social conditions of sexual behavior have a lasting value, while the biological and physiological parts of this paper contain largely outdated information that has, however, historical interest. The references are partly the same as in the previous. There are some interesting additions, e.g. two references to Freud, and a reference to Tandler, a Viennese physician and well-known social-democrat reformist, and another one to Havelock Ellis. In the text, a number of interesting references are mentioned, e.g. Schopenhauer and Brown-Séquard. - Adler emphasizes two points: the importance of personality, and the importance of proper preparation to marriage. Implicitly, Adler means here marriage-counseling centers, his earlier idea, and proper education in general.

Ch. XXX Manifestations of Puberty (1926) is a paper on the biological and biological development of young people. The paper contain very noteworthy viewpoints: Adler concludes that there are many problems connected with this "tender age", but: "there are also enhanced values. There is a continuation and progress of all sorts in achievements and abilities. Independence, dependability, and the feeling of belonging become more apparent. Extensive training and practiced skills are reflected in greater interests." One may find sudden bursts of creativity in young people, but in some cases even apparent talents for arts and sciences may disappear. This is a very short paper on teen-agers, and it is well written. Read it slowly, because there is a message on every single line! The references are once again interesting: there is reference to Stanley Hall (to his book Adolescence), and references to Charlotte Bühler, and Eduard Spranger.

Ch. XXXI Homosexuality (1926) is another paper on this theme. This was an important theme in Victorian times, and this interest continued still during the post-Victorian period during the first decades of the past century. The paper is today mainly of historical interest. However, there is one point in this chapter that deserves a close attention: Adler asks, "Why is it that most people express hostility toward homosexuality? Why is it seen to be a sin, a vice, as criminal behavior, and why is it punishable in most civilized countries?" Adler rejects the use of punishment, or removal from society. "We expect in the future a more correct attitude toward this problem, a voluntary resolution against punishment ..." Adler writes of the "healing" of homosexuality that is considered today an outdated attitude. However, Adler's humane ideas, and the outlook for dialogue that he opens, have a lasting value.

To order your copy of Volume 5, go to http://go.ourworld.nu/hstein/cwaa-v5.htm .
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  #25  
Unread July 3rd, 2005, 08:56 AM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Lightbulb Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XXIX-XXXI (Sexuality, Puberty, Homosexuality)

With reference to the "healing of homosexuality", it may not be "an outdated idea" if that is what the patient seeks. On two occasions that has been the presenting problem on the first visit with a patient. Both of these folks were active same sex practioners, if you will, who wished to change their oriention to "straight". This was the clients request not mine. I must say I was surprised by such a request. In one instance the client seems to have moved to heterosexuallity when the overburden of the father's abuse was lightened, and in the case of the male, intervening work difficulties stopped our relationship because a move to acquire work in that special industry was required.
May I suggest that if it is the request of the patient to seek a move from same sex relationships to heterosexuallity, the notion of changing the orientation is not outdated. One must never demean those who wish to maintain a "sexual style of life", but it is possible to see the patient less discouraged by assisting them in this area should they so request. That would seem respectful and appropriate but it does call into question a notion of a "hard wired biological basis" for sexual orientation. It should also be noted that there are a number of records of "religious conversions" of various types, leading to such changes in orientation. Adler's psychology is not about biological determinism, but rather is a psychology that offers hope in so many areas of life. It is a teleological psychology about goals and movement, so any helpful movement requested by a patient as long as it does not seem immoral, should be undertaken I think.
Let me also add that the notion that same sex relationships from the perspective of Darwinian evolution and "survival of the fittest", would seem to lead to a valid conclusion from Darwin's theory only, with no moral overtones, that same sex sexual relationships can not be seen to be so called "normal", because if everyone did this, the human species would not survive. Perhaps I am making some sort of logical fallacy in this statement. Perhaps someone better trained in logic than I can comment.
I therefore have concluded that when such a request comes from a patient, it is my proper response from a professional and ethical perspective, to attempt to assist them in achieving this goal. I have done this on two occasions with the caution to them, that I am never sure if this is what they should do. I also try to determine what the movement behind such a request might be.
Well I may get some static for posting this reply, but this is a forum where I hope we can openly respond with our hearts!
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  #26  
Unread July 6th, 2005, 08:36 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XXIX-XXXI (Sexuality, Puberty, Homosexuality)

Although I did therapeutic work with many male and female homosexual as well as bisexual clients in San Francisco, their presenting problems were usually about relationships or symptoms like depression, aggression, and anxiety. In many cases, the attitudes of superiority and inferiority, as well as "masculinity" and "femininity" were highly accentuated or exaggerated, almost to the point of parody. Although invited to participate in therapy, their partners rarely did. The therapeutic work centered mostly around the same issues as heterosexual relationships: cooperation, mutual benefit, equality, respect, trust, love, and overcoming egocentricity. Early gender confusion issues were quite common.
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  #27  
Unread July 8th, 2005, 03:39 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XXXII-XXXIV (Sadism, Problem Children)

On July 11th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 5, Chapters XXXII-XXXIV. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen

Ch XXXII Sadism, Masochism, and Other Perversions (1926) is paper on sexual disturbances. Adler studies these sexual deviations in the context of the life-style of the person. "Distancing oneself from the forefront of life" is the lifestyle of the people who have chosen sado-masochism as a method of sexual gratification. The background is again social and cultural. Feelings of inferiority and mistaken compensations play their role in the formation of these disturbances. - There is again an interesting list of literature. There is e.g. a major work by Krafft-Ebing, Psychopathia sexualis.

Ch XXXIII Sexual Neurasthenia (1926) means neurotic disturbances in connection of sexual functions. The chapter begins with a listing of sexual disturbances. Adler concludes that the feeling of inferiority is the basis for impotence. Impotence is connected with a general outlook of the world that is hesitating and avoids challenges. "Such a lifestyle...is maintained by those who start out trying to do much, but who get little done, whose relationships with others are minimal and are achieved only with difficulty, and whose love relationships never come to full fruition." Sexual disturbances may be symptom of general weakness and lack of courage, or even aggression. Adler emphasizes here again social relationships, and the need of client to change his/her philosophy of life.

Ch XXXIV Problem Children (1926) is a study on the problems of education. In the beginning of this paper Adler defines the problem: "We tried kindness, but it was useless. We tried to be strict, but that was useless. What should we do?" Adler is against the use punishment: if the child is lying, punishment will make him still more guarded and hiding, "and at some point will feign compliance by tricks and other futile measures." Instead, communication and discussion should be the method to build contact and confidence. This may be time-consuming, but there are hardly any viable alternatives. "Only those succeed who stop and think how to gain the child's respect."

To order your copy of Volume 5, go to http://go.ourworld.nu/hstein/cwaa-v5.htm .
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  #28  
Unread July 14th, 2005, 08:46 PM
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XXXV-XXXVII (Basic Premises, Marriage, Mothers)

On July 18th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 5, Chapters XXXV-XXXVII. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen

Ch. XXXV Individual Psychology (1926) is a succinct and very logical statement of some basic premises of Individual Psychology as Adler saw it in 1926. The paper even contains a short summary of the historical development of Individual Psychology. Adler begins the paper stating boldly that "Today, there probably is no direction in the field of psychology that does not agree with Individual Psychology on major issues. There is no need to undertake significant changes in its basic scientific principles, despite the earlier assaults by poorly informed opponents." Adler's own interpretation is that IP started with the book on organ inferiority in 1907 (see Vol. 2 of the CCWAA). Next step was the theory of the striving for power. After this, Individual Psychologists started to study the creative processes of the individual. The emergence of the individual life-style in the context of the social processes was the period that followed the interest in creativity. These periods are not exclusive, so that all concepts are still today essential in IP. The idea of the community feeling was gradually becoming more and more important. Adler says that the increase in striving after personal power harms the unfolding of the feeling for community. Adler concludes this paper presenting some central ideas: " ... education for courage and independence, having patience in difficult cases, avoidance of any pressure by asserting purposeless authority, avoidance of any form of denigration by derision, scolding, and punishment. Above all, no child must lose faith in his future!"

Ch. XXXVI Marriage as Responsibility - Further Thoughts on Marriage (1926) is a paper that examines some sociological, psychological, and moral foundations of marriage. Adler says that greater spiritual values are in such preponderance in favor of monogamy that only people who have some neurotic tendency to avoid responsibility, want to avoid it. Adler says that differences in social classes are not insurmountable. However, the antagonism of in-laws can often have devastating effects. Adler deplores that there are no counseling facilities for the problems of marriage. The paper ends with an exhortation to accept responsibility as a task that is deeply humane. If this responsibility is not accepted, there will be problems in marriage.

Ch. XXXVII The Function of the Mother (1926) is paper on the importance of the mother. "The development of innate social feeling is tied directly to the personality of the mother. It is the mother who imparts the human experience to the child during that stage when he experiences his self-awareness (Ichfindung)." The mother plays an irreplaceable role in the development of the social feeling. If the personality of the mother is disturbed, or if she is for other reasons unable to fulfill the duties of the mother, difficulties will follow. Some people may feel that the burden Adler places on the shoulders of mothers is too heavy. However, Adler has also written on the duties of the father (see Ansbacher & Ansbacher, The Individual psychology of Alfred Adler, pp. 374-375).

To order your copy of Volume 5, go to http://go.ourworld.nu/hstein/cwaa-v5.htm .
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  #29  
Unread July 26th, 2005, 07:32 PM
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XXXVIII-XL (Fear, Distance, & Lying)

On July 25th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 5, Chapters XXXVIII-XL. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen

Ch. XXXVIII A Case of Fear of Cancer (1926) is a case study of a client who suffered from an excessive fear of cancer. Adler was able to connect this fear with the problems caused by the life style of the client. He was always very reticent in his love life; however, he succeeded in haveing contact with a younger girl who gradually expected that the man would propose. Finally, she asked whether he intended to marry her. At this point, the fear of cancer began. This fear solved all the problems of the client felt regarding his affair and marriage. "This person's goal is to stop short before resolving the problems of his life." Avoiding the problems - that was his real goal.

Ch. XXXIX A Contribution to the Problem of Distance (1926) is a study concerning the psychology of distance. Keeping distance may be normal behavior, but if it reaches neurotic dimensions, it may become a problem. These people "reject every contact and have no desire to accept the totality of which they are part. ... His whole attitude takes on a nervous character that prevents contact with others." The paper contains some case studies and dream-interpretations. Adler demonstrates that the tendency to keep at a distance may be expressed in various ways. However, all these methods are counterproductive from the viewpoint of the community.

Ch. XL Neurosis and the Lie (1926) is short study on the psychology of lying. Adler was very interested in this theme, and returned to it often. The paper is case study on a man who was unable to speak the truth. He was not his brother's equal, and so he sought escape into illness. He also saw his prestige diminished by an active and lively younger sister. "His constant lies have the purpose of making him seem important and instead of striving for actual superiority, he strives only to shine on the useless side of life ..."

To order your copy of Volume 5, go to http://go.ourworld.nu/hstein/cwaa-v5.htm .
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  #30  
Unread July 29th, 2005, 12:54 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XXXVIII-XL (Fear, Distance, & Lying)

(Re: Vol. 5, Ch. XL)

Life-Lies and Self-Deception, by Mark H. Stone, traces the "life-lie" construct from Ibsen, through Freud, Nietzsche, and Strindberg, to Adler. He provides an excellebt elaboration on the topics. The book was published by The Phaneron Press in Chicago.
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