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  #1  
Unread August 6th, 2005, 12:39 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Cumulative Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 6, Chapt. I-V

On August 8th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 6, Chapters I & II. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen

Ch.I in Vol. 6 of CCWAA Character and Talent (1927) is a paper on the thesis that talent is not inherited, and that the possibilities and potentialities of any individual for performance are not fixed. Intellectual and other talents are not separated from the totality of the personality. One must first understand this totality before attempting to judge the level of performance in any sensible way. Adler begins his paper with a presentation of a case study that demonstrates that there are different factors in the environment and personality that influence the functioning of performance. To evaluate the level of performance solely on the basis of any individual and isolated test produces no sensible results. What is needed is a total study of human individual personality. "What would one of our modern vocational guidance psychologists have said to the young Beethoven? Would he have prophesied talent as a musician? Certainly not. He would have made a shoe salesman out of him, would have directed him to leave music strictly alone." Here we are again back at a one basic Adlerian idea: that it is not the talent, it is not smooth progress that prepares one for greatness, it is the difficulties and the defects the individual has, and how he overcomes these difficulties.

Ch. II, The Feeling of Inferiority and the Striving for Recognition (1927) is a paper on the basic human need to compensate for the feeling of inferiority with an increased quest for recognition. Adler writes against demanding more than the child can accomplish. "At this point most of our errors in education commence." Adler says that the educators should never use physical or psychological punishment, not ridicule children, or humiliate them in any ways. Children often react to an increased feeling of inferiority with an increased need for recognition. "We must not expect a child to have the correct estimation of himself in any situation, just as we do not expect it of adults." In order to compensate for a feeling of insecurity produced by induced inferiority, the child has an increased need for recognition, at any price. "In the forefront of these manifestations we find pride, vanity, and the striving to conquer everyone at any price." All this is very counter-productive from the viewpoint of the community-feeling and social solidarity. Therefore, the educators should not provoke the inferiority feeling that with a great probability will produce heightened striving for power.

To order your copy of Volume 6, go to http://www.Adlerian.us/cwaa-v6.htm .
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Last edited by Henry Stein; February 27th, 2010 at 11:23 AM. Reason: Corrected date.
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Unread August 12th, 2005, 12:10 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 6, Chapt. III-V (Jokes, Dreams, Preventing Neurosis)

On August 15th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 6, Chapters III-V. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen

Ch. III Linkages Between Neurosis and a Joke (1927) is a paper on the relationships between neurosis and jokes. Adler introduces a concept of "frame of reference", and says that a normal human and a neurotic have different frames of reference, even if they may verbally agree with one another about the right frame of reference. A humorous anecdote has similar strains. "While a listener to such an anecdote brings to it the normal frame of reference, the teller of the story suddenly introduces another frame of reference that relates only marginally to the first but otherwise provides a wholly new insight. A short, well-known anecdote will show how these two frames of reference collide and thus give the story a comical, peculiar, and conspicuous aspect." A joke "is a revolt against the normal social point of view." The neurosis reminds one more of a bad joke because the actual frames of reference appear invalid from the standpoint of Individual Psychology.

Ch. IV More on Individual Psychological Dream Theory (1927) is another paper on dreams. According to Adler, "The dream shows traces of a probing for a way the dreamer will attempt to solve an existing problem in accordance with his style of life." However, the dream is also 1) a means toward self-delusion necessary for the dreamer to solve his problem not logically and realistically, but in accordance with his goal of superiority, and 2) the dream has the task of creating the mood in the context of this self-delusion.

Ch. V The Cause and Prevention of Neuroses (1927) is a paper on a very important theme. Adler says that the title is essentially about the feeling of inferiority, and how to prevent it. Adler lists the three challenges the life provides, and concludes that one of the most important problems is the lack of courage in face of concrete challenges posed by life. If a wrong method of overcoming the challenges is chosen, the child is handicapped for rest of his life because he was not able to solve his problems in a satisfactory way. This is one of the roots of neurosis. "In every single reaction you can recognize the attitude toward life if you have previously grasped the distortion of the personality." The first step is understanding; after this, the client should himself/herself work himself out toward a personal understanding of his/her problems so they can be overcome.

To order your copy of Volume 6, go to http://go.ourworld.nu/hstein/cwaa-v6.htm .
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Unread August 19th, 2005, 08:37 AM
Trevor Hjertaas Trevor Hjertaas is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 6, Chapt. III-V (Jokes, Dreams, Preventing Neurosis)

The most powerful impression I have when reading these chapters is of the profound clinical wisdom of Adler. His depth of understanding and keen insight make one very sorry that he did not live for another 20 years. One can only speculate what he might have achieved.

Trevor Hjertaas, Psy. D.
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Unread August 19th, 2005, 11:30 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 6, Chapt. VI & VII (Courage & Science)

On August 22nd, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 6, Chapters VI & VII. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen

Ch. VI Education for Courage (1927) is a paper on educational ideals. The ideals must be 1) universal, 2) they must be intelligible, and 3) they must guarantee to be generally beneficial. By universality Adler means that "any system that tends to divide youngsters in the sense that it makes some to be subservient and others to become a ruling caste must be eliminated." The educator must first of all seek to foster striving and courage among his pupils and not restrict them. It is important to help all children reach their goals, not only some children with special talents. Courage must be enhanced because the children and young people should have opportunities for personal growth; this is possible only if the children are willing to take on their challenges.

Ch. VII Individual Psychology and Science (1927) is an examination of Individual Psychology from the point of view of the idea of scientific psychology. Adler starts his study with some examples on lying behavior. Adler concludes that IP is the most adequate method to study this question. Adler's arguments are very detailed and interesting; the reader should study the original text with care. On this discussion forum, there were some earlier comments of this that might prove useful. Adler lists some academic psychologists: Spranger, Köhler, William Stern, Messer, Goldstein, William Brown, Stark, Stanley hall, Morton Prince etc., who have worked in the same spirit as IP, and asks, what is the extra value that IP contributes. Adler rejects the idea that IP should leave the scientific psychology alone and concentrate only on psychotherapy. Adler argues that IP has been able to find ways of interpretation that the other psychologies were not able to find. Interpreting individual problems is the business of IP, and without scientific rationale this would not be possible. "Since we Individual Psychologists seek to establish in movement the correct facts concerning a psychological impulse, we try to uncover the contents of the psychological impulse."

To order your copy of Volume 6, go to http://go.ourworld.nu/hstein/cwaa-v6.htm .
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Unread August 20th, 2005, 10:11 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 6, Chapt. III-V (Jokes, Dreams, Preventing Neurosis)

Trevor,

You raise a very profound point. Lydia Sicher, in an unpublished manuscript, speculated on the potential contributions of Individual Psychology to the fields of medicine, sociology, economics, pedagogy, research psychology, art, theology, and political science. Quoting Sicher: "The place of IP is to observe whether the problems are solved in a positive, constructive way, or in a destructive, asocial manner."

Alexander Mueller also addressed a similar perspective. In his unpublished manuscript, Alfred Adler's Individual Psychology - Overview of Central Concepts and Future Development, he states: "It is possible that the various disciplines that pursue the study of man reach the conclusion that their efforts address only particular aspects of human life. Possibly, all these disciplines will come together in a united 'study of human nature,' resulting in a comprehensive anthropology."

Had Adler lived another twenty years, he might have spearheaded such developments.
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Unread August 23rd, 2005, 09:37 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 6, Chapt. I & II (Talent, Striving for Recognition)

(Re: Vol.6, Ch. 1)

The theme of "overcoming difficulties" has recently been highlighted by a series of books on "resilience" and building strength on adversity: I am the Central Park Jogger: A Story of Hope and Possibility, by Trisha Meli; The Resilience Factor, by Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatte; Resilience at Work: How to Succeed No Matter What Life Throws at You, by Salvatore Maddi and Deborah Koshaba; and The Resilience Advantage, by Al Siebert. Meli's story of a "mega-recovery" stresses: optimism, goal-setting, focusing on the present, courage, and a willingness to accept help.
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Unread August 23rd, 2005, 07:53 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 6, Chapt. VI & VII (Courage & Science)

(Re: Vol. 6, Ch. VII)

Anthony Bruck, who was trained by Adler, was creative at encouraging children and adults to persist in their striving to solve a problem. One of the graphics he used with both was "Breaking Out of the Vicious Circle of Self-Discouragement," online at http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homep...ein/circle.htm.
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Unread August 28th, 2005, 09:36 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 6, Chapt. VIII & IX (America, Feeling and Emotion)

On August 29th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 6, Chapters VIII & IX. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen

Ch. VIII Alfred Adler on America (1927) is a summary of Adler's address to the International Association for Individual Psychology. The summary was written by Dr. L.Zilahi, an enthusiastic editor-in-chief of the Int. Journal of IP (his name is mentioned in Bottome's biography of Adler). The address was given in German, and presented in Vienna after his stay in the United States. The best account so far about Adler's relations to the United States has been written by Edward Hoffman. The whole Part Two of his "The Drive for Self" (a biography of Adler) is devoted to Adler's years in the US. Part Two begins with a citation by Adler: "The United States is like an ocean. An individual has infinite possibilities for development in such a country, but he also has greater difficulties to overcome." All in all, Adler's attitude to the US was very positive. In the paper, Adler says that the ideas presented in the context of "Mental Hygiene" are very much the same as the ideas presented by Individual Psychologists. Adler's evaluation of the universities in he US is very positive: "...universities form no closed circle, but are open and accessible to every intelligent person seeking an education." Adler defined in American life two important poles: srong personal ambition, and a strong striving for organized groups. Adler noted the strong position the feminist ideas have in America. "However, since women effectively control only certain spheres of activities because they do not yet have the same opportunities as men, they have assumed some of these spheres exclusively for themselves, for example, the enormous striving fo education that dominates the American people." Adler also notes that the children in the US are in general more spoiled in the US than in Europe. All in all, Adler found a very positive response to his ideas in the US.

Ch. IX Feelings and Emotions From the Standpoint of Individual Psychology (1928) is a paper on the importance of feelings and emotions. Adler begins saying that the attitudes alone do not determine the actions of the individual; feelings and emotions have their say, too. Emotions may have biological roots, but IP is more interested in the psychological foundations of emotions. Adler rejects the psychoanalytic idea that anxiety arises because sexual impulses have been suppressed. "It can be taken for granted that every bodily and mental power must have inherited material, but what we see in mind and psyche is the use of this material toward certain goal." Adler discusses at some length some emotions. About social feeling Adler says that the mother has a special role in the development of this emotion. Then there are neurotic actions on the useless side: the background is the lack of social feeling, lack of courage, and lack of self-confidence. The most important single factor is inferiority feeling. Adler concludes his discussion with some interesting remarks concerning the interaction of human organs and the environment.

To order your copy of Volume 6, go to http://go.ourworld.nu/hstein/cwaa-v6.htm .
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Unread September 1st, 2005, 09:39 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 6, Chapt. X & XI (Sexuality, Widows)

On August 29th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 6, Chapters X & XI. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen.

Ch. X Erotic Training and Erotic Retreat (1928) is a study on sexuality, love and human relationships. The paper begins with an interesting statement that has value even today: "The importance of biology and the progress made in that field, particularly with regard to our problem, would make it appropriate that I approach significant issues from a different viewpoint." Today, Adler would like to say: because biology has made such a great progress in molecular biology, in the study of the mechanisms of inheritance, and in analyzing the systems of evolution, we should take a different view, and approach psychological problems from the viewpoint of the individual who is the one and only unit with unique experiences, unique emotions, individual goals, and individual strivings, etc. So Adler wants to avoid here to take up the issues of organ inferiority, and instead he studies the generalized feeling of inferiority - an important difference! Adler continues presenting some statements on training and lifestyle. Lifestyle is something that expresses itself in every sphere of life, even in sexuality. For normal sexual life, social consciousness,sensitivity, and logic are needed. All this might be somewhat surprising when talking about sexuality, but sexuality and love are for Adler only one of the many manifestations of the person's life sphere.

Ch. XI The Burning of Widows and Widow Neurosis (1928) is a paper on the psychology of women. In the age of feminism, this is a somewhat dangerous statement but Adler's argument is that the social circumstances of women in the first decades of the 20th century were very difficult for women, especially if they were widowed. Adler approaches these problems in the light of some case studies. "Frequently, a woman who suddenly becomes widowed has seemed earlier to be perfectly healthy. Suddenly, the situation changes." Adler says also that problems of this same type occur in men who become widowers - there is depression and melancholia, loss of weight, loss of sleep, and self-reproach.

To order your copy of Volume 6, go to http://go.ourworld.nu/hstein/cwaa-v6.htm .
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  #10  
Unread September 2nd, 2005, 11:21 AM
Trevor Hjertaas Trevor Hjertaas is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 6, Chapt. X & XI (Sexuality, Widows)

You often read of a sense of security being associated with the final, fictive goal of some people. Somewhere I recall reading that Adler would occassionally advise patients that there actually was not any true security in life (presumably as a means to help them come to terms with the difficulties of existence).

I cannot, however, locate such a passage. Does anyone else recall reading something along these lines?

Trevor Hjertaas, Psy. D.
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