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  #21  
Unread December 10th, 2004, 04:35 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Volume 3, Chapters III-V (Neurotic Traits, Dreams & Jung)

Rita your help with the subtleties of language is invaluable. I really am most pleased that you are subscibed to the forum. Thanks again for your timely assistance. This is most helpful. Have a wonderful Christmas or holiday season ... which ever best applies!
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  #22  
Unread December 12th, 2004, 08:17 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Volume 3, Chapters VI & VII (Sexuality, Repression, & Protest)

Additional impressions about the responses (in Freud's Association) to Adler's paper, "The Role of Sexuality in Neurosis," can be gained from reading pages 116-119 in The Freud-Adler Controversy by Bernard Handlbauer. Although many of Handlbauer's descriptions of the meetings in this period enhance the sense of being "in the midst of history," some of his conclusions are questionable. Later in the book, he states that Adler was "a student of Freud," contradicting Adler's opinion about his relationship with Freud.
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  #23  
Unread December 13th, 2004, 02:27 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 3, Chapt. VIII-X (Resistance, Sexual Fears, Adler Resigns)

On December 13th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 3, Chapters VIII-X. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen.

In Chapter VIII, "On Understanding Resistance During Treatment", Adler presents his theory and a number of practical observations concerning this theme. Adler starts his paper with a list of concrete traits that are characteristic for clients with resistance. He includes some very difficult syndromes, like autism. According to Adler, resistance is a trait that is characteristic for clients willing to isolate themselves from other people. Thus, resistance is for some people a habitual way of dealing with communication. In this paper, Adler's style is very concrete, and he discusses his theme in the light of a case-study. He presents some interesting insights, like "The depreciation of one's partner is a regular manifestation among neurotics" (p. 61). Adler concludes his paper with an interesting citation from Pestalozzi's "Lienhard and Gertrud". I find this citation somewhat shocking. The idea is that if you try to help a neglected person, you will meet strong resistance, even hatred and animosity.

Next Chapter IX, "Syphilophobia", discusses neuroses where the dominating trait is the fear of syphilis. Today, people might find this connection between neurosis and syphilis somewhat strange, but in those days syphilis was a major health-problem. One could, perhaps, compare it with AIDS today. In this chapter, Adler introduces one of his central ideas that was to play an important role in his psychology later on: the concept of neurotic arrangement. According to Adler, the fear of syphilis is correlated with the fear of women. The women who have this fear, reflect the same attitude as men: they tend to depreciate men. These fears may grow out of proportion and change to fear of human beings generally.

Chapter X is a declaration that Adler published in "Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse" in 1911. In this short notice, Adler tells to the readers of the Journal that the publisher of the Journal, Professor Freud, thinks that the scientific opinions between him and Adler are such that the joint publication of the Journal is impossible. Therefore, Adler concludes, he (AA) must resign voluntarily from the editorship. This is a historical landmark in the development of Individual Psychology. I find it a homage to Adler that it is published in CCWAA.
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Last edited by Henry Stein; December 13th, 2004 at 02:46 PM.
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  #24  
Unread December 15th, 2004, 02:47 PM
Manu Jaaskelainen Manu Jaaskelainen is offline
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Default Re: Cumulative Discussion of CCWAA, Volume 3, Chapters I-VII

There is still another sense in which these papers are important. There one finds, for the first time detailed and in-depth studies on masculine protest, especially in Chapter VII. However, one finds easily some differences compared with Adler's later contributions. The cultural dimension of the masculine protest is there, yes, but it is not so important as in some later publications. Adler is still using Freudian concept like "repression" or "ego-drives". Later on, he gave up these concepts and the theories they imply. However, it would be definitely wrong to characterize Adler as some kind of "neo-freudian" in 1910-1911. The problem with Freud was exactly this: that Adler was not Freudian. He expressed himself reservedly and critically about concepts like "Oedipus complex" or "primacy of sexual drives". He was willing to continue co-operation with Freud, but only on the basis of equality. From Freud's point of view, this was not possible. However, there are signs that Freud accepted some Adler's observations, and referred to "masculine protest". But it was not possible, from Freud's point of view, to develop a theory based on masculine protest and the inequalities in the distribution of power, and to remain a member in a group that acted under his (Freud's) leadership.

Last edited by Manu Jaaskelainen; December 15th, 2004 at 02:49 PM. Reason: Small addition
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  #25  
Unread December 16th, 2004, 10:12 AM
Trevor Hjertaas Trevor Hjertaas is offline
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Default Re: Cumulative Discussion of CCWAA, Volume 3, Chapters I-VII

These comments refer to chapter VII, "Repression and Masculine Protest."

It is certainly interesting to read how Adler's thought developed, and helpful to gain a further understanding of the dramatic context of Freud's rivalry with Adler, provided by Manu's and Henry's commentary.

Although there was much of value in this chapter, I was most struck by Adler's statement:

"The desire to possess Albertine filled his whole consciousness, but his unconscious self told him 'no' and forced him to turn away from marriage by arranging for symptoms that argued against marriage. Just as powerful in his consciousness was the thought that he could marry only when he obtained a good job. Concurrently, signs of illness came to the fore, making it impossible for him to advance in his occupation."

This seems to me such an apt illustration of Adler's view - again distinct from Freud - of how the individual utilizes both conscious and unconscious thought in his or her line-of-movement, allowing certain ideas into consciousness and acting on these, but also acting on that which he or she cannot admit or acknowledge and - without being aware of it (or at least, of not allowing oneself to be aware of what one is doing) - orchestrates a number of factors so that they all work together.

This view of the unconscious as "unadmitted" in Adler's psychology has always fascinated me. I recall Sartre's arguements (in Being and Nothingness) against Freud's understanding of repression and the "censor" - noting that the censor must have awareness of what it should and shouldn't repress, or it could not do what it does, and that this "censor" must be an aspect of the self. Sartre's view, of course, is similar to Adler's, and shows how complex the holistic model of the individual is, once it is closely examined. You can see how the person could be confused by his or her own actions or inabilities before the overall pattern and line-of-movement was understood.

Trevor Hjertaas, Psy. D.
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  #26  
Unread December 16th, 2004, 03:27 PM
Manu Jaaskelainen Manu Jaaskelainen is offline
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Default Re: Cumulative Discussion of CCWAA, Volume 3, Chapters I-VII

Yes, Trevor, this citation from Adler demonstrates that the unconscious was not nonexistent in Adler's psychology. There are many other paragraphs in Adler's works that demonstrate the same. Adler never denied the existence of unconscious, but he was critical against the use of this concept in Freudian psychology. While it was a central idea in Freud's work, it was a concept that for Adler signalized only that something is not conscious. "The unconscious" ("das Unbewusste") was not a self-supporting entity for Adler. The psychological dynamics is the same, independently of whether some process is conscious or unconscious. The unconscious is no explanatory concept for Adler, as it was for Freud. This was certainly one source of conflict between these two men. - The case described by Adler illustrates the importance of the concept of the "leading idea". The theory would arrive later on, but the concept exists already in implicit form. The leading idea in this case is the avoidance of men, and avoidance of the burdens that a marriage would lead to.
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  #27  
Unread December 17th, 2004, 01:38 PM
Trevor Hjertaas Trevor Hjertaas is offline
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Default Re: Cumulative Discussion of CCWAA, Volume 3, Chapters I-VII

Yes, Manu, I quite agree. And I think you raise another important point, that of the "leading idea" (which would later be called the "final, fictive goal") also being unconscious or not understood by the individual. I am struck again and again in my clinical work by the power and value of the analysis of this. I think that some Adlerians forget that the unconscious - understood in this way - is an integral aspect of Adler's psychology and I appreciate your emphasizing it.

Trevor Hjertaas, Psy. D.
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  #28  
Unread December 18th, 2004, 04:33 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Cumulative Discussion of CCWAA, Volume 3, Chapters I-VII

Trevor, yes, the unconscious, fictional final goal is a remarkable construct that permits us to find a coherent, common denominator of direction in the client's thoughts, feelings, and actions. However, it provides a formidable challenge to use this tool in a life style analysis. The task goes beyond a logical analysis of the many parts--a creative, intuitive leap is required to capture the unique, imagined "magnetic pulling point" invented by the individual (analogous to the strange attractor in physics). A knowledge of the creative process is helpful in this quest, preparing the clinician for a task that is more art than science.
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  #29  
Unread December 18th, 2004, 04:49 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 3, Chapt. XI & XII (Organ Dialect & Masculine Protest)

On December 20th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 3, Chapters XI & XII. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen. Because of the usual holiday activities, this thread will cover the next two weeks.

Chapter XI on ”Organ Dialect” was published in 1912. In this paper, one finds most elements of Adler’s individual psychology: the criticism of Freud’s libido theory; “as if”, or final fictions (with a reference to Vaihinger); organ dialect; guiding ideals (Leitideal); organ-inferiority; importance of non-verbal expressions. In organ dialect, the psychological states may be expressed as physical symptoms, and/or physical states (illness, organ inferiority) may be expressed as psychological symptoms. Both ways are possible. Trying to interpret these complicated states, it is important to know what the person’s leading (or guiding) idea is. There is a strategic citation from a paper by Ludwig Klages. Adler concludes with Klages that “there is a general similarity in ways of expressing oneself by gesturing and in acting.” (p. 82).

Chapter XII on “Psychological Hermaphroditism and the Masculine Protest” discusses some further concepts in individual psychology. The chapter starts with a critique of some existing forms of theory and therapy, e.g. the theory and practice of hypnotism, “moral treatment”, shock therapy, and hydrotherapy. Then follows a brief outline of the history of psychoanalysis, and then Adler continues to study more closely some key concepts of individual psychology, beginning with organ inferiority and the feelings of inferiority. After some reflections on the logic of the mind Adler concludes that “the apparent double life of the neurotic is firmly embedded in a feminine and masculine part of the psyche, both of which strive for one uniform personality but seem to fail purposely in their attempt at a synthesis in order to rescue the personality before colliding with reality.” (p. 86)
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  #30  
Unread December 21st, 2004, 10:56 AM
Trevor Hjertaas Trevor Hjertaas is offline
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Default Re: Cumulative Discussion of CCWAA, Volume 3, Chapters I-VII

That is certainly true, Henry, and I like the way you have put it. It seems to me that part of what makes the analysis of the final, fictive goal so difficult is that it is largely formed from pre-verbal, "magical" or irrational thought. So, as you say, it demands a creative, intuitive understanding in order to comprehend such a core "private logic."

I think that if one understands it in this way then one realizes that the same artistic "richness" which is found in the (especially later) psychoanalytic descriptions of the unconscious also exists in Adlerian Psychology; we just do not deny ultimate responsibility for actions by acting as-if some entity which is not really part of the self has "taken control" (as Manu alludes to, and as one reads in Ellenberger's text on the unconscious). Unconscious thought processes are, rather, part of the "creativity of the individual" that can construct such astonishing things such as dreams.

Trevor Hjertaas, Psy. D.
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