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  #51  
Unread January 14th, 2005, 04:48 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 3, Chapt. XV & XVI (Root and Treatment of Neurosis)

I have been trying to to a "cram course" reading these two articles. Adler has his notions really in a very distilled form in these. Perhaps these chapters need an extra week. He really makes very clear now the purposive origin of the neurotic striving in a very straight forward manner perhaps more strongly than he had until this point and the departure from the "transference" notions of Freud is more clearly called into question. I hope to post a bit more on these papers but they are "tough sledding" so I am asking for more time pleeeeeease!
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  #52  
Unread January 14th, 2005, 07:23 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 3, Chapt. XV & XVI (Root and Treatment of Neurosis)

Yes George, lets extend discussion of Chapters XV & XVI for an extra week. I find that re-reading these chapters, even after having edited them, sparks a river of new thoughts, connections, and questions. Adler's comments about the "organic substratum" triggered several references to a few of Alexander's Mueller's ideas in his unpublished manuscripts. I'll need a few days to dig them out.
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  #53  
Unread January 15th, 2005, 07:38 AM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 3, Chapt. XV & XVI (Root and Treatment of Neurosis)

Henry that would be great. I think these are key articles wherein to me, Adler shows his key ideological differences from any other psychology definitively, for the first time. I would be delighted to seee the material from Mueller also. Many thanks.
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  #54  
Unread January 15th, 2005, 07:14 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 3, Chapt. XV & XVI (Root and Treatment of Neurosis)

Although Adler gradually let the "organic substratum" assumptions recede into the background, Alexander Mueller (in his unpublished manuscript Alfred Adler's Individual Psychology) suggested that we re-examine the contributions of Schwarz, Portmann, and Holub.
"Oswald Schwarz's medical psychology is an attempt to enrich medical thought with Individual Psychology. His research in the psychosomatic border region is outstanding pioneer work."

"We find very important for Individual Psychology the research results of Adolf Portmann which he published in his book Biologische Fragmente zu einer Lehre vom Menschen (Biological Fragments to a Study of Mankind). If they turn out to be correct, then they are not only a confirmation of many theses of Individual Psychology regarding spiritual development in early infancy, but they also are a challenge for us to hold fast to Adler's theses, and not to permit the spiritual to be subsumed by biology."
Oswald Schwarz studied medical psychology with Adler and wrote a number of books, including The Psychology of Sex. Several of Adolf Portmann's books on biology have neen published in English; Essays in Philosophical Zoology: The Living Form and the Seeing Eye, was translated by Richard B. Carter. A. Holub (husband of Martha Holub?) wrote Die Lehre von der Organminderwertigkeit (The Study of Organ Deficiency), apparently echoing or amplifiying Adler's ideas on organ inferiority.

I'm not sure of the contemporary Adlerian relevance of these authors, and would appreciate any insights about them.
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  #55  
Unread January 15th, 2005, 07:43 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Lightbulb Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 3, Chapt. XV & XVI (Root and Treatment of Neurosis)

The Light Goes On:

It needs to be said and it is in chapter XV. The striving of the neurotic is deliberate. It is a carefully constructed movement from below to above. It is not an accident of nature nor an environmental outcome. Adler places responsibility squarely where it belongs … on the shoulder of the neurotic. And this is how it must be. If there is to be a cure the neurotic must lay down his sharpened weapon and become a fellow man. No medication can do this, only a return to good will.

In chapters like this, Adler will greatly annoy some in other schools of psychology. He will be totally not understood by many psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical industry which builds part of its fortune on the notion of “chemical imbalance” (which has never been demonstrated to be the PRIME cause of mood disorders and never, I believe, will be), will be outraged! Adler does have a notion of predisposition to make these movements away from the common good in his teaching about “organ inferiority” but unless a person is intellectually very dull indeed, he will never excuse them for their lack of social interest.

In this chapter he starts to introduce the notion of “private logic” which he refers to as a “private philosophy” and he points out that the neurotic navigates “as if he has a goal in mind”. (para ii) He then goes on to tell us immediately about the purposive nature of this goal as in the agoraphobic who “puts the family in her service”. You bet she does. They even do the shopping for her and she probably won’t pay for the gas. She has a “sick benefit”! He mentions tremors stopping if “the neurotic … can avoid working”.

I remember when I directed a ward in a psychiatric hospital. The patient who had been so symptomatic just prior to admission often calmed down as if a miracle had been done upon admission much more quickly than our “potions” could possibly have worked because in so many of these people their movement was utterly against mankind. They wanted to be cared for and now they were. Meals were brought to their room. Nurses responded to their every request and immediately, what a wonder. It was world domination in a “fools paradise” … but of course it didn’t last. After several days of admission, they would get dethroned by the new admission! But they are no fools. They knew what to do. Just raise hell again and everyone runs toward you. Then threaten violence and you have a permanent audience. The sad news was that the psychiatric community in that facility did not seem to see the game plan. They just kept increasing the medication levels until the patient was so toxic that they were now quiet. They were not helped, they were just chemo-restrained. They dealt with these people as neuropharmacological malfunctions, not as people who were discouraged and afraid and who could find no better goal in life than to keep mankind in their service by creating vibrations. The loving insight into the mischief that was really going on, was not present to help them. I resigned from the institution after six months sickened by what I had seen.

Now this just takes us to the end of the paragraph on the top of page 107. I hope I can find time to say much more. Adler’s clear mindedness about what is really happening is a message of hope for the suffering and I would hope to draw out a bit more of what I see here.

In my opinion, this is the first article in the sequence where the seeds of his notions really start to take root!
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  #56  
Unread January 16th, 2005, 02:48 PM
Manu Jaaskelainen Manu Jaaskelainen is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 3, Chapt. XV & XVI (Root and Treatment of Neurosis)

Adolf Portmann was a professor in Basle. He was a zoologist and a biologist. He published studies on comparative anatomy and biological development of the individual. He also studied biological anthropology and areas between biology and psychology. Some of his books have at least interesting titles, and are possibly of interest for students of IP, e.g. "Das Tier als soziales Wesen" (1953), and "Biologie und Geist" (1956).
Arthur Holub was Adlerian. His book "Die Lehre von der Organminderwrtigkeit" (1931) was published in the Beihefte der IZI-series along with other authors like Erwin Wexberg, Rudolf Dreikurs, Ferdinand Birnbaum, and Fritz Künkel. These data, as well as the data about Oswald Schwarz, are based on the history of IP, authored by Almuth Bruder-Bezzel (1999). Arthur Holub was taken to a concentration camp, alongside with a number of other Adlerians. According to Edward Hoffman, he was probably married with Martha Holub, as the two are mentioned together in his text. At least the ages would correspond with each other. Correct me if I am wrong in this. He coauthored, with Martha H. in "Guiding the Child: On the principles of individual psychology" (1930), with a number of other Adlerian authors.
Oswald Schwarz contributed in various ways to IP. He took part in 1928 in "The Third Congress of the Medical Society for Medical Psychotherapy" in Baden-Baden and made a presentation there. His name is also mentioned with some other IP-people (like Adler and Dreikurs) in another context. He was definitely individual psychologist, even if he, due to an internal conflict in Vienna, left the local IP-society in 1927, with Viktor Frankl. There was much internal politics in this conflict, and I am not quite sure whether it has any relevance today.
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  #57  
Unread January 18th, 2005, 11:23 AM
Trevor Hjertaas Trevor Hjertaas is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 3, Chapt. XV & XVI (Root and Treatment of Neurosis)

These comments refer to chapter XVI.

It was a real pleasure to read this article in the full, original form. There was much on Adler's view of anxiety which I found particularly useful. The idea that a sensitive individual encounters a "threatening situation" in childhood adn so constructs the style-of-life as a means to safeguard the self and the feelings of self-worth, utilizing (even if not consciously) symptoms of anxiety to avoid perceived threat, seems so true to life. It also suggests that once the lifestyle is understood, the therapist serves to gradually encourage the person that such challenges in life can be coped with effectively.

I also valued Adler's insight that the symptoms of OCD bestow god-likeness onto the individual as he or she wards off an otherwise cruel and harsh fate through the elaborate rituals.

P.S.: George, I enjoyed your synopsis of life in the psychiatric hosptial. I thought it was quite true in many ways.

Trevor Hjertaas, Psy. D.
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  #58  
Unread January 18th, 2005, 07:54 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 3, Chapt. XV & XVI (Root and Treatment of Neurosis)

I came across another variation on hospitalization behavior, in a comment by Kurt Adler, from the transcript of a panel discussion (unpublished manuscript, date unknown):
"It is very interesting that many psychotic people, when they have an injury, such as an auto accident--in the hospital, very often are not psychotic. They now have something real; they don't need fantasy constructions or hallucinations--they don't need them any more. That is not always the case, or course. But in some cases, you find that they lose their psychosis, or others don't show their neurosis when they have a real sickness."
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  #59  
Unread January 18th, 2005, 08:17 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 3, Chapt. XV & XVI (Root and Treatment of Neurosis)

Thanks for posting Kurt's note Henry. I have had it suggested to me that I was making this up but I saw it constantly. I would not like to make a "doctrine" out of it but Adler's ideas do make some sense out of what I observed. If they are there because they lack social interest and wish, for instance, to be pampered, they have in the psychiatric hospital setting achieved an apparent although temporary triumph toward their goal.
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  #60  
Unread January 19th, 2005, 10:17 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 3, Chapt. XV & XVI (Root and Treatment of Neurosis)

George, your comments about the "wish to be pampered" sparked associations to the writings of the Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset. In Revolt of the Masses (1930), he described the growing tendency of the masses to reflect the psychology of the spoilt child, "demanding benefits," instead of "demanding more of himself than others." Sophia de Vries and Alexander Mueller found many of Gasset's ideas resonant with Adler's thinking.
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