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  #11  
Unread March 14th, 2005, 12:05 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4, Chapt. III & IV (Unity, Goal, & Origin of Neurosis)

Trevor,
My experience has been that "the temporary disorientation" experienced at the homestetch of depth psychotherapy, included both an inward as well as an outward focus. The disorientation gradually dissolved when the individual chose a new direction, often parallel to one of the universal values that Maslow referred to as B-Values, Being-Values, or Meta-Values (truth, beauty, justice, etc,). Rather than agonize over the limitations of being able to perceive the nature of reality, an appreciation of good, useful fictions or abstractions (in the spirit of Vaihinger) provides sufficient personal orientation and meaning. Sartre's "terrible anxiety" when faced with the awareness of changeable fictions, is only one attitude toward the situation. I believe that it is also possible to respond with inspired optimism.
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  #12  
Unread March 17th, 2005, 08:52 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4, Chapt. VIII, IX, & X (Book Reviews, Nervous Insomnia)

A loosely related comment regarding sleep disturbances can be found in a biographical sketch of Alexandra Adler, M.D. by Hendrika Vande Kemp at http://www.psych.yorku.ca/femhop/Adler.htm.
Alexandra Adler was one of the first to provide detailed accounts of what is now known as post-traumatic stress disorder in 500+ survivors of the famous Coconut Grove nightclub fire that occurred in Boston on November 28, 1942, claiming 492 lives. While Erich Lindemann (1944) worked with the families of victims to develop a theory of grieving and the concept of “grief work,” Adler (1943) studied survivors and found that they experienced unresolved grief with personality changes involving guilt, rage, demoralization, and diminished elan vital. Adler found that a year after the disaster 50% of the survivors still experienced sleep disturbances, increased nervousness and anxiety, guilt over survival, and fears related to the fire.
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  #13  
Unread March 17th, 2005, 09:57 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4, Chapt. XI, XII, & XIII (Kleptomania, Role of Women)

On March 21st, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 4, Chapters XI, XII, & XIII. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen.

Chs. XI and XII are Minutes of Meetings of the Individual Psychology Organization (1914). In the protocol of 7 February. Adler discusses kleptomania. It is, according to Adler, a condition of defiance. The rage to become rich is often found among people with pronounced feeling of inferiority. This theme is continued in the meeting of 14 February. Wexberg comments with a case where a school fantasized that she could steal from her father without any punishment. In the meeting 21 March, a paper on morality by Dr. Furtmüller was discussed. Adler commented that "The ambiguity of the ethical phenomena forces us to find therein the line of the individual. Ethics is the incarnation of the sense of community." In education, the goal is the education of the child for the community.

Ch. XIII, on The Woman: Raising and Educating Children (1916) is a paper on the special role of women in the education of children. One might feel that the paper emphasizes too much the role of women in education. However, it is Adler's thesis that women really a more important role in education than men. Furthermore, the paper was published in the Journal on Studies of Women (Arch. der Frauenkunde). Adler refers to some classical sources (e.g. the Greek myth of Achilles, Goethe). Then he refers to the ongoing war (World War I, "The Great War"). The war has caused that the upbringing of children is placed into the hands of the mother. However, the significance of the father-figure has not diminished. "Therefore, the man has to assume the undisputable responsibility for his part in rearing." Adler's idea is that both parts play an important part in education. The upbringing of the mother is regularly subordinated to the influence of the man and the male culture. "Upbringing means: to make someone useful for social interrelationships. Master in this, men or women, are those who consider themselves worthy members of the society."
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  #14  
Unread March 21st, 2005, 12:22 PM
Trevor Hjertaas Trevor Hjertaas is offline
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Default Re: Cumulative Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4 (Ch. I-VII)

Adler states: "The individual helps it along with his own means, and in that way his entire life is imbued with the life-lie, that calming and anaesthetizing current that is the opinion he holds of himself." (p. 61).

This is interesting, since the term "life-lie" originates in Ibsen's writings. Ibsen apparently believed that the life lie was essential for the continued functioning of the personality, and his physician/psychologist character (in the Wild Duck, I believe) merely tries to steer the life-lie of people in the direction of greater social usefulness (encouraging a useful expression of it, in other words).

Dr. Mark Stone has written extensively on Ibsen's concept of the life-lie for both the International Journal of Individual Psychology and the Canadian Journal of Adlerian Psychology.

Trevor Hjertaas, Psy. D.
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  #15  
Unread March 21st, 2005, 12:58 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Cumulative Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4 (Ch. I-VII)

Mark Stone's book Self-Lies and Self Deception is available at Amazon. His article, "Ibsen's Life-lie and Adler's Lifestyle," is in the Fall 1997 (53:3) issue of The Journal of Individual Psychology.
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  #16  
Unread March 24th, 2005, 07:31 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4, Chapt. XI, XII, & XIII (Kleptomania, Role of Women)

An interesting perspectve on the role of the father in transmitting values to a child, was offered by Abraham Maslow and R. Diaz-Guerro, in The Farther Reaches of Human Nature, Appendix C, "Adolescent Juvenile Delinquency in Two Different Cultures." On page 376 they state:
"American Adults, especially fathers, can be seen as having abdicated their ideal roles of structuring the world for the child, of providing him with a clear set of values, or "rights" and "wrongs," and thus of leaving him with the task of deciding right and wrong long before he is willing and able to do so. This, we conceive, breeds in him, not only insecurity and anxiety, but also a deeply "justified" hostility, contempt, and resentment against the parents (especially the father), who have failed him and set him a task too great for his powers by not giving the answers, and who in effect are frustrating his deep need for a system of values, Weltanschauung, and for the limits and controls that these involve. Left to themselves then, we see the children, needing values and feeling the dangers of a state of valuelessness, as turning to the only other external source of values, i.e., other children, especially older ones."
This may help explain the emphasis give to peer group influence by Judith Harris in "The Nurture Assumption," and by Malcolm Gladwell in "The Tipping Point."
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  #17  
Unread March 25th, 2005, 09:37 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4, Chap. XIV-XVI (Social Feeling, & Compulsion Neurosis)

On March 14th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume , Chapters VIV, XV, & XVI. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen.

Ch. XIV The Child's Inner Life and Social Feeling (1917) is a study on the social feeling. Carl Furtmüller had in 1911 published a study on the social feeling ("Ethics and Psychoanalysis") where he argued that the development of social feeling is natural part in the development of the child, at least as natural as any "instincts." According to individual psychologists, social feeling is a fundamental trait in the development of all humans. Adler starts his paper arguing that organ functions, reflexes, movements and emotions are not the most parts of the human life; that part is the child's "Seelenleben", his or her inner life. In the life of the child, there is a hidden line that leads "upward". All physiological functions act under the guidance of this hidden line. This line starts to develop at the second half of the child's first year of life. This inner life of the child develops on the strength of his feeling of inferiority toward the goal that promises tranquility, satisfaction, standing, and superiority, in short, "growth". There may occur a conflict between the goals of the child and the goals of the education. The result of this collision of these two guidelines becomes the nucleus of the future personality. "Since the child always looks toward the future, the result is a dependence on social characteristics that become the child's destiny."

Ch. XV, On Homosexuality (1918) is today of a mainly historical interest. Adler's paper reflects the rather common bias of his time and culture, as the editor, Henry T. Stein, writes in his editorial note. However, the paper has its merits: at least its arguments are not oversimplified nor hostile. Adler's paper is mainly for those who are interested in social and cultural history of the fin de siècle Vienna.

In Ch. XVI, Compulsion Neurosis (1918), Adler returns to a theme that was one of his favorites. Adler refers to some literary figures, Jean Paul's "Schmelzlers Reise nach Flaez" and Vischer's "Auch Einer" who was constantly compelled to sneeze and sniffle. "The tendency toward superiority is common to all neurotics. It is also the driving element in compulsion neurosis. The symptoms of compulsion are appropriate only for those who have a disposition toward neurosis, persons whose lifeline is more compatible with social responsibilities."

To order your copy of Volume 4, go to http://go.ourworld.nu/hstein/cwaa-v4.htm.
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  #18  
Unread March 26th, 2005, 08:28 PM
Jack_Miller Jack_Miller is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4, Chap. XIV-XVI (Social Feeling, & Compulsion Neurosis

Is it possible to make a distinction between an instinct/drive for socialisation as proposed by Kropotkin in his book Mutual Aid and also by Bowlby in Attachment and Loss and the wider concept of Social Interest. In Adler’s essay on Dostoevsky (and also in his comments about criminality) he seems to make the point that Raskolnikov has to overcome an inherent social instinct before he can proceed in his desire to become a new Napoleon.

It is that the social instinct, much like Adler’s attitude towards the sexual instinct, is arranged by the psyche for the purposes of achieving the final fiction? Whereas the innate social drive would be the inherent capacity for community feeling it is only when combined with the realisation of the psyche that we become closer to the truth when we “act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will a universal law of nature”, that we achieve a series of gestalts extending the social instinct, that can then be described as "community feeling".

Last edited by Jack_Miller; March 26th, 2005 at 08:48 PM.
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  #19  
Unread March 27th, 2005, 12:43 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4, Chap. XIV-XVI (Social Feeling, & Compulsion Neurosis)

The terms drive, instinct, need, and even instinctoid need create a field day for psychological speculation. We may have outgoing exploratory "drives" to eat, see, hear, smell, as well as sexual and aggression drives, yet, according to Adler, they all are subordinate to our striving for significance. Although we also have an instinct to survive, this is apparently overcome in suicide and warfare. Adler proposed "a confluence of drives" and even a "transformation of drives" along a main psychological axis, leading to a fictional final goal--a goal that is influenced by our degree of social interest and feeling. Social feeling is a fragile potential that must be stimulated and encouraged to develop; it can be weakened by a cold, harsh upbringing, but not easily extinguished. Adler suggests that this potential for a feeling of community is the most critical catalyst for the development of all of our capacities. It is not a trait subordinate to a style of life and fictional final goal, but a dynamic that gives that striving its direction. In psychotherapy, both cognitive insight and an affective transformation are needed to change a client's direction and goal. What makes the therapeutic process perpetually fascinating, is how the creative power of the individual can trump almost every drive, instinct, need, and early childhood experience.

Certainly, Bolby's "Attachment Theory" and Kropotkin's "Mutual Aid" offer parallel perspectives on our needs for connection and cooperation. Bolby emphasizes the mother-child, family connection, whereas Kropotkin addresses the progressively larger issues of cooperation within a city, state, and culture. Thank you for calling attention to Kropotkin's early contribution. His name and work are not frequently mentioned in Adlerian literature.

For additional information about the confluence and transformation of drives, read pages 30-33 of "The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler," edited by Heinz and Rowena Ansbacher.
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  #20  
Unread April 1st, 2005, 04:01 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4, Chapt. XVII & XVIII (Dostoyevsky, Child Guidance)

On April 4th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume , Chapters XVII & XVIII. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen.

Ch. XVII Dostoyevsky (1918) is a study on the writer, his society, and his literary figures. On Dostoyevsky, see the contribution by Henry T. Stein on this Forum under "Parallels to and Research in Adlerian Psychology". Adler's study is extremely complicated and full of interesting ideas. It should be read in its entirety, and very slowly. In the end of his paper, Adler concludes: "It is thus that Dostoyevsky has endeared himself as a great teacher. The reality of life is what impacts us like a shaft of light striking the eyes of a person asleep. The sleeper rubs his eyes, turns in his sleep, and knows nothing of what has happened. Dostoyevsky slept little and awakened many. His characters, his ethics, and his art lead us deep into the concept of human co-existence."

Ch. XVIII, Individual Psychology on Upbringing (1918), is a paper on education. The paper starts with some advice for physicians. Adler refers to the word of the famous physician Rudolf Virchow, saying that "physicians must eventually become responsible for bringing up humankind". Adler notes that there is a close connection between physical and psychological health, and that physical problems may lead to a pessimistic view of the life. Then Adler starts to discuss inferiority-feeling and the problems it may cause. Adler concludes his study saying that "We regard the schools as most appropriate for intervening with problem children and have found the school counseling centers as best suited for recognizing defects among problem children." In other words, these centers were founded by Individual psychologists and some physicians in the period before World War I. Now, in the postwar-Vienna where people were hardly able to feed themselves, Adler was busily with his colleagues building up a network of these centers that were ground with the sole purpose of helping children, families, schools, and everyone concerned. "By working together, physicians, teachers, parents and the child have always found the right way to reinforce the child's ability for cooperation."

To order your copy of Volume 4, go to http://go.ourworld.nu/hstein/cwaa-v4.htm.
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