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  #11  
Unread May 30th, 2005, 08:45 AM
Trevor Hjertaas Trevor Hjertaas is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XI-XIII (Dreams. Causality, Crime)

I appreciate your emphasizing this point on emotions, Henry. It is a good illustration of the complexity of holistic thinking.

It is interesting that when external events or other people do impact on us and our emotional states, it is because they are either assisting or impeding our movement towards our final, fictive goal. Since we are social creatures (even if we are attempting to evade the social task), we must construct our final goal within an interpersonal context (as Adler states in the quote you cite: "There is no rage without an enemy."). Similarly, we must construct a goal from the context of our early situation, attempting - with a child's sensibilities - to envision a possibility within this that would bring some sense of security (even if, as Adler emphasized, it is ultimately false since there is little security in life).

Trevor Hjertaas, Psy. D.
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  #12  
Unread May 30th, 2005, 03:07 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XVI-XVI (Sadism, Meaning of Life, Depression)

(Re": Chapter XIV)

In Moral Politics, George Lakoff echo's Adler's warning about the impact of physical and psychological punishment on children. On page 361, Lakoff cites research showing the high incidence of spousal and family abuse by individuals who suffered parental violence as children. Lakoff also connects this early experience of abuse with a "strict father" approach to political philosophy and platforms, contrasting it with "nurturing parent" assumptions. He astutely expands these antithetical moralities, revealing the contrasting choices about dealing with social programs, taxation, military spending, environmental issues, crime prevention, and drug abuse.
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  #13  
Unread June 1st, 2005, 04:18 PM
Manu Jaaskelainen Manu Jaaskelainen is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XIV-XVI (Sadism, Meaning of Life, Depression)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau seems to have recognized very finely the adverse effects the use of punishment may produce. He writes about the use of punishment in his Emile: when the educator wants to persuade his pupils to obedience, he will possibly use force and threats, or "worse still, flattery and promises". If the young people are thus manipulated, "you set them (pupils) against your tyranny, and dissuade them from loving you; you teach them to be dissemblers, deceitful, willfully untrue, for the sake of extorting rewards or of escaping punishments.Finally, by habiatuating them to cover a secret motive by an apparent motive, you give them the means of constantly misleading you, of concealing their true character from you, and of satisfying yourself and others with empty words when their occasion demands." - See The Portable Enlightenment Reader, Ed. by Isaac Kramnick, p. 230.
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  #14  
Unread June 3rd, 2005, 12:43 PM
Trevor Hjertaas Trevor Hjertaas is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XIV-XVI (Sadism, Meaning of Life, Depression)

That was an interesting quotation from Rousseau. You really get a feeling for the interpersonal dynamic which arises from such misguided approaches, as well as for the detrimental effect on character development.

Trevor Hjertaas, Psy. D.
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  #15  
Unread June 5th, 2005, 08:37 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XVII-XIX (Problem Children, World View, Marriage)

On June 6th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 5, Chapters XVII-XIX. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen.

Chapter XVII Problem Children and Neurotic Adults (1924) is a short study on growing-up of the so-called problem children. Adler says that the psychological dynamics of problem children and neurotic adults is basically the same. "From an all too-low self-evaluation came a striving for significance that lost its way and we recognized in these two ways of life instead of a straight-line progression and a socially valuable solution to the problems of life, an evading and hesitating attitude seeking egocentrically ameliorating circumstances in order to hide the secret of a presumed worthlessness."

Chapter XVIII Individual psychology and World View - II (1924) continues the argument of the chapter VIII. This chapter is, in fact, a report written down by Sophie Freudenberg on the meeting of Individual Psychologists in 1924 in Nurnberg. The chapter has in its hading a citation from a presentation by Leonhard Seif. Adler held the introductory speech. He emphasized the importance of the communal feeling, and the adequate preparation for life. "Discouraged people meet the demands of life in a way that considers only their own feelings of weakness."

Chapter XIX Marriage as a Mutual Task (1925) was originally published in the book that discussed the problems of marriage, edited by Count Keyserling. The book contains a number of interesting contributions, one by Alfred Adler (there is also a contribution by Carl G. Jung). In the chapter Adler argues that marriage is a mutual task, that human beings are really fellow human beings. There are responsibilities in the marriage. Adler thinks that a marriage should always provide a model for the children. "The decision to marry ought to spring from a striving for humaneness."

To order your copy of Volume 5, go to http://go.ourworld.nu/hstein/cwaa-v5.htm .
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  #16  
Unread June 6th, 2005, 10:21 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XVII-XIX (Problem Children, World View, Marriage)

(Re: Chapter XVII)

Regarding an individual's self-evaluation and the feeling of worthlessness, Alexander Mueller offers some helpful insghts.
"The inferiority feeling does not mean that the person is convinced of his inadequate "worth," - that would be tantamount to resignation - but that there is doubt about one's own worth. There is a constant fear of not measuring up to whatever demands are being made." (From Principles of Individual Psychology, an unpublished manuscript in the AAINW Archives.)

"There is hardly a child or adult who can pass through life without the feeling of inferiority. What are significant are the conclusions that are drawn from one's self-evaluation. If one feels dissatisfied or unfulfilled, knowing one's failings and negative characteristics can become the drive to master and overcome external and internal obstacles and shortcomings. This result decisively furthers development. Should the feeling of inferiority, on the other hand, lead to the belief that one's powers and capabilities are insufficient, that one is useless, a failure, then it can dominate significantly the prevailing mood of a person. These reinforced feelings of inferiority impede the development of the child, and interfere with the lifestyle of the adult." (From Principles of Individual Psychology, an unpublished manuscript in the AAINW archives.)

"We find it significant that an actual inferiority or insufficiency does not automatically have to lead to a feeling of inferiority. It is possible not to feel inferior when in a situation, or be faced by a task, that exceeds one's capabilities, or at least is one that one person is less able to handle than another. A person can consider himself to be fully worthy even when he knows that he cannot master all situations in life - difficulties, dangers - and also when he knows himself not to be the strongest, smartest, most efficient, best, beautiful, etc." (From Alfred Adler's Individual Psychology, an unpublished manuscript in the AAINW Archives.)
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  #17  
Unread June 6th, 2005, 02:52 PM
Trevor Hjertaas Trevor Hjertaas is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XVII-XIX (Problem Children, World View, Marriage)

That was very nice to be able to read those comments by Muller. I look forward to the time when the manuscripts will be published (I have certainly found "You Shall be a Blessing" very valuable).

In regards to Chapter XVIII, I was surprised to see on page 73 a description of what sounded like the Rorschach Inkblot Test. Although Adler's comment on it (quite rightly) is that "Individual Psychology can attain more profound conclusions" it still has its uses (especially in helping to determine the presence of thought disorder). It is also noteworthy that in this early form of the Rorschach "the question of goals" was apparently not addressed, yet later on that very page Adler is discussing (in relation to talent) how "perception, movement, logic and feelings all depend on the final goal." These elements are, of course, all addressed in current Rorschach interpretations and thus can provide useful data on the individual's final, fictive goal.

Trevor Hjertaas, Psy. D.
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  #18  
Unread June 9th, 2005, 09:18 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XX-XXII (Birth Order, Child Guidance)

On June 13th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 5, Chapters XX-XXII. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen

Ch. XX Unteachable Children or Unteachable Theory (1925). Comments on the Hug case by Dr. Alfred Adler. Presented following a lecture last night in the Volksheim (1925) bears a sub-title that was in the newspaper Arbeiter Zeitung where this short account was published. Adler concentrates in this paper on the so-called "hopeless children". Adler's opinion is that no child should be called "hopeless case". "In the field of child-rearing we have known for years that harm is done when a child is told to his face that he is beyond saving." There is nothing more damaging than to take from a child his hope in future. According to Adler, the criminal behavior of young people should be prevented. Young people should know that such behavior is not accepted. If there are transgressions, this is no reason to say that the young people are hopeless. There is no such thing as hopeless child or hopeless youngster.

Ch. XXI Inscriptions on the Human Spirit (1925) is a paper on inferiority feelings and their effects on the human mind. Adler compares inferiority feelings with "inscriptions" that are permanently residing in the human mind. Adler refers to the biblical story of Jacob and Esau and says that the story demonstrates how much human behavior depends on particular situations and specific needs and tasks. A child can be understood when seen in his place in the family. Adler concludes that children in the family should be treated equally, but each child in a particular way. Adler refers to the story of Joseph and his brothers. The story characterizes the situation of the youngest child. In this paper, Adler proceeds to present some characteristic traits connected with the birth order. This is Adler's first study on the influence of birth order.

Ch. XXII Reports from Child Guidance Centers (1925) is a short chapter that presents some case studies from the child guidance centers. The paper demonstrates the practical leanings of Individual Psychologists. Many case studies bear the stamp of difficult times and bad living-conditions. The case studies are instructive because they demonstrate the methods used by Adlerians at that time. Firstly, the problems of the child are defined. Then Adler makes some comments on the personality of the child. Thirdly, he presents some data from the early history of the child. The case studies conclude with some more important aspects, and with practical recommendations for therapy and education.

To order your copy of Volume 5, go to http://go.ourworld.nu/hstein/cwaa-v5.htm .
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  #19  
Unread June 16th, 2005, 09:34 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XXIII-XXV (Hatred Between Nations, Abortion)

On June 20th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 5, Chapters XXIII-XXV. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen

Ch. XXIII Remarks On a Lecture by Prof. Max Adler at the Society for Individual Psychology (1925) presents some notes by Alfred Adler. Edward Hoffman relates the historical background for this paper in his Adler-biography, pp. 144 - 145. It seems that Max Adler was a more political figure than Alfred Adler. Max Adler's version of Marxism was Austromarxian, not the orthodox one that was advocated by the Russians. Max Adler seems to have been critical of Individual Psychologists even if he seems to have accepted the basic tenets of Individual psychology (Max Adler's paper has not been preserved). In one of his books, Max Adler refers very favorably to Individual Psychology and says that of all psychologies, it is closest to truth. Max Adler was not related to Alfred Adler.

Ch. XXIV Salvaging Mankind by Psychology (1925) was originally a newspaper article that appeared in The New York Times, so the title was not invented by Adler himself. The paper contains a number of philosophical and psychological observations on different themes. Adler presents an interesting observation on our civilization: "Motives of hatred appear most clearly in the economic disturbances of our time. The class struggle is carried on by crowds made up of individuals whose quest for ... balanced mode of life is thwarted." The craving for power is in the masses, as in individuals, the expression of the sense of inferiority and inadequacy. Adler had started to think about the existing hatred between nations, and what were the causes for this nationalistic fervor. In the same interview, Adler suggests the same principles for the study of the relations between sexes.

Ch. XXV Discussion on Paragraph 144, Legalizing Abortion (1925) is another paper on the existing social problems. The was based on a lecture, and published by Gina Kaus in the women's journal The Mother. Adler defends the right of the women for abortion. Adler presents arguments that have a medical and social basis. However, Adler presents also argument that have a psychological background. Adler seems to think that it is not a good idea that women who do not want to have children, should have them by the law. It is bad for the child to have a hostile mother, thinks Adler. "Only a woman who wants the child can be a good mother." Adler responds to those want to abolish the law permitting abortion for moral reasons, that the low state of morals has many other, often more deep-seated causes. The chapter ends with the recommendation for the foundation of marriage counseling centers.

To order your copy of Volume 5, go to http://go.ourworld.nu/hstein/cwaa-v5.htm .
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  #20  
Unread June 18th, 2005, 10:30 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 5, Chapt. XX-XXII (Birth Order, Child Guidance)

(Re: Chapter XXI)

Adler's closing comment, "Fine lines drawn and barely noticeable in childhood, become the iron-hard inscriptions on the human spirit," reflects a valuable diagnostic guideline. We look for the remnants of the "childhood prototype" in the adult client's description of himself as a child, as well as his earliest childhood recollections, and often find that the early feelings, beliefs, attitudes, and movements have not deviated from this root, but have merely become more elaborate. Effectively tracing the adult's style of life back to his childhood prototype takes considerable diplomacy, art, and a sensitivity to nuance; typologies can never capture this unique interplay. Clients who resist a direct correction of their adult behavior, may be more open to looking at "the mistakes of their early childhood," and then gradually discover the connection with the present.
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