ADLER, ALFRED (1870–1937), Austrian psychiatrist. He was the founder of individual psychology, a theory of personality and method of psychotherapy based on the concepts of unity, self-determination, and future-orientation of man. His views were opposed to the elementaristic and mechanistic views of man which prevailed at that time. Born in Vienna, Adler qualified at the university there in 1895. After his marriage he adopted Protestantism, a small minority denomination in Austria at that time, considering it the most liberal religion. Adler's theories were set forth in such a manner as to be understandable and useful to a wide audience, including especially teachers and counselors. He himself established many child-guidance clinics. In 1902 Freud invited Adler to participate in his discussion group which had weekly meetings in Vienna. In 1910 Adler was elected the president of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, which grew out of the informal discussion group. In 1911 he resigned from the society as a consequence of his new theoretical views and established his own society and journal. From 1926 on Adler visited the United States regularly and eventually settled in New York where he was professor of medical psychology at the Long Island Medical College. He died while on a lecture tour in Scotland. Primary in Adler's system is the conception that the organism, growing from a single cell, remains biologically and psychologically a unit. All partial processes such as drives, perception, memory, and dreaming are subordinated to the whole. Adler called this unitary process the individual's style of life. A unitary concept of man requires one overall motivating force. For Adler it is a striving to overcome and compensate for inferiorities directed toward a goal of superiority or success, which the individual creates quite uniquely. Though the goal may take on strange forms, it always includes maintenance of self-esteem. The individual, however, cannot be considered apart from society. The three important life problems, occupational, social, and sexual, are all actually social and require a well developed "social interest" for a successful solution. Thus the individual's goals will include social usefulness corresponding to the ideals of the community. Neurotic, psychotic, sociopathic, addictive, suicidal, and sexually deviant personalities are all failures in life because of an under-developed social interest and strong inferiority feelings. The role of the psychotherapist is to raise the patient's self-esteem through encouragement, illuminate his mistakes in lifestyle, and strengthen his social interest. In this way a cognitive reorganization is produced and the patient directed toward more socially useful behavior. Birth order (among siblings), dreams, and early recollections are used by the therapist in diagnosing the patient's lifestyle. Interest in Adler's psychology increased with the gain in the humanistic conception of man, which he pioneered. Adlerian societies exist in numerous European countries, in the United States, where the Journal of Individual Psychology is published, and in Israel. A government supported Adlerian institute was established in Tel Aviv to train school psychologists, counselors, and teachers. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: H. and R. Ansbacher (eds.), Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler; A Systematic Presentation in Selections from his Writings (1956; paperback, 1964), including extensive bibliographies   and indices. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: T. Weiss-Rosmarin, in: Individual Psychology, 46 (1990), 108–18. (Heinz L. Ansbacher)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Adler, Alfred — born Feb. 7, 1870, Penzing, Austria died May 28, 1937, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scot. Austrian psychiatrist. He earned his medical degree in Vienna, and from his earliest years as a physician he stressed consideration of the individual in… …   Universalium

  • Adler, Alfred — (1870–1937)    Among Sigmund Freud’s most important students, Adler followed his mentor’s early career trajectory as well. He trained as a physician and psychiatrist and worked in the laboratory of the brain specialist Theodore Meynert… …   Historical dictionary of Austria

  • Adler , Alfred — (1870–1937) Austrian psychologist Adler was born in Penzing, Austria, the son of a corn merchant, and was educated at the University of Vienna, where he obtained his MD in 1895. After two years at the Vienna General Hospital he set up in private… …   Scientists

  • Adler, Alfred — ► (1870 1937) Psicólogo vienés. Modificó las teorías de su maestro Freud y creó la psicología individual, que atribuye la causa de los desequilibrios emocionales a las deficiencias o debilidades actuales o imaginadas de la persona. Creó la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Adler, Alfred — (1870–1937)    Austrian psychologist. For many years, Adler was a prominent member of Freud’s intimate psychoanalytical circle in Vienna, but with the publication of his own theories in 1911, he resigned and founded a society and a journal of his …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Adler,Alfred — Ad·ler (ädʹlər, ădʹ ), Alfred. 1870 1937. Austrian psychiatrist who rejected Sigmund Freud s emphasis on sexuality and theorized that neurotic behavior is an overcompensation for feelings of inferiority. * * * …   Universalium

  • Adler, Alfred — (1870 1937)    Austrian psychia trist. Born in Vienna, he studied medicine and opened a practice there. After meeting Sigmund Freud, he became a member of his inner circle. Later he disagreed with Freud about the role of sexual factors in… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • ADLER, Alfred — (1870 1937)    Austrian psychiatrist whose passionate concern with social problems led him to embrace socialism. Many of his ideas like the inferiority complex have been incorporated into popular speech. His books include    Understanding Human… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Alfred Adler — (* 7. Februar 1870 in Rudolfsheim bei Wien, heute der 15. Wiener Gemeindebezirk, Rudolfsheim Fünfhaus; † 28. Mai 1937 in Aberdeen, Schottland) war ein österreichischer Arzt und Psyc …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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