Moving Ahead to Adler

Published February 18, 2019, The NASAP Newsletter (TNN), Erik Mansager, PhD

Many thanks to those who sent comments about the last column. I think these observations are representative:

I might quibble with your term “clinical constructs.” I would call the subject of your article “dynamics” or “psychodynamics.” I have said to my students for a long time that IP has a unique and exciting set of psychodynamics, starting, in my mind, with teleological movement.

I really like what you have done here. You provide a model for a case conceptualization. In my practice I try to share a case conceptualization with the client and work together with them as therapy progresses.

I certainly agree that ours is “a unique and exciting set of psychodynamics”! For now, let me use that as a segue to the subject of “depth” in Adlerian psychology.

Adler’s Clinical Constructs

Published December 26, 2018, The NASAP Newsletter (TNN), Erik Mansager, PhD

Last time this column focused on the general therapeutic aim of Classical Adlerian Depth Psychotherapy (CADP). This time the focus is a bit more specific by looking at the application of the clinical constructs related to Adler’s comprehensive model.

These clinical constructs are not the same as the philosophical constructs of Adler’s theory: existentialism, holism, phenomenology, social embeddedness, subjectivism, teleology. Clearly, Adler steeped himself in a broad philosophical world view. He was not only among the first psychotherapists to think within this context but likely the first to think along these specific philosophical lines. Today, the philosophical constructs constitute the basis of similarity between Individual Psychology and most current therapies. But what still distinguishes Adler’s therapeutic approach from other therapies is his range of specific clinical constructs.

Dissolving the Life Style?

Published October 11, 2018, The NASAP Newsletter (TNN), Erik Mansager, PhD

Maybe in this third installment it’s time to share a little of what classical Adlerian depth psychotherapy aims for in practice. What is the clinical focus of our work, and how might that differ from the way others practice Adlerian counseling or therapy?

How about we start at the finish: the goal. The betterment of humanity was Adler’s big target – and this made the wellbeing of the individual and the welfare of the community equally important. You can’t have one without the other. His grasp of democratic living was not a “representative” model where some are expendable while others represent the welfare of all. No, Adler understood the world could work optimally only when each individual felt safe and secure. Under such conditions, each individual could contribute to the whole – and the secure whole was the assurance that no individual would be left out. The welfare of the community is assured by the individuals’ willingness to make the contribution they are capable of providing.

Respecting Differences: Adler and Dreikurs

Conference Event: Individual Psychology in the Current World: Best Practices
Hosted by: International Association of Individual Psychology
November 19th, 2018
Vienna, Austria

Erik Mansager, past NASAP president, will discuss his ideas about a difference in the views of Adler and Dreikurs. Adler taught that the goal of the personality is the Persönlichkeitsideal (personality ideal), while Dreikurs asserted that it is to belong. Erik indicates, that efforts to persuade Adlerians that Adler propagated “to belong” as the goal of the personality, provide no convincing evidence of this, either in Adler’s written material or in the writings of his biographers. The presentation proposes to accept the goal of the personality as a genuine difference between the two men.

Read Erik’s Full Presentation Here

And Here’s What We Mean by Classical…

Published August 15, 2018, The NASAP Newsletter (TNN), Erik Mansager, PhD

In the July issue of The NASAP Newsletter I shared the reasons for a new column. This time I’ll jump right into the fray and address the question, “What is meant by classical in Classical Adlerian Depth Psychotherapy?” The answer can go in a few directions, but I’d like to address what classical DOES mean.