Depth training in counselling and psychotherapy is not as common in Canada and the United States as it is in Europe. The depth focus of classical Adlerian therapy is more aligned with the psychodynamic approaches of its historical roots and can be differentiated from mainstream Adlerian practice in North America which is a cognitive based and strongly systemized approach. Adlerian depth psychotherapy, on the other hand, advocates creative client-clinician collaboration based on the individuality of the client. We emphasize Adler’s original integration of cognitive structures, feeling tone and behavioral interactions.
Yet we also distinguish ourselves from the typical psychodynamic standpoint of Adler’s theory and therapy which has continued in Europe. The Adlerian training institutes here (e.g., in Berlin, http://aai.berlin/ and Milan, http://www.scuolaadleriana.it/, as well as Vilnius, Lithuania, http://www.lipd.ltt) consider themselves within the contemporary psychoanalytic movement. Because AAISR’s depth-orientation is holistic, it understands “inner conflicts” (dualistic struggles between “the id” and “the ego”) to be the incongruity of the individual’s unique and unitary Life Style with demands of social adjustment.
The emphasis of CADP is to help the individual clinician grasp Adler’s conceptualization of the human “psyche” or “soul” (for Adler, the principle of movement in life). Adler’s understanding of unconscious dynamics is quite different than Freud’s or Jung’s and our aim is to distinguish his approach and its application in the clinical encounter. Browse through the training modules and you’ll get a first impression about how Adler understood the human psyche.