Adler, Alfred

Alfred Adler (1870–1937) developed a theory of personality and approach to counseling and psychotherapy that he called Individual (or Adlerian) Psychology. Although Adler was a colleague of Sigmund Freud’s in the Viennese Psychoanalytic Society (VPS) early in his career (1902–1911), his theory and approach to mental health evolved over time into an integration of cognitive, constructivist, existential-humanistic, systemic, and psychodynamic perspectives that focuses on prevention and education rather than merely remediation, mental health rather than mental illness, and client’s strengths, assets, and abilities rather than their weakness and disabilities.

Adler was born in the village of Rudolfsheim, a suburb of Vienna, Austria, on February 7, 1870. He was the second of six children and had health problems most of his early life, including bouts with rickets, ...

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