Each individuality is different; however, there are some specific features, which people may share. Applying to these similar features, the psychological theories have been developed. Reading two cases devoted to Martin, a successful lawyer, and Toshimi, an owner of a ballet school, the individual psychological theory developed by Alfred Adler may be considered. Being a socially directed theory, Alfred Adler is sure that people are motivated in their actions by means of the social influence.
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Striving for superiority and success is the means according to which people build their plans. Alfred Adler is inclined to think that human present actions are based on the idea of their future opinion about their life. People always know what they are doing and why they are doing it. Therefore, people always control their life and everything they do depends on their will and traits of character.
Individual psychology theory developed by Alfred Adler has both advantages and disadvantages. Moreover, this theory is highly motivational and not each person is able to become successful. Alfred Adler’s individual psychology is based on the “objectivist and constructivist elements … romantic (humanistic), modern (cognitive) and postmodern aspects” (Oberst, 2003). Alfred Adler built his theory on the idea that human style of life is based on the development during childhood (Carducci, 2009).
Depending on the character of a person, he/she either becomes stronger with the desire to live differently, or just leads the same life as he/she used to. However, childhood puts its imprint on the future behavior of people. Considering Martin and Toshimi’s cases discussed in Pieces of the Personality Puzzle by Funder and Ozer (2010), the following data may be used to support Alfred Adler’s ideas.
Martin and Toshimi’s actions were affected by the society. Living in the world where all people need to achieve something, Martin and Toshimi were dissatisfied with what they had. Looking at others, they once understood what they wanted to do. Small cases from the childhood made both Martin and Toshimi reconsider their future.
Martin decided to become a lawyer when he understood that he could be useful to those who were unfairly accused of. Toshimi saw a TV program and concluded that she may do the same way and even better. Therefore, being inclined to think socially, Martin and Toshimi understood that to achieve something they are to work hard and ruin the mode of life they used to.
Martin and Toshimi strived for success and superiority being encouraged by their past failures. They wanted to be better than they used to be. Martin and Toshimi belonged to the social minorities and while facing the difficulties they did not refuse their dreams, but they were encouraged by this fact and wanted to become better, to achieve success to show themselves and others that they can do it.
Martin was not very loved in the family while Toshimi felt too much love; however, these people were not happy, as they were not treated fairly. The desire to achieve success, the desire to become better, superior is based on the desire to show others that one of them (Martin) is able to achieve success without outside help, while another one (Toshimi) can be successful without additional assistance.
Martin and Toshimi thought about their future providing the changes in their present lives. Being particularly treated in their childhood, Toshimi and Martin understood that they were to change something. It is essential to make sure that we understand the reasons of Toshimi and Martin’s actions.
Being able to think strategically, both Martin and Toshimi understood that in the future they were to be successful. Thinking about lawyer and dancing careers, Martin and Toshimi respectively thought about the actions they were to make at that moment Having some difficulties connected with their families, Martin and Toshimi did all possible to overcome those difficulties on the way to the future success.
Finally, Martin and Toshimi knew what they were doing and what the reasons of their actions were. Alfred Adler’s theory is based on the complete understanding of the actions. It should be mentioned that the situations discussed in the case study are not unique.
Many people are under pressure at home and when they are to choose their future professions, they refer to the ones where they will be as distant from their parents’ care as possible. Moreover, the understanding of the difficulties, which may appear on the way to success and other specific issues, only increase the desire to become successful.
Therefore, it may be concluded that Alfred Adler has developed a working theory of individual psychology. Having analyzed the actions completed by Martin and Toshimi it becomes obvious that they definitely meet Alfred Adler’s ideas. Moreover, reading those stories, it is possible to understand that such stories are numerous. Of course, not all of them contain all the aspects of Alfred Adler’s psychological theory, however, the elements of it is possible to find in each human life especially on their way of building their individual future.
Carducci, B. J. (2009). The Psychology of Personality: Viewpoints, Research, and Applications. New York: Wiley & Sons.
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Funder, D. C., & Ozer, D. J. (2010). Pieces of the Personality Puzzle: Readings in Theory and Research. New York: W. W. Norton.
Oberst, U. (2003). Adlerian Psychotherapy: An Advanced Approach to Individual Psychology. New York: Psychology Press.