Psychoanalytic therapy ends when both client and therapist mutually agree that they have reached the goals of therapy, that of the client reaching self-understanding, and being able to use uncovered information in confronting present conflicts and future possibilities of repetition of patterns of unwanted behavior. Adlerian theory offers much encouragement to disheartened individuals. It embraces inherent feelings of inferiority as positive signs of a person’ s realization that he needs to strive to be better than what he is now. The Adlerian theory focuses more on an individual’ s concern for social interest.
A person’ s capacity to identify and empathize with other people’ s life circumstances builds up his own self-esteem and relevant purpose of existence. Alfred Adler advocates that we must successfully master three universal life tasks: building friendships, establishing intimacy and contributing to society. Being able to do all three makes life worth living. A person’ s quality of relationship with his family members while growing up greatly influences the development of his personality. Individuals acquire a certain style of relating to others in childhood that carries over to their adult interactions. For instance, if his birth order reflects strong sibling rivalry, the patterns of behaviors with the rival sibling may be repeated to an adult counterpart in the person of a colleague at work who constantly competes with him in terms of work performance or social popularity within the office.
Adlerian therapy begins with establishing a mutually respectful relationship between the therapist and the client who both collaborate in identifying, exploring and disclosing mistaken goals and faulty assumptions in a client’ s life. The client is then reeducated towards the useful side of life which acknowledges his existence to be significant in his social circles.
He is likewise assisted in the adoption of appropriate behaviors and practices characterized feelings of belongingness and social interest.
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