Reflections About Classical Adlerian Depth Psychotherapy: Theory, Practice, and Life

A vigorously optimistic and inspiring approach to prevention and treatment, Classical Adlerian Depth Psychotherapy balances the equally important needs for individual, optimal development and social contribution. With a solid foundation in the original teachings and therapeutic style of Alfred Adler, it integrates the self-actualization research of Abraham Maslow. For more information, visit our web site at http//

My Photo
Location: Bellingham, Washington, United States

Classical Adlerian psychotherapist and training analyst. Director of the Alfred Adler Institute of Northwestern Washington, offering distance training in Classical Adlerian psychotherapy. Tel: (360) 647-5670. Email:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Motive Matters by Lauire Stein

The public service of former presidential nominees includes leading the forces of D-Day, fighting in WW II, governing a state, representing a state in the Senate, and organizing disadvantaged community members to take action on their own behalf. Please read Donald Trump's biography. He has employed people, of course. That's how businesses make money. But what has he done for the purpose of helping others? Some billionaires endow universities; provide full college scholarships to hundreds of deserving students; or actively work in other countries to build schools, distribute medicines, teach improved farming methods. In his 70 years of living, what are Trump's good deeds that show he cares about the welfare of others (as in "putting your money where your mouth is")? Please read HRC'S biography. She began her work for women and children in 1977 and has served others, in some capacity, since then. Has she made mistakes? Of course. Who has accomplished as much as she has without mistakes? But she acknowledges and takes responsibility for them. We may not vote for her as Homecoming Queen, but who else has her depth of experience in complex national and international affairs? Finally, are there other men in America with Trump's contempt for minorities? Who disparage and bully women? Who use his vulgar language? Of course. But we don't elect them President. We don't choose them as our representative to the world. Attitude and motive matter.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Journal Articles on Classical Adlerian Depth Psychotherapy

All of the articles on Classical Adlerian Depth Psychotherapy, recently published in the Journal of Individual Psychology, may now be accessed at no cost, directly from our web site at Contents of the JIP Special Issue: * "Classical Adlerian Depth Psychotherapy: The Congruence of a Theory," by Erik Mansager * "Rediscovering Adler," by Henry Stein * "Striving for Authenticity," by Sophia de Vries * "A Narrative Survey of Classical Adlerian Psychotherapists," by Erik Mansager * "Applying the Classical Adlerian Family Diagnostic Process,"by Jane Pfefferle and Erik Mansager * "Classical Adlerian Assessment of an Adult Child of an Alcoholic: Queen of the Derelicts," by Dyanne Pienkowski * "Examples and Explanations of the Socratic Method in CADP," by Sophia de Vries and Henry Stein * Review of Classical Adlerian Psychotherapy, Volume 1," by Dyanne Pienkowski * "Classical Adlerian Publications"

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Life Style Analysis & Treatment Planning in Classical Adlerian Depth Psychotherapy

Henry Stein, Ph.D., announces his new book: "Creative Case Analysis: Uncovering the Fictional Final Goal and the Counter-Fiction That Hides It," the second volume in a series on the practice of Classical Adlerian Depth Psychotherapy. Part One provides the most complete exposition to date on how to translate a client's thinking, feeling, and behavior into goal-directed psychological movement. Part Two explores the creative process of life style analysis, including the steps of gathering, organizing, analyzing, and synthesizing case information into a comprehensive case analysis and treatment plan using all of Adler's theoretical constructs. Part three offers seven case illustrations. The appendix includes two client questionnaires; samples of a dynamic multi-generational genogram and timeline; several graphic images that clarify major constructs; and an article on fictions, magic, and neuroscience. To order "Classical Adlerian Depth Psychotherapy, Volume II: Creative Case Analysis: Uncovering the Fictional Final Goal and the Counter-Fiction That Hides It," go to ======================================= Henry T. Stein, Ph.D., Director & Senior Training Analyst Alfred Adler Institutes of San Francisco & Northwestern Washington Distance Training in Classical Adlerian Depth Psychotherapy Web site: E-mail: Tel: (360) 647-5670

Sunday, August 25, 2013

New Book on Classical Adlerian Depth Psychotherapy

"Classical Adlerian Depth Psychotherapy, Volume I - Theory & Practice: A Socratic Approach to Democratic Living," by Henry T. Stein, Ph.D. has just been published by the Alfred Adler Institute of Northwestern Washington. Using Adler's unabridged, original theory, Dr. Stein offers a twelve-stage model of treatment that clarifies the tasks and techniques needed to facilitate cognitive, affective, and behavioral change, including the Socratic method, guided and eidetic imagery, and role-playing. The ultimate aims of Classical Adlerian Depth Psychotherapy (CADP) are to expand the feeling of community and to dissolve the components of the self-limiting style of life: the unconscious, fictional final goal; counter-fiction; and inferiority feeling. This liberation unleashes the individual's creative power, widening his psychological horizon toward Adler's vision of optimal development and the self-actualization described by Abraham Maslow. This text provides a rare resource for clinicians, instructors, and students who wish to learn the full depth and scope of a holistic therapeutic approach based on Adler's original warm, gentle, diplomatic style of treatment. For a full description of the contents and ordering information, go to For an excerpt, "Part One: Overview of Classical Adlerian Theory: Chapter 5--The Style of Life." go to

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Einstein on Society and Personality

From "Ideas and Opinions," by Albert Einstein.

When we survey our lives and endeavors, we soon observe that almost the whole of our actions and desires is bound up with the existence of other human beings. We notice that our whole nature resembles that of the social animals. We eat food that others have produced, wear clothes that others have made, live in houses that others have built. The greater part of our knowledge and beliefs has been communicated to us by other people through the medium of a language which others have created. Without language our mental capacities would be poor indeed, comparable to those of the higher animals; we have, therefore, to admit that we owe our principal advantage over the beasts to the fact of living in human society. The individual, if left alone from birth, would remain primitive and beastlike in his thoughts and feelings to a degree that we can hardly conceive. The individual is what he is and has the significance that he has not so much in virtue of his individuality, but rather as a member of a great human community, which directs his material and spiritual existence from the cradle to the grave.

A man’s value to the community depends primarily on how far his feelings, thoughts, and actions are directed toward promoting the good of his fellows. We call him good or bad according to his attitude in this respect. It looks at first sight as if our estimate of a man depended entirely on his social qualities.

And yet such an attitude would be wrong. It can easily be seen that all the valuable achievements, material, spiritual, and moral, which we receive from society have been brought about in the course of countless generations by creative individuals. Someone once discovered the use of fire, someone the cultivation of edible plants, and someone the steam engine.

Only the individual can think, and thereby create new values for society, nay, even set up new moral standards to which the life of the community conforms. Without creative personalities able to think and judge independently, the upward development of society is as unthinkable as the development of the individual personality without the nourishing soil of the community.

The health of society thus depends quite as much on the independence of the individuals composing it as on their close social cohesion. It has rightly been said that the very basis of Graeco-European-American culture, and in particular of its brilliant flowering in the Italian Renaissance, which put an end to the stagnation of medieval Europe, has been the liberation and comparative isolation of the individual.

Let us now consider the times in which we live. How does society fare, how the individual? The population of the civilized countries is extremely dense as compared with former times; Europe today contains about three times as many people as it did a hundred years ago. But the number of leading personalities has decreased out of all proportion. Only a few people are known to the masses as individuals, through their creative achievements. Organization has to some extent taken the place of leading personalities, particularly in the technical sphere, but also to a very perceptible extent in the scientific.

The lack of outstanding figures is particularly striking in the domain of art. Painting and music have definitely degenerated and largely lost their popular appeal. In politics not only are leaders lacking, but the independence of spirit and the sense of justice of the citizen have to a great extent declined. The democratic, parliamentarian regime, which is based on such independence, has in many places been shaken; dictatorships have sprung up and are tolerated, because men’s sense of the dignity and the rights of the individual is no longer strong enough. In two weeks the sheeplike masses of any country can be worked up by the newspapers into such a state of excited fury that men are prepared to put on uniforms and kill and be killed, for the sake of the sordid ends of a few interested parties. Compulsory military service seems to me the most disgraceful symptom of that deficiency in personal dignity from which civilized mankind is suffering today. No wonder there is no lack of prophets who prophesy the early eclipse of our civilization. I am not one of these pessimists; I believe that better times are coming. Let me briefly state my reasons for such confidence.

In my opinion, the present manifestations of decadence are explained by the fact that economic and technologic developments have highly intensified the struggle for existence, greatly to the detriment of the free development of the individual. But the development of technology means that less and less work is needed from the individual for the satisfaction of the community’s needs. A planned division of labor is becoming more and more of a crying necessity, and this division will lead to the material security of the individual. This security and the spare time and energy which the individual will have at his disposal can be turned to the development of his personality. In this way the community may regain its health, and we will hope that future historians will explain the morbid symptoms of present-day society as the childhood ailments of an aspiring humanity, due entirely to the excessive speed at which civilization was advancing.

(Mein Weltbild, Amsterdam: Querido Verlag, 1934.)

Monday, February 04, 2013

Fictional Memories

In his article "Speak Memory," (New York Review, 2-21-13) Oliver Sacks discovers the unreliability of memory only a century after the Viennese psychiatrist Alfred Adler came to the same conclusion.  However, their assumptions differ about the plasticity and purpose of fictious memory.  Adler belived that memories, especiallly earliest childhood memories were reflections of an unconscious, fictional final goal that pulled all psychological functions--thinking, feeling, action, memory, imagination, dreams, even the function of some organs--in the same direction, for the same purpose.  An interesting diagnostic benchmark in therapy is that "earliest childhood memories" often change spontaneously during effective Classical Adlerian Depth Psychotherapy.  It is also possible for a therapist and client to gradually co-invent  new, substitute memories that have profound healing power.  The bad news is that some memories may be fictional; the good news is that we can use imagination to heal real or imagined toxic recollections.  In some cases, "missing developmental experiences" can be provided in therapy using vivid, guided imagery.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Alfred Adler on Medical Insurance: 2012 or 1903?

In his timely article, "Government Aid or Self-Help," Alfred Adler challenged the medical profession and the affluent to support government sponsored medical insurance. Although written in 1903, describing the political debates in Vienna, the issues echo our current health care controversies.  Adler emphasized that government cannot be relied on to reform health care, that any meaningful progress could only come from the efforts of the medical profession.  Read his provocative article at