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//

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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:

Sunday, April 17, 2011


In their new book "Supercooperators," Morris Novick and Roger Highfield state that "most of the great innovations of life on earth, from genes, to cells, to societies, have been due to the "master architect" of evolution: cooperation."  Figuring out how cooperation comes about and breaks down is the key to our survival as a species.  They also stage that: language, cognition morality, and the division of labor are evolutionary spin offs of the fundamental need of social creatures to cooperate; and that cooperation can prevail if altruists cluster together.

Supremacy of a Social Network

In a New York Times article (March 14, 2011, Nicholas Wade quotes Kim Hill, a social anthropologist at Arizona State University, who states that "The ability to cooperate, to make individuals subordinate their strong self-interest to the needs of the group, lies at the root of human achievement.  We have rockets because 10,000 people cooperate in producing the information."  In Dr, Hill;s views, Underlying human evolutionary success is the unusual ability of non-relatives to cooperate--in almost all other species, only closely related individuals will help each other.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Psychiatry Turning to Drug Therapy

In a March 5th, 2011 article in the New York Times, reporter Gardiner Harris describes the trend of psychiatrists in the united States giving up talk therapy completely and only prescribing medication.  Reduced insurance payments and pressure from hospitals and corporation have resulted in many psychiatrists seeing 1,200 patients for prescription adjustments, in 12-15 minute visits, often several months apart.  With a catastrophic loss of intimacy, many psychiatrists cannot even remember their patients' names.  A typical psychiatrist now sees 3-4 people in an hour, working an 11-hour day (40 patients/day!).  In 2005, only 11 percent of psychiatrists provided talk therapy, leaving the field open to psychologists, marriage & family therapists, and social workers.  Sadly, the profession seems to have caved in to a hard-nosed business practice.  However, a few adventurous psychiatrists have cut ties with insurers, relying on full payment from clients and word-of-mouth referrals.  The article does acknowledge that there is no evidence that psychiatrists provide higher quality talk therapy than psychologists, marriage and family therapists, or social workers.  Is it possible that some of these psychiatrists might have been able to sustain a talk therapy practice by getting better training?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Paul Ryan's Cruel and Ludicrous Plan

Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist, in his recent article, "Ryan's Cruel and Ludicrous Plan,"  offers concluding comments about Paul Ryan's plan being cruel and mean-spirited, hitting the psychological bulls-eye with astute precision.  An effective analytic strategy for understanding psychological intent is to examine the social effect.  Extreme "cost-reduction" plans often thinly conceal the desire by many wealthy, powerful investors and legislators, to cause hardship and suffering for those "beneath them" financially.  Alfred Adler, one of the pioneers in psychology, suggested that people who experience painful feelings of inadequacy may overcompensate by seeking extreme levels of wealth and power, usually at the expense of others.  Their insatiable obsession can sometimes be relieved only by the mass deprivation of their victims.  Adler called this form of aggression "the depreciation tendency."   If we frame these financial issues as attempts to cause economic, social, and emotional harm, we might open the public's eyes to the real motives of some of their legislators.  If certain Congressional representatives have no interest in promoting the common good, at least they might be shamed into doing no harm. 

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Even Bacteria Can Cooperate!

In the December 2010 issue of Science, microbiologists Derek Lovley and Zarath Summers report a discovery of new cooperative behavior in anerobic bacteria, called "interspecies electron transfer."  By sharing electrons, two microbes can consume food that neither of them can use on their own, working together in order to survive and grow.   These microoganisms are then able to adapt to novel conditions, evolving to to function more effectively in a new, challenging envrionment.  Too bad some larger organisms haven't learned the lesson of sharing resources.

Adlerian Perspective on Stuttering (The King's Speech and Personality)

Alfred Adler's treament of symptoms, such as stuttering, is reflected in his comment, "If you want to improve speech, you must improve the whole personality"  (The Literary Digest, May 3, 1936).