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:

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.