POWER IN ADLERIAN THEORY
Kurt A. Adler, Ph.D., M.D.
(Contribution of Carrol Ray Thomas)
It was in 1908, while still very active within the Freudian psychoanalytic circle, that Alfred Adler developed further his theory of “organ inferiority,” which he had proposed in 1904, so that it encompassed more and more psychological phenomena. It was now feeling of inferiority, instead of actual organ inferiority that began to assume importance; the emphasis became now the psychological, rather than the physical, compensations the individual uses, in order to overcome his felt inferiorities.
Since feelings of inadequacy or inferiority were considered basic – being constantly engendered by the physical, mental, and social difficulties in adaptation to the environment – compensations for these feelings were also necessities for successful adaptation. This striving of the individual to overcome actual or felt inferiorities, in his attempt to adaptation, was called by Adler variously a “striving for perfection,”…
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