Who Is Dr. Alfred Adler?
Alfred Adler (1870-1937) was an Austrian medical Dr and psychologist. He was the first major figure to break away from Psychoanalytical model pioneered by Sigmund Freud and he founded an independent school of psychotherapy as well as a unique model of personality development. The school of psychology established by Adler was called Individual Psychology. He construed the meaning of Individual to be indivisible - i.e. holistic and this is one of the distinguishing features of the Adlerian model, now known as holism. Rather than viewing the individual personality as being in conflict, driven by unconscious forces and drives, Adler's view was that behaviour was largely purposive and that understanding of the purpose was a key task of therapy and change.
Another feature of Individual Psychology is that its students have always been a mixture of professional and lay people. Principles of equality and democracy are fundamental to the Adlerian approach.
Adler died suddenly of a heart attack while on a teaching tour. In the years immediately prior to his death, he was based in the US and fortunately had taught there. One of his students was Rudolph Dreikurs who was instrumental in the development of parent education groups. Such groups are a vibrant part of the world wide Adlerian network today.