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Flashcards in Adlerian Deck (53)
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An intervention that
is concise, deliberate, direct, effi cient, focused,
short-term, and purposeful.

Adlerian brief therapy


Faulty, self-defeating perceptions,
attitudes, and beliefs that may have been
appropriate at one time but are no longer useful.
These are myths that are infl uential in shaping

Basic mistakes


Adler identifi ed fi ve psychological
positions from which children tend to view life:
oldest, second of only two, middle, youngest, and
only. Actual birth order itself is less important than a person’s interpretation of his or her place
in the family.

Birth order


An individual’s awareness
of being part of the human community. Community
feeling embodies the sense of being connected
to all humanity and to being committed
to making the world a better place.

Community feeling


Childhood memories (before
the age of 9) of one-time events. People retain
these memories as capsule summaries of
their present philosophy of life. From a series of
____________, it is possible to understand
mistaken notions, present attitudes, social interests,
and possible future behavior.

Early recollections


We cannot be understood
in parts; all aspects of ourselves must be understood
in relation to each other.

Holistic concept


Another term for fi ctional
fi nalism, which represents an individual’s image
of a goal of perfection.

Guiding self-ideal


A congruence between the client’s
and the counselor’s goals and the collaborative
effort of two persons working equally toward
specific, agreed-on goals.

Goal alignment


An imagined central goal
that gives direction to behavior and unity to the
personality; an image of what people would be
like if they were perfect and perfectly secure.

Fictional finalism


The social and psychological
structure of the family system; includes
birth order, the individual’s perception of self,
sibling characteristics and ratings, and parental
relationships. Each person forms his or her
unique view of self, others, and life through the

Family constellation


The process of increasing
one’s courage to face life tasks; used throughout
therapy as a way to counter discouragement and
to help people set realistic goals.



Adler’s original name
for his approach that stressed understanding the
whole person, how all dimensions of a person
are interconnected, and how all these dimensions
are unifi ed by the person’s movement toward
a life goal.

Individual psychology


The early determining
force in behavior; the source of human striving
and the wellspring of creativity. Humans
attempt to compensate for both imagined and
real inferiorities, which helps them overcome

Inferiority feelings


An individual’s way of thinking, feeling,
and acting; a conceptual framework by which
the world is perceived and by which people are
able to cope with life tasks; the person’s personality

Style of life


A strong inclination
toward becoming competent, toward mastering
the environment, and toward self-improvement.
The striving for perfection is a
movement toward enhancement of self.

Striving for superiority


A sense of identifi cation with
humanity; a feeling of belonging; an interest in
the common good.

Social interest


The phase of the counseling
process in which clients are helped to discover
a new and more functional perspective and are
encouraged to take risks and make changes in
their lives.



Basic convictions and assumptions
of the individual that underlie the lifestyle
pattern and explain how behaviors fi t together to
provide consistency.

Private logic


A special form of awareness that
facilitates a meaningful understanding within
the therapeutic relationship and acts as a foundation
for change.



Focus on the
way people perceive their world. For Adlerians,
objective reality is less important than how people
interpret reality and the meanings they attach
to what they experience.

Phenomenological approach


Adlerians seek basic information
about the client’s life as a part of the
lifestyle assessment process.

Objective interview


The process of gathering
early memories, which involves learning to understand
the goals and motivations of the client.

Lifestyle assessment


The core beliefs and assumptions
through which the person organizes his or her
reality and fi nds meaning in life events. Our perceptions
of self, others, and the world. Our characteristic
way of thinking, acting, feeling, living,
and striving toward long-term goals.



Universal problems in human life,
including the tasks of friendship (community),
work (a division of labor), and intimacy (love
and marriage).

Life tasks


Understanding clients’ underlying
motives for behaving the way they do in the
here and now.



Used in an initial assessment to
gain understanding of the purpose that symptoms
or actions have in a person’s life. The question
is, “How would your life be different, and what
would you do differently, if you did not have this
symptom or problem?”

The question


The process whereby
the counselor helps clients tell their life story as
completely as possible.

Subjective interview


Adlerian therapy is well suited to a
brief or time-limited approach.



Adler chose the name Individual
Psychology for his theoretical
approach because he wanted to
avoid reductionism.



Striving for superiority is seen as a
neurotic manifestation.