The Adlerian Approach to Counselling & Therapy

Alfred Adler stated that

it is not what one had inherited that is important, but what one does with this inheritance in one’s early years – that is to say, the prototype built up in childhood

Adlerians believe that as we tackle adult life we may get caught in patterns of using thoughts, behaviours or strategies which is based on our ways of coping as a child (known as private logic).  Although these childhood survival strategies and beliefs worked well for us then, if we continue to see and approach the world we live in as adults the same way, these coping strategies may no longer be helpful or productive for us.

However, having created these past beliefs and coping strategies, Adlerians believe we can work towards changing ourselves and these likely habitual ways of being and behaving and thus find alternative ways of being and managing as adults in the community in which we live.

Adlerian Counsellors believe in the creativity of humans and the power of choice for us all, and therefore can help you to gain insight and understanding around the purpose of your own behaviour (working out why you do what you do).  From this we work with the model of INSIGHT + ACTION = CHANGE and encourage you to gradually move away from your old (less productive) ways of coping to new productive ways of being.  This may include helping you move from feelings of inferior and negative ways of protecting your self esteem towards being able to feel more capable and connected in your life and valued for the person you really are.

Adlerian Counselling is :-

CLIENT-CENTRED – it uses a variety of methods that help people identify their specific needs, by acknowledging that each client is unique; therefore, the techniques used must work for the personality of the client.

COMMITTED TO POSITIVE CHANGE – The goal of therapy is to support each client to their optimal level of personal, social, and societal functioning (our relationship with ourselves, those family and friends around us, and in the work that we do).  As Adler believed that as human beings we possess our own creative power to consciously shape our personality and destiny, we work towards supporting you in achieving those goals.

FOCUSED – As the goal of the therapy is to stimulate cognitive, emotional and behaviourial change, work in the counselling sessions is focused on supporting those changes that you want to experience as the client.  Change can happen when you are able to gain insight into your unconscious motivations so that you can then explore and practice new strategies and ways of being in the world.