Frequently Asked Questions About The Basic Principles Of Classical Adlerian Psychology

Wherever we are in the world, it is both inevitable and necessary to make new connections. No man is an island; there is always a need to belong somewhere. The relationships we have help in getting us what we need.

 Humans are inherently social beings. It is rewarding for us to talk with people and be liked by them. If we are judged for what we have done, we tend to work on changing ourselves. We then begin to be nitpicky about certain things. However, what we truly need is to be aware of the big picture. Social interactions and self-reflection help us become the best version of ourselves. These are Alfred Adler‘s beliefs.


Classical Adlerian psychology believes that every one of us has a goal we want to reach. However, when striving for this goal, we need to reflect on each part of ourselves. Adlerian psychology focuses on every aspect for a complete understanding of self.

Moreover, Adlerian psychology believes that we can only achieve better things if we have a good relationship with society. With these realizations, there is then a form of harmony. We are aware of society’s influence on us and of our impact on society. It is a mutual relationship. If we stay good, everything will work well, and we will be treated in the same way that we behaved.

In the end, this is all to help us achieve what we want in life. A harmonious society and self can brave anything that comes their way.

For a brief introduction to Classical Adlerian and how it compares to other psychology theories, read the FAQs below:

What are the Adlerian techniques?

There are several Adlerian techniques that therapists use to help encourage change.

The Adlerian techniques include

  1. Life Tasks
  2. Interpretation
  3. Immediacy
  4. Encouragement
  5. Acting As If
  6. Catching Oneself
  7. Aha Responses
  8. Avoiding the Tar Baby
  9. Asking The Question
  10. Spitting in the Client’s Soup
  11. Assigning Homework

What is Adler’s individual psychology theory?

This theory states that each person has a unique personality, set of goals, and lifestyle. Adler’s theory says that the need to feel like they belong motivates the choices of a person. In Adler’s individual psychology theory, a person is never separate from society.

What are Adler’s 3 safeguarding tendencies?

Adler’s three safeguarding tendencies are excuses, aggression, and withdrawal.

The first common safeguarding tendency is Excuses. It is where the person would use “Yes, but” or “If only” statements. These statements protect low self-esteem. It deceives others into thinking the person using them is more superior.

The second is aggression. Here the person protects their inflated sense of self-worth by making statements against others. Sometimes they even make remarks against the self.

The third safeguarding tendency is withdrawal. With this, a person runs away from life’s problems. Rather than facing them head-on, they isolate themselves. It happens through various actions. They sometimes create obstacles themselves.

Is Adlerian Theory nature or nurture?

Adlerian theory is a cross between nature and nurture. Those who adhere to Adler’s theories believe that neither nature nor nurture affects a person’s behaviors. Instead, a person responds to both nature and nurture. This, in turn, shapes them and their life.

What is the question in Adlerian therapy?

The Question in Adlerian therapy is a technique that determines a person’s physiological or psychological problem. It asks, “What would be different if you were well?”

What is the goal of Adlerian therapy?

Adlerian therapy’s goal is to help people feel comfortable in a community. This therapy focuses on overcoming a person’s inferiority complex. It also seeks to eliminate the anxiety or discomfort that comes with it.

What is Horney’s theory?

Karen Horney’s theory asserts that neurotic behavior is a person’s response to make life more bearable. In other words, it’s a way to cope with difficult situations where our needs aren’t met.

Some of these needs include:

  1. The need for affection and approval
  2. A partner’s need
  3. The need for control
  4. The need for perfection

If a person doesn’t meet these neurotic needs, they will behave using various coping strategies.

What are the main components of Jung’s theory?

The three main components of the human psyche are ego, personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious. In his theory, the ego is the conscious mind. It allows us to act on our basic urges yet form moral and ideal standards. Meanwhile, the personal unconscious holds memories–both suppressed and not. Lastly, the collective unconscious is a body of knowledge and experience. Jung theorizes all humans have inherited it.

What is the goal of individual psychological therapy?

Individual psychology therapy aims to help a person become aware of and change their faulty logic. With this, they can then establish healthy, rewarding goals in life.


What is fictional Finalism?

Fictional Finalism refers to an individual’s unconscious goals and self-ideals. These goals form during childhood, but every person retains them as they grow up. Usually, these goals exist to make up for feelings of inferiority.

What was a unique aspect of early Adlerian therapy?

Treating children in front of viewers was an exclusive feature of early Adlerian therapy. This audience includes parents, teachers, and health professionals. He believed that it would help teach that their problems are also the community’s problems. In turn, it would make them feel that they belong to a community that is just as concerned.

Why did Adler call his theory individual psychology?

Adler called his theory such because it asserts that each individual has a distinctive personality. He believed that a person could make choices based on the need to belong within society. These choices overall are what make a person unique from another.

Is Adler humanistic?

Because Adler’s theories are essentially about a person’s self-worth, Adler is humanistic. A humanistic approach takes a look at an individual. It focuses on how each one is uniquely creative in overcoming obstacles in life.

Why do people strive for superiority?

In line with Adler’s theory, people strive for superiority to make up for what they lack. Anything they lack can either stem from or cause feelings of weakness or inferiority.

What is the masculine protest?

Despite its name, a masculine protest refers to a woman’s behavior. When a woman is aware of her inferior position, she exhibits masculine protests or assertions. In this way, she insists on being “treated like a man.”


According to Classical Adlerian Psychology, we need to have a good relationship with others and society. It will help us reach whatever dream we are aiming for. It can also give you peace of mind. However, forming bonds is not and won’t ever be easy, especially if you feel alone in such a huge group.

Everyone has some problem in life. Most find it easy to get over with, but some struggle with overcoming it. Whichever the case, it is not an example of strong and weak, but rather of having a support system or none at all. Knowing that there will be someone to catch you whenever you fall can be comforting. It is unimaginable not to have a support system.


A lot of people struggle for a long time because of their loneliness. It consumes them, and then it becomes difficult to find a way out and deal with their problem. Therapy becomes important at this point.

You are given guidance by a professional during therapy. They will lead you and provide aid if you need it. It may be enough, but there is yet another way to gain a support system.

This other way is by joining a support group, where you all have similar problems. They are sure to understand what you are going through and discuss your situation in the way you prefer, fostering a sense of solidarity among all of you.

This is one way of forming good relationships as defined by Classical Adlerian. The relationship is mutual: it helps you become better and provides them with your aid. In the end, you will be striving for your goals and living your good life, comfortable with your new community. 

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