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Adlerian therapy: Discover The Key to Happiness and Success

February 20, 2024

6 min read

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Author : United We Care
Clinically approved by : Dr.Vasudha
Adlerian therapy: Discover The Key to Happiness and Success


Adlerian therapy, which is also known as individual psychology, is a goal-oriented and short-term therapy. Additionally, it is a positive psychodynamic therapy that is based on the theories of Alfred Adler, hence the name Adlerian therapy. The main focus of this form of therapy is to help overcome barriers in life and create a sense of belonging and purpose. 

What is Adlerian Therapy

Firstly, Adlerian therapy can be defined as an overall approach to psychology. It suggests that individuals need to feel a sense of belonging and also overcome their inferiority to achieve success and happiness. Importantly, the Adlerian form of therapy uses techniques like encouragement, creating expectations, and examining memories. These techniques help people gain insights into their problems as well as their behaviors.  

Moreover, social interactions and community involvement are considered to be pretty important parts of Adlerian therapy. The influence of birth order, relationship with siblings, attitudes of the parents, and the development of personality are also taken into account. 

Along with this, its focus is to understand a person’s lifestyle and their social interests. Additionally, it also examines their past experiences and family dynamics while also encouraging goal-setting and positive behavioral changes. This results in helping with fighting the barriers and getting over them in life. Eventually, this leads to the creation of a sense of belonging and purpose.

Key Concepts of Adlerian Theory

In order to make sure that Adlerian therapy is effective, some key concepts are particularly implemented. Additionally, this is why it works well for the patients. 

Adlerian therapy: Discover The Key to Happiness and Success


Firstly, this concept refers to the individual’s unique lifestyle, choices, and perspective on everything. Acknowledging this helps in working with the client better. 

Social Interest 

Second, through this key concept, one’s contribution and willingness towards the welfare of society and people are analyzed.


Furthermore, while taking this point into consideration, we evaluate patterns of behaviors, thought processes, and other beliefs. In addition, it is usually in accordance with the environment and experiences of the individual. This is a reflection of one’s goals, coping mechanisms, and understanding of self-concepts.

Fictional Finalism

This is the concept that states that people have imagined or certainly have idealized goals that guide their behavior and give meaning to their lives.

Superiority and Inferiority

In summation, qualities like this are equally evaluated to define feelings of motivation in people. Particularly, this can help with either striving for the better or overcoming challenges. 

What are Adlerian Therapy Techniques

Significantly, to make Adlerian therapy successful, there are certain techniques to practice. Some of them are mentioned below: 

Engagement and Relationship-building 

Here, the therapist tries to form a strong therapeutic relationship with the client based on trust, respect, and collaboration.

In this type of arrangement, the therapist focuses on building a healthy relationship with the client. Besides, this is usually achieved by making the client feel a sense of respect and trust. Along with this, a sense of collaboration is aimed for.

Lifestyle Assessment

Moreover, in the techniques, a therapist considers all aspects of the patient’s past. This includes their family history, their relationship with them, life events, or even childhood memories. Likewise, it helps the therapist understand the core beliefs and values of the patient for the further treatment process.

Early Recollections

This technique includes the process of a form of recollection of memories from very early times. By doing this, therapists analyze the meaning behind it for the patient. Additionally, it helps the therapist understand why a patient is the way they are.


Here, altogether, the therapists aim to make the client believe in the empathy and care they have towards them. This is usually done by recognizing the strengths and potential of the clients. Furthermore, this helps the client battle their sense of inferiority better and be confident in their choices.

What is the Goal of Adlerian Therapy

Adlerian therapy’s sole purpose is to give clients an advantage in believing in themselves and having an optimistic view regarding their own self. Along with this, it keeps its goal of helping the client lead a more supportive lifestyle with a positive outlook toward improvement. This presents an increase in social interest and belonging. Also, this therapy indeed takes away the feelings of isolation and insecurity from the patient’s life by making them feel important enough.

It is to be noted that Adlerian Therapy also aims to help the client identify their abnormal behavior and beliefs. Importantly, it helps them replace those behaviors with more normal and beneficial behavioral patterns and beliefs. These concepts, techniques, and goals are the main reasons why Adlerian Therapy is such a positive and effective form of therapy. In addition to other forms of therapy, this was developed to help others get their life on the right track.


To sum it all up, Adlerian therapy can be defined as a humanistic and optimistic approach to psychology. Additionally, it emphasizes the potential and uniqueness of every individual while also keeping social context and cooperation as important factors. Along with this, this therapy is based on the methods of Alfred Adler, who believed that the thing that motivated people the most was a sense of belonging and purpose. 

Adlerian therapy especially employs various techniques that can help the client understand their lifestyle and change their unhealthy beliefs. While also supporting the client’s positive behaviors. Briefly, Adlerian Therapy focuses on helping the client develop a more positive self-image, a more beneficial lifestyle, and a better sense of belonging and social interest. To conclude, this form of therapy makes patient’s lives better by helping them for the better. It has been proven to generate better results if the treatment is implemented effectively.


[1] Fiedler, F.E., 1950. A comparison of therapeutic relationships in psychoanalytic, nondirective and adlerian therapy. Journal of consulting Psychology, 14(6), p.436.

[2] Carlson, J., Watts, R.E. and Maniacci, M., 2006. Adlerian therapy: Theory and practice. American Psychological Association.

[3] Carlson, J.D. and Englar-Carlson, M., 2012. Adlerian therapy. In Contemporary psychotherapies for a diverse world (pp. 87-130). Routledge.

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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