In detail

Adlerian Therapy: What is it?

Adlerian Therapy: What is it?

The adlerian therapy seeks to boost social interest, since according to Adler's theory the source of the problem in personality occurs as a result of the lack of social interest. In this way, therapy is oriented in the change of behavior, thought and emotion through different progressive stages.

Evaluation in adlerian therapy

In the beginning the lifestyle is evaluated, in order for this to give therapy the context necessary to understand the conflict. Adler tended to wonder what would that person have done if a certain problem had not been presented, in order to be able to find what the patient wanted to avoid.

As the lifestyle adopted by the person has already been analyzed, it provides the strategies to avoid or achieve certain things, in this way the patient's symptom cannot be eliminated if the lifestyle remains the same.

Notable characteristics of adlerian therapy

Adlerian therapy is usually short, since he believed that the treatment should show some success within the first 3 months of it. Therapy in addition does not intimidate the patient with very scientific terms, but rather offers a warm atmosphere, as supportive.

Humor is used to improve the therapy environment and the religious ideologies of the patients are respected, to the point that they used to be used to understand the struggle of the person, as well as a method to improve the emotional state of the person.

This therapy was aimed at strengthening the patient's self-esteem. Another characteristic of therapy is that it seeks a benefit not only for the patient but also for society.

An example that Adler used to demonstrate the early memory theory in his therapy he was the example of a man who assured, without having real evidence, that his wife was going to end his marriage.

Adler's intervention was to ask him about his first memory. The patient replied that he remembered being picked up by his mother, then she would lower him from the bed and raise his brother. Based on this first memory, Adler inferred a lifestyle based on not being the favorite, which would clearly be the cause of his thoughts of doubt about the seriousness and commitment of his marriage.

Stages of therapy

Adlerian therapy is divided into a total of twelve stages. In this article we will make a brief summary of the main milestones reached in each of them.

First stage

In this first stage the main thing is to create a working relationship with the patient. Empathy, sincerity and honesty is absolutely fundamental, on both sides.

Second stage

In the second stage, also called the information stage, the psychologist will try collect as much information as possible about the patient's conflict. In addition, it will seek to obtain information about the first memories of this.

Third stage

The third stage is a phase of intense work. What is intended is to collect and clarify all the information about the patient's self-concept, as well as thoughts and feelings about him and his surroundings.

Fourth stage

Obtained all the necessary information about the life, thoughts and feelings of the patient, It seeks to push the patient towards improvement.

Fifth stage

In this stage a process of interpretation of new and old behaviors is carried out, as well as the difficulties presented by the patient.

Sixth stage

At this stage, the patient already has knowledge and understands some of his difficulties and vicissitudes, so that You can start making an interpretation of your conflicts.

Seventh stage

Throughout this stage emotions stand out, since they are used to modify existing patterns characterized by being harmful, with new healthier patterns.

8th stage

In this stage the patient undertakes to make concrete and lasting changes in his behavior, important to him, and that will have a positive impact on his life.

Ninth stage

At this stage the importance of the socio-family environment is emphasized. In this way, the patient begins to show interest, not only in their needs, but also in those of other people.

Tenth stage

After the completion of the tenth stage, the concept and sense of community has been established in the person.

Eleventh stage

New goals are sought, new challenges in which to turn after almost 11 stages of learning and personal growth.

Twelfth stage

After finishing the 12 stages, the patient has made peace with his past, is an integrated being, useful for society. In addition, it has grown personally and spiritually.


  • Adler, A., Bernstein, J., Brachfeld, F. O., Bernstein, J., & Rodríguez Bustamante, N. (1965).Neurotic character. Paidós ,.
  • Adler, A. (1957).The science of living. Diana.
  • Oberst, U., Ibarz, V., & León, R. (2004). The individual psychology of Alfred Adler and the psychosynthesis of Olivér Brachfeld.Journal of Neuro-Psychiatry67(1-2), 31-44.