Alfred Adler, 1870 - 1937
Born: 7 February 1870, Rudolfsheim, Austria-Hungary (near Vienna)
Died: 28 May 1937, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK
Early childhood health problems, including rickets that kept him from walking until age four followed by near-fatal pneumonia, caused him to decide at age five to become a doctor. He earned his medical degree at the University of Vienna in 1897, he joined the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, and in 1907 was invited to join Sigmund Freud's Wednesday-evening discussions at his home. 1910 he was president of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, by the next year he led the first major departure from the Freudians. His "Individual Psychology" was more holistic and argued the importance of social equality. He developed the concepts of the inferiority complex and the significance of birth order. Adler lectured and taught At Columbia University from 1926 and he held a visiting chair at the Long Island College of Medicine from 1932. When the Nazis closed the Jewish doctor's clinics in 1934 he moved permanently to New York City. On his visit to lecture at Aberdeen he collapsed on the street and died of heart failure.
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Alfred Adler quotes:
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- A lie would have no sense unless the truth were felt as dangerous. permalink
- A simple rule in dealing with those who are hard to get along with is to remember that this person is striving to assert his superiority; and you must deal with him from that point of view. permalink
- Death is really a great blessing for humanity, without it there could be no real progress. People who lived for ever would not only hamper and discourage the young, but they would themselves lack sufficient stimulus to be creative. permalink
- Every individual acts and suffers in accordance with his peculiar teleology, which has all the inevitability of fate, so long as he does not understand it. permalink
- Every therapeutic cure, and still more, any awkward attempt to show the patient the truth, tears him from the cradle of his freedom from responsibility and must therefore reckon with the most vehement resistance. permalink
"The Neurotic Disposition" (1912) in The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler (1956)
- Exaggerated sensitiveness is an expression of the feeling of inferiority. permalink
- God who is eternally complete, who directs the stars, who is the master of fates, who elevates man from his lowliness to Himself, who speaks from the cosmos to every single human soul, is the most brilliant manifestation of the goal of perfection. permalink
- It is always easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them. permalink
quoted by Phyllis Bottome in Alfred Adler: Apostle of Freedom (1939)
- It is the patriotic duty of every man to lie for his country. permalink
- It is well known that those who do not trust themselves never trust others. permalink
Understanding Human Nature (1928)
- Man knows much more than he understands. permalink
quoted by Harold H. Mosak and Michael P. Maniacci in A Primer of Adlerian Psychology: The Analytic-Behavioural-Cognitive Psychology of Alfred Adler (1999)
- Meanings are not determined by situations, but we determine ourselves by the meanings we give to situations. permalink
What Life Should Mean to You (1937)
- My difficulties belong to me! permalink
- Our modern states are preparing for war without even knowing the future enemy. permalink
- The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions. permalink
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