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Social Interest: Adler's Key to the Meaning of Life

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According to Alfred Adler, one of the founding fathers of modern psychoanalysis alongside Freud and Jung, an individual’s level of social interest is key to his or her success in solving the problems of life, from forming meaningful relationships to achieving promotion in the workplace. Withstanding the test of time, this practical psychology continues to inform our way of life, influencing such areas as education, psychotherapy and healthcare. This is the first new translation of Social Interest since its ...
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2009 Trade paperback New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 242 p. Contains: Frontispiece. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In ... the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Overview


According to Alfred Adler, one of the founding fathers of modern psychoanalysis alongside Freud and Jung, an individual’s level of social interest is key to his or her success in solving the problems of life, from forming meaningful relationships to achieving promotion in the workplace. Withstanding the test of time, this practical psychology continues to inform our way of life, influencing such areas as education, psychotherapy and healthcare. This is the first new translation of Social Interest since its original English publication in 1938, offering a completely updated and revised version of one of psychology’s seminal texts.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781851686698
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications
  • Publication date: 9/16/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Social Interest - the book 1

'Social interest' or 'community feeling' 2

Adler's thought and inspiration 4

Adler and Freud - 'Everything can be something else as well" 7

Key concepts in the book 11

The creative power of the individual 11

Law of movement 12

The three handicaps of childhood 13

The life tasks and social interest 14

Psychosomatic illness 14

Individual (Adlerian) psychology - an overview 14

Preface to the First Edition 18

1 Our Conception of Ourselves and the World 23

Life style and beliefs 23

Life - a matter of 'fact'? 28

2 The Psychological Approach to Investigating Life Style 32

The intuitive approach 32

The philosophical approach 33

The scientific approach 34

Psychoanalysis and Individual Psychology 34

How Individual Psychology approaches personality and life style 36

The inferiority and superiority complexes and social interest 37

3 The Tasks of Life 39

Facing life's problems 39

Social interest - childhood beginnings 41

The pampered child 42

What else can hinder the growth of social interest? 44

Family relationships 45

Childhood illness 46

Social interest at school 47

Sexual awakening 48

Communal life 50

Work 50

Love, marriage, and children 51

Withdrawal from social interest 55

Other tests of social interest 56

4 The Problem of Body and Soul 58

An evolutionary perspective 58

Mental equilibrium is constantly threatened 61

How mind and body influence one another 62

A case study 63

5 Form, Movement, and Character 70

A 'scientific' look at the human 'form' 70

The meaning of physical form 74

The meaning of movement 75

6 The Inferiority Complex 77

Inadequacy - the impulsefor development 77

The sense of inferiority in child development 79

Aggression 81

The place of social interest in humanity's progress 82

Critical behaviour 83

Social interest and emotional development 84

The effects of lack of social interest 86

Neurosis and psychosomatic disorders 87

Individual behaviour 89

The inferiority complex 89

7 The Superiority Complex 91

Characteristics of the superiority complex (1) 91

Social implications of the superiority complex 92

Characteristics of the superiority complex (2) 94

A word of caution 95

Further reflections 95

8 Types of Maladjustment 98

Types and individuals 98

Problem children 98

Neurosis 100

Suicide 101

Criminal tendencies 103

Addiction 107

9 The Unreal world of the Pampered 110

Childhood beginnings 110

Each case is unique 112

Early relationships and life style 113

Characteristics of pampered individuals 114

Advantages of Individual Psychology's approach 116

10 What Really is a Neurosis? 119

A problem of definition 119

Neurosis and the sense of inferiority 121

Explaining the symptoms of neurosis 123

Causes and dynamics of neurosis 127

Dreams 134

Conclusions 135

11 Sexual Deviance 137

Different psychological approaches 137

Individual Psychology's approach 140

The development of sexual deviance in individuals 142

Interpreting the evidence - a case study 145

Concluding remarks 148

12 Earliest Childhood Memories 150

The unity of the ego 150

Memory and life style 150

Freud misses the point 158

Case studies 158

13 Socially Obstructive Situations in Childhood and their Removal 162

Family relationships 162

Childhood illness 167

Sex education 167

Position in the Family group 168

The only child 169

The firstborn 170

The second child 173

The youngest child 175

Areas for further research 176

14 Daydreams and Night Dreams 178

Imagination's role in life style 178

Creativity 179

Imagination and the goal of superiority 181

Understanding dreams - a critique 183

The Freudian theory of dreams - a critique 185

Dreams maintain a distance from social interest 188

Metaphor and simile in dream imagery 190

The relationship between dreams and life 191

Some observations on Freudian symbolism 196

15 The Meaning of Life 197

Cosmos and evolution: the setting for human life 197

Individual Psychology as a view of the universe 201

Social interest: our pathway to harmony with the universe 203

16 Addendum - Consultant and Patient 208

First impressions of the patient 208

Do's and don'ts 209

Ethical issues 213

Additional points 215

Questionnaire for Individual psychologists 218

Glossary of key terms 226

References and Further Reading 228

Books by Alfred Adler 228

Books about Alfred Adler and his work 228

Index 230

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