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The Third Force in Psychology

with Richard Meeks


Class Description

The Third Force in Psychology and Alfred Adler In the early 20th century, Psychoanalysis and Behaviorism arose as the dominant models of psychology. Yet there emerged a third (often unrecognized) paradigm which came to have an even greater influence in psychology and culture. The early 20th-century Viennese psychiatrist, Alfred Adler, one-time colleague turned nemesis of Sigmund Freud, generated what Abraham Maslow, Adler’s close friend and protégée, called the “third force” in psychology, forming the basis for what we now call “humanistic psychology.” In this class we’ll explore Adler’s philosophical roots (e.g., Kant and Nietzsche), the principles behind his model that underlies the actual practice of most contemporary counseling and psychotherapy, and how that model profoundly influenced politics and society—for example, through its direct influence on the US Supreme Court. This class is mostly a seminar-type discussion, with some lecture-like presentation. Recommended readings: The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler, ed. by Ansbacher and Ansbacher (the Adlerian “Bible”); Fundamentals of Adlerian Psychology, by Rudolf Dreikurs; The Lexicon of Adlerian Psychology, by Griffith and Powers; and Alfred Adler Revisited, ed. by Carlson and Maniacci. I can’t decide which one(s) would be best for you, but please pick at least one or two to read. Ansbacher and Ansbacher is the longest, most systematized and complete presentation; Fundamentals is short and concise; The Lexicon is the most fun; and Revisited brings Adler most up to date. *Please Note: We need a minimum of 4 students to hold class. Mondays, 1:00pm – 2:30pm In Person: Room B5 Class Limit: 15

  • Started Jan 9
  • 40 US dollars
  • In Person