Fictional Finalism: Alfred Adler's Theories On Social Interest

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Adler’s Theories on Social Interest
Fictional Finalism
Alfred Adler supported the belief that “people are motivated by expectations of the future,” (Ellis, Abrams, & Abrams, 2009, p.159). Adler borrowed the term fiction from the philosopher, Hans Vaihinger, who wrote a book in 1911 called The Philosophy of “As If.” Vaihinger used the term to explain ideas that were not necessarily wrong or inaccurate, but because “they are not hypotheses that can be tested,” (Ellis et. al, 2009, p.159).
Adler advocated that these self-created fictions were the centerpiece of explaining human motivation. Adler felt that fictions helped motivate people “to complete tasks and achieve various goals.” A few examples that were mentioned in the textbook that resulted
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Ellis, et. al, 2009, defines this concept by noting that, “inferiority feelings can result from real or imaginary short-comings, for which people try to compensate,” (p.160). When an individual compensates for his/her feelings of inferiority, their actions could result in selfishness or self-destructive behaviors. On the flipside, some individuals use his/her feelings of inferiority as a motivator for positive energy and accomplishment. Adler coined the term masculine protest, which referred to the idea that females were seen as weak; Freud also supported this idea about women during their …show more content…
The authors from the text state, “Our style of life is our unique combination of motives, interests, experiences, attitudes, and values,” (p.160). Adler believed that this style of life could be used as a means to explain how an individual would react a certain way in any given situation. He believed that there were three styles of life that were misled: an overaggressive style, an avoidant style, and a dependent style. The one positive style of life was one that was considered as “socially useful.”
Adler is right in that each individual has his/her own style of life. We are unique beings and think differently than one another. That is why it is highly important in a counseling setting for the counselor to be aware of a client’s culture and his/her uniqueness in society and individually. In session with the counselor it is important for the counselor to avoid countertransference of their specific lifestyle, or “style of life” onto the client. This is where self-awareness is so important for both the client and counselor, in order to maintain a healthy and proactive

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