Freud's Differences Of Alfred Adler And Sigmund Freud

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Audre Lorde said, “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” Although they do share some similarities, Alfred Adler and Sigmund Freud’s differences were substantial. Adler and Freud had once paved the way for modern day psychology together, but were inevitably torn apart by their differences in psychological theory. Adler had a very positive, somewhat appreciative point of view on religion, believing it bettered people. Freud, one the other hand, one of psychology’s most notable founders, viewed religion extremely negatively and was very vocal on his views. He considered religion a nuisance on society that hindered human growth. The two men were so similar in that …show more content…
For Adler, therapy was more about altering ones outlook on life, as opposed to Freud’s belief that the unconscious must be flushed out to lift repression (Freud, 2014, p. 1). It’s possible that Adler and Freud’s personal views on life affected their practices in regards to religion. When it came to religion Adler considered it to be a positive trait for someone to have, while Adler himself was an atheist, he observed that religious people often tried to “achieve perfection” in order to get to a better place in the afterlife, therefore bettering themselves. Freud, on the other hand, believed that religion was an illusion, often referring to believers as infantile. When reading any of Freud’s many writings on religion, it becomes obvious very quickly that he saw himself as superior to followers of faith. He said, “Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires” (Freud & Strachey, 1965, p. 216). Freud’s theories were often focused on the negative attributes of people caused by negative events that happened to them. Knowing how these two men view the world in general makes it clear why they view religion the way they do. Adler was an optimist and so were his teachings, so of course his ideals on religion would follow suit. The same assumption would seem to apply to Freud, he was a pessimist in most aspects of his work, so that was reflected and …show more content…
Alfred Adler believed that both opinions had their validity. In the following example, Adler aims to illustrate how religion can bring people together. “In an aboriginal religion an alligator is declared holy, as if it were a deity. Probably there were people even then who did not take the divinity of an alligator seriously. But to make this a fact had great advantages for the tribe, because in this as-if conception all the Polonaises regarded themselves as brothers. They met in the name of the alligator, and although it was all only an expression of group egotism, it was supposed to alleviate the need of the time” (The Complex, 1935). Although Adler firmly believed that religion bettered individuals and society as a whole, he was not blinded by his optimism, he also thought that religion could ruin people. For Adler, it was less about whether a religion was right or wrong and more about how a religion is used (Adler & Stein, 2006). Freud never eluded to whether or not religion could bring people together or not, in some’s opinion, this is because he was too preoccupied ‘with all that is wrong with religion’ to step back and make an objective observation on its

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