Adlerian Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy CBT  Creative Writing

Excerpt from Creative Writing :

Adlerian Therapy and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)

There are two main theories that have largely influenced my counseling practicum as nurse. The two theories are almost totally disparate form one another, but, nonetheless, I have used them both separately and in fusion to guide my practice. These two theories are Adlerian Therapy and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) . Whilst the first is an offshoot of psychoanalysis and indeed psycho-dynamic with theories about family dynamics and constellation of client effecting his behavior as well as certain ideas about the need for client to achieve himself via work, the second takes more of a general stance and uses mentalism as its base. It asserts that it is thought and behavior that directs the individual and therefore the counselor helps the client investigate thought that is driving his actions. The client then is helped in shaping his environment / implementing certain behavior that will lead to a more constructive situation and behavior. CBT therefore is almost entirely distinct from Adlerian therapy. The counselor too is also more directive in Adlerian, whilst in CBT, the counselor shows the client how his thoughts and environment are effecting him and then helps the client modify them -- but doing so is up to the client.

How I see the two helping me is that the first provides background theory to the workings and impetus of the client, whilst the second provides perimeters and a certain guideline for counseling. It is true that Adlerian provides strategies too but I find that the integration of Adlerian ideas with CBT strategies is the approach that works best for me in my orientation towards my clients.

Theorists who have influenced personal theoretical orientation

The two theories that have mainly influenced me are Adlerian therapy ( created by Alfred Adler, a student of Freud) and cognitive behavioral therapy (largely but not exclusively created by Beck and premised on a behavioral tradition).

Adlerian therapy believes that the individual is largely guided and propelled by feelings of self-esteem and that lack of this can result in mental illness (Slavik, & King, 2007)...

Cognitive behavioral therapy on the other hand integrates the behavioral and cognitive component and asserts that it is thought and behavior that directs the individual and therefore the cousinly helps the client investigate thought that is driving his actions.

View of Human nature

Whilst Adlerian psychology has a psychodynamic view of human nature, namely that certain aspects of the individual are beyond his control and ordained by fate (as for instance abusive parenting, handicaps and so forth) (Ehrenwald, 1991), CBT has a more positive attitude, seeing future of the client to lie within his endeavors. All client needs to do is decide his direction, control his thoughts, negotiate and slant them to meet his ends, engineer his environment and actions so that they meet these objectives (Robertson, 2010) -- and client can control his future. CBT, therefore, is inherently more optimistic and less deterministic than Adlerian psychology is. Both however see the human as a good person who is open and willing to change and is propelled to a life of meaning.

Beliefs about the process of change and facilitating change.

As said Adlerian psychology is more deterministic seeing the human as a product of society, family constellations, and his times. It sees the human as being partially able to change but as being also orchestrated by factors beyond his control. Adler sees the child / individual as being primarily led by feelings of inferiority and seeking perfection (which can also result in inferiority due to compensation).

The person in Adlerian psychology needs community and a style of life that feeds his feeling of significance (Slavik, & King, 2007)..

Fate plays a greater part in Adlerain psychology than it does in CBT where the therapist views the client as someone who has been led by erroneous thoughts but given due motivation and the ability to recognize cognitive errors and wish to change them, client can pursue change.

Moreover, the client can also engineer his actions and environment in such a way by rewarding constructive action, purposefully extinguishing negative action and thereby creating his own set of conditions and shaping them according to his will. The therapist is there to guide him, but the client can more or less shape his own destiny in almost any so way he wishes.

Description of a well-functioning personality according to Adlerian psychology,

This is someone who is a contributing member of society and uses his abilities and talents to the utmost for constructive ends. It is also someone who has crafted a narrative of significance and fuses all aspect of his personalty - cognitive, affective, and behavioral facets of the individual - into a holistic whole

According to CBT, it is someone who is able to think in a clear and logical manner, controlling his emotions and thoughts for constructive ends. The person too is self-disciplined and able to maneuver his condition and deal with difficulty so that difficulty becomes challenges and the person -- resilient and able -- is able to be strong, emotionally and mentally healthy, and deal with challenges in an effective manner.

In a contemporary sense, it seems to me that the well-functioning personality according to CBT is someone who has optimum emotional intelligence.

Causes sources of problems / pathology

According to Adlerian psychology, this would be lack of self-esteem due, in th first case to factors beyond his control (such as abusive parent, handicap, social factors and so forth); in the second case due to futile grasp for perfection. This may result in a "striving for Power" or in anxiety, phobias, or depression which are mechanisms for avoiding life.

CBT however sees the causes as natural to the stresses and pathology of the modern world.

Role of the counselor

The counselor has more of a directive manner in Adlerian psychotherapy where she acts as teacher and forceful instructor to client (For instances see later)

In the CBT, she guides the client to better thinking and recognition of cognitive shortfalls as well as to strategies that can better help him maneuver and negotiate his environment, but ultimately change is up to the client (Robertson, 2010).. Although still directive, CBT is less directive and forceful than Adlerian since the counselor merely shows the client how and what to change, then leaves actual change up to the client.

Role of the client / nature of the counseling relationship

The client in Adlerian psychology is seen as more of a pupil of the counselor where the counselor seems to know what is best for the client and is very directive for instance 'spitting in his soup i.e. making behavior that he disagrees with less attractive.

The client in CBT works jointly with the counselor in effecting change (Ehrenwald, 1991). The counselor has more of a dyadic equal relationship with client than she does in Adlerian. She instructs and client and counselor work together in effecting change.

Goals / Purposes of counsellings

In Adlerian psychology it is to construct an efficacious, contributive member of society.. In CBT it is to help the person effectively work through difficulties. Challenges in life in a resilient, constructive manner.

Procedures / techniques of counseling processes.

Adlerian counseling combats false beliefs via understanding of family constellations, early memories, and dreams. It also uses many other techniques such as immediacy, acting as if client will be successful, making certain behavior less attractive for client, using deliberately constructed questions, and providing client with homework (Slavik, & King, 2007).

CBT uses methods such as rational Emotive therapy showing the client that some of his thoughts that are driving his decisions (hence actions) are irrational and self-defeating. Instances of these may be thoughts such as "I will never succeed" - how do…

Cite This Creative Writing:

"Adlerian Therapy And Cognitive Behavior Therapy CBT " (2012, May 04) Retrieved January 16, 2018, from

"Adlerian Therapy And Cognitive Behavior Therapy CBT " 04 May 2012. Web.16 January. 2018. <>

"Adlerian Therapy And Cognitive Behavior Therapy CBT ", 04 May 2012, Accessed.16 January. 2018,