Counseling and Therapy Research Paper

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Adlerian Therapy

An Adlerian approach to the case of B.A., the 14-year-old Guatemalan-American boy whose case was described by Layla, should primarily focus on B.A.'s feelings of inferiority and his sense of community and social being. Adlerian therapy generally concentrates on these two areas, and it is worth examining each specifically for B.A.

We can probably act from the assumption that B.A.'s feelings of inferiority are largely related to his family environment. Alfred Adler held that early childhood contains a lot of clues for how to interpret subsequent behavior -- in Corey's words, the Adlerian view is that "at around 6 years of age our fictional vision of ourselves as perfect or complete begins to form into a life goal." (Corey 99). In the case of B.A., he has had no physical contact with his mother from the age of five months -- too young to have any memories at all, let alone fond or happy ones. His mother was therefore experience only as an absence, which might very well have led B.A. To wonder why she had rejected him. This sense of rejection would probably have been present even
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at the age of 6, then, but it was certainly reinforced by B.A.'s subsequent attempts to communicate with her by letter without receiving any response.

However, the sense of inferiority would not solely be based on the mother-child relationship here: B.A. describes an antipathetic relationship with his younger half-brother (but not his younger half-sister). The reason he dislikes the half-brother -- because the half-brother "misbehaves" -- seems like an evasion on B.A.'s part, because after all his therapy was mandated because of his own misbehavior. It seems like there might be some deeper issues at work here within the household. We do not have a description of whether the younger half-brother has a relationship with his own birth mother, but this is not necessary to get some sense of the probable dynamic: B.A. feels outright rejection by his mother, but also feels some sense of rejection by his father for having two other children (B.A.'s half siblings) who most likely represent competition for paternal attention within the household. In other words, the overall dynamic of B.A.'s immediate family life can be used to understand his basic…

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References

Corey, G. (2008). Theory And Practice Of Counseling & Psychotherapy, 8th Edition. Belmont, CA: Brooks / Cole.

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