Sample Essay on Psychoanalytic and Adlerian Therapy

What do you find most useful about psychoanalytic and Adlerian therapy?

Adlerian therapy refers to a growth model that emphasizes on assuming responsibilities, creating a person’s destiny and finding ways, means, and goals of creating a meaningful life. Psychoanalytic therapy is a theory that put many emphases on personality development, and a philosophy of nature of human beings. The psychoanalytical theory focuses on unconscious elements that are concerned with motivating human’s behaviors. The theory concentrates and bases the development of peoples’ personality during the first six years experience of their lives (Corey, 2013).

The most important and useful factor found in the two therapies can be derived from their goals during the counseling processes. Psychoanalytic therapy is useful in that it can be applied when assisting the clients to become contributing individuals and helping them develop a positive view of their lives. The therapy is most important in helping and analyzing the unconscious feelings of the patients by the counselors and helps in finding concealed answers hence helping them in resolving issues. Adlerian Psychotherapy is most important in that it helps in encouraging patients in contributing towards their progress on developing social interests, and promoting a view of equality. The therapy also advocates on changing people’s motivation and causing change towards improving emotional state of inferiority (Corey, 2013).

In what ways might you incorporate some aspects of this approach into your counseling style?

The aspects of the two therapies can be applied during counseling procedures when a counselor is dealing with couples experiencing domestic differences especially when they have different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The therapy can be used to determine the reason for the behaviors of the violent partner by forming questionnaires that would assist in determining partner’s life experiences at the age six years. This would assist in enabling development of a sense of equality to both partners eliminating the dominant role battle among the partners (Lehtonen, 2010).

How does Adlerian therapy compare and contrast with Freud’s approach to therapy?

The two therapies are similar because both theorists believed that the most important personalities and characteristics of people are developed within the first six years of their lives. Freud believed that humanity is driven by instinctual forces while Adler concluded that that people are capable of making conscious decisions.  Both theorists had a comparable even if it was not identical belief concerning effects of environmental forces, for example, the biological and environmental conditions in the creation of limitations concerning the human beings capacity to make choices and be creative (Corey, 2013).

Approach to therapy in Adlerian theory is that the therapist takes the role of information gatherer. The clients assume the role of providing of the overall viewpoint from which the patient could grow and develop. The therapist uses the information provided by the client, summarizes it and interprets it to offer to the client the necessary guidance. The therapist also attempts to override all depressing personal narratives that the client could have developed. The Adlerian therapy uncovers the past of the client where the therapists aim at uncovering the early recollections to understand the clients well and in a more articulate manner. The relationship in Adrelian therapist is fully based on total cooperation, respect, trusts, confidence and collaboration between the client and the counselor (Corey, 2013).

In Freud’s therapy, the therapist believed that the role of a counselor is to promote a transference relationship. The client views towards the therapists are that of an important figure from early childhood. The clients are encouraged and motivated to react and experience in a similar way they could have acted at the actual occurrence of an event.  In this theory, therapists remain and acts like a blank screen into which the clients use to convey their original experiences. The therapists work towards uncovering the unconsciousness of the clients to bring them into the patient’s consciousness.  In this approach, the therapists remain anonymous to enable the transference relationship (Lehtonen, 2010).

Freud’s life experiences contribute to the psychoanalytic approach

Freud’s life experience contributed to his creation of psychoanalytic approach. Freud used unrepresentative sample when reaching the conclusion of his theory. Freud studied one child, a woman and mostly used his life experiences. The sample of him, a child, and a woman was used to generalize the whole population and hence developments of psychoanalytic approach (Lehtonen, 2010)


Corey, G. (2013). Clinical & Counseling Psychology (9th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Lehtonen, J. (2010, December). Dimensions in the dialogue between psychoanalysis and neuroscience. In International Forum of Psychoanalysis (Vol. 19, No. 4, pp. 218-223). Taylor & Francis Group.