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Riggall, R.M. (1924). General: Alfred Adler. Progress in Individual Psychology. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 1924, Vol. IV, p. 32.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 5:476-476.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: General: Alfred Adler. Progress in Individual Psychology. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 1924, Vol. IV, p. 32.

(1924). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 5:476-476

General: Alfred Adler. Progress in Individual Psychology. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 1924, Vol. IV, p. 32.

Robert M. Riggall

Adler states that his views contrast with those of other schools because although the latter teach something of existing forces they fail in their application of these forces. In every mental phenomenon is found the pursuit of an aim; from this it assumed that the individual acts and suffers according to his peculiar teleology. Although the principle of causality is recognized, it is thought to be inadequate in the solving of mental problems. The aim of the mental life becomes its governing principle, its causa finalis. Neurosis and psychosis express loss of courage, and this insight into the science of Individual Psychology should be a contra-indication for tedious analysis in these cases of discouragement. The author prefers his own particular method. In considering the causes of discouragement an example of a case of obsessional neurosis is quoted. The child's aim was to excel his father, but since he lacked confidence to do this, he simulated superiority in roundabout ways, finding a refuge in his obsessions. The doctrine of mental compensation shows that the aim of personal power is more pronounced in cases showing strong inferiority. The aim of excelling others is very marked in neurotics and moulds the individuality, etc. A sense of inferiority depends on the early environment, ordinary infantile helplessness regularly giving rise to this feeling, which is aggravated by unfavourable conditions or physical infirmities. Adler states he has proved all neurotics to be ambitious persons who have lost courage, and that this discouragement probably affects 90 per cent. of the human race. Individual Psychology reveals their mistakes, destroys their striving after power, and promotes their social feeling. As an illustration of this discouragement a case of manic-depressive insanity is quoted at length. According to the standards of Individual Psychology the manic-depressive state was the expression of a profound discouragement.

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Article Citation

Riggall, R.M. (1924). General. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 5:476-476

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