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Rickman, J. (1928). A B C of Adler's Psychology: By Philippe Mairet. (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., London, 1928. Pp. 116. Price 3 s. 6 d. net.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 9:377-378.

(1928). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 9:377-378

A B C of Adler's Psychology: By Philippe Mairet. (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., London, 1928. Pp. 116. Price 3 s. 6 d. net.)

Review by:
John Rickman

'Individual Psychology', we read on line 1 of the Foreword, 'is not psycho-analysis'. The rest of the book unfortunately is not so definite. Just because Adler's philosophy is an A B C so simple that, as advertisements say, 'a child could use it', there is no good reason why the book should contain so many dark sayings. Here are a few examples: 'It may be said without exaggeration that psycho-analysis owes its existence to Schopenhauer' (p. 7)—the truth being that Adler owes much to this philosopher. Since Individual Psychology is not psycho-analysis, it does not follow that psycho-analysis owes anything to Schopenhauer; nor does it. Again, 'The Unconscious is a much vaster, super-individual intelligence from which our conscious thinking has cut itself off' (p. 14)—which might have come from Jung, the Alpha and Omega of 'analytical' mysticism—but turns out to be Unconscious Memory 'not as recollection but as feeling—as emotional reactions to persons and things'; this later is described in terms of post-hypnotic suggestion, and later still by saying that the selective agent operating on the unconscious is 'organic consciousness of a need, of some specific inferiority which has to be conpensated' (p. 20). This is difficult reading in an A B C. We learn that the prestige of Freud and his school was achieved by its apparently miraculous cures of war-neuroses (p. 18). It is odd that just these should be singled out, since of all disorders they have proved least amenable to psycho-analytical influence.

The author to the very end is apologetic, which is unnecessary in anyone and positively unbecoming in an Adlerian.

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