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Bernstein, I. (1954). The Psychology of Alfred Adler and the Development of the Child: By Madelaine Ganz. New York: The Humanities Press, Inc., 1953. 203 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 23:603.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:603

The Psychology of Alfred Adler and the Development of the Child: By Madelaine Ganz. New York: The Humanities Press, Inc., 1953. 203 pp.

Review by:
Isidor Bernstein

This book consists of an exposition of Adlerian psychology and its application to education as exemplified by the Adlerian Experimental School in Vienna. The school appears to be an approximation of the 'progressive' schools in this country. Emphasis is placed on leadership within the group and development of group feeling. Although the Adlerians disclaim any moralistic approach in their educative and therapeutic methods, the book is replete with remarks concerning 'bad habits' and 'trying to show the child the error of its ways'.

Similarly, in the medicopedagogic councils, which are conferences of psychiatrists or psychologists, teachers, (and sometimes parents) with the child, the method is to determine the secondary gains in symptoms or behavior and explain them to the child. Or the parent is encouraged to withhold such benefits and instead to laud the child for its successes in its efforts to learn.

Its praise for the Adlerian method and teacher tends to make this book propaganda rather than a scientific report; and even the section on Critical Observations hardly serves to dispel the feeling that the author is trying to sell the principles and methods. The language is clear, the style direct, but the message unconvincing.

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