the-adlerian-approach-to-treating-addictionAddiction treatment programs used in many rehab centres incorporates the work of Alfred Alder. He was a well-known therapist who worked closely with Sigmund Freud. The two only parted ways because their theories were not compatible. While Freud theorized that all people are always controlled by their childhoods, Adler theorized that while the childhood does play a role in shaping the person, one can break free from unhealthy ideas and live a productive and happy life irrespective.

Alfred Adler believed that all people experience a feeling of inferiority as a child. This is due to our physical limitations as a child that we do eventually overcome as an adult. Adler believed than these feelings were normal and healthy and most people would outgrow them. Many addicts do not overcome this feeling of inferiority though. This is often why they abuse substances to begin with.

All Adlerian therapists always look at the way in which a patient views a certain vent rather than what the event actually was. Adler defined ‘lifestyle’ as the way in which one would organize one’s reality, i.e. how one sees reality and adapts to it.

Adler’s theory was also unique in the fact that it looked at the way in which a person functioned in society when determining their mental health. Adler believed that all healthy and happy individuals need to feel that they belong in and contribute meaningfully towards a society or community. Many addicts withdraw and do not feel accepted or valued by their families or society in general. This is another reason why they turn to substance abuse.

Adlerian Treatment Goals will be outlined below and you will note that they are very similar to Addiction Treatment Goals.

1. Social interest is encouraged in patients
2. Adlerian therapists help patients overcome their feelings of inferiority and hopelessness
3. The patient’s lifestyle is altered so that it is healthier
4. Bad or poor motivation is improved
5. Adlerian therapists encourage patients to contribute to society

As you can see, using an Adlerian approach in addiction treatment will help addicts change negative thinking patterns and overcome feelings of hopelessness and inferiority. Addicts will look at each of their core beliefs and analyse them in a new light, getting rid of all faulty motivations along the way.

One of the major benefits that comes with booking into a rehab centre is the sense of belonging and community that comes with it. Many addicts have not felt like they were understood or fit in anywhere for a very long time. This is one of the main reasons they probably started taking drugs or consuming alcohol. The community aspect of rehab and addiction treatment centres help addicts overcome emotional hurdles with the support of those who truly understand what they are going through.

In fact, most group therapy programs start with all attendees agreeing to look out for one another. This goes a long way toward fostering social interest within each patient. One needs to remember that addiction is self-centred. Addicts need to learn how to care for others and contribute to society again. All your Addiction Treatment needs click here