Similarities Between Adlerian Theory And Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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Adlerian theory and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) may be thought to have many similarities. This may be because CBT is rooted in Adlerian theory (Sperry, 2017). This paper discusses Adlerian theory, then Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Both of these sections include the theoretical basis for, and interventions or techniques used, within each approach. Also discussed are key points specific to counseling in schools pertaining to, and skills necessary for counselors utilizing, each approach. This paper then explains the similarities and differences between Adlerian theory and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Adlerian Theory
Adlerian theory, also known as individual psychology, was developed by Alfred Adler in the twentieth century (Hess, Magnuson, & Beeler, 2012). He had been conceptualizing and finalizing his theory until about 1931 (Dunn, 1971). This was approximately around the same time Freud was working and becoming popular (Dunn, 1971). Adler is known as the father of the humanistic movement and created his theory in resistance to psychoanalysis and Freudian thinking (Dunn, 1971). Individual psychology asserts that the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” (Dunn, 1971). More specifically, people cannot be understood without understanding them in a social context (Dunn, 1971; Hess, Magnuson, & Beeler, 2012). Further, behavior cannot be understood in fragments, but needs to be understood in context of the whole person (who is understood within their social
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