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Shortly afterward, Adler was asked to join Freud’s inner circle within the emerging school of psychoanalysis.
His Studie über Minderwertigkeit von Organen (Study of Organ Inferiority and its Psychical Compensation, 1907), however, was too controversial for the old master, leading to one of the great schisms in the history of psychoanalysis.
Adler was the very first to depart from Freud’s circle, followed by C. G. Jung.
Adler’s lasting contribution to psychology centers on his claim that humans have an innate “drive for aggression.” If a developing child has (or imagines) a defect in their bodies they may develop an inferiority complex, an unconscious sense of inadequacy.
To compensate for this negative self-attitude, the individual manifests the opposite: an unrealistic superiority complex.
Adler believes we all do this to some degree. The situation becomes neurotic when one disregards the rights of others and causes injury. It becomes psychotic when one loses their authentic relationship with the world and others.
Of course, some argue that the definition of an “authentic relationship” is difficult to define and standardize, especially with the growing popularity of social networking websites like facebook and myspace, along with information-sharing sites like youtube and flickr.
Another critique is that Adlerian thought advances a fundamental biological drive for aggression and recognizes the importance of social factors contributing to the total personality but doesn’t leave much room for human spirituality, arguably the most important and lasting aspect of the self.
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