Reinforcement Procedures (Behavior Therapy)

Reinforcement Procedures (Behavior Therapy)

Chapter 3. Adlerian Cousneling

-Born in Vienna in 1870.

-Was a delicate and sickly child (i.e., pneumonia)His parents pampered him.

-Established “Individual Psychology”: A science that attempts to understand the experiences and behavior of each person as a complex, organized entity.

Fundamental assumptions:

1-a. Teleological position: We have feelings of inferiority that motivate us to create ideas such as strive for perfection, to attain future goals, and to find purpose in life (i.e., goals determine behavior) (cf., causality: determined by past events or experiences)

1-b. Fictional finalism (guiding self-ideal): People create ideas that guide their behavior (i.e., perceived or imagined goals guide behavior).

2. Organ inferiority: Biologically based defect that gives rise to feelings of inadequacyAttitude toward their organic defects lead them to overcome their weakness by intensive training.

3. Masculine protest: Attempts by either man or woman to compensate for feelings of inferiority (i.e., unmanliness) by acting as though superior to others (i.e., assertiveness, independence, and dominance).

(ex) Lesbians (extreme manifestation of masculine protest) and super-feminine women (lure men to dominate them), Don Juan (prove his manhood through countless seductions).

(cf., Freud’s complexes).

4. Superiority:

-Seek satisfaction at the expense of others (personal superiority) vs.

-Strive for superiority by fulfilling one’s potential by helping others and being helped by others (healthy superiority).

5. Overcompensation (negative, destructive): Exaggerated attempts to overcome feelings of inferiority by acting as though they were superior to others (i.e., too much masculine protest)

6. Social interest (positive, constructive): Innate tendency in human beings to help and cooperate with one another as a means to establish a harmonious and productive society.

Development of Lifestyle

1. Development of a Constructive lifestyle:

-We are born with the potential for social interestno organic defects, neglect/rejection, and pamperingStrive to create an ideal community through cooperationBy striving for other’s goals, we can help ourselvesFlexible so that can modify one’s goals..

(EX) People with high social interestMore likely to report satisfaction with parental role, treat their partners with respect/love, and less likely to report depression/anxiety/aggression/hostility.

2. Development of a Destructive Lifestyle:

-Organic inferiority, neglect/rejection, and pampering may result in overcompensation (i.e., setting up goals unrealistically, unrealistic self-evaluationunhealthy.

-Neurotics: Parental rejection, pampering, and neglect during early childhood Highly anxious and insecureFeelings of inferiorityStrong striving for superiorityToo muchStrive to be perfect, avoid failure at all costs, belittle others, perceive others as competitors/objects to exploit.

-Psychotics: Parental rejection, pampering, and neglect during early childhood Highly anxious and insecureFeelings of inferiorityStrong striving for superiorityToo muchStrive to be

perfect and superior through private, illogical, and delusional logic/reasoning (not through comparison with others as neurotics do).


1. Reorganization of patient’s mistaken beliefs about themselves and others.

2. Elimination of faulty goals (i.e., taker) and help them set up new goals (i.e., giver).

3. Help them realize their potentials as human beings.

4. Guide them away from themselves (competitive self-centeredness) and lead them toward productivity for others (cooperative attitude toward others and for the welfare of society).

Therapeutic Techniques:


Setting tasks

Anti-suggestion/paradoxical intention:

Acting AS If

Catching oneself

Using push buttons

Avoiding the Tar Baby

Creating images

Spitting in the Client’s Soup

Four Major Lifestyle Types:

1. Avoiding type: Lack the confidence to confront/solve problems and avoid or ignore them not to get defeat. Likely to daydream or create fantasies where they are superior.

2. Getting type: Passive and make little effort to solve problems. Attain personal goals indiscriminately relying on others. Lack the confidence and little awareness of their abilities. Likely to have grown up in a rich/permissive family.

3. Ruling type: Strive for personal superiority by trying to exploit and control others. Likely to play with weaker children.

4. Socially Useful type: A healthy type that actively confronts and solves problems in accordance with social interest. Grew up in a supportive and helpful family.

Assessment Techniques:

1. Brief Lifestyle Assessment:

2. Early Recollections:

-Early childhood memories provide valuable insights into their unique styles of lifeGive glimpses into one’s strivings for superiority.

3. Dream Analysis

-Dreams are determined by one’s goal of superiorityGive glimpses of one’s future and thus provide potential solutions to one’s problems.

4. Birth-Order Analysis:

-Parenting should encourage children to learn that (a) they can’t survive themselves so that they must build and live in a cooperative, harmonious, and constructive community, (b) they need to work hard to contribute to the community, and (c) they need to treat others with respect and love.

-Children’s birth order in the family affects the quality of parenting.

(a) Oldest child: Supportive and protective if parents were prepared for second child. Resentful and hostile if parents were not prepared for second childDominant/aggressive to regain the loss of power. Likely to be intelligent because (i) they mostly interact with adults with higher intelligence), (ii) likely to be thrown into a role of teacher for younger siblings, and (iii) likely to work hard to meet demands from parents.

(b) Second child: Competitive, especially when older child was resentful.

(c) Only child: No sibling rivals and likely to be the center of the familyLikely to be pamperedMay show interpersonal difficulties such as feelings of entitlement and abandonment. No opportunities to teach siblings and are not stimulated to learn moreless intelligent. But others disagree with that (more time with parents).

(d) Other factors: Gender, spacing (gap), and SES may confound the findings.