COUC510, Liberty University

What are some ways that each theory is compatible and incompatible with Christian concepts? 

Student Post MB:

“The Alderian and Psychoanalytic theories have both many similarities and differences. Alfred Adler worked for Sigmund Freud for eight years before branching off on his own, which is where these overlaps and differences originate (Tan, 2011). Overall, both are interested in the client’s motivation. Additionally, both place importance on early childhood experiences and believe to an extent that the client is a product of their experiences early in life. However, the two also have many differences. The Psychoanalytic theory believes that the client is motivated by their unconscious desires, while the Alderian theory believes that the client is motivated by other’s perceptions of them, social interactions, goals, and their perception of their inferiority or superiority. Alderian theory is also called Individual Psychology, places emphasis on the individual within a social context. The psychoanalytic theory explores how the repressed unconscious and how various parts of the self, the ego, the id, and the superego, operate within decision making (Corey, 2021). In my own interpretation, the motivations of the Alderian theory are consistent with the American Dream mindset.

The Alderian theory allows the counselor freedom in their practice. This technique is also a great tool within multicultural counseling or when navigating social justice issues because it urges the client to define themselves within a cultural context. This helps bring understanding to the counselor. On the other side of the same coin, utilization of this theory within multicultural settings could be problematic due to the strong emphasis on the individual and many cultures’ collectivistic values (Corey, 2021). The psychoanalytic approach allows the opportunity to express emotions they maybe never have or even been aware of. Free association is a common tactic used to achieve this (Corey, 2021). Additionally, the defense mechanisms rooted in Psychoanalytic theory are often beneficial to spot in therapy (Tan, 2011). However, the belief that every individual is motivated by their suppressed desires is not always consistent. There is potential to create an emotion or experience that is not there when consistently prompted to do so. Furthermore, not all of Freud’s methods are backed by consistent research (Tan, 2011).

What are some ways that each theory is compatible and incompatible with Christian concepts? (Use Tan textbook)

Freud’s belief of human nature is consistent with the Bible in that it is broken and sinful, but his theory leaves out the part of the gospel that describes how human beings are made in God’s image. Additionally, when someone trusts in God the process of sanctification allows them to look more like God the longer they know Him. This is inconsistent with Freud’s view of man which says their personality and character is determined as a child. On the contrary, Adler’s view of humanity placed too much emphasis on man’s ability to change and neglected the truth that man is fallen and sinful (Tan, 2011).

Case conceptualization explains the process of evaluating the client’s concerns and thus selecting the theory to best fit their needs. A limit to creating measurable outcomes for clients within the context of Psychoanalytic theory is the unknowns involved. The counselor is minimally involved and encourages the client to cathartically express emotions, which can be challenging to set goals around. Similarly, with Alderian theory, the emphasis on superiority and inferiority is abstract, subjective, and can be challenging to measure.”

Answer preview what are some ways that each theory is compatible and incompatible with Christian concepts? 


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