What is Individual Psychology
The ability to capture the elusive artistic force that is uncovered by the tendency to create, to exert, and to work, which is concealed in the nature of life, has arisen from the desire to reconcile failure in a certain area with the achievement to be gained in another field.
The purpose of individual psychology is to ensure the adaptation of the individual to society. The individuality here refers to the fact that personality is indivisible and unique apart from the word meaning. Of course, these discourses do not imply that sociality is insignificant. Basically, what is aimed at is that the individual fuses with society and becomes an “individual.” Accordingly, while other psychology systems distinguish between individual and social psychology, Adler does not make such a distinction. Adler does not include too many abstract concepts in his individual psychology approach. Using clear language in his writings; It included issues such as methods of solving a person, raising children, communication, and improving the quality of life.
Adler says that it is important to examine a person as a whole to understand it. Human behavior takes place for a purpose. The individual determines his lifestyle according to his goals. According to Adler, the main purpose of individual psychology is the social harmony of the individual. However, the individual emphasis in Adler’s theory is often misunderstood. With the word “individual,” Adler emphasizes the uniqueness and indivisibility of personality. He argues that personality occurs in the first 5 years of life. It also participates in the idea of child sexuality, but according to Adler, this is a differentiated form of superiority effort. It rejects development periods. Adler mostly emphasized concepts such as social interest, inferiority, or superiority complex.
According to Adler, as it was said before, the individual comes to the world with inadequate feelings. And the process of getting rid of it creates an effort for superiority. In other words, the source of the superiority effort is feelings of inadequacy.
According to Adler, the main driving force of each individual is will. However, this happens when the driver is blocked, when he calls the vile complex. This is a sense of inadequacy or inadequacy derived from experiences and the environment. To compensate for this situation, the individual develops a “complex of superiority.” This includes disproportionately high perception and sense of hearing. In these cases, the balancing process leads to two available options. First, the individual compensates for his inferiority feeling by developing new potential. The other is that the person is trapped with a sense of inferiority and develops an unhealthy superiority complex. This makes them cynicism, frustration, indifference and even crime.
While psychoanalysis suggests that the individual is in a war between his impulses and society; individual psychology advocates that the individual has an innate potential to communicate with other people. This phenomenon is called social interest. With different meanings in translation, it is possible to express social interest in the form of social emotion. The reflection of the structure that Freud calls superego in individual psychology; It can be called as giving importance to the individual’s position in the social environment. Expressing that the individual is a social entity with the concept of social interest, Adler, a person who wants to understand the individual; He argues that the individual should also examine the relations in the sociocultural environment.
Individual psychology has suggested that social interest is a criterion for assessing a person’s mental health. Therefore, according to Adler, neither the superego or collective unconscious is needed for healthy personality development. What is needed is social interest and it is the only criterion that can be used in the universal evaluation of humans. In this respect, it is argued that the value of human life can be measured by what it adds to others’ lives.