Volume eight comprises a rare find, twenty-eight of Adler's unpublished lectures to medical students and physicians. From November to December, 1932, Adler gave a weekly series of seven postgraduate lectures in English at the Long Island College of Medicine in Brooklyn, New York. He also gave a series of at least fifteen lectures in German (dates unknown) at what was identified only as an "Urban Hospital," somewhere in Europe. Because all of these manuscripts appear to have been either stenographic notes or transcriptions, they required extensive re-writing to improve style and readability.
In his lectures to medical students at the Long Island College of Medicine, (Chapters I-VII) Adler provides a compact overview of Individual Psychology, made three-dimensional with an abundance of case illustrations. He spans the disciplines of medicine and psychology with astute insight and practicality, addressing the challenges of the mind-body influences; the use of symptoms, illness and pain; the abuse of drugs; the proper use of medication; and the symptoms of sleeplessness, stuttering, enuresis, and sexual dysfunction.
His lectures to physicians at the Urban Hospital (Chapters VIII-XXII) focus more deeply on psychopathology, including the full spectrum from neurosis to psychosis. With impressive skill, he integrates medical and psychological histories in a rich variety of case illustrations followed by several live demonstrations of interviews with patients. His prodigious medical knowledge and psychological insight provide us with a rarely equaled, inspiring example of diagnostic and therapeutic ability. To orient the reader on the material in chapters I-XXII, the table of contents was expanded to include sub-topics. Six additional unpublished lectures (Chapters XXII-XXVIII), with some post-lecture discussion, are also included in this volume: "Differences in Psychic Compensation," "Discussion of Compulsion Neurosis," "Freud's Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious," "The Etiology and Treatment of
All of these never-before-published manuscripts add to our appreciation of Adler's remarkable understanding of human nature and the cure for mental suffering. His unique synthesis of psychological and medical knowledge, as well as his exceptional, creative intuition, provide us with a timeless, profound resource in our continuing quest for improving our therapeutic abilities. Studying all of Adler's clinical writings, again and again, builds the essential foundation of theoretical mastery and feeling, upon which the practice of Classical Adlerian psychotherapy is built. My mentor, Sophia de Vries was an artist of Classical Adlerian psychotherapy with over fifty years of experience. Like a classical musician, practicing scales and selected compositions daily, even into her 90's, she re-read some of Adler every day and she encouraged all her students to do the same. Many years later, I realize the wisdom of her guidance. As I contemplate the mystery of each new case, Adler's constructs provide a definitive map and compass for exploring all the psychological territories of human diversity.
For readers unfamiliar with Adler's ideas, a brief overview, titled "Basic Principles of Classical Adlerian Psychology," is included in the appendix. Other comprehensive articles, titled "Classical Adlerian Theory and Practice" and "A Psychology of Democracy" have been published in Volumes 1 & 2 of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler. A deeper appreciation of the development of Adler's theory can be achieved by studying Volumes 1-8.
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