Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Alfred AdlerAdler was born in Vienna, the third of six children. His childhood was marked by difficulty, namely: neglect as a middle child, suffering from rickets, witnessing his brother’s death due to illness, and being run over twice in the streets. Despite this, he excelled in math, and studied medicine when he attended the University of Vienna. Aside from a stretch when he served as a doctor in WWI, he practiced psychology, and founded the school of “individual psychology”. He believed in the effect of birth-order, (needless to say) and developed a set of traits based on the subject’s relative position in the birth-order. He opened many child guidance clinics in Austria, but by 1932 most had been closed due to his Jewish ancestry. He decided to immigrate to the United States, and settled at the Long Island College of Medicine. He died on May 28th, of a heart attack, in Aberdeen, Scotland, while on a speaking tour. While his death was a blow to the school of thought he had pioneered, many of his ideas were taken up by “neo-Freudians”. His teachings and ideas are still practiced and taught a various Institutes set up in his honour.