Understanding Human Nature

Front Cover
Hazelden, 1998 - Psychology - 247 pages
As relevant today as when written, this timely reprint of a classic in individual psychology shows the way to increased understanding of ourselves and our role in society.

What are we? What is our nature and our role? Where are we going and why? It was the psychodynamics behind these central questions that made Understanding Human Nature so important and useful. Originally published in England by Oneworld, and long regarded as a handbook of individual psychology, it introduces the main themes of Alfred Adler's work, including the belief that we are decision-making beings responsible for our own behavior--and capable of changing it.

Adler's central aim was to help people live effectively and with a feeling of belonging to the community, and, consequently, Understanding Human Nature's focus is the person in the world, shaping and being shaped by relationships with others. Exploring such themes as the child and society, one's world view, aspects of unreality, character traits, expressions of character, and feelings and emotions, Adler demonstrates his principle's practical application to the conduct of everyday relationships.

Adler foresaw that for our survival, we must run the world as a caring, interdependent whole, and his valuable and pertinent insights can help us transform ourselves and life on earth.

About the author: A contemporary of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler was born in a Vienna suburb to a Jewish grain merchant. After becoming a medical doctor, Adler went on to found individual psychology and write more than 300 books and papers on child psychology, marriage, education, and the principles of individual psychology. Adler died in 1937 and is recognized along with Freud and Jung as one of the three great fathers of modern psychotherapy.

The Adler Collection is also available to you which includes Understanding Human Nature as well as the following two publications: Understanding Life which is an inspiring work that offers direction and wise counsel for increasing awareness of self, one's motivations, and the importance of each person's unique contribution to society; and What Life Could Mean To You where he examines a wide range of themes common to all our lives, including family and school influences; adolescent development; feelings of superiority and inferiority; the importance of cooperation; the "problems of work, friendship, and love and marriage; and the individual and society.

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Adler's take on psychodynamic psychology saves free will from being largely dismissed unlike Freudian psychology. In fact neurosis,psychosis,perversion and crime are seen as being the result of a retreat from social cooperation and responsibility. Adler's description of personality development is simple but realistic and readily recognised. All in all a good book which is still relevant today. 

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About the author (1998)

Colin Brett is an accredited Adlerian counselor and former Training Officer of the Adlerian Society of Great Britain. He is the translator of Adler's Understanding Human Nature and the editor of What Life Could Mean to You.

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