Adlerian Therapy For Major Depressive Disorder

Categories: Mental IllnessTherapy

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a serious and consuming mental illness that significantly affects a large portion of the population, and disables many adults throughout their lives. The DSM-5 defines MDD as the presence of five out of seven predetermined symptoms for at least two weeks. Out of the five symptoms, one has to be either depressed mood or the loss of interest and/or pleasure. The other symptoms experienced could be: (1) change from the individual’s previous manner of functioning, (2) change not caused or attributable to another medical condition or the use of narcotics, (3) significantly distressing and/or cause impairment in daily life (socially, occupationally, etc.

), and (4) not better explained by another condition (e.g., psychotic spectrum disorders). Also, the individual must never had a manic or hypomanic episode.

For Freud, there is sexual conflict. As to Adler, the superiority to mankind. Superiority is understood as striving for perfection or completeness and can be achieved in various ways. The point of AT is to help clients to be aware of the ways that might take their toll.

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Therapists reveal truths by utilizing techniques like family constellation analysis, dream analysis, early recollection, bibliotherapy, and lifestyle evaluation. Each techniques provides different function to help the client. Family constellation, for example, provides therapists a view of family dynamics and know why negative ideologies are developed. However, Adlerian clinicians do not overly concerned themselves with the client’s past experiences, and only consider them to be important when it is relevant in understanding client’s basic life structures and their connection with the future.

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Furthermore, Adlerian therapists use their relationship with clients as the basis for development of healthy lifestyle. This, though, is achieved through the positive regards, genuineness, faith, and encouragement therapists show to their clients. This allows therapists to directly help individuals transcend their old, selfish, irresponsible, and empty life. Because hostility, control, anxiety, compensation, and other various defenses are often the problems during this time, especially since an irresponsible and selfish lifestyle is way easier and more secure, therapists also help their clients gain a sense of self-esteem, proper superiority, and ability to be intimate and communicate properly; only through this, and individual will no longer choose to be in the same, unhealthy, selfish style of life. Much studies on MDD have been done, considering its global, individual, and economic impacts. Studies usually are of those finding which therapy is the most effective in curing the disorder. Though, antidepressants are the most common and most used, researchers still see the worth in conducting such research. In line with this, data of the reviewed literature suggest that Adlerian therapy can be effective in curing MDD, but is likely to be dependent on individual’s preference and the nature of the disorder. For example, AT may not be as effective as other therapies to those people whose MDD is largely charged by their over concern with the mental.

Techniques of raising awareness and directing change would be useless for someone who is far too ingrained in their repressive ideologies and doesn’t notice their destructive behavior. In this case, one instance of being contradicted would simply lead to another excuse and so on and so forth. However, AT could be helpful for a client whose MDD is largely charged by perfectionism because this gives therapists opportunity to restructure their view on the world based on a model of a healthy relationship can help one get rid of childhood anxieties about not being good enough or living up to someone else’s expectation, parents for some instance.

In curing MDD using AT, it would always boils down to whether who the patient is and the nuances of their depression.

Updated: Feb 29, 2024
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Adlerian Therapy For Major Depressive Disorder. (2024, Feb 29). Retrieved from

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