In the News

View the rest of the Newsletter here!


View the rest of the Newsletter here!


View the rest of the Newsletter here!


View the rest of the Newsletter here!


View the rest of the Newsletter here!



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A collage of AGS June 2019 graduates, ICASSI 2019 photos, and AGS employees in the community.

Greetings From Romania!Craig B. and friends smiling and taking a selfie at ICASSI 2019 in Sibiu, Romania.

Craig B. and several AGS students traveled to Sibiu, Romania to attend the International Committee of Adlerian Summer Schools and Institutes (ICASSI). ICASSI is a non-profit program that's been enhancing the spirit of social interest worldwide for over 50 years and certainly looks like a life-changing experience.

A Message From Dr. Dreikurs

A simple message today could become sentimental tomorrow. Finding a lost letter from a major contributor to Individual Psychology doesn't happen all that often, and the message is still applicable. Dreikurs had to cancel his presentation at the Guthrie Theatre for health reasons and was writing to us when we were the Minnesota Society of Individual Psychology. The letter was used as scratch paper the following year, archived, and rediscovered 47 years later.

"Dear friends:

You don't know how deeply I regret not to be with you. You are meeting at a most crucial time in our society. The structure of our society has greatly changed and not always for the good. We in the western world have been a neurotic society where people were mostly concerned with their superiority, regardless of the means by which they achieved it. When Adler spoke about the neurotic personality he described modern man in general. Today with a misunderstood democratic freedom, society has psychotic; like a schizophrenic who disregards and neglects society for his personal pleasure and benefit. Those. of us who are anxious to meet social demands need to become a positive force in a decaying community. We need to point the way for a true social belonging in a relationship of full equality. I wish you the best results of your considerations.

Rudolf Driekurs, M.D."

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Student Spotlight: Stacey Tweedt

Clinical Supervisor

Stacey is experienced in addiction services and assessments. She resides in rural Minnesota and joins us remotely as an AGS student.

I was part of the big Argosy debacle back in March and like many others, found myself out in the cold after the school closed. I decided to return to school after several years of field experience as an alcohol and drug counselor and was completing my education as a clinical mental health counselor when it happened. When this opportunity happened (I say opportunity because I don’t do obstacles) I reached out my colleagues, many of whom were Adler grads. They mentioned I reach out to Adler, that their coursework had changed to accommodate fully online students, which is important for me as I live in rural Minnesota, so I reached out. Within 48 hours I had no fear and knew where I was going.

I was absolutely amazed at the level of understanding and support from the faculty and staff. From the coursework to the books, everything felt like home to me (and I don’t mean to say that in a cheesy way.) It just immediately clicked. I was like, “Wow, this is where I was supposed to have been all along.” Things were much easier here because it felt natural. The courses were like what I was already doing with clients, so it was a much better, more natural fit for me. Christina and the Admissions staff took me under their wing, and it’s been an awesome experience ever since. My clients have even commented that since I’ve started here, they can see a positive change in the way I approach, treat and talk about things with them. They really appreciate it, and everything just fits together better for me.

Interested in Clinical Mental Health Counseling? Contact Marcie Skoglund, Assistant Director of Admissions. 

612-767-7097 |

Did You Know?

Fayemarie Anderson Carter

This year is a big year for Adler Graduate School (AGS). We are celebrating fifty years since our inception, and in an effort to recognize each of us who have in some way contributed to the continued development as an educational institution and to making mental health treatment accessible in our community, we are continuously trying to find ways of maintaining our connection with each other. Our Adler Graduate School Alumni Association (AGSAA) membership has ebbed and flowed and at one point, lacked a board and leadership. As we look forward to the next fifty years, we want to make this association an important part of your experience as an Adlerian and a professional mental health provider.

Your AGSAA Board and administration have been steadily working to create opportunities for our alumni to continue to contribute to each other’s growth and benefit from the wealth of information and resources available at our institution. As a member, (first year membership is free, remember), you may attend one workshop a year, every year that you are a member, for free. AGSAA members who wish to attend more than one a year may do so at a reduced rate. This is made possible through the tireless work of the Adler Institute for Continuing Education (AICE). This is a distinct independent entity with the focus of training new professionals to meet state licensure requirements and national certification standards as well as easing the transition from state to state. AGS has been approved by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and many of the workshops qualify for NBCC credit.

To access information about upcoming workshops and events, go to the Events page. There are several exciting workshops scheduled between June and August. Have an idea for a workshop you would like to attend? Let us know!

Next month, I would love to talk to you about how we can find ways to engage each other in an exchange of ideas: provide support,  share our experiences, discuss challenges and brainstorm better solutions. Want to mentor a student? Present a workshop? Network with our partners in the community? Heck! You tell me how you would like to stay connected with your fellow Adlerians. Until next time, be encouraged and encouraging. Check us out at The Adler Institute for Continuing Education.

Introduction to Self-Study

Celebrating 50 years

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) our accreditation body is coming to visit us on November 11 and 12, 2019 for our reaccreditation. A little over a month after our 50th year providing education.  Many of our actions for quality education and improvement are on the website under the assessment page,  The following is the introduction to the Self Study we have submitted as of July 30th, 2019.

The Mission of the Adler Graduate School is to prepare mental health and human service professionals with a strong Adlerian foundation to foster encouragement, collaboration, and a sense of belonging to the individuals, families, and the culturally diverse communities they serve.  Our mission, along with a vision to be a leader in empowering and developing mental health and human service professionals to transform society through social interest in action, drives our purpose.  Our core values include but are not limited to quality education, Adlerian principles, diversity and institutional sustainability.

We live our mission, vision, and values through our relationships, quality graduate education, organizational and group interactions, community involvement, and continuing professional education. With our values leading what we do, we have created a shared leadership organizational model and an organizational process based on the democratic Adlerian principles amplified by Rudolph Dreikurs.  Within this organizational process, a feeling of belonging and purpose are reinforced through roles, responsibility, and respect of people and their contributions to the organization and the greater community.  These are the values we teach and model.

As an institution, we have evolved over the years starting with the Minnesota Adlerian Society merging into the Adler Institute, a 501c3, in 1969 providing family education.  We were awarded initial degree granting authority for a Master in Adlerian Counseling and Psychotherapy by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education in 1989 and granted initial accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) in 1991, with our current comprehensive visit scheduled for November 2019.  We currently offer graduate degrees in Counseling with specialties in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling, and Co-Occurring and Addiction Counseling; Art Therapy; School Counseling; and Applied Adlerian Psychology in Leadership, with complementary Certificates.

In August of 2018 we were granted approval by the HLC to move into a 37,500 square foot building on 4.5 acres at 10025 Yellow Circle Drive, Minnetonka, Minnesota.  With the proceeds from the sale of our old building we were able to architecturally design and renovate the building in order to operationalize our Mission and Values.  This was a collaborative process bringing together our collegial community to participate in the design process. This sale also allowed us to develop cash reserves strengthening our balance sheet and allowing us to make strategic investments in our operating model and ongoing quality improvement. 

The success of the Adler Graduate School can be seen through the success of our graduates and the involvement of our alumni who are coming together to celebrate our 50th Anniversary on September 28, 2019.  Another indication of our success is the evolution of our delivery of quality graduate education, through assessment and data-driven decision-making, based on Adlerian principles of dignity, respect, purpose, equality, courage, belonging, and a feeling of the community driving social interest.  We are looking forward to the future.

Accreditation and Assessment Corner

Solange Ribeiro and Nicole Randick

As July comes to an end, we are happy to report that our HLC Assurance Argument – the self-study required as part of the re-accreditation process – is written and submitted (a few minutes ago!) for review. The project started in 2015, when we joined the HLC Assessment Academy, and involved an examination of everything we are and do, starting with a revision of our mission statement and continuing with analyses of all our resources and operations.

As our reason for being is preparing mental health and human service professionals with a strong Adlerian foundation to foster encouragement, collaboration, and a sense of belonging to the individuals, families, and culturally diverse communities they serve, much of the self-study effort focused on the quality of education we provide. This required a broad examination, from determining expected student outcomes, to what we teach in order to achieve those outcomes, how we teach it, how we know whether students learned what we hoped they would learn, what the opportunities for improvement are, and how we use these opportunities to continue to improve everything we do. The process also involved examining all aspects of our operations not directly related to curriculum and instruction, including but not limited to advising and other student success services and operations support.

A project this big cannot be accomplished without participation of all stakeholders: students, staff, faculty, alumni, and Board of Directors. Fortunately, the Adler Graduate School community is Adlerian to the core and everyone did their part, from providing feedback through surveys to participating in the School-wide retreat where data were analyzed and improvement plans were developed. We are excited to report that you will soon be able to find the product of our collective work, the full assurance argument, on the Accreditation page of our website. While you are there, we invite you to also visit the Quality Assurance and Assessment page, where you will find lots of information about our student outcomes and assessment process.

On a separate and equally important note: last month we told you some of the ways in which the Adler Graduate School full-time faculty contributes to our profession and to the community. This month, we want to highlight some of the part-time faculty contributions. Here are some examples of how members of our part-time faculty have been adding to the knowledge base of the mental health field.

Rocky Garrison was really busy at the 2019 NASAP conference, where he presented three content sessions and a poster. His content session presentations focused on Individual Psychology Skills for Enhancing Relationships with Clients, Demonstration of Insomnia Counseling, and Individual Psychology Case Formulation: Contributions from Some Early Adlerians, while his poster was titled The "LET" Process of Assembling an IP Case Conceptualization.

Bill Premo also presented a content session at the 2019 NASAP Conference. His presentation was titled Our Love, Life, and Sex Style, aimed at helping individuals and couples understand and develop healthy love styles.

Jere Truer, concluding work started more than a decade ago, published the book The Art of Dying, with the aim of helping individuals navigate the grief process.


  • We'd like to leave Judy with our best wishes as she parts ways with AGS. Her dedication, work ethic, knowledge, and support as a student advisor, field experience coordinator, and faculty member have been a gift to us all. Thank you!
  • Jill & Trinidad were spotted supporting women's soccer at the 2019 women's world cup street fair! The event had thousands of attendees from our local community, live music, food, drink, face-painting, and more family-friendly activities to enjoy. Kudos for your involvement!
  • Ruth is giving away Minnesota Twins tickets! Stop by the AGS Writing Center and say hello to get tickets. We'll be doing this all summer to catch the following games:   August 4 & 10  | Sept 7, 8, 12, & 19
  • June 2019 Graduation photos are here, and we wish our graduates the best of luck in their next chapter in life! Tap the link to view and download graduation photos for free or purchase physical copies:

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President's Corner

I am amazed at the transition from the stark winter landscape to the lush green forest at our new location, and can’t believe we‘re almost at the end of our first year at the new Adler Graduate School campus.


A student reinforced this realization, speaking about how much they love the new building, light, openness, and space conducive to studying. They went on to tell me that they’ve noticed a positive change over the last year, supporting the reason why they came to Adler Graduate School in the first place - to make a difference.


This student is a first generation immigrant, refugee, speaks five languages, and is motivated to help others that have experienced trauma. Their involvement as a student is not only important for themselves, but for their community. I was struck by their passion and commitment while also realizing that this is who we are as a college community, steeped in the values of dignity, respect, equality, courage, purpose, belonging and social interest.


Reflecting on the past year and how far we’ve progressed, we have: moved to a new building, hired full time faculty, migrated to digital graduation portfolios, continued to assess learning outcomes, adjusted our mission to include our Adlerian values, continued to implement our Institutional Effectiveness Plan (educational excellence, diversity, Adlerian values, and sustainability), and are preparing for our accreditation visit with the Higher Learning Commission, as well as investing in programmatic accreditation.


As we approach graduation and the 50th year as a learning institution, I look forward to cultivating an Adlerian organization that continues to embody these values and to observe what the next generation of our graduates will do to make the world a better place.


Alumnus Spotlight: Lucas Aguirre

People & Culture Development Manager


Lucas is an Adlerian Studies Alumnus, and a People & Culture Development Manager. He works for a large food company in California, supporting roughly 100,000 employees worldwide.


His main focus is on Social Interest, connecting the people of his organization and community. Since his graduation in 2018, he’s used his education to help others contribute over 4000 volunteer hours to their community, establishing multiple programs alongside a variety of organizations. 


“It’s a big thing when people contribute to their communities. It increases compassion and wellness within both.”


These outreach programs not only encourage Social Interest - they’re also providing Lucas with an opportunity to test Social Interest’s correlation to mindfulness and productivity. With several KPIs, scales, and traits established, he and his organization will soon be able to turn data into information that can revolutionize their approach to Social Interest in the workplace. “I enjoyed the Adlerian focus of the program. It was incredible to gain insight on Adler’s philosophy while working with instructors who were engaged and involved.”


Interested in Applied Adlerian Psychology? Contact: Marcie Skoglund, Assistant Director of Admissions | 612-767-7097 | 

Is it ADHD or Misbehavior?

By Sue Brokaw


Parents often express confusion regarding their child’s behavior. If the behavior is due to ADHD, they may be hesitant to discipline their child for it.


Misbehavior is planned. The child decided to misbehave. It is deliberate. Children with ADHD don’t want to misbehave but there are things that they struggle to do, and it looks like misbehavior. If you ask your child to bring his history book home from school and he doesn’t do it, is that misbehavior? Maybe it is or maybe it isn’t.


Take a common problem associated with ADHD: forgetfulness. Children with ADHD have a poor short-term memory, so information goes in one ear and out the other. If your child says that he forgot, it could be very true. On the other hand, if your child hates history and doesn’t want to do it, he may say he forgot in order to avoid doing the homework.


Here is what you can do: always try strategies first. If your child refuses to do the strategy, she is misbehaving. Because she can’t remember, there must be a strategy or a plan that assures that she will remember. Have her put a reminder on her phone that will pop up right at the end of the school day. If she doesn’t do it, the behavior was planned and deliberate. When agreeing to the reminder, you can point out that she will have a choice to either do as the reminder requests or decide not to do it and have a consequence such as no phone use for the rest of the day. She will be motivated to follow through to avoid the consequence.


When you ask your son to take out the trash and he says that he will do it later, don’t expect it to be done. He may forget to do it. If he is busy doing something, he won’t want to do it right away. So, either ask him to do it immediately when he is not busy or tell him that he needs to take out the trash and ask when he will do it and how he will remember to do it. He can put a reminder on his phone. He will like the fact that you let him decide (within reason) when he will do it. If he doesn’t do it when he gets the reminder, it is misbehavior.


Your son might not turn in his homework – is that misbehavior? Why would he do the work and refuse to turn it in? That doesn’t make sense, clearly, he forgot! Ask the teacher if she can send him his homework. He can send it back right after he finishes it. Many schools now have students do their homework online and it can be very helpful to those students that have ADHD.


Some children are oppositional. They have argued and disobeyed consistently since the age of two. That has nothing to do with ADHD; that is misbehavior. If that describes your child, you should seek counseling to help you improve the child’s behavior.


All the things I’ve outlined here could also be true for adults with ADHD. Sometimes they don’t remember and sometimes they simply don’t want to do it. Investigate which it is.


Accreditation and Assessment Corner

Solange Ribeiro and Nicole Randick


This month we want to highlight HLC accreditation criterion 3.B.6, “faculty and students contribute to scholarship, creative work, and the discovery of knowledge to the extent appropriate to their programs and the institution’s mission”, as well as goal 1.1.4, “to employ highly qualified staff, faculty and administrators”, and goal 2.3: “to demonstrate Adlerian Principles through community activities” of our institutional effectiveness plan. Next month we will be highlighting the contributions of our part-time faculty.


Who are our faculty and where can they be found when not at AGS? Here is just a sample of how full-time faculty members contribute to the profession and to their communities.


Amy Foel and Doug Pelcak provide significant service to the community by running the School Counseling Service Center, which provides human resources and training to underserved area schools. In addition, they just presented the program Resilience & Suicide Prevention: Adlerian Approaches Using Evidence Based Research at the Minnesota School Counseling Association Conference, on April 27.


Asha Dickerson is the Southern Region Representative for the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development, President-Elect of the American Counseling Association of Georgia, and the recipient of the 2019 Trailblazer Award for Counselor Workforce Development. The award will be presented at the National Board for Certified Counselor’s Bridging the Gap Symposium on May 24. She will be the keynote speaker for the Bridging the Gap Awards and will be presenting the content session "Villains, Victims, and Criminal Masterminds: Using Cartoons and Comics to Help Children Understand Trauma" at that same symposium.


Craig Balfany has a number of upcoming presentations. At the NASAP conference, in May, he will present a content session titled “Exploring cultural self-awareness through doll making: An insightful tool to create movement towards multicultural competence.” In June, you will be able to find him presenting a professional development workshop at the VONA Center for Mental Health; in July he will be accompanying three Art Therapy students to ICASSI; and in October he will be co-presenting 4 programs at the American Art Therapy Association National Conference. You will be happy to know that one of his presentations will be a co-presentation with two current Adler students, Rebecca Urban and Leah Baird; the title of their presentations is “Studio E: Epilepsy Art Therapy Program, Eight Years of Healing Through Art”.


Erin Rafferty-Bugher will be presenting the session Healing Native American Urban Youth at the 2019 American Art Therapy Association Conference, taking place October 30 to November 3 in Kansas City, MO. Her co-presenter, Pat Welch, M.A. A.T, is a recent AGS graduate. She will also be presenting the content session “An Integrated Approach: Individual Psychology, the Medicine Wheel and Creativity”, which will examine the relationship between Individual Psychology and the Indigenous Medicine Wheel teaching, at 2019 NASAP Conference in Tucson, AZ.


Jill Sisk is “Taking Adler to the Streets" on Thursdays with Evelyn Haas and John Reardon by visiting community agencies (e.g. Zuhrah Shriners; Yellow Brick Road daycare), to offer free presentations to their members, parents, and employees on Adlerian topics of interest. She can also be found periodically in Jamestown, ND, where she is a member of the Board of trustees for the University of Jamestown.


Judy Voight co-presented at the Minneapolis School Counselors meeting with Doug Pelcak and Amy Foell on “Anxiety and Depressive Disorders in Children” in November, 2018. She contributes to the community by serving dinner at the Union Gospel Missions and packing meals for Feed My Starving Children. She has walked n the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for 15 consecutive years and has individually raised $8,000 for breast cancer research by walking 60 miles over the course of three days in two Susan G. Komen Twin Cities 3 Days Walks.


Letitia Browne-James is the Current Treasurer of the Association for Multicultural Counseling & Development (AMCD), a division of ACA, Immediate Past President of The Florida Association for Multicultural Counseling & Development (FAMCD), a division of Florida Counseling Association (FCA), and FCA’s Ethics and Professional Practice Committee Chairperson, as well as FCA’s 2019 Traumatology Symposium Coordinator. She is currently running for the position of FCA’s President-Elect. She is the 2019 recipient the NBCC’s Inaugural Excellence in Clinical Mental Health with Underserved Populations Award, which she will receive at the 2019 NBCC Foundation "Bridging the Gap Symposium: Eliminating Mental Health Disparities" in Atlanta from May 22-24. At the symposium she will also give a presentation showcasing the work she does to help persons from underserved and marginalized communities.


Meg Williams contributes to the community by being a Girl Scouts leader, providing consultation and advocacy to individuals with disabilities, and by being a member of the District 622 Advisory Committee


Nicole Randick recently published the article, Exploring the job duties that impact school counselor wellness: The role of RAMP, supervision, and support, in The Professional School Counselor (December, 2018). You can also find a fun experiential activity, The Wellness Tree, she co-wrote with Solange Ribeiro in the upcoming book, Social Justice and Advocacy in Counseling: Experiential Activities for Teaching, which is coming out in June 2019. She will be co-presenting with Solange Ribeiro on the topic of technology in education at the 2019 Association for Humanistic Counseling National Conference, in Bloomington, MN. She will also be co-presenting at the 2019 American Art Therapy Association Conference, in Kansas City, MO. Her presentations focus on working with grieving adolescents and adolescent identity formation.


Solange Ribeiro focuses her service to the profession on serving as a CACREP site-visit team member, doing an average of one visit a year to programs seeking accreditation. On June 1st, you will be able to find her co-presenting with Nicole Randick at the 2019 Association for Humanistic Counseling National Conference, in Bloomington, MN. The title of this presentation is “Technology and Relationship: Virtual Battle”


Art Therapy Corner: Connecting The Community Through Creativity

Story By Kristen Miller, Sun Sailor


In honor of Dementia Awareness Month, Open Circle's academic outreach program allows students to share the healing and life-enhancing experience of art therapy with seniors. Click or tap the button to read more about the program, dementia, the students, and the participants in the Original Sun Sailor article.

Read the Full Article


Writing Center Corner

The Adler Writing Center sponsors a student writing contest each month.  Students - watch your Adler email for a prompt, write a paragraph, and send to  Check your Adler email.  See below the prompts and the writers that have won each month. 


Featured Entry

By Amy Riedel | Prize: Two tickets to MN Orchestra Performance of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony

“What is one of your favorite kinds of music that soothes you and reaches your soul and why?”


Music is one of the greatest gifts we can give to others.  When we take in music, we are receiving an offering from the journey of another person.  When we give music, we are offering our vulnerabilities to strengthen others.  Music envelops a connection on a spiritual level that is unbreakable; one song can bring us back to a specific moment in time that can make us laugh, and cry, and be thankful. 


I have been blessed with the gift of music all my life.  My grandmother was a music teacher who later travelled to Thailand and brought back a beautiful instrument.  She organized a revolutionary choir with this instrument called the Unkalung.  She learned to compose the music for the instrument along with the choral chords.  The Unkalung Choir travelled internationally and my grandmother was able to touch the lives of so many with this unique sound.  She included me in many of her Christmas concerts in Madison, Wisconsin and I began my love of performing.  I would later go on to earn a full-tuition scholarship at the University of Wisconsin for music writing and performance. 


I also developed a love for recording music and had the chance to create songs with many incredible artists, including Grammy Award winning artist Sean Paul and LIfe-Time Grammy Achievement Award winner Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC.  Music took me to places I never thought I would be able to go.  I travelled to Jamaica, and Los Angeles, and sang at the Apollo with a choir.  I was blessed to have the chance to sing and perform at the National Boys and Girls Club Keystone Conference in Dallas, Texas as well as share music and love with students at University of North Carolina-Charlotte on inclusion and equity. I was also given the opportunity to share the stage with incredible youth performers at Summerfest, and I opened for several artists at the Taste of Madison. 


For me, music is a love language.  It is a lasting connection.  I can think of no better way to bridge our differences and come together than through music.  I do not have one specific type of music that soothes my soul because many styles of music reach me and through the music, I am able to connect with others.  Whether it is out dancing with friends, or singing in church, or listening to music before bed, I appreciate music in all forms and the way it creates connection.  I embrace many forms of music, and they all soothe my soul.  Music has always been a healer and an incredible gift in my life.


A Classic

By Rocky Garrison, Ph.D.

Reference: Plewa, F. (1936). Psychic difficulties. International Journal of Individual Psychology, 2(1), 114-126.

Author Information

Franz Plewa (1903 -?) took part is the Association for Individual Psychology Physicians (AIPP) in Vienna. Beginning in 1929 he was appointed Assistant Director at the Clinic for Nervous Diseases at the Mariahilfer, an educational counseling center. He worked closely with Lydia Sicher, who was appointed Director of the clinic when Adler left Vienna for the United States. In 1934 he was elected chairman of AIPP. He emigrated to England in 1939, where he ran a clinic in the Kennington district in London. After immigrating to the United States, he became chief of the welfare and counseling services in Boystown, Nebraska.


Plewa (1936) begins by asserting that no style of living prepares a person for everything and that people experience psychic distress whenever this lack of preparedness is encountered. The shock of this experience activates inferiority feelings, perfection, “… a goal towards which a person aspires in his [or her] effort to escape his [or her] imperfection” (p. 115), and protective measures in order to overcome the felt vulnerability.  He insists that these psychic difficulties are universal and not necessarily neurotic. While inferiority feelings are universal many people are “… unable to consider ‘inferiority’ a universally human characteristic but believe it to be distinctive of his [or her] individual nature” (p. 118).


Plewa (1936) uses a legal analogy to discuss the process of understanding distress, asserting that a person should be considered healthy until proven neurotic. He goes on to identify three necessary attributes of a neurosis. First, evidence of a lack of preparation for a task of life in the childhood of the person and of shock effects and symptoms in the person’s current functioning. Second, a lack of understanding of the personal meaning or impact of the situation that revealed the lack of preparation, the exogenous factor. Third, a pattern of using the symptom(s) to obtain the help of others, attain superiority and/or compensate for the felt inadequacy. He presents a case that has two of these three attributes and then defines some goals for psychotherapy in cases of psychic difficulties.


A client receiving Trauma-Informed Care

About half of us will experience a traumatic event at least once in our lives, according to the APA. An unexpected event can be difficult for the brain to process, evoking unsettling feelings and leaving the individual’s body stuck in a stress response.

While it’s not completely understood why some people have an easier time adapting than others, it is known that experiencing a potentially traumatic event is common.

Because living with the effects of trauma is a common experience for many and our students are likely to encounter those affected in their career, two Adler instructors want to share their knowledge and to inspire curiosity regarding perspective and treatment of trauma.

From Doug Pelcak

Professional Development and School Service Center Coordinator; Full-Time Faculty Member, Student Advisor

The Goal Is To Adjust.

The key to trauma-informed care is a shift in the paradigm - rather than looking at what’s wrong with someone, focusing on what happened to them.

Trauma-Informed Care changes the framework for how to understand an individual’s misbehavior, the fictive goals that they pursue when they no longer feel able to belong and contribute effectively.

Trauma-Informed Care Changes The Way We View The Brain.

Current studies support the idea that trauma can impact us on a genetic level. It is possible for trauma to influence fight or flight responses, parenting styles, and DNA across generations.

From Dr. Antwan Player

Full-Time Faculty Member, Student Advisor, Co-editor of the AGS Journal

Early Recollections Can Help.

In my dissertation, I studied trauma-influenced parenting styles. I found that a significant number of parents who have undergone trauma are then overcompensating in their philosophy of parenting.

I gathered early recollections (an Adlerian assessment tool) of both traumatic and positive events to individually understand their view of experiences and found something interesting: the parents were overcompensating in a way related to their traumatic event.

Think About Belonging And Altruism.  

Usually, we view trauma from a negative angle of the experience, but there is so much power in realization. That is, by focusing on feelings of belonging and altruism, parents were able to gain insight and, in some cases, were able to adjust.  

Keep Learning with Adler

Trauma cannot be fully examined in a single blog post, but we want to spark curiosity and exploration about trauma-informed care. It’s an important topic in the mental health community and the classroom, so we encourage you to reach out to Doug or Antwan if you’d like to learn more.


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