Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 41-45

Adler, Alfred

  • Anne Fierro VanderlaanAffiliated withPSY D, Saybrook University

Life Dates



Life Style


Alfred Adler was the first family therapist and the first to do group therapy. Alder established holistic view on a person called Individual psychology, meaning undivided. Adler psychology is the basis of many therapies today.

Alfred Adler was born in Penzing Vienna Austria, February 7, 1870 to parents from Hungry. The family was all musicians at home, and Alfred a tenor, loved to sing attend the opera and the theater. He was the second to the oldest child of six children. Adler’s early life he suffered rickets and could not walk until 4 years of age and almost died of pneumonia when a doctor told his family there was no hope for him to live. This statement motivated him to one day become a doctor. Alfred was twice run over by a car on separate occasion, which gave him a fighting spirit. Alfred was a flower lover and felt unhappy because his older brother was favored by his mother and did not feel bonded to her. He was always in c ...

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