In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Evidence-Based Adlerian Therapy:Special Issue
  • Jon Sperry

In our inaugural issue as new editors (Sperry & Sperry, 2017), one of our pledges was to educate and advocate for Adlerian therapy to achieve evidence-based status. This special issue is the first embodiment of that pledge.

This special issue consists of four parts. The first part is an essay by Len Sperry entitled: "Achieving Evidence-Based Status for Adlerian Therapy: Why It Is Needed and How to Accomplish It." It begins by defining the various evidence-based terms. Then it describes why Adlerian therapy must pursue evidence-based status. Finally, it describes how this can be accomplished through developing treatment manuals and planning and implementing clinical trials.

The second part consists of the six detailed responses to Len Sperry's article by seven prominent Adlerians. Each author provides insight into the need to achieve evidence-based status for Adlerian therapy and they all articulate the value, challenges, and controversy of beginning the rigorous research effort articulated by Len Sperry. The six responses highlight the need for Adlerian therapy to join the proverbial "evidence-based table" of contemporary clinical practice.

The third part is entitled "More Evidence for Evidence-Based Adlerian Therapy: Responding to the Responders," by Len Sperry. He replies and comments on each of the responders' support and critiques of the plan to closely study Adlerian therapy. He also highlights the importance of moving beyond the resistances to Adlerian therapy becoming evidence based and focusing efforts on achieving evidence-based status in the very near future.

The fourth part is entitled: "Adlerian Pattern-Focused Therapy: A Treatment Manual" by Len Sperry and Vassilia Binensztok. As the name suggests, the article is a treatment manual developed for implementing clinical trials and training of the therapists who will be involved in those trials, which presumably will lead to the designation of evidence-based treatment. It [End Page 245] emphasizes one form of Adlerian therapy, Adlerian-pattern-focused therapy, and focuses on the treatment of major depression in a structured ten-session therapy. This manual can also be used in graduate training programs and workshops for practicing clinicians.

In summary, this issue is intended to call on Adlerian practitioners, researchers, and educators to take a step out of their comfort zones and ensure that Adlerian therapy remains not only a therapy that can build on wellness and reduce human suffering but also a therapy that will prove effective through the scientific validation process. [End Page 246]


Sperry, J., & Sperry, L. (2017). Extending Individual Psychology theory and practice through empirical and scholarly research. Journal of Individual Psychology, 73(3), 171–172.


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pp. 245-246
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