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  • Early Recollections, Research, and Clinical Application
  • Jon Sperry and Len Sperry

A previous issue (74:3) highlighted the importance of moving Individual Psychology techniques to an evidence-based status. This issue, 75:1, follows with that directive in mind, including research and theoretically focused articles that emphasize Individual Psychology as a theory that continues to prove relevant around the globe and in various settings. This issue includes three articles that examine early recollections among various populations, one article on democratic-deliberative discourse, an inspiring article by Harold Mosak and Marina Bluvshtein on faith, hope, and love, and a book review.

The first article in this issue is "Democratic-Deliberative Discourse in Adlerian Israeli Parenting Classes: Ideology and Implementation," by Oryan and Ben-Asher. Through use of critical discourse analysis and case-study methodology among 12 parents, the authors examined the discourse between instructor and participants in a parenting group in Israel. They concluded that there is a need to teach parent educators about democratic-deliberative principles in Adlerian-based parenting study groups.

Johnson-Migalski, Stone, Rounds, and Sesso-Osburn examine the early recollections of 56 graduate students in their article titled "Predictive Relationship Between Trait and State Anxiety and Themes in Early Recollections Using the Early Recollection Rating Scale–Revised." Among the early recollections of individuals who experience anxiety symptoms, the authors found themes indicating that these individuals often perceive danger among others and in the world, and also feel a lack of belonging that leads to withdrawal, avoidance, and passivity or freezing. This article validates Adler's (1956) notion that individuals engage in safeguarding as a means to protect themselves from feeling inferior.

Frank and Shoshana seek to expand the empirical and theoretical understanding of social interest by utilizing qualitative methods in their study. [End Page 1] They collected 43 early recollections from 12 participants using semi-structured interviews in their article "'It was a kind of togetherness feeling': An Exploration of Social Interest in Early Recollections." In their qualitative analysis they found that social interest could be considered to incorporate independence, empathy, and cooperation. They support the argument that social interest can be emphasized and implemented among individuals, families, communities, and societies.

The third article on early recollections in this issue is titled "Traumatic Early Recollections: Recognizing States of Reactivation and Intervention." Sauerheber and Disque offer mental health practitioners tips for recognizing when clients experience reactivated trauma states during the early recollection (ER) process. They also provide readers with strategies for de-escalating clients who have been triggered during the ER process through various grounding techniques, as well as an example of this through a case vignette.

The next article is the last known publication of Harold Mosak, who died at the age of 96 on June 1, 2018. The article is titled "Faith, Hope, and Love in Psychotherapy"; it was recorded during the last few months of his life and transcribed by Marina Bluvshtein. The article offers a meaningful and interesting perspective on Mosak's view of therapeutic processes and mechanisms that he found useful in his clinical practice. The article articulates the notion that faith, hope, and love can be integrated into the Adlerian therapeutic process and also into the personal lives of mental health practitioners.

The final contribution to this issue is a book review by Johnson-Migalski and Vo titled "Adlerian Psychotherapy: A Resource for Practitioners and Students." The reviewed textbook was written by Jon Carlson and Matt Englar-Carlson and published in 2017 by the American Psychological Association. In summary, all the articles in this issue extend the principles and concepts articulated by Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs. [End Page 2]


Adler, A. (1956). A case of anxiety neuroses. In H. L. Ansbacher & R. R. Ansbacher (Eds.), The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler: A systematic presentation in selections from his writings (pp. 276–277). New York, NY: Harper Torchbooks.


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