Kurt A. Adler, a psychiatrist who spent a career seeking to put into practice the novel approach to psychotherapy of his father, Alfred Adler, the Viennese psychiatrist, and to extend its reach, died on in May 1997 at Lenox Hill Hospital. He was 92 and lived in Manhattan.
Dr. Adler was medical director and lecturer at the Alfred Adler Institute in Manhattan for 45 years and practiced at Lenox Hill Hospital. For 39 years, he was president of the board of the Advanced Institute for Analytic Psychotherapy in Jamaica, Queens.
Dr. Adler's hundreds of patients in Manhattan included a number of women who are distinguished writers, family members said.
A theme in his father's work was that women must have equal rights with men. His father argued that aggression in men might result if the individual did not sufficiently grasp the concept of equality of the sexes.
Alfred Adler, who died in 1937, broke with Sigmund Freud over the centrality of infantile sexuality in Freudian psychotherapy.
Instead, he believed that people are driven by inferiority feelings and compensate by trying to achieve competence, mastery and power.
Extending his father's ideas, Dr. Kurt Adler said in his writings and speeches that mental health is achieved through integration into a community, when the person merges his or her own self-interest with the common interest of humanity.
Dr. Adler frequently lectured abroad, and he attracted patients there as well.
He served a group of patients who flew to New York from Switzerland each month to seek his brand of therapy; beginning in the 1980's, they could no longer find any reputable Adlerians in practice in Switzerland, they said.
Kurt Adler was born in Vienna, received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Vienna in 1935 and an M.D. from the Long Island College of Medicine in Brooklyn in 1941.
He became a psychiatrist with the United States Army in World War II, and after the war began a private practice that continued until the week before his death.
In his writings, he attributed some of his awareness of the importance of the equality of men and women to the influence of his mother, Raissa Timofeivna Epstein, a translator born in Leningrad and educated in Zurich when universities in Russia were closed to women.
She smuggled a Russian translation of Karl Marx into Russia at the turn of the century and became a friend of Leon Trotsky and the Trotsky family.
A collection of Dr. Adler's lectures at Alfred Adler Institutes around the world is to be published this year by S. Fischer Verlag of Frankfurt, Germany.