Alexandra Adler

Alexandra Adler (1901-2001)*

by Hendrika Vande Kemp, Annandale VA

Alexandra Adler was born in Vienna, Austria on September 24, 1901, the second of four children born to Alfred Adler–the founder of individual psychology–and his Russian wife, Raissa Timofeyevna Epstein, who was a daughter of a Jewish merchant. Alexandra’s brother Kurt was born in 1905 and her sister Cornelia in 1909.

Alexandra was baptized on October 17, 1904 with her father and her older sister Valentine (b. 1898) in the Protestant Church of the Dorotheergasse, although it is unclear what Alfred’s “conversion” really meant: one biographer claims Alfred rejected Judaism because it was a religion for only one ethnic group and he wanted to “share a common deity with the universal faith of man” (Bottome, 1939, p. 65). However, Kurt Adler insisted in 1995 that “we are all atheists,” and Alexandra’s niece Margot also described her aunt as an atheist.1

Raissa Epstein Adler, a radical socialist, influenced her husband’s views on women and served as a feminist model for her daughters and son, having come to Zurich to study zoology, biology, and microscopy because women were not allowed to study at the Russian universities. Alfred provided both humor and a gift for music, and he played four-handed piano with Alexandra. One of the family’s adventures included a 1914 vacation in Russia shortly after the outbreak of World War I: Raissa Adler and her children were caught in Russia and released only after she convinced the Czar that she had been forced to marry Alfred. Alfred’s war-
time duties separated him from the family a great deal, and the entire family suffered the typical deprivations of post-war Vienna. Alexandra no doubt also witnessed some of the strong conflicts between Alfred and Raissa: Alfred came from the working class, Raissa from the intelligentsia; he devoted his energy to the promotion of individual psychology and education, she devoted hers to radical politics; during the war, their sympathies went to their home countries, which were at war with each other.

Following in her father’s footsteps, Alexandra received her medical degree in 1926 from the University of Vienna, then specialized in psychiatry, completing her internship and residency at the University of Vienna Neuropsychiatric Hospital where she later directed the neurological department for women. She was one of the first women to practice neurology both in her native Austria and later in America. In 1934 she was in charge of a child guidance center in Vienna until it was closed by the fascist Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss. Alexandra’s 1935 move to America appears to have been multiply determined. According to Ellenberger (1970), Alfred
Adler had already foreseen the potential consequences of the Nazi regime, and sought to ensure the future of individual psychology by bringing it to the United States. He started by founding the Journal of Individual Psychology, which first appeared in 1935. Alfred settled in the United States in the early 1930s, and when he was thought to be dying Raissa and Alexandra came from Vienna to nurse him. After his recovery, they stayed in America. Kurt Adler reports that the family emigrated because his mother was arrested in 1935 for her work with the "Red Help," a communist aid organization, and Alfred Adler had to promise to take his
wife out of Austria. Whatever the reasons for the move, when they arrived in the fall of 1935 Alexandra was immediately offered a position as a neurology instructor at the Harvard Medical School. Because no women were given regular faculty posts, she was added to the research staff with automatically renewable annual appointments. She served there and at Massachusetts General Hospital through 1944. She was a visiting professor of psychiatry at Duke University in 1944, and had a private practice in North Carolina until 1946, when she joined New York University College of Medicine’s department of psychiatry, where she became a full professor in 1969. She was a member of the staff at Gracie Square Hospital and at Bellevue Hospital, and worked for 20 years with female offenders at the New York City Department of Corrections, eventually publishing her observations on 1,000 patients (Adler, 1955).

As a psychotherapist, Alexandra was one of the leading systematizers and interpreters of her father’s work, which she expounded first in the Zeitschrift für Individual-Psychologie with a 1929 article on “the technique of giving advice in child training” and a 1935 article “concerning the border zone between neurosis and psychosis.” She provided a systematic overview in Guiding Human Misfits (Adler, 1938), a book printed in both the United States and England, with a second edition in 1948, reprint editions in the 1970s and
1980s, and a German edition in 1990. She further clarified the tenets of individual psychology in book chapters (e.g., Adler, 1947a, 1959), booklets (Adler, 1973), and various dictionaries and encyclopedias (e.g., Adler, 1947b), emphasizing the concepts of organ inferiority, psychic compensation, the neurotic’s fictitious goal or life style, and the influence of family position or birth order. She also wrote numerous articles for the (American) Journal of Individual Psychology, focusing on Adlerian practices for the treatment of schizophrenia, neuroses, and personality disorders; the use of modern drug treatments in psychotherapy in the 1950s; the concepts of compensation and over-compensation; the practice of group therapy; and the emergence of existentialist and
religious psychotherapies in the 1960s. After her father’s death in 1937, Alexandra edited the 1937 volume of the Journal of Individual Psychology and served as the president of the International Association of Individual Psychology. In 1948 she became medical director of the newly founded Alfred Adler Mental Hygiene Clinic in Manhattan, and became actively involved with the new Alfred Adler Institute. Later she served as the president of the American Society of Adlerian Psychology.


Adler was one of the first to provide detailed accounts of what is now known as post-traumatic stress disorder in 500+ survivors of the famous Coconut Grove nightclub fire that occurred in Boston on November 28, 1942, claiming 492 lives. While Erich Lindemann (1944) worked with the families of victims to develop a theory of grieving and the concept of “grief work,” Adler (1943) studied survivors and found that they experienced unresolved grief with personality changes involving guilt, rage, demoralization, and diminished elan vital. Adler found that a year after the disaster 50% of the survivors still experienced sleep disturbances, increased nervousness and anxiety, guilt over survival, and fears related to the fire. Adler (1944, 1950) also reported at length on the disintegration and restoration of vision in one of the fire survivors who suffered from visual agnosia, most likely due to a lesion of the brain caused by carbon monoxide fumes. The 22-year-old patient added part by part until she recognized a whole; often she recognized parts and guessed the nature of the whole. In essence, she recognized objects “by tracing the contours, by adding the parts and making conclusions from all she had perceived” (quoted in Arieti, 1974, p. 282). Adler’s work contributed to demonstrating that this patient’s inability to perceive wholes was not due to a defective visual field. Adler and others argued that
“in certain pathological conditions wholes cannot be perceived, only parts. A tendency exists, however, to reconstruct wholes, at times inappropriate ones, only loosely related to the original” (quoted in Arieti, 1974, p. 282). Arieti (1974) gave Adler’s studies a central place in his argument regarding perception in schizophrenics, who apparently manifest “an automatic fragmentation of perceptual wholes followed by an instantaneous  reintegration according to primary process, rather than secondary process [or] principles of cognition” (p. 281).

Adler also contributed to the understanding of the neurological basis of multiple sclerosis. Adler and the Harvard neurosurgeon Tracy Jackson Putnam (Putnam & Adler, 1937) conducted a post-mortem study of the brain of a woman diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, demonstrating that cerebral plaques characteristically spread in a rather odd, specific relationship to large epiventricular veins and bizarrely altered the affluents of these veins. Illustrations from this article are routinely reproduced in the medical literature on multiple sclerosis.

In 1959, Alexandra married Halfdan Gregersen, a former dean and professor of romance languages at Williams College. Gregersen died in 1980. Adler died January 1, 2001, in the New York University hospital where she had worked, of various complications of aging. Her Jewish friends honored her life by observing shloshim. Prior to her death she was honored with the 1977 Goldenes Ehrenzeichen der Stadt Wien (a gold decoration from the city of Vienna) and she was included as a case study in a book on Jewish Women in New York Exile (Hartenstein, 1999).

Note

In addition to the references that follow, I relied on a “meditation on death” delivered in January 2001 by National Public Radio correspondent Margot Adler who was responsible for the end-of-life decisions prior to Alexandra’s death, and on the following internet sources visited January 8, 2003: an interview with Kurt Adler  (http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/hstein/kurt‑90.htm); F. Alfons Schelling’s website on multiple sclerosis (http://www.multiple‑sclerosis‑abc.org/evo/msmanu/844.3A1D141718604); obituaries of Alexandra Adler in The Washington Post and The New York Times (both at http://www.alfredadler.edu/news.htm)and the Harvard Gazette (http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2001/01.18/08‑adler.html); and a posting in the PNAI-OR-RABBI Digest 1698 (at http:
//shamash.org/listarchives/aleph‑pnai‑or/log0102).

www.MickMaurer.com
New York State Education Department
Licensure-Qualifying Program in Adlerian Psychoanalysis
Alfred Adler called his theory “Individual Psychology “.

Adlerians are concerned with understanding the unique and private beliefs
and strategies that each individual creates in childhood and which then
serve as the individual’s reference for attitudes, behavior, and one’s private
view of self, others and the world.

Adlerian psychotherapy favors a therapeutic relationship which is interactive,
cooperative, supportive, empathic, non-dogmatic and “common-sensical”.
We use and encourage a creative approach to problem solving. Individual
Psychology is a system of theory and practice built upon psychodynamic,
cognitive-behavioral, existential and humanistic principles.

Advanced Certificate in
Psychoanalysis    
    

This program is the premiere program of the Institute designed to prepare
students to become Adlerian psychoanalysts and therapists. It combines a
solid base of Adlerian theory and practice to prepare students for
professional practice. Students of varied backgrounds are successful
because of small class sizes, supportive environment and individualized
attention. It may be completed in 3-10 years, with most students taking 4-
5 years.

Admission is open to qualified individuals with a minimum of a masters
degree. Students would then complete academic coursework, personal
analysis, research papers, examinations, work with clients and supervision.

After being awarded the Advanced Certificate, if appropriate requirements
are met, a graduate may apply for registration as a member of the National
Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis and may apply to sit for
the licensing examination in psychoanalysis in New York State.
AAI-NY 500 Introduction to Adlerian Psychology
Introduction to Adlerian Psychology will serve as an introductory course in any program.  This course will provide a basic overview of the main distinctive
features of Adlerian psychology, as well as the particular interests of the faculty members.  During this course, students will begin to answer the question,
"What perspective does Adlerian theory and practice bring to psychology."
511 Psychoanalytic Theory of Psychopathology
513 Psychoanalytic Theory of Psychodiagnosis
515 Personality Development
521 Sociocultural Influences on Growth and Psychopathology
523 Practice Techniques
525 Analyses of Resistance, Transference, and Counter-transference
531 Practice in Psychopathology and Psychoanalysis
533 Case Seminars on Clinical Practice

641a Personal Psychoanalysis – Initial Phase
641b Personal Psychoanalysis – Middle Phase
641c Personal Psychoanalysis – Later Phase

643a Supervised Analysis – Initial Supervision of Clinical Practice
643b Supervised Analysis – Supervision of Clinical Practice
643c Supervised Analysis – Supervision of Clinical Practice

645a Clinical Experience – Initial Experience in the Clinic
645b Clinical Experience – Supervised Clinical Work
645c Clinical Experience – Clinical Practice under Supervision

741a Professional Ethics
741b Research Paper – Year One
741c Research Paper – Year Two
741c Research Paper – Year Three  

Current:
ADVANCED CERTIFICATE IN PSYCHOANALYSIS
This program is the premiere program of the Institute designed to prepare students to become Adlerian psychoanalysts and therapists. It combines a solid
base of Adlerian theory and practice to prepare students for professional practice. Students of varied backgrounds are successful because of small class
sizes, supportive environment and individualized attention. It may be completed in 3-10 years, with most students taking 4-5 years. Admission is open to
qualified individuals with a minimum of a masters degree. Students would then complete academic coursework, personal analysis, research papers,
examinations, work with clients and supervision. After being awarded the Advanced Certificate, if appropriate requirements are met, a graduate may apply
for registration as a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis and may apply to sit for the licensing examination in
psychoanalysis in New York State.
We are in the process of applying to be a Registered Educational program in Psychoanalysis
________________________________________
PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATE IN CONTINUING EDUCATION
This program is for already qualified mental health professionals who want to study the fundamentals of Adlerian theory and practice. Students complete
one year of studies (which may be spread out over a maximum of four years) to supplement their existing professional training. Students who complete
the Professional Certificate may choose to continue in the Advanced Certificate Program.
________________________________________
CERTIFICATE IN COMMUNITY EDUCATION
Community students are admitted to study the fundamentals of Adlerian theory and to understand its application in their daily lives. Students complete one
year of course work for this certificate. This program is especially relevant to a wide range of community members including clergy, people in the field of
education and those simply desiring to know more.
________________________________________
Workshops and Series
The Institute regularly offers workshops (and series of workshops) both on its own and in collaboration with other community groups. These are open to
anyone who has the background needed for the particular offering. Custom offerings can be designed on request.
Samples of workshops include:
• Intimacy and Relationships
• Dreams and Early Memories
• Parenting Workshops
• Birth Order: From Biblical Times to the NY Times
• Alfred Adler and Buddhism
Other topics will be presented based on faculty interest and expressed need from the community.
___________________________________________
Proposed:
GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY CERTIFICATE
The innovative certificate in the Group Psychotherapy program is designed to provide students with an opportunity to explore and expand professional and
personal capabilities. The program incorporates theory and technique in group therapy development of the therapist’s style, and the applications of group
therapy methods to resolving conflict and addressing social issues. The central goal is to increase students’ effectiveness and creativity in therapeutic
interactions by helping them experience and understand the use of self in the psychotherapeutic process. This program provides an intensive opportunity to
develop, maintain, and enhance competence and self-confidence in group psychotherapy, including the application of group therapy theory and methods to
group conflict.

Integration of personal and professional development is a primary objective, encouraging more effective and creative relationships within the group setting.
Fundamental to the philosophical basis of this program is the belief that individuals and groups have the capacity to be healthy and adaptive. If left to
develop its own structure, a group eventually will reflect a collection of each member’s typical and historical interpersonal relationships. Once emerged, that
structure allows members to explore and learn from their own history. The following courses are required for this certificate. In addition, students in this
program should consult with the program coordinator to develop an individualized course of study.
COURSES IN THE GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY CERTIFICATE (TOTAL = 9 CREDITS)
537 Group Therapy 3 cr.
707 Advanced Group Therapy 3 cr.
770 Advanced Group Interventions: Conflict Resolution 3 cr.
____________________________________________
CHILD & ADOLESCENT ADLERIAN PSYCHOANALYSIS CONCENTRATION
The Child and Adolescent ADLERIAN Psychoanalysis concentration is designed for students with an interest in working with these populations. Required
courses provide students with knowledge and skills pertinent to issues of health and dysfunction with children and adolescents; assessment and
intervention methods appropriate to these types of clients; and the broader structural and sociocultural factors that impact on their well being. The courses
necessary for completion of this concentration are the following:
538 Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy 3 cr.
544 Child & Adolescent Health & Dysfunction 3 cr.
583 Advanced Child & Adolescent Assessment 3 cr.
584 Systemic Interventions with Children & Adolescents 3 cr.
591 Child Guidance and Parenting 1 cr.
592 Child Guidance and Parenting Group Supervision 1 cr.

Elective menu (Choose one of the following):
552 Life Cycle & Cultural Issues in Marriage & Family Therapy 3 cr.
594 Advanced Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy 3 cr
____________________________________________
CTSS -CTR-CTS Trauma Certifications :
    
Certified Traumatic Services Specialist        CTSS                Basic Certification Level
Experience: 1 year paid or volunteer in trauma-related field       
High School Diploma or GED (Minimum)        
Training: Basic – 32 hours
Advanced – 40 hours  
.
Certified Trauma Responder         CTR                Secondary Certification Level
Experience: Served on CISD team, Crisis Response or Management Team        
High School Diploma or above       
Training: Response – 32 hours
Advanced – 40 hours        
Field Work: 40 hours documented.

Certified Trauma Specialist        CTS                Advanced Certification Level
Experience: Masters level or higher.  To be exempt from certain courses need copy of state license in a mental health field & proof of malpractice
insurance.                
Training: Core – 164 hours
Elective – 76 hours        
Field Work: 2,000 hours
Plus 50 hours personal counseling.
Developed by Dr. Mick Maurer with  the Alfred Adler Institute of New York Faculty Curriculum Writing Team  in March 2010 - July 2010,
once completed to be submitted to the NY Regents.
The Alfred Adler Institute of New York (594 Broadway Suite 1213; NYC) is a post-graduate training institute for mental health
professionals. The Institute has been the primary source of Adlerian psychology training in the Northeast for over 50 years. Our faculty and
advisors include some of the most prominent practitioners and authors in the field.

The Alfred Adler Institute was a prime moving force in establishing both the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis - of which
we continue to be an accredited member Institute – and the American Board for Accreditation in Psychoanalysis. The Institute is chartered by the
Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York.

In addition to preserving the traditional Adlerian philosophy and treatment methodology of Individual Psychology, we concentrate on demonstrating
how Adler’s theories remain fresh and applicable to contemporary society.

The Institute provides post-graduate training leading to the Certificate in Psychotherapy and/or Analysis. Advanced students have the opportunity
to do clinical work with clients at the Alfred Adler Community Consultation Center (the supervised training division of the Alfred Adler Center for
Mental Health). Our programs also offer selected courses for non-matriculating students.

The Alfred Adler Institute founded in 1948, was one of the first psychoanalytic training institutes in New York. The Alfred Adler Mental Hygiene Clinic
(the Alfred Adler Center for Mental Health) was founded at the same time.

Until recently, the late Drs. Kurt Adler and Alexandra Adler, son and daughter of Alfred Adler, were major figures of both the Institute and the Clinic
– teaching our students and treating our patients, as well as lecturing throughout the U.S. and abroad
.

Among our illustrious faculty members, some of those who had worked closely with Adler in Vienna were Dr. Helena Papanek and Dr. Ernst
Papanek, and Danica Deutsch who founded and directed the Mental Hygiene Clinic.

To this day,
we continue the work begun in 1948, training psychotherapists and analysts true to the spirit and teachings of Alfred Adler, and
treating clients in our mental health center. Chartered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York.
NY State Licensure Requirements:

Substantial Equivalence for Psychoanalytic Study

To be considered substantially equivalent, your course of study must have been taken at an acceptable
psychoanalytic institute or degree granting college and must have included coursework substantially equivalent to
coursework required in a master's or higher degree program in a health or mental health field of study. The study
must have included at least 1,350 clock hours of study distributed as follows:

* coursework - at least 405 clock hours of classroom instruction including at least 45 clock hours in each of the
following areas:

1. personality development;
2. psychoanalytic theory of psychopathology;
3. psychoanalytic theory of psychodiagnosis;
4. sociocultural influence on growth and psychopathology;
5. practice technique (including dreams and symbolic processes);
6. analysis of resistance, transference, and countertransference;
7. case seminars on clinical practice;
8. practice in psychopathology and psychodiagnosis; and
9. professional ethics and psychoanalytic research methodology;

* personal psychoanalysis - at least 300 clock hours of personal psychoanalysis;
* supervised analysis - at least 150 clock hours of supervised analysis of the student's psychoanalytic cases as
follows:

1. 50 clock hours of individual supervision with one supervisor working on one case; and
2. at least 100 clock hours of individual supervision with another supervisor working on one or more additional
cases; and

* clinical experience - at least 300 clock hours of supervised clinical experience in the practice of psychoanalysis
(see Experience Requirements section for additional information regarding requirements for supervised clinical
experience).

Evidence of receipt of your graduate degree must be presented on Form 2A - Certification of Graduate Study and
evidence of receipt of your certificate of completion of psychoanalytic study must be presented on Form 2 -
Certification of Psychoanalytic Study. These forms must be submitted directly to the Office of the Professions by
the school or institute where you obtained your degree/certificate. In most cases, an official transcript is also
needed.

In addition to the education requirements, every applicant for psychoanalyst licensure or a limited permit must
complete coursework or training in the identification and reporting of child abuse in accordance with Section
6507(3)(a) of the Education Law. You must submit a certificate of completion from an approved provider or file a
certification of exemption ( PDF 17 KB) before a New York State license or permit can be issued. You may be
eligible for exemption from the training if you can document, to the satisfaction of the Department, that your
practice does not involve professional contact with persons under the age of 18 and that you do not have contact
with persons 18 or older with a handicapping condition, who reside in a residential care school or facility.
Experience Requirements

To meet the experience requirements for licensure as a psychoanalyst, you must submit sufficient documentation
of completion of a supervised experience of at least 1,500 clock hours providing psychoanalysis in a setting
acceptable to the Department. Supervised experience obtained in the education program required for licensure as
a psychoanalyst may meet all or part of this requirement.

To be acceptable to the Department, your supervised experience must meet the following supervision and setting
requirements.
Supervision of Experience

Your supervisor must:

* have completed a bachelor's or higher degree program in psychoanalysis, or in the subject of the field in which
the supervisor is licensed (see below), or another field related to the field of psychoanalysis as determined by the
Department; and
* be licensed and registered in New York State to practice psychoanalysis, medicine, as a physician assistant,
psychology, licensed clinical social work, or as a registered professional nurse or nurse practitioner, or must have
the equivalent qualifications as determined by the Department*; and
* have at least three years of full-time experience, or the part-time equivalent, in psychoanalysis. Practice on a
full-time basis means 800 clock hours in the practice of psychoanalysis earned over a 52-week period.

*Prior to January 1, 2008, applicants may also submit experience supervised by a psychoanalyst certified or
registered by a national certifying or registering body for psychoanalysts acceptable to the Department to meet this
requirement.

There must be contact between you and your supervisor during which:

* you apprise your supervisor of the treatment of each client;
* your cases are discussed with your supervisor in conformity with federal and state laws regarding the
confidentiality of patient-identifiable information;
* your supervisor must provide you with oversight and guidance in developing skills as a psychoanalyst, including
but not limited to, the analysis of resistance, transference, counter-transference, and unconscious processes in the
practice of psychoanalysis; and
* your supervisor must provide an average of one hour per week or two hours every other week of in-person
individual or group supervision. NOTE: Supervision may only be provided in formats other than in-person with the
approval of the Department based on good cause, including but not limited to, inability to locate a sufficient
number of qualified supervisors to perform in-person supervision and an acceptable plan to provide the
supervision through an alternative format.

All supervised experience must be verified by your supervisor(s) on Form 4B - Certification of Supervised
Experience. Acceptable verification should include an attestation by the actual supervisor. In cases where such
attestation is not available, the Department may accept other documentation of the experience.
Setting for Experience

The setting in which the experience is obtained must be a location at which legally authorized individuals provide
services that constitute the practice of psychoanalysis, as defined in Education Law, and must be responsible for
the services provided by individuals gaining experience for licensure. The setting cannot be a private practice
owned or operated by the applicant.

The practice of psychoanalysis is defined in Education Law as:

* the observation, description, evaluation, and interpretation of dynamic unconscious mental processes that
contribute to the formation of personality and behavior in order to identify and resolve unconscious psychic
problems which affect interpersonal relationships and emotional development, to facilitate changes in personality
and behavior through the use of verbal and nonverbal cognitive and emotional communication, and to develop
adaptive functioning; and
* the use of assessment instruments and mental health counseling and psychotherapy to identify, evaluate and
treat dysfunctions and disorders for purposes of providing appropriate psychoanalytic services.

Examination Requirements

NOTE: New York State candidates for the psychoanalyst licensing examinations must have completed their
psychoanalysis program and received the certificate of completion as a condition for admission to the examination.
Applicants for licensure will not be approved to take the examination prior to receipt of the certificate of completion.

To meet the examination requirements for licensure as a psychoanalyst in New York State, you must pass the New
York State Case Narrative Examination administered by CASTLE Worldwide, Inc.
Dr. Alfred Adler                                   Dr. Kurt Adler                           Dr. Alexandra Adler
Dr. Alfred Adler
Drs. Alexandra and Kurt Adler
Drs. Kurt, Alfred and Alexandra Adler
In this house lived and worked Alfred Adler, 1/22/1870  to
5/28/1937 Founder of Individual Psychology - Vienna, Austria
Dr. Adler speaking in Berlin
University of Vienna from where he
received his medical degree 11-22-1895
Alfred Adler Institute of New York
594 Broadway - Suite 1213
NYC, NY

Founded 1948
Drs. Rowena and Heinz Ansbacher met
through the Adler's in 1930's.  In later
decades they would become the most
important psychologists in the USA to bring
Adler's work to academic attention.
Adlers wife Raissa nee Epstein and their children in 1914
Back: Valentine,
Front: Alexandra, Nelly, Raissa, and Kurt
Long Island College of Medicine in Brooklyn where Adler taught 1934
until his death in 1937 as a visiting Professor of Medical Psychology.  
In 1929 separated from Long Island College Hospital and now known
as Downstate Medical School of New York State since 1950.
Wittenberg College in Springfield, Ohio
which awarded Alfred Adler an Honorary
Doctorate of Laws degree in 1928
Grammercy Hotel when Alfred Adler lived
during his years in NYC 1926-1937
Vienna Poliklinik where Adler did volunteer
medical work from 1894 until he left
Austria for America.
In mid-February 1928 Adler began his first academic position in the USA, teaching
a course on individual psychology at the New School for Social Research.
In 1929 Adler would lecture as an adjunct faculty member in adult education
and Columbia's medical school would also allow him a visiting professorship to
discuss his work.  In 1930 he directed a child-guidance clinic and also lectured
at the school's Institute of Arts and Sciences.  Professor Tilney proposed
Adler for permanent appointment but psychoanalysts opposed Freud's
longtime foe.  Adler resigned his position in February 1930 and closed his clinic.
in 1929 Adler lectured at Temple Emmanu-el in
NYC to capacity audience of twenty-eight hundred
on topics such as, "Educational Views of Individual
Psychology".  He was a regular lecturer at Reform
Congregations in New York and elsewhere.
Adler offered a similar series of evening lectures
at Community Church in NYC, a Unitarian
Congregation headed by John Haynes Holmes (a
founder of both the ACLU and the NAACP). The
church took over Adler's clinic when he withdrew
from Columbia University.
After serving in the Hungarian Army Medical Corps in
the First World War Adler's chief reputation soon
became established in the applied field of child
psychology.  He established Child-guidance clinics in
Austria, London and in the United States.
Nelly Adler, Kurt Adler, Sophie Lazarsfeld, Alfred Adler and
Friends in 1935.  Paul Lazarsfeld was a scholar with Adler at
the Buhlers Institute of Psychology in Vienna.
Adler in 1892 began half of his one year obligatory military service with
the First and Fourth Tyroler-Kaiserjager Regiment.  In 1896 he
completed the second hald with the Eighteenth Military Hospital of
Pressburg.   In 1916 he was drafted as an army physician sent to work
in the neuropsychiatric department of the military hospital in the
mountainous village of Semmering.  Early in 1917 he was reassigned
to Austria's Garrison Hospital Number 15 in Cracow, Poland.   He was
transferred again in late 1917 to the Grinzing district of Vienna to treat
soldiers stricken with typhus.   In 1917 he was also involved in
transporting sick or wounded prisoners from Switzerland.  In January
1918 he published a paper on
War Neurosis.  
Mulberry Street in NYC in circa 1900.  Adler was as concerned about social
medicine both here and in Austria.   He wrote, "The Penetration of Social
Forces into Medicine",  "An Academic Chair for Social Medicine", "City and
County", and "State Help or Self-Help?".  He urged his colleagues to use
prophylaxis, or disease prevention, "the most valuable fruit that scientific
medicine has offered the people."
Adler died May 28, 1937 while on a lecture
trip to Aberdeen, Scotland.  He lectured
nearly ten continuous weeks in France,
Belgium, Holland and Great Britan.
Kings College at the University of Aberdeen
where he had just given four days of
lectures before engagements in York, Hull,
Manchester and returning to London.  His
funeral service was held at King's College
Chapel on June 1, 1937.
As Abraham Maslow declared
shortly before his own death in
1970,
"For me, Alfred Adler became
more and more correct year by year.  
As the facts come in they give
stronger and stronger support to his
image of man...especially...to his
holistic emphasis."
Returning to live in Vienna after surviving a Nazi concentration
camp, Viktor Frankel achieved great influence in developing
existential psychiatry or what he called
logotherapy.  Frankl
admiringly described his former mentor as
"the man who was the
first creatively to oppose Sigmund Freud.  What he, in so doing,
achieved and accomplished was no less than a Copernican switch.  
No longer could man be considered as the product, pawn and victim
of drives and instincts....Beyond this, Alfred Adler may well be
regarded as an existential thinker and as a fore-runner of the
existential-psychiatric movement."
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Freud wrote to the Austrian Pacifist Arnold Zweig, "For
a Jewish boy from a Viennese suburb a death in
Aberdeen, Scotland is an unprecedented career and a
proof of how far he had come.  Truly his contemporaries
have richly rewarded him for his service in having
contradicted psychoanalysis."
The New York Herald Tribune suggested, "Adler who rejected the specific apparatus of
psychoanalysis, whose views were less dogmatic and more fluid than Freud's, may
have helped to correct some of the worser effects of the school, while he helped to
correct some of the worser effects of the school, while he helped to spread its general
gospel.  Standing somewhere between Freud, the scientist, and Jung the prophet, he
performed an invaluable service in the pioneer labor of this formidable trinity.  He
leaves his monument, as will the others, in the world around him."
Rudolf and Sadie Dreikurs with Erik Blumenthal in
1971. Also studied medicine at the University of
Vienna, and became attracted to Individual
Psychology in 1920.  In 1938 he headed his
mentor's advice to settle in the United States.  
Established in Chicago Dreikurs established an
active local group and also an international
newsletter for individual psychology.   

Erik Blumenthal was an assistant and co-author
with Dreikurs.  He was a president of the Swiss
Society of Individual Psychology, and a
training-analysts for the German Society of
Individual Psychology.
A Historical Chronology of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama
Adam Blatner, M.D.
(Revised, July 23, 2007)

  • 1921: Alfred Adler and Rudolph Dreikurs in Vienna held case conferences with teachers, families, and the child or teenager all together and
    did some of their counseling in these settings. Later, Dreikurs worked with groups of alcoholics in Vienna before coming to the United States.
     
  • 1950-1960: Expansion of group psychotherapy, especially by such leaders as Martin Grotjahn, Hyman Spotnitz, Jerome Frank, Florence
    Powdermaker, Clifford Sager, Helen Papanek, Max Rosenbaum, Helen Durkin, and many others. Children were treated in groups by Haim
    Ginott, Gisela Konopka, Fritz Redl, and others.
Ernst Papananek (pseudonym: Ernst Pek) was born in Vienna in 1900. He studied
medicine, psychology and education at the University of Vienna.

From 1919 he has been active in the Verband der Sozialistischen Arbeiterjugend
Deutschösterreichs (SAJDÖ) and in 1934 he became Austria's representative in the
executive committee of the Socialist Youth International (SYI).

From 1932 to 1934 he was also member of the City Council of Vienna.

In 1934 Papanek fled to Czechoslovakia, from where he supported the illegal Austrian
Revolutionäre Sozialistische Jugend (RSJ).

In 1936 he became editor of the International Pedagogical Information (IPI). 1937
Adler spoke to him before a lecture the University of London telling him to leave for
the United States. Two years later he had to flee to France, where he started to work
for the Organisation de Santé et de l'Education (OSE), which was founded by Russian
Jews and smuggled children out of Germany, housing them in castles in France
1938-1940.

In 1940 Papanek fled to the United States. Here he worked for the Children's Aid
Society. He was also active in various Austrian emigrant organizations and from 1941
he was a member of the American Socialist Party.

In 1945 Papanek became director of the Child and Youth Project Department of the
Unitarian Service Committee (USC) and later he became director of American Youth for
World Youth (AYWY).

In 1947 he was appointed as head of the Brooklyn Training School for Girls and from
1949 he was head of the Wiltwyck School for Boys in New York.

From 1959 to 1971 Papanek was professor of education at Queens College in New
York.

He died in Vienna in 1973.
Among our illustrious faculty members, some of those who
had worked closely with Adler in Vienna were Dr. Helena
Papanek and Dr. Ernst Papanek, and Danica Deutsch who
founded and directed the Mental Hygiene Clinic.
Danica Deutsch, nee Bruckner (born August 16 1890 in Sarajevo , Bosnia
Herzegovina , then Austria-Hungary , died December 24th 1976 in New York ,
USA ) was an Austrian-American psychologist , educator and representative
of the Individual Psychology .

1909 Danica made a German as a language teacher training in Vienna ,
which they with a summer course in French and psychology at the University
of Geneva completed.  She was a teacher for a short time in Sarajevo,
learned but before the First World War, the circle of Alfred Adler know and
attended the sessions at his house.  In 1912 she married Dr. Leonhard
Deutsch, a music teacher and individual psychologists, with whom she had
two daughters.

After Adler's discussions could be continued in 1918, she was soon active
individual psychologist.  As part of the Society for Individual Psychology held
her papers, worked as an educational consultant and also held classes on
self-education. From 1931 to 1934, she was a board member of the
association.  From 1932 to 1934, she was with the organization and direction
of the working group for mothers and fathers, entrusted a discussion group
on education issues for parents and teachers. She also served as editor of
the newsletter for individual-events ".

In 1938 she emigrated to the United States, where they at the College of
Music in Jacksonville / Florida in both theory and practice of individual
psychology teacher conducted classes.  In New York City she worked with
others emigrated individual psychologists in a child care facility.  They also
organized public individual psychology courses and lectures and was
secretary of the New York group. In 1948 she founded the Alfred Adler
Consultation Center, an individual psychological counseling for poor people.
When this was changed in 1954 in a Mental Hygiene Clinic, she was for many
years the Executive Director. She led until 1973, the Alfred Adler Institute in
New York. After that they were still teaching, and held psychotherapy
sessions.
Kurt Alfred Adler, a therapist 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.
Alexandra Adler (1901-2001)*

by Hendrika Vande Kemp, Annandale VA

Alexandra Adler was born in Vienna, Austria on September 24, 1901, the second of four children born to Alfred Adler–the founder of individual psychology–and his
Russian wife, Raissa Timofeyevna Epstein, who was a daughter of a Jewish merchant. Alexandra’s brother Kurt was born in 1905 and her sister Cornelia in 1909.
Alexandra was baptized on October 17, 1904 with her father and her older sister Valentine (b. 1898) in the Protestant Church of the Dorotheergasse, although it
is unclear what Alfred’s “conversion” really meant: one biographer claims Alfred rejected Judaism because it was a religion for only one ethnic group and he
wanted to “share a common deity with the universal faith of man” (Bottome, 1939, p. 65). However, Kurt Adler insisted in 1995 that “we are all atheists,” and
Alexandra’s niece Margot also described her aunt as an atheist.1

Raissa Epstein Adler, a radical socialist, influenced her husband’s views on women and served as a feminist model for her daughters and son, having come to
Zurich to study zoology, biology, and microscopy because women were not allowed to study at the Russian universities. Alfred provided both humor and a gift for
music, and he played four-handed piano with Alexandra. One of the family’s adventures included a 1914 vacation in Russia shortly after the outbreak of World
War I: Raissa Adler and her children were caught in Russia and released only after she convinced the Czar that she had been forced to marry Alfred. Alfred’s war-
time duties separated him from the family a great deal, and the entire family suffered the typical deprivations of post-war Vienna. Alexandra no doubt also
witnessed some of the strong conflicts between Alfred and Raissa: Alfred came from the working class, Raissa from the intelligentsia; he devoted his energy to
the promotion of individual psychology and education, she devoted hers to radical politics; during the war, their sympathies went to their home countries, which
were at war with each other.

Following in her father’s footsteps, Alexandra received her medical degree in 1926 from the University of Vienna, then specialized in psychiatry, completing her
internship and residency at the University of Vienna Neuropsychiatric Hospital where she later directed the neurological department for women. She was one of the
first women to practice neurology both in her native Austria and later in America. In 1934 she was in charge of a child guidance center in Vienna until it was closed
by the fascist Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss. Alexandra’s 1935 move to America appears to have been multiply determined. According to Ellenberger (1970), Alfred
Adler had already foreseen the potential consequences of the Nazi regime, and sought to ensure the future of individual psychology by bringing it to the United
States. He started by founding the Journal of Individual Psychology, which first appeared in 1935. Alfred settled in the United States in the early 1930s, and when
he was thought to be dying Raissa and Alexandra came from Vienna to nurse him. After his recovery, they stayed in America. Kurt Adler reports that the family
emigrated because his mother was arrested in 1935 for her work with the "Red Help," a communist aid organization, and Alfred Adler had to promise to take his
wife out of Austria. Whatever the reasons for the move, when they arrived in the fall of 1935 Alexandra was immediately offered a position as a neurology
instructor at the Harvard Medical School. Because no women were given regular faculty posts, she was added to the research staff with automatically renewable
annual appointments. She served there and at Massachusetts General Hospital through 1944. She was a visiting professor of psychiatry at Duke University in
1944, and had a private practice in North Carolina until 1946, when she joined New York University College of Medicine’s department of psychiatry, where she
became a full professor in 1969. She was a member of the staff at Gracie Square Hospital and at Bellevue Hospital, and worked for 20 years with female
offenders at the New York City Department of Corrections, eventually publishing her observations on 1,000 patients (Adler, 1955).

As a psychotherapist, Alexandra was one of the leading systematizers and interpreters of her father’s work, which she expounded first in the Zeitschrift für
Individual-Psychologie with a 1929 article on “the technique of giving advice in child training” and a 1935 article “concerning the border zone between neurosis
and psychosis.” She provided a systematic overview in

Guiding Human Misfits (Adler, 1938), a book printed in both the United States and England, with a second edition in 1948, reprint editions in the 1970s and
1980s, and a German edition in 1990. She further clarified the tenets of individual psychology in book chapters (e.g., Adler, 1947a, 1959), booklets (Adler,
1973), and various dictionaries and encyclopedias (e.g., Adler, 1947b), emphasizing the concepts of organ inferiority, psychic compensation, the neurotic’s
fictitious goal or life style, and the influence of family position or birth order. She also wrote numerous articles for the (American) Journal of Individual
Psychology, focusing on Adlerian practices for the treatment of schizophrenia, neuroses, and personality disorders; the use of modern drug treatments in
psychotherapy in the 1950s; the concepts of compensation and over-compensation; the practice of group therapy; and the emergence of existentialist and
religious psychotherapies in the 1960s. After her father’s death in 1937, Alexandra edited the 1937 volume of the Journal of Individual Psychology and served as
the president of the International Association of Individual Psychology. In 1948 she became medical director of the newly founded Alfred Adler Mental Hygiene
Clinic in Manhattan, and became actively involved with the new Alfred Adler Institute. Later she served as the president of the American Society of Adlerian
Psychology.


Adler was one of the first to provide detailed accounts of what is now known as post-traumatic stress disorder in 500+ survivors of the famous Coconut Grove
nightclub fire that occurred in Boston on November 28, 1942, claiming 492 lives. While Erich Lindemann (1944) worked with the families of victims to develop a
theory of grieving and the concept of “grief work,” Adler (1943) studied survivors and found that they experienced unresolved grief with personality changes
involving guilt, rage, demoralization, and diminished elan vital. Adler found that a year after the disaster 50% of the survivors still experienced sleep
disturbances, increased nervousness and anxiety, guilt over survival, and fears related to the fire. Adler (1944, 1950) also reported at length on the
disintegration and restoration of vision in one of the fire survivors who suffered from visual agnosia, most likely due to a lesion of the brain caused by carbon
monoxide fumes. The 22-year-old patient added part by part until she recognized a whole; often she recognized parts and guessed the nature of the whole. In
essence, she recognized objects “by tracing the contours, by adding the parts and making conclusions from all she had perceived” (quoted in Arieti, 1974, p.
282). Adler’s work contributed to demonstrating that this patient’s inability to perceive wholes was not due to a defective visual field. Adler and others argued that
“in certain pathological conditions wholes cannot be perceived, only parts. A tendency exists, however, to reconstruct wholes, at times inappropriate ones, only
loosely related to the original” (quoted in Arieti, 1974, p. 282). Arieti (1974) gave Adler’s studies a central place in his argument regarding perception in
schizophrenics, who apparently manifest “an automatic fragmentation of perceptual wholes followed by an instantaneous  reintegration according to primary
process, rather than secondary process [or] principles of cognition” (p. 281).

Adler also contributed to the understanding of the neurological basis of multiple sclerosis. Adler and the Harvard neurosurgeon Tracy Jackson Putnam (Putnam &
Adler, 1937) conducted a post-mortem study of the brain of a woman diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, demonstrating that cerebral plaques characteristically
spread in a rather odd, specific relationship to large epiventricular veins and bizarrely altered the affluents of these veins. Illustrations from this article are
routinely reproduced in the medical literature on multiple sclerosis.

In 1959, Alexandra married Halfdan Gregersen, a former dean and professor of romance languages at Williams College. Gregersen died in 1980. Adler died
January 1, 2001, in the New York University hospital where she had worked, of various complications of aging. Her Jewish friends honored her life by observing
shloshim. Prior to her death she was honored with the

1977 Goldenes Ehrenzeichen der Stadt Wien (a gold decoration from the city of Vienna) and she was included as a case study in a book on Jewish Women in New
York Exile (Hartenstein, 1999).

Note

In addition to the references that follow, I relied on a “meditation on death” delivered in January 2001 by National Public Radio correspondent Margot Adler who
was responsible for the end-of-life decisions prior to Alexandra’s death, and on the following internet sources visited January 8, 2003: an interview with Kurt Adler  
(http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/hstein/kurt‑90.htm); F. Alfons Schelling’s website on multiple sclerosis (http://www.multiple‑sclerosis‑abc.
org/evo/msmanu/844.3A1D141718604); obituaries of Alexandra Adler in The Washington Post and The New York Times (both at http://www.alfredadler.edu/news.
htm)and the Harvard Gazette (http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2001/01.18/08‑adler.html); and a posting in the PNAI-OR-RABBI Digest 1698 (at http:
//shamash.org/listarchives/aleph‑pnai‑or/log0102).