Integrative Theory: The Case of Jack.
An old man sat next to a well-traveled road when a vacationer approached and asked, "Are you acquainted with the town ahead? I am planning to visit and wonder what the people are like." The old man answered, "What were the people like where you come from?" The man said, "They gossip, they are mean and horrible." The old man said sadly, "That is exactly how you will find the people here to be." Soon came another traveler and he also stopped to ask the old man questions. "How are the people in this new place? Are they friendly, are they kind?" The old man replied, "How were the people where you came from?" The traveler responded, "They were wonderful, they welcomed me from the day I arrived, and I made friends I"ll not forget." The old man just said, "That's exactly how you"ll find the people here to be." .
Approach to Counseling.
Alfred Adler directed people to "act as if." He asserted that humans have the capacity to interpret, influence and create their own existence. Past circumstances and environment are not sentences imposed, but rather events almost completely subject to the individual's own interpretations. Adler asserts that people need to resist seeing themselves as victims, because where we are striving to go is more important than where we have come from. (Corey p.108.) What a person expects to receive from their society and community is usually what they do receive. When a person develops the ability to "act as if," they create an environment for themselves that can be measurably more positive and balanced. .
Personal Philosophy and Theoretical Foundation.
Adlerian therapy encourages the development of social interest and community connectedness. This can be achieved when people feel as if they belong, even if they feel they must initially pretend to fit in. The therapist assists the client to gain self-confidence through experiential experimentation, clarification of irrational beliefs and self-defeating thought processes.