Adlerian Theory

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Human health is essential since it determines a person's pleasure. A person who is ill is unproductive and has no chance of living a useful life. The HCAP model includes hope as a component. Possession of this component by a client indicates a good shift in therapy. This article investigates hope as the primary element in the HCAP model. The study discusses the importance of this aspect in a therapeutic setting, the concepts underlying the Hope theory and the Adlerian theory, and change processes. This study also discusses the implications of clients who have lost hope, those who are despondent, and the ultimate danger of losing hope.  Webster defines hope as a desire that is accompanied by a belief or an anticipation in the realization of a goal. Hope is fundamental in determining human accomplishment. Most people succeed, patients recover just because they have a motivating factor, hope. It may be intrinsic or extrinsic. There are people who by nature are always optimistic. They are driven by hope, in every moment of their existence, they have a belief in succeeding. Besides, there those who do not pose hope to them, but instead some people give them hope. After all, whether intrinsic or extrinsic, hope serves the same purpose.

Hope is a virtue by origin. Hope is attributed to the moral good. It is mainly characterized by uncertainty (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). People have hope for things that are favouring. For people to say that they are hopeful, they always expect the best out of their beliefs. Alfred Alder is the pillar of the theory of hope and Adlerian. In his theory, the unity of personality was the primary concern. In his argument, the driving force is of great importance that the where one has come from. He added that individuals adopt living styles that are unique as they strive to achieve their goals. In general, we determine the achievement of our success rather than be determined by our childhood experiences.

The main focus of this theory is on the inferiority feelings. According to Adler, these feelings are a normal condition in human life. They should be seen as weaknesses but instead as the wellspring of creativity. Whenever one is experiencing inferiority complex, they strive towards achieving to become superior. Therefore these feelings are termed to be the motivating factor in human achievement (Carlson & Sperry, 2006). About Maslow's level of need, people seek to supplement their needs in a hierarchical order. A level of giving one a sense of belonging entails the feelings of one being inferior. For them to fit in the society surrounding them, they strive towards success. This makes up hope in the life of an individual.

Hope as a common factor of the HCAP model

Webster defines hope as a desire accompanied by a belief or an anticipation in the realization of a goal. A person with hope is mindful of the future and is an optimist as well. Optimistic individuals have a positive attitude towards life, and this explains the reasons for the outstanding achievements. According to definition by Seligman, for hope is preceded by a moment of despair. People become desperate in life, struggle with no success and till they find themselves suffering the earlier said inferiority complex. Hope is developed as a means of coping with the difficulties already experienced. When people are filled with hope, they think and believe that the routes followed are directed towards realizing the goals, thus serve the purpose of motivating. The above definition depicts hope as both emotional and cognitive. Clients chose to have hope rather than finding themselves with hope. Acting on it call for motivation and strategies carried out actively (Corey, 2015).

People are created differently and thus have different perspectives towards life. They view the situation in varying ways. At no single instance, people acts the same with the same degree of acting. Likewise, humans have varying degrees of hope. There are those that are very optimist in life. The degree of hope may depend on how the devastating situation was or the personality of a person. For people who are desperate in life, they tend to possess a very high degree of hope but cannot act. On the other hand, some clients lack motivation and thus have no hope at all. A single step towards achievement is considered as a sign of hope. Even in the very desperate time, people still can choose whether to move on or let go. The very desperate may let go, though not in all cases. The "fight to the death" never lose hope, they always possess an inward driving force. Gerald May suggested that hope is a choice and the more terrible the situation, the more likely a person will make a choice to hope.

People respond to life situation in unique ways. Responses are mainly dependent on the human personality that is developed since childhood. By nature, there are people with outstanding personality making them possess high propelling force in life. People actively participate in the development of this personality, depending on the way they attribute meaning the experiences in life. These people are not passive victims but instead active. In the battle of striving in life, people adapt to conditions and become part of hard situations. They interpret experience according to their level of impact in their life (Slavik & Carlson, 2006). Such individual who has encountered hard experiences become prone to them and get courage.

Courage is inseparable from hope because people with unending hope are termed courageous. Even after experiencing horrible situations they still have the energy to move on. The creative power of life makes one have a desire to achieve in life. Sick persons are never sure of their health, but with the hope they make it. The unfulfilled desire makes one be in a state of motion. During the counselling sessions, no drug is administered people yet heal and regain their health. Some drugs may be perceived to be strong, but the hope is fundamental. When people acquire a sense of belonging, feel loved and cared for, they get motivated. Hope relieves one off stress making them have a healthy thinking. This allows the mind to develop ideas that are promising, generally giving hope for happiness in life.

Tenets and process of change of the theory

People are said to have solutions to their problems. Every individual is aware of whatever is in their minds. According to Adler's theory, psychology positivity implies merely that people need to have a positive attitude towards life. Experiences in life are normal and unavoidable. They constituents of change. The world is a globe, and everything keeps changing as the earth revolved around the sun. People ought not to struggle to resist change, but instead, adjust by the changes. Reasonable men struggle to adapt to the world, but unreasonable men struggle to adjust the world to fit them. Acceptance is the first step towards achieving the goals after a challenging situation. Individuals are expected to have a motivating factor to remain in motion till they accomplish their goals.

Hope and the Adlerian Theory like any other theory of psychology are based on underlying principles. This theory is set on a foundation of five significant tenets and process of change that acts as a guide. The first one is that humans are social beings who want to belong. This principle implies that we encounter social challenges as we interact and relate to the world. Individuals always want to belong to a particular group thus having a social interest. People who are not well adjusted suffer feelings of inferiority.

The second principle is that we all participate actively in our lives from a low position to a position of self-esteem. In every moment of our existence, we all strive towards moving upwards. People want to feel that they have a plus position in their life. Every individual is an active participant in determining their fate in life. Regardless of the age, people make their own choice to assign meaning to their life. None is a victim of circumstance or a driver we all decide what to do independently. Every person is in charge of their life, people are self-determined and chose how to respond to a particular life experience.

Our behaviours are purposive, goals direct them. We act in the way we do because of our set goals. Often is the time when people fail to understand their purpose of acting in a definite way. This does not mean that our behaviours lack purpose, only that we are never aware. To understand the purpose, we determine the cause and find out that we are goal-oriented. It is not possible to change the causes. However, changing goals is easy. This calls one to choose whether to lower the goals or strive towards achieving them as they are. Reaching the unchanged goals requires a person to have hope and work towards the direction of these goals.

The fourth principle is: we give meaning to life. Reality is what we perceive. About Dreikurs, the reality is not what happens to us, but instead how we feel about it. Every individual gives meaning to what they experience in life. People perceive things differently and link them differently. Besides the fact that we cannot change the past, we can make choices to change whatever meaning we have assigned to this past experiences. Life is not absolute but subjective. This explains why the counsellors do not help clients change their past experiences but assist them to cope with the future ahead. This is what entails changing the meanings assigned to the past.

The last tenet is that people are holistic. A person is not a single part but is whole. Several parts are joined up to form make up an individual, and they are all involved actively throughout the human life. These parts are the feelings, thoughts, memories, actions, and dreams among others. These parts entail the personality of a person, the environment, the history as well as the genetics. It is not possible to understand a part separately, to understand an individual it is essential to consider the whole person who is the combination of all this and other parts (Rule & Bishop, 2006). To understand a person we examine a theme that is consistent with the pattern. The above-discussed tenets form a basis to explain what makes people adopt changes in life. It is by nature that people act in response to the environment.

Use of Hope factor within Hope and Adlerian theory

The principles of this theory outline that people experience life situations not by choice but as nature. The only choice they make is how to responds to these situations. People of outstanding personality are believed to deal with life issues much better than those with low personality. To move on strong towards achieving calls for a motivating factor. It acts as a drive to propel an individual upwards (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). This driving force is termed as hope. Being the common factor of the theory, hope it is the determinant of whether one continues to reflect on the past and stick to it or make extemporary achievement in the past. Hope has been displayed explicitly in this theory since the theory is based on whether the client has hope to a better life or they are hopeless. Those that are hopeful demonstrate and upward mobility in their performance.


We live in a challenging universe and often are the times we work with people who struggle for meaning and spiritual direction. The primary objective of counselling is to enable healthy changes that result in courage to hope resourcefully. The article attempted to examine hope as a common factor in Adlerian theory not only as a virtue as described in positive psychology but also as a cultural value. The adherence of a customer to hope offers a better chance to help them in times of difficulties (Carlson & Johnson, 2009). One cannot step on the same water twice since the world is dynamic. When we struggle to resist change, we end up being drowned by the challenges but when we adopt better ways to cope with the changes we make significant achievements. We should all have hope at all time to reach our goals of interest.


Capuzzi, D., & Stauffer, M. D. (2016). Counseling and psychotherapy: Theories and interventions. John Wiley & Sons.

Carlson, J., & Johnson, J. (2009). Adlerian therapy. The professional counselor's desk reference, 371-377.

Carlson, J., & Sperry, L. (2006). Adlerian therapy. Washington, DC.

Corey, G. (2015). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. Nelson Education.

Rule, W. R., & Bishop, M. (2006). Adlerian lifestyle counseling: Practice and research. Taylor & Francis.

Slavik, S., & Carlson, J. (Eds.). (2006). Readings in the theory of individual psychology. Taylor & Francis.

April 19, 2023

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