The Four Phases of Adlerian Psychotherapy

Steven A. Maybell, PhdThe following phases of psychotherapy were identified by Rudolf Dreikurs, M.D. They are designed to be in a logical sequence for progressive movement in the therapy process  In the reality of actual practice, there is significant overlap between these phases; the necessity to return to a previous phase, leap to a future stage, etc.

There are innovative interventions that cover all the phases within a short period of time (e.g. the single recollection method, metaphorical intervention, mutual story-telling, etc.) © 2006 Steven A. Maybell, PhD

  1. Relationship/Rapport Development: The establishment and maintenance of an empathic, respectful and collaborative partnership.
  2. Psychosocial Investigation: The gathering of information in order to obtain a context within which the difficulties can be clarified and understood. Included in this process is the “tracking” of the symptom or dysfunctional pattern, evaluation of functioning in the life task areas, a systematic review of formative experiences, including: family atmosphere, gender guiding lines, big numbers, psychological birth order vantage, early recollections, etc.
  3. Interpretation/Insight: A mutual effort to understand those lifestyle meanings, values and goals that make the dysfunctional pattern or symptom necessary. The Socratic method of asking
  4. questions and stochastic guessing method are employed.
  5. Reorientation: Facilitating movement toward more flexible, effective and courageous ways for the client to see him/herself, his/her world and his/her place of significance, security and success.

Reference: Articles in “Psychodynamics, Psychotherapy and Counseling” by Rudolf Dreikurs, M.D.