The Integration of Art and Science: A Comparison of Individual Psychology and Attachment Theory: Theoretical Constructs and Therapeutic Techniques

Adlerian psychology may be distinguished from clinical psychology in several significant ways. Adlerian theorists‘ view of human nature is non-pathologizing, their approach to human understanding is socially embedded, and their therapeutic approach focuses primarily upon addressing the contents of individuals‘ internal mental models of reality in order to evoke change. Attachment theory and emotionally focused therapy are quite similar to Adlerian theory and therapeutic practice in all of these aspects, but, like clinical psychology, they also benefit from decades of scientific research. This paper traces the development of attachment theory across the span of a half century. Comparisons between it and Adlerian theory are then made to highlight both similarities and differences. Emotionally focused therapeutic techniques are also compared with those of Adlerian therapeutic techniques in like manner. Future opportunities for integration and collaboration are briefly discussed.

John A. Birkland, IV
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