Alfred Adler’s 1930 book The Science of Living lays out the creative power of life as the courage to strive to turn negatives to positives. For Adler (1930), the overcoming of imperfection in the quest for perfection, cooperation, and creating a communal feeling is paramount for success (pp. 32-40). As we struggle in the summer of 2020; fighting the fears and reality of COVID-19 with positive actions (wearing masks, hand washing, and avoiding crowds), and fighting to defeat the evil of continual structural racism, we draw on our creative powers to keep our goals in mind and in front of us, as we strive for communal perfection. For Adler, perfection is not a destination but a way to get past the current conditions to overcome barriers and deficiencies for a better future. It is this sense of purpose or goals, both personal and communal, which gives us meaning to develop and become better, as part of our community.
At times, it seems like we get tired and wonder why, in the face of what sometimes seems like mountainous barriers, but we muster up the courage to continue our struggle to overcome the imperfections of life. Adler in Social Interest – a Challenge to Mankind (1964, pp. 269-285), published posthumously, writes it is these goals to overcome imperfection that help to give us meaning as we move forward, bringing our community with us. The goal of starting your graduate school counselor education in the face of uncertain times and the goal to continue with your program in spite of social strife and personal difficulty start with the courage to contribute, strive to grow, and make the world a better place.
As a community, AGS continues to actively engage in quality graduate counselor and leadership education and the pursuit of racial and social justice. Here are some ways in which we contribute:
• Faculty and alumni are in leadership positions around the country, being activist counselors in their professional counseling associations and communities. We are on the front lines of creating social change.
• Adler Hub and Adlerian Students in Action are providing networking, HubTalks, support, and resources to make the world better and healthier, supporting our students to meet their goal of being the next generation of counselors and community leaders.
• The uninterrupted delivery of quality graduate education has been our strength, creating certainty in the face of uncertainty. We continue to be creative to overcome the pandemic barriers to education, following the science, and committed to providing quality graduate education: face to face through Zoom, asynchronous online, or a hybrid of both. This delivery will continue through at least Winter Semester 2021.
• As the need for counselors is greater than ever, we continue to recruit new students, investing our resources to help meet the societal need for mental health professionals in the diverse communities we serve.
We at Adler Graduate School walk with you and support you to create a feeling of community, which strives to overcome the difficulties of the present, achieve common goals, and create a better future. We understand that we can make mistakes, we understand at times it is a struggle, we understand there are forces and people that interfere with cooperation and equality, but we know that an individual’s healthy development can only grow as part of the whole, with social feeling and a community encouraging cooperation, purpose, respect, and dignity.
We look forward to a better future together, to live and develop as people, by being involved (social interest) in the greater good. I feel blessed to be part of the AGS community, with the mission of preparing mental health and human service professionals, making the world a better place.