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First released in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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Additional info for Alfred Adler: Problems of Neurosis: A Book of Case-Histories

Sample text

To the question, "What use are you making of your talents? " he answers, This thing stops me; I cannot go ahead," and points to his self-erected barricade. We must never neglect the patient's own use of his symptoms. Not only does he use them in ,this way, but-as happens still more in psychosis-they also modify his perception of every vital question of life. To be already overworked by grappling with his own neurotic difficulties is not only an extenuating circumstance" it is also a patient's inner relief from his striving for superiority-he really expects less of himself.

The patient may have \vorked up a ,high tension of feeling about the idea that the doctor is his "last hope," but we must accept no such distinction. To do so would prepare the way for grave disappointment, or even suicide. This girl was a second child, whose elder sister was more beautiful than herself, besides being very clever and popular; so that the patient's life had been like a breathless race to overtake her rival. The sister married happily. The 'patient also developed well, especially intellectually, outdoing her elder sister in school work..

This so-called guilt-complex, which we should wholly misunderstand by ┬Ěthe Freudian interpretation, was quite clearly an attack upon the husband who was no longer ob~dient. She could hurt him by confession and self-accusation. Who is so simple as to think that it is a case of the majesty of the truth vindicating itself after a quarter of a century? The truth is often a terrible weapon of aggression. It is possible to lie, and even to murder, with the truth. Nietzsche, with a most penetrating vision and from the same standpoint as we take for Individual Psychology, described the feeling of guilt as mere wickedness.

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