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Ontario Society of Adlerian Psychology

Gemeinschaftsgefuhl ~ Advancing Adlerian Psychology in Ontario Through Social Interest, Sense of Belonging, Community Feeling and Equality


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Latest News Blog

Kindergarten Children with Low Self-Regulation

by Charmaine McIntosh | on April 23, 2016

The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment, a study where young children were offered one marshmallow now, or two marshmallows in 15 minutes if they could resist eating the first one, revealed that students in kindergarten have better school success if they have both high self-regulation and low-conflict relationships with school mates and teachers.  The research stated that self-regulation can be improved with the help of parents and a better classroom environment can be created by teachers. Read More

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The Courage to Be Imperfect

by Charmaine McIntosh | on April 16, 2016

The concept of the Courage to Be Imperfect was developed by Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs. When we have the courage to be imperfect, we can focus on the present time rather than worry about what has happened in the past.

Some points to consider:

  1. Individuals should be encouraged, not expected, to pursue perfection.
  2. It is better to have the desire to be useful than to have the desire for self- elevation. The latter is accompanied by constant fear of making mistakes.
  3. Too many human relationships are mistake-centered and fault-finding.
  4. Mistakes are unavoidable and, in most cases, less important than what the individual does after he or she has made a mistake.
  5. Mistakes are not failures…they are aids to learning.
  6. Are you motivated primarily to help others, or to be superior to them?
  7. Develop a sense of your own personal strength and self worth.
  8. Develop the courage to cope with the challenges of living.

“We have to learn the art, and to realize that we are good enough as we are because we will never be better regardless of how much more we may know, how much more skill we may acquire, how much status or money or what-have-you. If we can’t make peace with ourselves as we are, we will never be able to make peace with ourselves. And this requires the courage to be imperfect; requires the realization that I am no angel, that I am not superhuman, that I make mistakes, that I have faults; but I am pretty good because I don’t have to be better than the others.” ~ Rudolf Dreikurs, M.D.

Retrieved from

Courage to Be Imperfect

Rudolf Dreikurs was a psychiatrist and leader in Adlerian Psychology who focused on parenting and educational training.  Learn more about Rudolf Dreikurs Here


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Social Interest, Does It Matter?

by Charmaine McIntosh | on April 09, 2016

A main concept of the individual psychology of Alfred Adler is ‘Social Interest’ which is innate and developed from early childhood. ‘Gemeinschaftsgefuehl’ is the German word for this concept.  Social interest is about community feeling, social feeling, connecting with others, being interested in and feeling for others, and the willingness to contribute. Adler believed that “true social interest must take the form of some kind of contribution” (Ansbacher and Ansbacher, p. 141). People try to find their place in society and a sense of belonging.  With social interest, we act in a ‘useful’ way in life, we are concerned about the welfare of others, and we work together in a helpful way in society. Without social interest, the individual can become concerned only with him/herself.  Social interest means being able to see with the eyes of another, hear with the ears of another and feel with the heart of another. Do we see social interest in today’s society with the ‘me generation’ and individuals who have a sense of entitlement, spoiled and self absorbed.  According to Dreikurs, “social interest is the expression of our capacity for give and take” (Dreikurs, p. 9).  Social interest DOES matter, and it can hold human beings and society together. What does social interest mean to you?  How is your social interest?

Social Interest 

     If you are interested in learning more about Adler's social interest, read his book,
     Social Interest: Adler's Key to the Meaning of Life.


Ansbacher, Heinz L. and Ansbacher, Rowena R. (Eds.). (1979). Superiority and social interest, 3rd Revised Edition. New York, NY: W.W. Norton and Company  .

Ansbacher, Heinz L. and Ansbacher, Rowena R. (Eds.). (1956). The individual psychology of Alfred Adler: A systemic presentation in selections from his writings.  New York, NY: Harper and Row Publishers.

Dreikurs, Rudolf R. (1989).  Fundamentals of Adlerian psychology. Chicago, IL: Adler School of Professional Psychology.

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