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ALFRED ADLER Alfred Adler was born in the suburbs of Vienna on February 7 1870 the third child and second son of a Jewish grain merchant and his wife As a child Alfred developed rickets which kept him from walking until he was four years old At five he nearly died of pneumonia It was at this age that he decided to be a physician Alfred was an average student and preferred playing outdoors to being cooped up in school He was quite outgoing popular and active and was known for his efforts at outdoing his older brother Sigmund He received a medical degree from the University of Vienna in 1895 During his college years he became attached to a group of socialist students among which he found his wife-to-be Raissa Timofeyewna Epstein She was an intellectual and social activist who had come from Russia to study in Vienna They married in 1897 and eventually had four children two of whom became psychiatrists He began his medical career as an opthamologist but he soon switched to general practice and established his office in a lower-class part of Vienna across from the Prader a combination amusement park and circus His clients included circus people and it has been suggested Furtmuller 1964 that the unusual strengths and weaknesses of the performers led to his insights into organ inferiorities and compensation He then turned to psychiatry and in 1907 was invited to join Freuds discussion group After writing papers on organic inferiority which were quite compatible with Freuds views he wrote first a paper concerning an aggression instinct which Freud did not approve of and then a paper on childrens feelings of inferiority which suggested that Freuds sexual notions be taken more metaphorically than literally Although Freud named Adler the president of the Viennese Analytic Society and the co-editor of the organizations newsletter Adler didnt stop his criticism A debate between Adlers
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