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Born in Vienna in 1870 Alfred Adler suffered an early childhood illness that later led him to pursue a medical degree Starting off as an ophthalmologist he later became a general practitioner before finally settling in as a psychiatrist He was very much interested in social reform and the philosophy of socialism which greatly influenced his theories In fact his wife Raissa Epstein was an early feminist and influenced Adlers views on women and the world Although Adler never considered himself a true follower of Sigmund Freud he was indeed involved in the psychoanalytic movement He was actually invited by Sigmund Freud to attend a small discussion group in Freuds home that would later become the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society Even though Adler did not agree with Freud that an individuals gender was the main contributor to ones personality some of Freuds other theories and concepts can be detected in Adlers ideas After presiding as the president of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society for a good amount of time in 1911 Adler resigned and founded his own school Interestingly even though Adler contributed a great deal to the psychoanalytic movement he had no problem pulling away from it either He had no qualms with admitting that Freud was a colleague of his He also had no reservations in proclaiming that he was in no way a follower of Freud either In 1912 along with 9 other members Adler formed the Society of Individual Psychology He felt it was hard to apply a single theory to all individuals as was previously done To him each individual was unique and had to be assessed in this manner His notion of striving for superiority was in his opinion the driving force behind all human emotions thoughts and behaviors During WWI Adler spent 3 years doing hospital service for the Austrian Army Initially he worked on the Russian front
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