Tag: <span>Sigmund Freud</span>

Erich Fromm Rapprochement of Cultures.

Erich Fromm: Meeting the Challenges of the Century.

Featured Image: Erich Fromm. By Müller-May / Rainer Funk / CC BY-SA 3.0 (DE)

By Rene Wadlow.

I believe that the One World which is emerging can come into existence only if a New Man comes into being – a man who has emerged from the archaic ties of blood and soil, and who feels himself to be a citizen of the world whose loyalty is to the human race and to life, rather than to any exclusive part of it, a man who loves his country because he loves mankind, and whose views are not warped by tribal loyalties.
Eric Fromm Beyond the Chains of Illusion.

Eric Fromm (1900-1980), the psychoanalyst was concerned with the relation between personality and society. His life was marked by the socio-political events of the century he faced, especially those of Germany, his birthplace.

Erich Fromm was born into an orthodox Jewish family in Frankfurt am Main.  The families of both his mother and father had rabbis and Talmudic scholars, and so he grew up in a household; where the significance of religious texts was an important part of life. While Fromm later took a great distance from Orthodox Jewish thought; he continued a critical appreciation of Judaism.

He was interested in the prophets of the Old Testament, but especially by the hope of the coming of a Messianic Age – a powerful theme in popular Judaism. The coming of the Messiah would establish a better world; in which there would be higher spiritual standards but also a new organization of society.  The Messianic ideal is one in which the spiritual and the political cannot be separated from one another. (1)

Sociology and Psychology.

He was 14 when the First World War started and 18 when the German State disintegrated – too young to fight but old enough to know what was going on and to be impressed by mass behavior.  Thus; he was concerned from the start of his university studies with the link between sociology and psychology as related ways of understanding how people act in a collective way.

As was true for German university students of his day; he was able to spend a year or a bit more indifferent German universities: in Frankfurt where he studied with the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory; whose members he would see again in New York when they were all in exile, at the University of Munich, at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute, and at the University of Heidelberg from where he received a doctorate.

Main building of the Ludwig Maximilian University, MunichBavariaGermany. By Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx.

He had two intellectual influences in his studies: Sigmund Freud whose approach was the basis of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute and Karl Marx; a strong influence in the Frankfurt School.  Erich Fromm chose a psychoanalyst path as a profession, learning and, as was required in the Freudian tradition; spending five years in analysis.  Fromm, however; increasingly took his distance from Freudian orthodoxy; believing that society beyond family relations had an impact on the personality.  

However; he also broke one of the fundamental rules of Freudian analysis in not overcoming the transfer of identification with his analyst.  He married the woman who was his analyst.  The marriage broke after four years perhaps proving the validity of Freud’s theories on transfers and counter-transfers.

Colorized painting of Sigmund Freud. By Photocolorization, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Buddha.

Therefore, Erich Fromm’s reputation and his main books rest on his concern with the relation of individual psychology and social forces – the relation between Freud and Marx. However; probably the most fundamental thinker; who structured his approach was the Buddha; whom he discovered around the age of 26. It is not Buddhism as a faith that interested him – Buddhism being the tradition built on some of the insights of the Buddha.  Rather it was the basic quest of the Buddha that interested him: what is suffering?  Can suffering be reduced or overcome?  If so, how?

Erich Fromm saw suffering in the lives of the Germans among whom he worked in the late 1920s; individual suffering as well as socio-economic suffering. For Erich Fromm, there must be a link between the condition of the individual and the social milieu; a link not fully explained by either Freud or Marx.

Multiple rows of golden statues of the Buddha seated, with yellow and red flowers, at Wat Phou Salao (Golden Buddha temple), in PakseLaos. By Basile Morin, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Art of Loving.

Erich Fromm had enough political awareness to leave Germany for the United States just as Hitler was coming to power in 1933. From 1934; he was teaching in leading US universities. In 1949 he took up a post as professor at the National Autonomous University in Mexico but often lectured at US universities as well.

Erich Fromm’s work is largely structured around the theme of suffering and how it can be reduced.  There is individual suffering. It can be reduced by compassion and love. One of his best-known books is The Art of Loving. Love is an art, a “discipline”, and he sets out exercises largely drawn from the Zen tradition to develop compassion toward oneself and all living beings.

Memorial plaque, Erich Fromm, Bayerischer Platz 1, Berlin-SchönebergGermany By OTFW, Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness.

There is also social suffering which can be reduced by placing an emphasis not on greater production and greater consumption but on being more; an idea that he develops in To Have or To Be. Fromm was also aware of social suffering and violence on a large scale and the difficulties of creating a society of compassionate and loving persons.  His late reflections on the difficulties of creating The Sane Society (the title of a mid-1950s book) is The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness.  We still face the same issues of individual and social suffering and the relation between the two.  Erich Fromm’s thinking makes a real contribution as we continue to search.


(1) See his You Shall Be As Gods for a vision of the Jewish scriptures as being a history of liberation.

Rene Wadlow, President,  Association of World Citizens.

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Carl G. Jung Portraits of World Citizens.

Carl G. Jung: The Integration of Opposites.

Carl.G. Jung (26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961) was born in Kesswil on the Lake of Constance; where the three countries that most influenced him met: Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. German-speaking Switzerland was his roots; his grandfather having been the Rector of the University of Basle and a well-known medical doctor; Austria, Vienna in particular; the home of Sigmund Freud whose thought and psycological practice he championed before taking his distance; Germany whose Nazi ideology he tried to understand through his psychoanalytical tools.

Moreover; family lore stated that the grandfather was the illegitimate grandson of Goethe; making Jung’s ties to German philosophy, especially an early interest in the Zarathustra of Nietzsche, all the stronger.

Sigmund Freud

Colorized painting of Sigmund Freud. By Photocolorization, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

Erich Fromm: Meeting the Challenges of the Century.


Also sprach Zarathustra. Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen. In drei Theilen. By Unknown authorUnknown author, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Alexandre Marc: Con-federalism, Cultural Renewal and Trans-frontier Cooperation.

Book Aion.

Jung combined an interest in German thought; especially the writings of early German alchemists with a deep interest in Chinese Taoist philosophy; the two currents are brought together in his 1951 book Aion. In Aion, he deals directly with the passage of the Piscean Period to the Age of Aquarius.  He analyses astrological imagery embodied in Zodiacal ages in order to deal with the psychological problems of this period of transition.

The astrological sign of Pisces is often represented as two fish − one light, the other dark in color − swimming in opposite directions.  The Age of Pisces; which started roughly at the same time as the birth of Jesus is the period in which Christianity developed and became the normative spiritual influence for much of the world.

The Piscean Period; true to its image of the fish going in opposite directions, has been one in which the dominant ideologies have been of opposing dualism: the kingdom of the saved and the world of the damned in Christianity, the dar al-Islam and the dar al-harb (the house of Islam and the house of war) in Islam, the antagonist socialist and capitalist worlds in Marxist thought.


The chief psychological as well as political problem of the Piscean Period was how to prevent one of the dualities from destroying the other − how to keep a balance of power.

None of the dominant ideologies contained the key to a creative balance between opposites; although in the late Cold War period (1970s-1980s); the idea of “co-existence” was developed by thinkers on the edges of political power in East and West.  Co-existence implied a relationship among groups in which none of the parties is trying to destroy another.  Co-existence provided a starting point for succeeding generations to reframe their understanding of the enemy without necessarily abandoning other political or cultural principles.

However; co-existence is much less than the Taoist concept of equilibrium; of a balance between forces which would create greater harmony and wealth of being.  Thus; Jung looked to Chinese Taoism for that integration of the principles and energies of yin;

(the receptive and feminine) and yang (the active and masculine).  The Tao is the ground of being; the void from which all arises. As Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching notes:

           “The Tao is like a well,

              Used but never used up.

              It is like the eternal void

              Filled with infinite possibilities.”

In another verse  Lao Tzu writes:

                “The Tao is called the Great Mother:

           Empty yet inexhaustible,

                  It gives birth to infinite worlds.”

In the infinite world of created things; the Tao is most often represented as the harmonious balance between yin and  yang. Lao Tzu noted :

“Of the energies of the universe, none is greater than harmony.  Harmony means the regulation of yin and yang.”

Jung became interested in Taoism by meeting in 1922 Richard Wilhelm; a German missionary to China; who had become very interested in Taoism.  Jung viewed Wilhelm and his work as creating a bridge between East and West.  Wilhelm was the messenger from China who was able to express profound things in plain language which disclose something of the simplicity of great truth and deep meaning.  Richard Wilhelm had translated a Taoist healing text;  The Secret of the Golden Flower to which Jung wrote a psychological commentary published in 1929.  Wilhelm had also produced a translation of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching; as well as the I Ching (The Book of Changes) − a widely used book of Chinese divination, some of which predates the rise of Taoism in the 6th century BC.

The Chinese Taoists were directly concerned with mental health and healing, and there were contemporary healers which Wilhelm had met.  The Taoist balance between what could be considered at one level as opposites was close to Jung’s psychoanalytical efforts where he contrasted the introvert and the extrovert, thought and feeling, the person and the shadow, the conscious and the unconscious. The essential task of Jung’s psychology is to help in the process of “individuation” − a process toward wholeness, which like Taoism, is characterized by accepting and transcending opposites.

As Jung noted, Taoist thought would play an increasingly powerful role in the transition between the Piscean Period and the Age of Aquarius.

“The spirit of the East is really at our gates.  Therefore it seems to me that the search for Tao, for a meaning in life, has already become a collective phenomenon among us, and to a far greater extent than is generally realized.”

As Lao Tzu wrote:

                                              “Let the Tao be present in your life

                                                 And you will become genuine.

                                                 Whoever is planted in the Tao

                                                  Will not be rooted up.”

Rene Wadlow, President and a representative to the United Nations, Geneva, Association of World Citizens.

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Roberto Assagioli Rapprochement of Cultures.

Roberto Assagioli: The Will as a Road to the…

Featured Image: Photo of Roberto Assaglioli, M.D. – Taken from the book ‘ Psychosynthesis (1965) By U3195247, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

By Rene Wadlow.

Roberto Assagioli (1888-1974) set out a path to the Higher Self with the power of the will.  Roberto Assagioli, whose birth anniversary we mark on 27 February was a close co-worker  of both Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustave Jung.  In 1910, he broke from the Freudian approach and began to develop his own psycho-spiritual model which he called psychosynthesis He was closer in approach to Jung, but as the first translator of Freud’s writings into Italian, he is often cited as the introducer of Freudian thought into Italy.

Roberto Assagioli was an Italian psychiatrist, humanist and Theosophical student of the world’s spiritual traditions. (His mother and wife were members of the Theosophical Society).

Sigmund FreudColorized painting of Sigmund Freud. By Photocolorization, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

I am what I will to be.

A short presentation of Assagioli’s view is that “I am what I will to be”.  In a sense, the individual does not have a will: rather he is a will, a directing energy, that has taken human form as an individual.  The individual will-force is in some way identical to the universal will-force.  Assagioli who had studied Asian thought highlighted the Chinese sage becoming one with the universal energy – the Tao   (1)

As the individual will starts on its path toward the Higher Self, it must drop off images of its earlier self formed by experiences, memories, feelings and images of the past.  Some of these self-images and experiences have been repressed and stored in the subconscious.  Thus in many cases, there is a first task of self-discovery of past experiences and emotions stored in the sub-conscious.  Only when this is done, can one deal with the current self-images and emotions which make up the current personality.

Carl Gustav Jung

Jung, Carl Gustav (1875-1961). By ETH Library, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.


The process of dropping off current self-images Assagioli calls “disidentification”.  Disidentification is needed so that a new identity emerges, one that is capable of accepting and integrating in a harmonious synthesis all the earlier emotions, thoughts and experiences.  This is why Assagioli called his approach “psychosynthesis.” It is this fresh, new personality, which Assagioli termed the “I” that can set out on the road to develop the Higher Self.  This inner journey is not always easy. There is a progressive examination of the contents of the field of consciousness and the functions of the psyche. This involves a progressive movement through the preconscious, the subconscious and culminating with the higher concious. Assagioli writes:

Spiritual development is a long and arduous journey, an adventure through strange lands full of surprises, difficulties and even dangers.  It involves a drastic transmutation of the ‘normal’ elements of the personality, an awakening of potentialities hitherto dormant, a raising of consciousness to new realms, and a functioning along a new inner dimension.”

Along the way to the Higher Self, the will can be strengthened by what Assagioli calls “transpersonal experiences” and what  A. Maslow  calls “Peak Experiences”.  Such experiences help to stimulate the drive toward the Higher Self. However, some of these transpersonal experiences can be short-lived and ephemeral unless they are grounded through meditation and techniques of visualization of oneself as already functioning as the Higher Self.

These techniques of creating an identity as being the Higher Self is one of the outstanding features of psychosynthesis.  However, after 1936, his work became increasingly difficult both because of the growing antisemitism under Nazi German pressure on Italy and because his humanitarian activities aroused hostility from the Italian Fascist government. In 1940 he was arreested and kept in solitary confinement for a month and then kept under strict police surveillance. In 1943, he was again actively persecuted and forced to hide in remote mountain villages. He narrowly escaped twice from the Nazi soldiers who had destroyed his family’s home with dynamite.

After 1945, he increased his contacts with a wide group of spiritual thinkers from different traditions. However, his aim remained finding approaches to wholeness, realizing the full human potential, transcending contradictions and achieving enlightenment.


1) See the chapter “The Universal Will” in his major book: Roberto Assagioli. The Act of Will (London: Wildwood House, 1974)

2) See Jean Hardy.A Psychology with a Soul (London: Routledge and Kegan Pail, 1987)


Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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Alfred Adler. Pouvoir et Sentiment Social.

Featured Image: Alfred Adler By Isidoricaaa7, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

Par Rene Wadlow.

Alfred Adler; dont nous célébrons l’anniversaire de naissance le 7 février ; croyait qu’il y avait deux forces décisives à l’œuvre dans l’histoire du monde et dans la vie de chaque individu: une lutte pour le pouvoir et un sentiment social. Les deux forces provenaient de l’effort ascendant de l’homme de l’infériorité à la perfection.Individual Psychology.

Alfred Adler (1870-1937); un psychothérapeute et médecin viennois ; faisait partie du premier cercle de Sigmund Freud. Pourtant; les deux hommes étaient en désaccord sur ce que chacun considérait comme des positions fondamentales. En 1911; Adler a quitté le cercle de Freud et a fondé sa propre approche ; qu’il appelait « la psychologie individuelle ».

Pour Adler; il y a des similitudes entre l’évolution de l’homme dans l’histoire ; et l’évolution de chacun. Dans l’histoire, l’homme; un nain physique par rapport aux animaux qui l’entourent et aux forces de la Nature ; doit compenser cette faiblesse en développant un schéma de coopération avec les autres humains qui l’entourent. Également; chaque enfant est né; un nain par rapport aux adultes qui l’entourent.

Ainsi; chaque enfant doit développer un sens du temps de soi. Si ce développement est entravé d’une manière ou d’une autre; à la suite de parents brutaux ou d’un milieu hostile ; la recherche du temps de soi peut devenir névrotique. Il peut y avoir surcompensation comme repli sur soi.

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud colorized portrait. By Photocolorization, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.


Une surcompensation peut se traduire par une quête de pouvoir. Lutter pour gagner du temps et du pouvoir est un processus naturel ; mais avec surcompensation ; la recherche du pouvoir peut devenir l’aspect dominant de la personnalité. Adler avait lu et été influencé par les écrits de Friedrich Nietzsche ; qui glorifiait la volonté de puissance. Pour Adler; un développement excessif de la volonté de puissance peut devenir une névrose profonde. Seul un équilibre sain entre les forces de coopération et la volonté de puissance individuelle ; peut créer un individu harmonieux et une société harmonieuse.

En 1897; il a épousé Raïssa Epstein; un Russe qui était également étudiant à l’Université de Vienne. Elle faisait partie des cercles marxistes russes vivant en Autriche ; et un ami de Léon Trotsky et de son milieu. Par elle; Adler a rejoint les cercles socialistes et est devenu convaincu que la société contribuait à créer la personnalité de l’individu. Donc; pour une personnalité de santé, il doit y avoir une société de santé ; libre de toute domination. Adler a également vu la nécessité d’une société basée sur l’égalité entre les hommes et les femmes; afin que la personnalité des hommes et des femmes puisse se développer pleinement. Il a été l’un des premiers féministes et un champion de l’égalité des femmes et des hommes.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche, circa 1875. By Friedrich Hartmann, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Le Pouvoir a Dominé le Sens du Social.

Son activité de psychothérapeute et d’écrivain est interrompue par le début de la guerre mondiale de 1914-1918. En tant que médecin; il a été incorporé dans l’armée austro-hongroise ; où il a pu contempler l’aspiration névrotique de l’homme vers le pouvoir. A la fin de la guerre; tant par ses observations que par l’analyse marxiste de sa femme ; il sentait que la volonté de puissance dominait le sens du sentiment social et de la coopération. En réalité; les dirigeants et les groupes au pouvoir de la Hongrie ont dégradé le sentiment social de masse en l’utilisant comme une soif de domination. Le sentiment social des soldats pendant la guerre ; a été utilisé pour des objectifs de champ de bataille avec des efforts pour exclure tout sentiment social pour l’ennemi.

Il a écrit que lorsque la violence doit être commise; cela se fait souvent en “faisant appel à la justice, à la coutume, à la liberté, au bien-être des opprimés et au nom de la culture”. Les aspirants au pouvoir transforment le sentiment social « d’une fin en un moyen, et il est mis au service du nationalisme et de l’impérialisme ».

Nationalisme, Racisme et Impérialisme.

La seule façon de contrer ce sentiment névrotique de recherche de pouvoir ; est de développer des méthodes préventives en développant le sentiment social et la coopération. Au cours des années 1920; Adler a souligné la nécessité de développer le sentiment social en développant de nouvelles formes coopératives d’éducation de l’enfance au sein de la famille et des écoles. Adler a souligné l’expérience profonde de l’unité ; une connexion intense s’étendant à travers les plus vastes étendues de l’histoire et des sociétés.

Cependant, en 1934; il a vu que le sens de l’unité en Allemagne et en Autriche; allait être utilisé à nouveau pour créer de l’unité au sein d’un petit cercle ; et subvertir l’utilisation du sentiment social en en faisant une façade pour le nationalisme, le racisme et l’impérialisme. Adler était considéré comme juif par les nazis parce que ses parents étaient des juifs hongrois ; bien que le judaïsme en tant que religion ait joué peu de rôle dans sa vie intellectuelle. Il partit enseigner à New York et mourut en 1937; lors d’une tournée de conférences en Ecosse. Il n’a pas vu les événements de la Seconde Guerre mondiale; mais il n’y aurait pas eu grand-chose pour le faire changer d’avis ; sur la façon dont le principe de pouvoir peut être utilisé par les leaders antisociaux.

Alfred Adler

Plaque commémorative pour Alfred Adler (Vienne, Czerningasse 7). By GuentherZ, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.


Pour un aperçu des vues d’Adler sur la psychologie, voir: Henry L. Ansbacher et Rowena R. Amsbacher (eds). La psychologie individuelle d’Alfred Adler (New York : Harper et Row, 1964)

Pour les vues tardives d’Adler sur la nécessité d’une société basée sur le sentiment social, voir son livre publié peu de temps après sa mort : Alfred Adler. Intérêt social ; A Challenge to Mankind (Londres, Faber et Faber, 1938)

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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Rapprochement of Cultures.

Alfred Adler. Power and Social Feeling.

Featured Image: Alfred Adler By Isidoricaaa7, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

By Rene Wadlow.

Alfred Adler; whose birth anniversary we mark on 7 February; believed that there were two decisive forces at work in world history and in the life of each individual: a striving for power and a social feeling.  Both forces stemmed from man’s upward striving from inferiority to perfection.

Individual Psychology.

Alfred Adler (1870-1937); a Vienna psychotherapist and medical doctor; was part of the early circle of Sigmund Freud. However; the two men disagreed on what each felt to be fundamental positions.  In 1911; Adler left the Freud circle and founded his own approach; which he called “individual psychology”.

For Adler; there are similarities between the evolution of man within history;  and the evolution of each individual.  In history, man;  a physical dwarf in comparison with the animals around him and the forces of Nature; must compensate for this weakness by developing a pattern of cooperation with other humans around him. Likewise; each child is born; a dwarf in comparison to the adults around him.

Thus; each child must develop a sense of self-es time.  If this development is hindered in some way; as the result of brutal parents or a hostile milieu; the search for self-es time can become neurotic.  There can be over-compensation as well as a closing in on oneself.

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud colorized portrait. By Photocolorization, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.


Over-compensation can result in a quest for power.  Striving for self-es time and power is a natural process; but with over-compensation; the search for power can become the dominant aspect of the personality. Adler had read and been influenced by the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche; who glorified the will-to-power.  For Adler; an over-development of the will-to-power can become a deep seated neurosis.  Only a health balance between the forces of cooperation  and the individual will -to-power;  can make for a harmonious individual  and a harmonious society.

In 1897;  he married Raissa Epstein; a Russian who was also a student at the University of Vienna.  She was part of Russian Marxist circles living in Austria;  and a friend of Leon Trotsky and his milieu.  Through her;  Adler joined socialist circles and became convinced that society helped to create the personality of the individual.  Therefore; for a health personality, there needs to be a health society; free from domination. Adler also saw the need for a society based on equality between men and women; so that the personality of both men and women could develop fully. He was an early feminist and champion of the equality of women and men.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche, circa 1875. By Friedrich Hartmann, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Power Dominated The Sense of Social.

His work as a psychotherapist and writer was halted by the start of the 1914-1918 World War.  As a medical doctor;  he was incorporated into the Austro-Hungarian Army; where he was able to contemplate man’s neurotic striving for power. At the end of the war; both by his observations and the Marxist analysis of his wife; he felt that the will-to-power dominated the sense of social-feeling and cooperation.  In fact; power-hungary leaders and groups debased mass social feeling by using it as a thirst for dominance.  The social feeling of soldiers during the war; was used for battlefield goals with efforts to exclude any social feeling for the enemy.

He wrote that when violence is to be committed; it is frequently done by “appealing to justice, custom, freedom, the welfare of the oppressed and in the name of culture.” Power-seekers transform social feeling “from an end into a means, and it is pressed into the service of nationalism and imperialism.”

Nationalism, Racism and Imperialism.

The only way to counter this neurotic sense of power-seeking; is to develop preventive methods by developing social feeling and cooperation.  During the 1920s; Adler stressed the need for the development of social feeling by developing new, cooperative forms of childhood education within the family and schools.  Adler stressed the profound experience of togetherness; an intense connection extending across the largest reaches of history and societies.

However, by 1934; he saw that the sense of togetherness in Germany and Austria; was going to be used again to create togetherness among a small circle; and subverting the use of social feeling by making it a facade for nationalism, racism and imperialism.  Adler was considered a Jew by the Nazis because his parents were Hungarian Jews;  although Judaism as a religion played little role in his intellectual life. He left to teach in New York City and died in 1937; on a lecture tour in Scotland.  He did not see the events of the Second World War; but there would  have been little to make him alter his views; on how the power principle can be utilized by antisocial leaders.

Alfred Adler

Memorial plaque for Alfred Adler (Vienna, Czerningasse 7). By GuentherZ, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.


For an overview of Adler’s views of psychology see: Henry L. Ansbacher and Rowena R. Amsbacher (eds). The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler (New York: Harper and Row, 1964)

For the late views of Adler on the need for a society based on social feeling see his book published shortly after his death: Alfred Adler. Social Interest; A Challenge to Mankind (London, Faber and Faber, 1938)

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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Carl Rogers Rapprochement of Cultures.

Carl Rogers: Healing the Person and the State.

Featured Image: Carl Rogers Pyscologist. By VERONICA LOPEZ82, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Carl Ransom Rogers; (1902 – 1987) an active World Citizen; whose birth anniversary is 8 January, was a US psychologist and educator and a leading figure of what is often called

“The Third Wave of Psychology.” 

The first wave was Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung; and their views of psychoanalysis. 

The second wave was  the behaviorists symbolized by B.F. Skinner; and the later behavior-modification specialists. 

The third wave; often called “humanist”; has Abraham Maslow, Rollo May, and Carl Ransom Rogers as its best known figures.  Unlike Freud and Jung; who developed relatively-closed approaches; and a set of therapeutic techniques built on their theories; the humanist psychological theory; and therapies could change according to the persons being treated or the setting; in which work was undertaken.

In fact; Carl Rogers’ approach was first called “client-centered therapy”; and was based on the idea that the client (no longer called a “patient”) had within him vast resources for understanding; and accepting his dynamics of actions, attitudes, and emotions.  These resources are released in working with the therapist; (often called a facilitator).  The therapist communicates his own caring, empathy, and non-judgmental understanding.

Carl Rogers’ way of working with the people; was to bring his enormous capacity for empathy and understanding, his listening skills, and his caring for people to create a climate; in which the inner potential of the client; for growth could be realized. 

He had an unshakable belief that the person is trustworthy, resourceful, capable of self-direction, and consequently; able to modify his view of self to overcome obstacles; and pain and to become more effective, productive, and fully functioning.  

Sigmund Freud colorized portrait. By Photocolorization, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Therapeutic Relationship.

The view that clients have; within themselves, vast, untapped resources for self-directed growth; was met with rejection by many in the field of psychotherapy.  As C.H. Patterson has written in his The Therapeutic Relationship;

 “Person-centered therapy is often threatening to therapists; since it places responsibility on the therapist as a person; not on the therapist as an expert using a wide range of techniques supposedly selected on the basis of dealing; with specific client problems or diagnoses.”  

Even others within the humanist wave could be critical.  Abraham Maslow said

“Rogers doesn’t have enough sin and psychopathology in his system. He speaks of the only drive as self-actualization, which is to imply there is only a tendency to health.  Then where does all the sickness come from? He needs more theory of psychopathogenesis, fear, of resentment, of countervalues, of hostility.”

If many therapists were unwilling to follow Rogers in their therapeutic work many more individuals; who were working with people seeking growth; and the release of potentials rather than overcoming personal problems did follow Rogers’ lead. 

Jung, Carl Gustav (1875-1961). By ETH Library, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

One-On-One Client Centered Work.

The 1960s and 1970s saw the development of encounter groups; and a human potential movement.  Rogers’ views on the need for empathy; and unconditional positive regard was taken over by many of those who organized encounter groups.  Rogers shifted some of his activities; from one-on-one client centered work to what could be done in a group setting. 

The two foundation blocks of Rogers’ person-centered approach are:

  1. That each human being has within a growth potential or actualizing tendency.
  2. That this can best be realized if a proper interpersonal psychological climate is present.  These elements could also be used in a group setting; and many of Rogers’ views; were taken over in the training of primary and secondary school teachers.

With the experience of the positive results of encounter groups late in his life; Carl Rogers hoped that his healing techniques; could be used to help heal the deep antagonisms; within those who held responsibility for States. 

In the early 1980s; in the Soviet Union; some persons became more open to an interest; in what was being done in the intellectual life of Western countries. Carl Rogers was invited to lecture to mental health professionals in the Soviet Union. 

B.F. Skinner at the Harvard Psychology Department, circa 1950. By Silly rabbit, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Soviet Experiences.

Soviet psychotherapy had been largely in the behaviorist tradition and the heavy use of drugs; for behavior modification.  Freud and Jung were known by reputation; but not to be mentioned in polite company.  Thus; the largely unknown; but not taboo humanist approach merited being known; and Rogers was warmly welcomed.

I met Rogers on his return from the Soviet Union; when he gave a talk in Geneva on his Soviet experiences.  He had seen people; who were discovering new ideas; who had deep inner resources; but these resources had remained undeveloped during most of the Soviet period; by fear of stepping outside Communist orthodoxy.  He saw the need for follow-up both by him; and by others such as those of us meeting with him in Geneva.

Rollo May speaking at the University of San Diego (1976 – 1977). By Unknown photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Client-Centered Therapy Field.

Rogers’ peace activities; also concerned Central America and South Africa − areas torn by deep divisions; and uncertainty about the future.  His death in 1987; ended his personal ability; to carry on this peace-related approach. 

Much of Rogers’ influence today remains in the client-centered therapy field.  Most political leaders do not feel; that they are in need of help to discover new; and more satisfying personal meaning about themselves and the world they inhabit. 

Perhaps power fills all their emotional needs.  However; for those of us; who work without power for peace; the humanist psychology wave; and its emphasis on the formation of attitudes, fears, and aspirations can give us real tools for action.


C.R. Rogers. Client-centered therapy ( Boston: Houghton-Mifflim, 1951).

C.R. Rogers. On becoming a person – a therapist’s view of psychotherapy (Boston: Houghton-Mifflim, 1961).

C.R. Rogers. Carl Rogers on encounter groups (New York: Harper and Row, 1970).

C.R. Rogers. A way of being (Boston: Houghton-Mifflim, 1980).

Rene Wadlow; President Association of World Citizens.

This is a tape of a Counselling Session between Carl Rogers and Gloria.
Carl Rogers uses Person Centred approach. Humanistic style of counselling.
This is the first part of about 5/6 videos.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

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