Alfred Adler’s individual psychology is a dynamic theory that offers counselors many opportunities to help clients find creative, socially focused, meaning-making, and growth-oriented strategies to heal and grow. This chapter discusses Adlerian theory and shows how expressive arts techniques can be used in Adlerian counseling. Adlerian theory, or individual psychology, emphasizes a basic premise that supports the assertion that each individual is unique. The theory postulates that there are four core concepts that shape the nature of human existence; these address personality development, the notion of superiority, psychological well-being, and the unity of the personality. The goals associated with the implementation of Adlerian therapy include relationship, assessment, insight and understanding, and reorientation and reeducation. Adler’s individual psychology accentuates the positive nature of humankind and focuses on assisting individuals to drive their own destiny through choice and change.
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Although several hundred different theoretical approaches are said to be currently recognized within counseling and psychology, person-centered therapy continues to have a strong presence among the major theoretical systems. Person-centered therapy postulates that people (a) are inherently trustworthy, (b) have a vast potential for self-understanding, and (c) have a self-directed capability to resolve their difficulties. Carl Rogers, founder of person-centered therapy, described person-centered therapy as consisting of the clinician’s creative use of self as the instrument of change to ultimately expand the client’s cognitive, affective, and behavioral ways of being. Thus, the incorporation of the expressive arts provides a complementary nonverbal means by which to enact the theory. This chapter proposes expressive arts interventions such as (1) Client Mirror; (2) Double-Sided Masks to Improve Congruency; (3) Dreamcatcher Creation: A Process of Becoming; and (4) Empowerment Over Hurtful Words along with the indications, goals, modality and other details.