Adlerian Family Therapy: Things You Need To Know

Adlerian Family Therapy

Are you struggling with communication breakdowns, relationship issues, or other challenges within your family? If so, Adlerian family therapy may be able to help. In this blog, we will explore what Adlerian family therapy is, how it works, and when it may be appropriate to seek this form of therapy. We will also examine some of the benefits of Adlerian family therapy and provide examples of the types of issues and challenges it can help to address.

What Is Adlerian Family Therapy?

What Is Adlerian Therapy?Adlerian therapy is a psychotherapy that emphasizes the individual’s sense of belonging and connectedness with others. It focuses on exploring a person’s subjective experiences, early memories, and perceptions of themselves and others. Adlerian therapy aims to help individuals gain insight into their own unique experiences and patterns of behavior and to use this understanding to create positive changes in their lives. 

How Does Adlerian Family Therapy Work?

Adlerian family therapy involves working with the entire family to explore patterns of behavior and communication. It identifies ways to improve relationships and promote healthier functioning. Adlerian therapy for families may involve exploring family dynamics, identifying patterns of behavior that contribute to conflict or dysfunction, and developing strategies for building stronger, more supportive relationships. The therapist may work with individual family members and the family as a whole to promote understanding and positive change.

When To Seek Adlerian Family Therapy?

Adlerian family therapy can be beneficial for families facing a wide range of challenges. A family must consider seeking help if the family is:

  • Struggling to communicate effectively with one another.
  • Facing relationship issues, such as trust, respect, and cooperation.
  • Exhibiting problematic behaviors, such as aggression, substance abuse, or other forms of self-destructive behavior.
  • Dealing with mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or other disorders.
  • Going through significant life transitions, such as divorce, illness, or the loss of a loved one.

Theories Behind Therapy

Adlerian family therapy was developed by Alfred Adler. Given below are some of his theories:

Individual psychology

Individual psychologyThe theory behind Adlerian family therapy is rooted in the individual psychology approach. Adler believed that humans are social beings who are motivated by a need to belong and contribute to the well-being of others. In this therapy, the therapist focuses on helping each family member to understand their unique experiences and patterns of behavior and to bring positive change within the family system.

Birth order

Adlerian family therapy is also informed by the concept of birth order. It suggests that a person’s position within their family can have a significant impact on their personality development and patterns of behavior. The therapist may explore each family member’s birth order and the unique roles and responsibilities they have assumed within the family.

Social interest

Another key concept is the notion of “social interest,” or the desire to contribute to the well-being of others. Adlerian family therapy also places importance on early memories and experiences, which are seen as influential in shaping an individual’s personality and lifestyle.

Stages Of Adlerian Family Therapy

Adlerian family therapy typically follows a multi-stage process that is tailored to the unique needs and circumstances of each family. The specific stages of Adlerian family therapy can vary depending on the therapist’s approach, but they often include the following:


In the engagement stage, the therapist works to establish a positive and trusting relationship with the family. This may involve getting to know each family member individually and learning about their interests, strengths, and challenges. The therapist may also provide information about Adlerian family therapy and what to expect from the process. This stage is important for building a foundation of trust and mutual respect that will support the therapeutic process.


In the assessment stage, the therapist gathers information about the family’s functioning and dynamics. This may involve conducting interviews, observing interactions between family members, and using tools such as genograms and family mapping to identify patterns and relationships within the family system. The assessment stage is important for developing a comprehensive understanding of the family’s needs and strengths, and for identifying specific areas that need to be addressed in therapy.

Goal Setting

Goal SettingIn the goal-setting stage, the therapist works with the family to identify specific goals for therapy. These goals may be related to communication, behavior, relationships, or other areas that the family wants to improve. The therapist may use information gathered during the assessment stage to help the family identify goals that are realistic and achievable. Goal setting is important for providing direction and focuses to the therapeutic process.


In the intervention stage, the therapist works with the family to implement strategies and techniques that are tailored to their specific needs and goals. These may include teaching new communication skills, exploring family dynamics, and practicing problem-solving strategies. The therapist may also encourage the family to practice new skills outside of therapy sessions and provide feedback and support as needed. Intervention is the heart of Adlerian family therapy and involves active collaboration between the therapist and the family to promote positive change.


In the termination stage, the therapist helps the family prepare for the end of therapy. This may involve reviewing progress made during therapy, identifying ongoing challenges, and developing a plan for maintaining positive changes. The therapist may also help the family to reinforce their strengths and achievements and encourage them to continue building on the skills they have learned in therapy. Termination is important for helping the family to transition successfully out of therapy and to maintain positive changes over the long term.

Benefits Of Adlerian Family Therapy

Benefits Of Adlerian Family TherapyHere are some of the key benefits of Adlerian family therapy:

  • Improved communication: It focuses on improving communication within the family. This can help to reduce conflict and improve understanding between family members.
  • Increased social interest: It emphasizes the importance of social interest, or the desire and ability to connect with and contribute to the greater community. By stimulating social interest within the family, it can help family members to develop a sense of purpose and meaning beyond their individual needs and desires.
  • Strengthened relationships: It can help to strengthen relationships between family members. As a result, it leads to increased trust, respect, and cooperation.
  • Enhanced problem-solving skills: It can help family members to develop effective problem-solving skills. Also, it enables them to work together to address challenges and overcome obstacles.
  • Increased self-awareness: It encourages family members to develop greater self-awareness. It helps them to understand their own beliefs, goals, and motivations, as well as those of their family members.
  • Improved mental health: This therapy can help to improve the mental health of family members. It can help in reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.
  • Empowerment: Adlerian family therapy emphasizes the importance of encouragement and empowerment. It helps family members to develop a sense of confidence and self-efficacy in their ability to make positive changes in their lives and contribute to the greater community.


In conclusion, Adlerian family therapy is a highly effective approach to family. It emphasizes communication, social interest, and individual empowerment. Moreover, by helping family members to develop effective communication skills, strengthen their relationships, and promote greater self-awareness and mental health, Adlerian family therapy can provide a wide range of benefits for families facing challenges. If you are struggling with challenges within your family, don’t hesitate to seek help from a qualified Adlerian family therapist. With the right support and guidance, your family can overcome obstacles and thrive.

For more information, please contact MantraCare. Parenting is a challenging yet rewarding experience that is crucial for the development and well-being of a child. If you have any queries regarding Online Parenting Counseling experienced therapists at MantraCare can help: Book a trial therapy session.

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