Adler’s 3 Safeguarding Tendencies Free Essay

Forms of Defense Against Threats in Adlerian Psychology

 

Safeguarding behaviors are described in the context of Adlerian psychology. All humans basically meet three types of threats, which they want to be protected from: physical harm, social threat and loss of self-esteem. There are several safeguarding techniques, which are often applied by individuals in order to protect themselves from these threats, the strongest out of them are aggression, development of symptoms and exclusion tendency. Development of symptoms is the technique, which gives the opportunity to avoid the situations, when a person could feel threatened. All people have their excuses and there are even the most often used ones for everybody. The difference between symptoms and excuses lies in the fact that the first category belongs to the sphere of unconscious more, whereas the second is rather related to the conscious sphere. If individuals are not ready to take charge of their own actions and choices, they tend to use excuses. Generally aggression is considered to be a secondary emotion and it has a variety of manifestations in real life. For example some individuals use depreciation as the means for putting other people down and consequently feeling more self-assured. Accusations also belong to the forms of aggression. Self-accusations or guilt are also often used. The problem with aggression is that is does not allow any objectivity and thus there is little to no chance for solving of the problem. In some cases aggression could be positive for winning, but only in case an individual is able to focus upon his or her aggression as a fuel and not as force. Distance seeking is one more safeguarding technique. An individual might choose to move in a different direction from his challenge. Sometimes anxiety becomes the best option for safeguarding one’s self-esteem. Such people start being afraid of other people, life situations and so on. One of the important assumptions of Adlerian psychology states that all individuals actually strive for superiority and being perfect. However, when putting oneself too much under the pressure a person might end up with nothing else, but anxiety. The last safeguarding technique according to Adler is exclusion tendency. A person does not want to risk the future outcomes and takes the decision to focus only upon limited number of strategies. Although most of these safeguarding techniques seem to be natural and inevitable for all individuals, still they might hinder the ability of a person to treat the things objectively and then the problems will arise.

Safeguarding tendencies could be traced in scripture, i.e. in human relationship with God as well. One of the most often applied safeguarding techniques is aggression. It could take at least two forms: accusation and depreciation. Accusation is the tendency to blame other people for one’s failures and desire of consequent revenge. Depreciation is the tendency to underestimate the advancements of other individuals in God along with over evaluating of one’s own advancements. The most vivid examples of such behaviors are gossiping or criticism. The initial intention is to make the other person look worse in comparison to the person, who gossips. Some individuals are so weak that they are not able to rise themselves up, thus they prefer to pull others down. One of the examples from Scripture is the situation, when Joe got to preach only because his father was the Pastor. Most probably he could have obtained the same chance even without using this safeguarding technique, but could have learnt an important life lesson and made himself stronger morally.

Overall, Adlerian psychology enlists a number of safeguarding techniques, which are often used by all individuals, as they seem to help them to overcome obstacles and life challenges. However, these techniques might have devastating outcomes for human personality and position in the society.

References:

Clark, Arthur, J. (2000). Safeguarding Tendencies: Implications for the Counseling Process

The journal of individual psychology. Vol.56(2)

Mosak, Harold, H. (1973). Alfred Adler: his influence on psychology today. Park Ridge, N.J.  Noyes Press

 

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: September 17, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: September 17, 2021]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
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[Accessed: September 17, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: September 17, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: September 17, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: September 17, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: September 17, 2021]
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