Inferiority and compensation. Considerations on a fundamental symbol in western culture

Poster session presented at the XXIII S.I.P.I. National Congress – “The network of the compensatory functions in the Adlerian theory and practice”, Milan, 2012.

The full article is available for download in Italian only.

Summary. The considerations developed in this poster can be summarised as follows: firstly, the symbol of Christ on the cross, a religious symbol per se, is read using other keys to interpretation (psychodynamic, literary, sociological and philosophical) on an Adlerian basis; this highlights that the basic dynamics is always the inferiority/superiority dialectic. Secondly, the symbols “cross” and “crossing” – very rich in meaning and present in several cultures – are analysed; the definition of a genetic phenomenon as a crossing-over brings us back to Adler’s brilliant intuition of the psychological and biological world of human beings as based on an inferiority/compensation dynamics, as if these two forces were “crossing” for survival’s sake. Finally, this poster suggests a possible formalisation of the way in which compensation and inferiority operate, by drawing a xy Cartesian coordinate system on which normal and pathological psychological manifestations are placed.

CD_075_Milano_Maiullari-Marasco e altri

Symbolism in dreams, in Rorschach and in narrative metaphors as an expression of the unity of lifestyle


The full article is available for download in Italian only. DOWNLOAD PDF

Summary. In wakefulness as in sleep, lifestyle has several means of expression, among which: narration, memories, metaphors and symbols. The methodology of Individual Psychology makes use of these means of expression to become acquainted with the individual inner self and establishes a suitable treatment. Through the analysis of Fabio’s case, comparing the responses to Rorschach’s test, the symbols in his dreams and the metaphors he uses in telling about himself, the attention is drawn on the uniqueness and the creativeness of the language of the individual , the coherence among the different means of expression and the wholeness of the individual in all his expression.

Dream and symbol in the sign of "style" as a strict language

064_Alberto Mascetti_ITA

The full article is available for download in Italian only. DOWNLOAD PDF

Summary. In Individual Psychology, the dream is a fictional and creative activity. It represents one of the main way to know the lifestyle of a person since it can reveal the unconscious symbolism of the individual.