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courage (Adlerian)

Courage is the willingness to act in line with the social interest in any situation. It is fundamental to a successful adaptation. To encourage is to promote and activate the social interest, that is, the sense of belonging, value, worthwhileness, and welcome in the human community. Encouragement is a major aspect of Adlerian psychotherapy and counseling. The loss of courage, or discouragement, is understood by Individual Psychology to be the basis of mistaken and dysfunctional behavior. The discouraged person has the same goal as the person with courage: to belong, to be valued, to have the respect of others, etc. However, he or she lacks the courage to operate on the useful side of life in line with the social interest, and may seek to achieve a place on the useless side through neurotic, sociopathic, or psychotic processes and operations.

Excerpted with permission from Griffith, Jane & Powers, Robert L.

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