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private logic and common sense

(common sense and private logic)
The individual's private logic is premised upon the person's unique evaluation of self, others, and the world, and what is required of him or her.  Private logic is based upon convictions which are not usually in awareness.  An individual's behavior (thought, feeling, and action) is always consistent with the private logic.  In Adlerian therapy, client and therapist work together to uncover and explore the private logic by which the client has been answering such questions as (1) What kind of a person am I? (2) What kind of a world is this?  (3) What must a person such as I am do in a world such as this is, in order to make a place for myself?  In sum, the effort to clarify the private logic asks, "What would have to be true for a particular, socially unintelligible, behavior to make sense?"  The Individual Psychologist assumes that the person is acting "as if" the behavior were an intelligent response in the situation, given the requirements of the private logicCommon sense is that understanding and evaluation of life which is held in common by the broader community.  An index to the usefulness or successful adaptation of the private logic is the extent of its congruence with the common sense.  Adlerian therapists endeavor to bring the private logic forward and into ever-increasing consonance with the common sense.

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