Individuals need to be viewed in the context of their social relationships. Psychopathology occurs when the individual develops inappropriate strategies to overcompensate for feelings of inferiority. Individual psychology stresses examination of family constellations, dreams, and early memories. Techniques include analysis and assessment, confrontation, acting "as if", task-setting, and the push-button technique.

Alder was one of the first to recognize the importance of children's birth order in their families of origin. He proposed that birth order influences personality.

1. Oldest child: suddenly has to share parents' attention. If proper transition does not occur, the person may turn out to be insecure and/or dislike people. However, if proper transition occurs, then the individual becomes responsible, dependable, hard working, and achievement-oriented.

2. Second child: shares attention and competes with the older sibling. This individual is also ambitious

3. Middle child: feels left out, develops a "poor me attitude", and sees life as unfair.

4. Youngest child: influenced by others, often develops in directions not thought of by others, and is most liked.

5. Only child: may not learn to share and cooperate. This person deals well with adults and wants to be the center of the stage.

The primary therapeutic approach in Adlerian therapy is encouragement.

According to Adler, humans have an inborn social interest and are motivated by their social urges.

Adler believed that each individual is "unique" and that humans are "conscious" beings who are aware of their reasons for a behavior.

Every person has a sense of "inferiority" and strives for "superiority".

One's "style of life" is established by 4 or 5 years, and it is the principle that explains the "uniqueness" of the individual. No two people have the same style of life.