The Therapist as Parent
The therapist needs to be a "good enough" parent to the client, so that the client reexperiences a connection with something reliable, consistent, authentic and above all well intentioned (congruence and unconditional positive regard).
The therapist as witness
The therapist as parent...yes, but also sometimes the therapist as witness, modelling for the client how it is to be with what arises, without acting out or suppressing, just gently meeting, being with, seeing - "the seeing is the doing" (Krishnamurti)
It is useful and possibly beneficial to make the distinction between emotional monagamy and occasional sexual acting out
The Guru as Mother and Father
Therapy as avodat kodesh - sacred service
Although Adlerians try to differentiate themselves from Freudians, like every other school of psychology which has tried to individuate because of “the anxiety of influence” ( see the work of literary critic Harold Bloom The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry. Oxford University Press US, 1997.)
in the end most of these supposedly differing schools always have common ground which no amount of new nomenclature can obscure. So distinctions such as the one Mosak and Maniacci (2008) make “The Adlerian is interested not in curing sick individuals or a sick society but in reeducation individuals and reshaping society” (p.73) are essentially specious and meaningless.
Adlerains see themselves as change agents. Why would you be so invested in change unless you viewed the staus quo as unsatisfactory, ie, lacking, or sick in some way?With its focus on “positive” change (and what exactly is the content of “positive”), connection, contribution and encouragement it seems that Adlerian therapy is a kind of reaction formation to the shadow aspects of life and does not necessarily facilitate the intergration and owning of our destructive impulses.
Because few longitudinal studies have been done on the long term efficacy of Adlerian work, it is difficult to test my hypothesis that the lack of shadow work may eventually undermine gains supposedly made by clients in Adlerian therapy.