Workshop Review: Strategies for solving problems in life.
Presented by: Gerhard Baumer.
Reviewed by: Monica Jackman.
Organised by: Adlerian Network of Ireland, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
Date: 10th March 2013.
The aims of the workshop were to enhance and widen the ability to find new and more creative problem solving strategies. The main focus was on birth order i.e. a person’s place in the family of origin. We were asked to consider several questions. What problems do we have and how are we dealing with them? What was our place in the family? How did we deal with problems in our family of origin? How are our goals in life tied in with our decision-making strategies? We broke into small groups to discuss this and then gave feedback to the larger group afterwards.
Gerhard’s approach was very relaxed, still and calm. We broke into groups of eldests, middles, youngests and only children. We discussed how decisions were made in our childhood homes and brought it into the present day to see how these childhood experiences still might affect us in our daily lives. When the information was fed back to the larger group it became clear that even though there were a lot of similarities between the people in each of the small groupings there were a lot of differences as well depending on a lot of factors including the age gap between people which might push an individual out of the stereotypical expectations that others might have.
Gerhard was gently challenging and it may have felt life-changing for the brave ones who stepped forward throughout the day to volunteer to do some personal work with him. I think that based on the information that he was given, he was able to see things that people may not have seen for a lifetime and in some way by him voicing them there was a permission granted to be able to finally let go of them or some of the intensity of the emotions surrounding them.
These are some ideas that Gerhard put forward about Birth Order.
Older siblings may be seen as substitute parents. The older one may try to overcome younger ones to defend their own space by control. An eldest may be self-sufficient, lacking in self-doubts if the parents tend to agree with their role as an eldest. They are less likely to be in the caring professions unless they would be recognised for this work.
Middle children are under pressure from above and below. They may try to avoid conflicts. They may try to “sneak out” emotionally or get another job if there are issues in the workplace. Middle children are often to be found in the caring professions.
Youngests may not be taken seriously. They might start to fight to prove that they are smart. They may be easygoing and flexible. They may be talkative, and outgoing if not discouraged. They can learn things by just watching. Parents are usually less strict with them.
Only children can be lonely. Their main relationships are with adults except in case where there may be a lot of children living in the area. They are taken as being older than they are. They don’t learn how to fight. They are always the centre of attention at home. School and work may be difficult for them, as the attention on them is not there in the same intensity. They may go into jobs where they can be seen. One to one relationships are important, they may not fit as well into groups.
Adler’s personality types were also discussed, and how these might affect decision making. I think that everyone enjoyed the day and learned a lot.