Difference Between Adler and Freud (With Table)

Difference Between Adler and Freud (With Table)

Neuropsychology encompasses psychology and neurology, concerned with our nervous system and brain. Neuroscientists investigate how well a person’s psychological and behavioural functions.

It centres on head trauma and disorders that influence our thinking. Neuropsychology is a relatively recent discipline of research that emerged in the 1980s. Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler were collaborators who contributed to strengthening analytical activities.

Adler vs Freud

The main difference between Adler and Freud is that Adler is both a physician and a psychotherapist. On the other hand, Sigmund Freud was a neurologist. Adler founded individual psychology, whereas Freud founded psychoanalysis. Dream analysis is a hypothesis developed by Sigmund Freud. Adler broke away from Freud’s team to form his school of thinking while being a member of his team.

Difference Between Adler and Freud

Alfred Adler is a medical doctor from Austria and a psychotherapist and psychologist. His beliefs are considerably distinct from Freudian ones. He thinks a human person is an entire whole. Hence, he calls his psychology Individual Psychology. Adler emphasizes the sensations of our inner thought, such as inadequacy and inferiority complexes, which have become important in Personality Development.

Freud was an Austrian neurologist who developed psychoanalysis, a therapeutic approach to treating psychopathology through a conversation between the patient and the analyst. He came up with the term “sexuality” and named it “Oedipus Complex,” which is the foundation of psychoanalysis. He proposed the notion of the unconscious, comprised of the idea, ego, and personal unconscious.

Comparison Table Between Adler and Freud

Parameters of ComparisonAdlerFreud
Renowned forPersonal psychology, feelings of superiority, insecurities, etc.Psychoanalysis encompasses id, desire for power, super-ego, Oedipus complex, and other ideas.
FieldPhysician and psychotherapistPsychoanalysis, psychotherapist, and neurology
Prestigious recognitionNo awardsGoethe Prize (1930)
WorksUnderstanding Human Behaviour, Alfred Adler’s Individual Psychology, and others.About Aphasia, Dream Interpreting, Outrage Studies, and so on.
SchoolsThe Adlerian AcademySchool of Psychoanalysis

What is Adler?

Alfred Adler is known mainly for founding the Adlerian School of Thought, called Individual Psychology. He made several hypotheses, including inferiority complex and inferiority complex, a big part of the human psyche. Initially a collaborator of Sigmund Freud, he subsequently split off to start his school. He is also a co-founder of the Viennese Psychoanalysis Society. He also assisted Freud in the development of psychoanalysis.

Adler was a key figure in the development of psychotherapy. He intended to concentrate on individual people as a whole. That is why he called his point of view Individual Psychology. In Vienna, Austria, he was born on February 7, 1870. He had several health difficulties as a youngster. Therefore, he chose to become a doctor. He earned his bachelor’s doctorate from the University of Vienna. For a period, he was the Chairman of the Vienna Psychological Society. He also contributed significantly to the development of psychoanalysis.

Following his dispute, he stated that he was not a Freudian devotee. He advanced the thesis that humans strive to acquire greatness to overcome inferiority. He also introduced the notion of ‘Lifestyle.’ His insights are widely used in psychotherapy and the development of children. Many notable psychologists, including Maslow, Rogers, Karen Horney, Rollo May, and Albert Ellis, were inspired by him. His writings include The Neurotic Constitution, The Education of Children, Knowing Human Nature, Knowing Life, The Practice and Theory of Personality Theory, and others.

What is Freud?

In the Austrian Empire, Sigmund Freud was born 1856 to Jewish parents. He’s a neurologist who practices in Austria. He established the psychoanalysis school of thought. During the development of psychoanalysis, he discovered two therapeutic methods: transference and free association. He defined sexuality, which led to the further creation of the Oedipus complex, which became a significant component in Psychoanalytic thought.

His most renowned dream analysis, for which he also produced the book The Interpretation of Dreams, provided him with a model for symptom production and mechanisms involved in suppression. He also presented the Collective Unconscious Mind Theory, in which he split the mental state into three parts: id, ego, and super-ego. Freud also proposed the notion of arousal, which refers to sexual intercourse, power, cognitive processes, etc.

Freud’s work profoundly influenced Western civilization. He and his writings have inspired many individuals. Famous figures such as Socrates, Shakespeare, Newton, Galileo, and others influenced him immensely. Freud also studied cerebral palsy, known at the time as Cerebral paralysis. Josef Breuer is credited with his discovery of psychoanalysis procedures. Freud benefited much from Breuer’s case study of Anna O’. He used to consume cocaine because he felt it might treat various physical and mental ailments.

Main Differences Between Adler and Freud

  1. Alfred Adler is well-known for developing notions such as humanistic psychology, a superior attitude, a sense of inferiority, etc. Sigmund Freud is well-known for developing ideas such as psychoanalysis, which includes notions such as the id, ego, super-ego, and the Oedipus complex.
  2. Adler’s area of expertise is as a psychotherapist and psychiatrist. Freud’s areas of expertise included neurology, psychotherapy, and psychoanalysis.
  3. During his lifetime, Adler received no honours. In 1930, Freud was awarded the Goethe Prize, a prominent prize in Germany.
  4. Alfred Adler’s well-known publications include The Art of Living, Knowing Human Behavior, and The Personal Psychology of Alfred Adler, among others. On Aphasia, The Analysis of Dreams, Research on Hysteria, and other writings by Freud are among his most famous.
  5. Adler was a member of the Adlerian school of thinking. Freud was a member of the Psychoanalytic School of thinking.


Adler and Freud are both Austrians. They both attended the University of Vienna. Adler was Freud’s collaborator and contributed to the creation of psychoanalysis. Adler thought that the conscious and unconscious minds operate in harmony, but Freud felt that the conscious and unconscious minds are distinct and that the unconscious mind cannot be controlled.

Based on his early experiences, Adler developed the idea of inadequacy and feelings of superiority. Freud was more concerned with sexuality. Adler and Freud aspired to answer the difficulties of human existence, and both influenced psychology in many ways.


  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1957-01978-000
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1926-01004-001
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