Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs, psychiatrist, who carried on and promoted the concepts of Adlerian Psychology and Dr. Eva Dreikurs Ferguson, professor and distinguished scholar in the SIUE School of Education, Health and Human Behavior’s Department of Psychology.EDWARDSVILLE - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville faculty and students will be inspired by the pioneering concepts of Adlerian Psychology for years to come thanks to a $500,000 gift to the Department of Psychology from the Family of Rudolf Dreikurs. The gift will fund visits to SIUE from eminent scholars from around the world.

This psychological approach, named after its founder, psychiatrist Alfred Adler, places strong focus on counseling and social dynamics, and applies to all areas of social relations, especially in the workplace, schools, and the practice of psychotherapy. Psychiatrist Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs carried on and further developed this theory of psychology upon Adler’s passing.

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Dreikurs’s daughter, Dr. Eva Dreikurs Ferguson, a professor and distinguished scholar in the SIUE School of Education, Health and Human Behavior’s Department of Psychology, has also been a strong proponent of Adlerian Psychology. Ferguson asserts the time is right for visiting scholars to bring more knowledge of Adler’s valuable concepts to SIUE faculty and students.

“The academic mind is always evolving, always coming up with new ideas,” said Ferguson. “Adler was essentially a century ahead of the whole field. Adlerian Psychology is increasingly recognized as powerful and valuable.”

“This is an outstanding opportunity for us to bring prominent scholars to our department,” added Paul Rose, PhD, assistant dean of the School of Education, Health and Human Behavior and chair of the Department of Psychology. “This is a gift that honors the legacies of Rudolf Dreikurs, as well as Eva Dreikurs Ferguson, who has carried on the promotion of Adlerian Psychology all over the world.”

Dreikurs was a visiting professor at SIUE for several summers in the early 1960s. He taught courses at SIUE and helped set up counseling programs throughout the St. Louis region. Many families received valuable help as a result of his efforts.

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Beginning fall of 2018, visiting scholars with Adlerian or Adlerian-related expertise will be selected annually to receive the Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs Visiting Scholar Fellowship and visit the University for a summer term or a sabbatical semester. While at SIUE, they will write and conduct research, interact with faculty and students, and present at least one public lecture.

“Adlerian Psychology has grown by leaps and bounds,” Ferguson said. “Adler and Dreikurs understood how society and its relationships impact people’s work, education, family life, psychotherapy and more.”

“Psychology has changed, by recognizing the social fundamentals that impact human behavior, and society has changed. Both needed to happen in order for Adlerian Psychology to be recognized as a leading theory. This system of psychology is more influential now than ever.”

Through this endowment from The Family of Rudolf Dreikurs, recruitment of a highly regarded visiting scholar will occur every year, and will honor the theoretical and methodological legacies of Dreikurs and Ferguson.

The International Committee of Adlerian Summer Schools and Institutes (ICASSI), established by Dreikurs in 1962, continues to thrive. Ferguson is co-chair of the 2017 Rudolf Dreikurs summer institute of ICASSI, which will be held at Butler University in Indianapolis. For more information, visit icassi.net.

The SIUE School of Education, Health and Human Behavior prepares students in a wide range of fields including psychology, community and public health, exercise science, nutrition, instructional technology, speech-language pathology and audiology, educational administration, and teaching. Faculty members engage in leading-edge research, which enhances teaching and enriches the educational experience. The School supports the community through on-campus clinics, outreach to children and families, and a focused commitment to enhancing individual lives across the region. 

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