"Our health resides in our community
life and connections."
Raymond E. Crossman, Ph.D.
Since 1952, a singular idea has consistently driven our curricula, training, and community work. That key guiding idea is Alfred Adler’s groundbreaking concept of social interest or gemeinschaftsgefühl – the idea that our health resides in our community life and connections. This idea today is more necessary than ever to drive the work and change most needed in challenged communities around the world.
In 1952, Rudolf Dreikurs and his colleagues established the Alfred Adler Institute in Chicago, to train practitioners to apply Adler’s idea of social interest or gemeinschaftsgefühl. Adler was the first community psychologist, the first to focus on health and wellness in the community context. He advanced the revolutionary idea that responsible practitioners must advocate to change the social conditions that affect community health and well-being.
This website provides information about these important concepts, as well as the Adler School’s talented faculty, far-reaching academic programs, and social justice initiatives to advance them. We work with students who are courageous enough to want to change the world. To prepare them, we offer demanding curricula and hands-on experiences. This blend of theory, science, and practice results in graduates who have the knowledge, skills, and values to be effective agents for change in the pursuit of social justice and community well-being.
Our faculty are practitioners and thought leaders who bring a range of experiences and perspectives to the classroom. They regularly rethink and improve our pedagogy as the School builds new academic programs to meet emerging social needs—programs such as our Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology,Military Psychology Track which addresses the growing and specialized needs of active military personnel, military retirees, returning veterans, and their families and supporting communities. Another example is our Master of Arts in Criminology Program, which uniquely prepares justice workers who are informed by psychology and social justice perspectives.
Our faculty and students—along with our Institutes and Centers—are pursuing and producing unprecedented work on health issues including immigration and detention, social exclusion, the social determinants of mental health, LGBTQ mental health, and parenting. More than 700 agencies—and counting—are partnering with the Adler School as community practica and internship sites for our students, enabling our specialized preparation for work with underserved and marginalized populations.
Our challenge—just as Alfred Adler saw it at the turn of the last century, and just as our founders saw it 60 years ago—is to continue preparing practitioners who can address the world’s alarming health inequities and social injustices. And I have confidence that we have built a community who can successfully engage the challenge.
I invite you to explore this site for the many ways you might join our Adler School community as we enter our seventh decade, in innovating approaches toward the more just society we all envision.
Raymond E. Crossman, Ph.D.
Watch highlights of our 60th Anniversary Colloquium: