School News

Paul Rasmussen, Ph.D., Core Faculty and Director of ACGC
Adler Child-Guidance Center Providing Parenting Workshops and Courses

All parents learn quickly that children do not come with instruction manuals. Faced with tantrums, hyperactivity, messes, and other challenges, parents and other caregivers often stumble their way through child rearing through trial and error. New help is available.

The Adler School of Professional Psychology’s new Adler Child-Guidance Center offers free-of-charge parent and caregiver education programs to targeted agencies, as well as a variety of workshops for parents, caregivers, teachers, child-care workers and others. Courses and workshops will help caregivers meet the challenges and responsibilities of raising kids. Workshops will take place at the Adler School campus in downtown Chicago and in a variety of satellite venues throughout the Chicago area.

“The task of child guidance is raising children to become well-functioning adults who are prepared to accept responsibilities, cooperate with others and be respectful of self and others,” said Paul R. Rasmussen, Ph.D., Adler School Core Faculty and Director of the Center. “But parents and care providers are faced with recurrent challenges, and rather than managing these challenges, the goal frequently is to just keep kids quiet and happy. This can lead to later difficulties in the form of unrealistic expectations or compromised self-esteem.”

“We want to teach caregivers to deal with these challenges in ways that contribute to the task of preparing the next generation of adults,” Rasmussen said.

Alfred Adler, the Adler School’s namesake, and Rudolf Dreikurs, a founder of the school, were actively involved in child guidance in Vienna before the Nazi occupation of Austria in the 1930s. Dreikurs immigrated to Chicago where he continued his work in child guidance. His book, “Children: The Challenge,” remains a standard in the field.

The approaches that Adler and Dreikurs developed are at the core of many of today’s popular parent-education programs. What is unique about the Adlerian-Dreikursian model is its recognition of core aspects of being human, including the desire for a sense of worth and belonging among others, the power of encouragement, aversion to harshness and the tendency to learn best when outcomes are logical rather than arbitrary. The model can help caregivers raise children with the following outcomes:

  • A child who learns to accept responsibilities is willing to postpone pleasures to meet the needs of a situation. These children develop self-discipline and feelings of worth and ability.
  • A child who learns to get along with others becomes a contributor to a group’s efforts to overcome challenges. The child finds a place of belonging and is able to celebrate community.
  • Children who learn to respect themselves and others become adults who will not allow themselves to be exploited and who will not exploit others.

“When parents and caregivers are able to meet the task of raising their children and effectively managing the challenges, they will find the process extremely enjoyable and rewarding,” Rasmussen said.

For more information about the Adler Child-Guidance Center and upcoming workshops, click here or call 312-662-4340.

About the Adler School of Professional Psychology

The Adler School of Professional Psychology has provided quality education through a scholar/practitioner model for more than 50 years. The school’s mission is to train socially responsible graduates who continue the visionary work of Alfred Adler throughout the world. The Adler School offers 13 graduate-level programs enrolling more than 1,000 students at its campuses in Chicago and Vancouver, British Columbia, and through Adler Online.


Kim McCullough
Director of Communications
(312) 662-4124 or via email