Difference Between Adler and Freud (With Table)

Psychology and neurology are classified as part of Neuropsychology, which is concerned with our nervous system & brain. A person’s cognitive and behavioural functioning is investigated by neuropsychology, and it concentrates on the diseases and disorders of the brain that impact our cognitive abilities.

Developed in the 1980s, neuropsychology is a relatively young discipline of research that has only recently been found. Alfred Adler & Sigmund Freud worked together to fortify the psychoanalytic movements in the early twentieth century.

Adler vs Freud

The main difference between Adler and Freud is that as a medical practitioner who also does psychotherapy, Adler differs significantly from Freud in several ways. A neurologist, on the other hand, is the case with Freud. Sigmund Freud was the originator of psychoanalysis, whereas Alfred Adler founded the school of personal psychology, and dream analysis is credited to Sigmund Freud. Even though Adler was a member of Freud’s team, he could break away and develop his schools of thinking without his permission.

The Austrian doctor Alfred Adler is indeed a psychotherapist and psychologist, in addition to being a physician. Compared to Freudian beliefs, his theories are vastly different. When it comes to our inner thought, Adler emphasizes the relevance of feelings such as inferiority or inferiority complex, which have played a significant role in the field of Personality Development over time.

In 1895, Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurosurgeon, developed the Psychoanalytical Theory, a clinical strategy for treating Psychopathology that involves establishing a conversation between the patient and the psychoanalyst. With the Oedipus Complex, he redefined the concept of sexuality and laid the groundwork for psychoanalytic theory as we know it today; it was he who introduced the concept of an unconscious mind, which is composed of three parts: the id, the ego, and the superego.

Comparison Table Between Adler and Freud

Parameters of ComparisonAdlerFreud
Known forPersona psychology, feeling of superiority, inferiority complex, and so forthThis includes psychoanalysis, such as concepts such as the Id (individual self), Ego (individual self), and Super-Ego (superego).
FieldPsychiatrists and psychologists are both in high demand.Neurology, psychotherapy, and psychoanalysis are some fields in which I specialize.
AwardsThere will be no prize.The Goethe Prize is awarded to the most deserving individual (1930).
WorksAlfred Adler’s Individual Psychology and The Science of Living are only a few examples of books on the subject.Studies on aphasia, dream interpretation, hysteria, and other topics.
School of ThoughtSchool for the Adlerian (Adlerian School) is a private institution located in the Adlerian neighbourhood of Chicago.There are several schools of thought in psychoanalysis.

What is Adler?

Known for establishing the Adlerian School of Individual Psychology, Alfred Adler influenced many thinkers. A significant element of the human psyche is the inferiority & inferiority mentality, and he also aided Freud in Psychoanalysis.

Adler was a crucial figure in the development of psychoanalysis. He tried to focus on complete individuals. Hence his term Individual Psychology. Growing up, the medical challenges he faced encouraged him to pursue medicine as a vocation. He was born on February 7th, 1870, in Vienna, Austria. He graduated from the University of Vienna. For many years, I served as President of the Vienna Psychoanalytical Society. He was also a significant figure in psychoanalysis’s development.

He disagreed and said he wasn’t a Freudian. So, to overcome inferiority, one must aim towards superiority, according to him. He also gave the concept of ‘Lifestyle.’ His ideas are vital in child development and therapy. Influencers of Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Karen Horney, Rollo May, Albert Ellis, and others, Human Nature, Understanding Life, Individual Psychology Practice, and Theory, are a few of his writings worth reading.

What is Freud?

In 1856, in the Austrian Empire, Sigmund Freud was born to Jewish parents. He is a neurologist from Austria. He graduated from Vienna in 1881 with a Ph.D. in medicine. As a result of his work, he was recognized as the father figure of the psychoanalytic movement. Transference and free association were two therapeutic approaches he discovered while developing psychoanalysis. A crucial element of Psychoanalytic theory, the Oedipus complex, was further developed through his work on sexuality.

His most famous dream analysis provided a model for creating symptoms and the mechanics of depressive repression, which he wrote about in his book The Interpretation Of Dreams. Additionally, he proposed the concept of the “unconscious mind,” in which the id, ego, and superego comprise the mental state. In addition, Freud proposed a theory of libido, which includes sexual activity, sexual energy, and mental processes.

The work of Sigmund Freud has had a significant impact on Western thought. He and his writings have influenced a large number of people. Famous thinkers like Plato, Shakespeare, Nietzsche, and Darwin significantly influenced him throughout his career. Also, Freud studied cerebral palsy, or Cerebral paralysis, as it was then known. Josef Breuer is to be credited with the discovery of psychoanalytic procedures. Freud greatly benefited from Breuer’s case study of Anna O’. He was addicted to cocaine because he believed it could treat many physical and psychological ailments.

Main Differences Between Adler and Freud

  1. One of Alfred Adler’s most notable contributions is the concept of “individual psychology.” Many of Sigmund Freud’s ideas, such as the Oedipus complex and theories of id, ego, and superego, are attributed to him.
  2. Adolf Adler’s focus is on psychotherapy and psychiatry. Psychology, psychoanalysis, and neurology were among Freud’s specialities.
  3. During his lifetime, Adler received no honours. Goethe Prize, an honorary German prize, was bestowed to Sigmund Freud in 1930.
  4. Among Adler’s best-known publications are The Science of Living, Understanding Human Behaviour, and The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler. A sampling of some of Freud’s best-known writings includes “On Aphasia” and “The Interpretation of Dreams.”
  5. Adler was a member of the Adlerian School of Thought, and Freud was a member of the Psychoanalytic Movement.


Both Freud and Adler were born in Austria. They both attended the University of Vienna. Sigmund Freud’s close friend and collaborator, Adler, made significant contributions to psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler held opposing views on the idea of a split personality. Adler thought that the conscious and unconscious minds are intertwined, whereas Freud held that the two are distinct and that the unconscious mind is uncontrollable. Adler created the concept of inferiority & superiority complexes based on his childhood experiences. Sigmund Freud was more interested in sex than other topics. There were many similarities between Freud and Adler, who wished to find a solution to the human condition.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26301340
  2. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/624941/summary