This theme was reinforced for all of us as Adler School faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends who gathered at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre Oct. 26 for our School’s 60th Anniversary Colloquium with speakers including President Ray Crossman, Ph.D. and School Co-Founder Harold Mosak, Ph.D.
Dr. Mosak, who celebrated his 91st birthday on Monday (Oct. 29), described how he and fellow Adler School founders Rudolf Dreikurs and Bernard Shulman opened the school with a grand vision for its future.
Speakers throughout the afternoon talked about the importance of our School’s revolutionary approach to training socially responsible mental health practitioners who understand the effects of community conditions and change on their clients’ recovery.
While celebrating the past, our panelists also led us in looking toward the future as they spoke of their vision for the Adler School’s next 60 years.
Professor Paul Rasmussen, Ph.D. said he would like to see the Adler School focus on recognizing human motivations, including:
- The importance of striving
- The need for physical and psychological safety
- The necessity of encouragement
- The role of discouragement
Professor Lynn Todman, Ph.D. discussed her hope to see more students crafting legislation in Washington D.C, and Springfield, Ill. that will change social policy.
Panelists also discussed the need to further improve teaching skills and techniques and broaden the vision of socially conscience mental health practitioners to extend to all health care fields.
“The Adler School has the opportunity to revolutionize health care by training socially responsible health practitioners,” said Professor David Katz, Ph.D. “What a powerful tool we have to change society.”
Panelist Cynthia Belar, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Education Directorate of the American Psychological Association (APA), remarked that the Adler School has and will continue to lead social change, because the school “doesn’t just teach Adlerian theory. It walks the talk.”
“Your focus on advocacy and your effort to integrate work on health disparities is critical,” Dr. Belar said. “We have to reach out to community health centers. They are the nation’s safety net.”
The colloquium ended with a call from Dr. Crossman to all of us, including the school’s now 3,469 graduates, current students, faculty and staff, to continue the work of Alfred Adler.
“We are all together inheritors of a great legacy and responsibility,” said Dr. Crossman. “We all have so much to do.”