Adler School of Professional Psychology

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The Adler School of Professional Psychology
Established 1952
Type Private, not-for-profit
President Raymond E. Crossman, Ph.D
Students 1,200+
Location Chicago, Illinois Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Campus Urban

Adler School of Professional Psychology is a post-baccalaureate, non-profit institution of higher education and independent graduate school of psychology located in Chicago, Illinois and Vancouver, British Columbia. As the oldest independent professional school of psychology in North America,[1] the Adler School continues the pioneering work of psychiatrist and first community psychologist Alfred Adler by graduating socially responsible practitioners, engaging communities, and advancing social justice. The Adler School celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2012. More recently, in November 2013, the Board of Trustees of The Adler School voted unanimously to a name change and to advance the institution's collegiate status to that of a university. The name change -- to Adler University -- will occur officially in January 2015 to reflect both the growth of the school and its broadening pedagogical focus beyond psychology. The Adler School's press release regarding its forthcoming name change can be found here:

The Adler School offers degrees in clinical psychology (Psy.D.) and several master’s degree programs, enrolling more than 1,200 students at both campuses. The current president of The Adler School of Professional Psychology is Raymond E. Crossman, Ph.D.[2] He was appointed the fifth president of school in 2003 and since then has realized a new vision, new academic programs, and significant growth.

The Adler School strives to attract applicants to its graduate programs who are broadly interested in social justice -- and its interface with social science, public policy, and the health sciences, rather than applicants who are merely interested in traditional private practice.


The Adler School of Professional Psychology is named for Alfred Adler (1870–1937), a physician, psychotherapist, and founder of Adlerian psychology, sometimes called individual psychology.[3] He is considered the first community psychologist, because his work pioneered attention to community life, prevention, and population health.

Among Adler’s advocates and followers was Adler School founder Rudolf Dreikurs (1897–1972), a psychiatrist who immigrated to Chicago in 1937 after Adler’s death.[4] Dreikurs lived and worked in Chicago’s Hull House, and he was instrumental in the child guidance movement in the U.S.

In 1952, Dreikurs founded the Institute of Adlerian Psychology that, in 1954, changed its name to the Alfred Adler Institute of Chicago, and in 1991 became known as the Adler School of Professional Psychology. Early instructors and founders of the Institute were also Bernard Shulman, Harold Mosak, Bina Rosenberg, and Robert Powers.

Dreikurs, Shulman, Mosak, Rosenberg, and Powers all touched thousands of practitioners, primary educators, and parents with coursework and programs about common sense, effective, and optimistic ways to support health and community life.[5]

In 1963, the Institute was chartered as a not-for-profit Illinois corporation and approved as a post-secondary educational provider. A year later, the Institute created a group therapy program for those incarcerated at Cook County Jail, a program that was a precursor to the school’s later focus on the incarcerated and the formerly incarcerated. In 1972, the Institute established its on-campus Dreikurs Psychological Services Center, a community mental health center and training site for students, which was the precursor to today’s Adler Community Health Services (ACHS), directed by Dr. Dan Barnes. [6] In 1973, the Illinois Office of Education granted the Institute the authority to award the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology.[7] The Institute received full accreditation of master’s level programs and awarded its first M.A. degrees in 1978. It received doctoral level accreditation in 1987, and awarded its first Psy.D. degrees in 1990. The Psy.D. program was accredited by the American Psychological Association in 1998.

A directory of Adler faculty, which lists the clinical/research interests and academic qualifications of each faculty member, can be found here:

Adlerian Psychology[edit]

Adlerian psychology emphasizes the human need and ability to create positive social change and impact. Adler held equality, civil rights, mutual respect, and the advancement of democracy as core values.[8] He was one of the first practitioners to provide family and group counseling and to use public education as a way to address community health. He was among the first to write about the social determinants of health and of mental health. Adler’s values and concepts drive the mission, work, and values at the Adler School today.[9]


Master and doctoral programs are offered at both the Chicago and Vancouver campuses. In fall 2013, the Vancouver campus will begin offering a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology—the first true Psy.D. program in Canada.

The Adler School is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission[10] and the American Psychological Association.[11] The Adler School’s doctoral and master’s programs prepare students to become socially responsible practitioners. Based on a scholar/practitioner model, our mission-driven curriculum has earned national and international recognition. Adler School students, faculty, and staff engage with communities to advance social justice—reaching out to those facing the greatest barriers to mental health support.

All of the Adler School's masters and doctoral programs offered at the Vancouver campus are offered under the written consent of the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education[12] having undergone a quality assessment process and been found to meet the criteria established by the Ministry. Note that prospective students are responsible for satisfying themselves that the program and the degree will be appropriate to their needs.

Programs offered in Chicago[13][edit]

Programs offered in Vancouver[edit]

Programs offered online[edit]


In addition to its main campus in downtown Chicago, which is located at 17 N. Dearborn. The Adler School also maintains a campus in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, located at 1090 West Georgia Street, Suite 1200. The Adler School is the oldest independent professional school of psychology in North America and is a full member of NCSPP, the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology. The Adler School strives to attract applicants to its graduate programs who are interested in the interface between psychology and social justice, rather than those who are merely interested in the private practice of counseling and clinical psychology.

Community Partnerships[edit]

Annually, Adler School students provide over 650,000 hours of community service.[14] The Adler School partners with more than 700 agencies to advance community health. Adler Community Health Services (ACHS) provides psychological services to underserved populations through its clinical training programs.

ACHS training programs include the Adler Community Mental Health Doctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology as well as psychotherapy and diagnostic assessment externships (practica). The internship is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) and is a member of the Association of Psychology Post-doctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC).

A distinctive feature of Adler School programs, the Community Service Practicum (CSP)[15] is a requirement for all first-year students at the School. The CSP is unique non-clinical experience, meant to expose future practitioners to concepts of social justice and social change, and to instill in them the ethos and the skill set necessary to engage in socially responsible practice.

Institutes + Centers[edit]

Through its institutes and centers, the Adler School leads social change and social justice.

Adler Child Guidance Center[edit]

The Adler Child Guidance Center (ACGC)[16] was established to help care-providers meet the challenges and responsibilities of child guidance. Based on the importance of raising children who are responsible, cooperative, and respectful of self and others, the ACGC emphasizes democratic leadership, encouragement, and reliance upon respectful, non-oppressive, non-coercive methods of teaching discipline. The Center strives to meet the needs of diverse communities providing cost-effective, non-exclusionary services within the mission and vision of social justice and socially responsible practice.

Institute on Social Exclusion[edit]

The Institute on Social Exclusion (ISE)[17] seeks to analyze the ways in which structural features of society condition human welfare; stimulate public dialogue on the underlying causes of disadvantage and on possible solutions; and engage in practical work that sheds light on and addresses social marginalization. The institute builds strategic alliances to ensure that all members of society have safe housing, quality education and healthcare, fair terms of employment, nutritious food, personal safety, and judicial equity. We work to dismantle the barriers to these essential rights, opportunities, and resources by advocating for structural change in our society.

Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice[edit]

The Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice (IPSSJ)[18] strives to meet public safety challenges with socially just solutions. They work with community groups, peer institutions, and systems partners to address public safety challenges. By forging creative collaborations, they can devise empirically sound methods beyond mere suppression to create environments where a more lasting and meaningful sense of peace and wellness can prevail.

LGBTQ Mental Health and Inclusion Center[edit]

The LGBTQ Mental Health and Inclusion Center[19] advances the wellness and quality of life for sexual orientation and gender variant minorities on an individual and systemic level. They are committed to addressing the needs of those most underserved and underrepresented within these minority groups. Through the application of its principles we aim to improve understanding, inclusion, and service delivery through education, community engagement, and research.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]