top of page
  • Writer's pictureDale V Wayman, PhD

Spitting in the Soup

Me: "So you're saying, bad people broke into our house and colored on the walls with your crayons, but didn't steal anything?"

Kid". "Yes, crazy right?" This is a hilarious meme but makes a point of Adlerian theory. Adlerians note that in this instance, you are giving the child the opportunity to practice lying. We would recommend that if a parent knows the answer to the question, "did you color on the walls?" then don't ask. Rather, offer logical consequences, for example, "I noticed you colored on the wall. Here's a scrub daddy, let's clean this up together" a another way..."I love the art work, let's leave it there and build a frame for it so that other people can see your art work. Now, when you want to draw again, don't draw on the wall/house but let me know and I will help you put it on something that's easier to frame so that everyone can see your masterpiece." (this is known as the Adlerian technique of "spitting in the soup) go further...set up times where you and your child color together on a more appropriate canvas. "Spitting in the soup" - Adler used this homely metaphor to characterize the process of exposing to clients what they are actually doing, in order to make these actions distasteful to them. It is a way to spoil the clean conscience of the client, who may, of course, choose to continue in the mistaken movement, but who can no longer do so innocently. Note that "paradox" or "anti-suggestion" can sometimes be included with "spitting in the soup."

367 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

To properly parent, it is important to know what motivates children. If you can figure out a child's goal, then you can figure out how to best help them. If you can identify the goals of a child you

This story about Adler's way of getting a 5-year-old to pick up his toys is told by Dr. Herbert Schaffer, President of the French Adlerian Society: In Amsterdam, I was part of a scene which remains in

Many kids play video games. Alfred Adler theorized that if you want to understand children watch them play. He and others indicated that play is to children as work is to adults. Adler and others e

bottom of page