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How does psychoanalytic theory explain the way in which projection works?

How does psychoanalytic theory explain the way in which projection works?


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According to psychoanalytic theory, people sometimes defend against their own unwanted motives, conflicts, and behavioral tendencies by identifying them and decrying them in other people. This has been called projection.

I don't understand the reasoning behind Projection as a Defense Mechanism. I mean, why tell someone they lie when you are the one prone to lying? Why accuse other people of something they haven't done but what you most likely would do if you were in their position? In what way does this tendency help to deal with inner conflicts according to psychoanalytic theory?


Short answer:

Interestingly, even though the notion of projection has been intuitively appealing and plausible to many, the psychoanalytic explanation of how projection works has always been vague.

Long answer:

Sigmund Freud (1915) defined the "mechanism of projection" by explaining that engaging in it, the "ego" of a person "expels whatever within itself becomes a cause of unpleasure" (p. 136).

In a similar way, Anna Freud, who later worked on clarifying various defense mechanisms further, thought that projection allows people to get rid of painful thoughts: "The effect of the mechanism of projection is to break the connection between the ideational representatives of dangerous instinctual impulses and the ego" (p. 122).

Critics have noted that psychoanalytic writings have never explicated how exactly (by which process) projecting negative thoughts to others helps them in disconnecting these thoughts from the self.

Pointing to these criticisms and noting that empirical evidence in support of defensive projection has been scarce, Baumeister, Dale, and Sommer (1998, p. 1091), summarize

In retrospect, it was never clear how seeing another person as dishonest (for example) would enable the individual to avoid recognizing his or her own dishonesty. The notion that projection would effectively mask one's own bad traits was perhaps incoherent.

Newman, Duff, and Baumeister (1997) propose and test an alternative, social-cognitive account of defensive projection. They posit that people often try hard to suppress unwanted thoughts. However, ironically, doing so makes such tthoughts all the more accessible (because when you try not to think about something, you constantly think about it). These accessible thoughts can then also color people's impression of others. This would then just be a by-product of trying to suppress unwanted thoughts about the self and not the core of a defense mechanism.

In addition, it is important to note that the term projection is also used in a more general sense, to describe people's tendency to overestimate the presence of their own characteristics, beliefs, and attitudes in others. This tendency results, for example, in the false consensus effect (see this earlier question), for which there is ample evidence. This general notion of projection is different from the Freudian one in that it is not limited to negative attributes but happens also for positive attributes the self. Various cognitive and motivational mechanisms have been proposed for this more general phenomenon (see Baumeister, et al., 1998, for example, for some pointers).

References

Baumeister, R. F., Dale, K., & Sommer, K. L. (1998). Freudian defense mechanisms and empirical findings in modern social psychology: Reaction formation, projection, displacement, undoing, isolation, sublimation, and denial. Journal of Personality, Defense mechanisms in contemporary personality research, 66, 1081-1124. doi:10.1111/1467-6494.00043

Freud, A. (1936/1992). The ego and the mechanisms of defence. London: Karnac Books.

Freud, S. (1915). Instincts and their Vicissitudes. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XIV (1914-1916): On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement, Papers on Metapsychology and Other Works, 109-140

Newman, L. S., Duff, K. J., & Baumeister, R. F. (1997). A new look at defensive projection: Thought suppression, accessibility, and biased person perception. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 980-1001. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.72.5.980


Psychology 1: A comparison between the psychoanalytic and humanistic approaches

This is some work that I put into my essay last term but figured it could be used for studying purposes also.

Introduction

Personality psychology is a branch of psychology that is widely studied due to the fact that the personality is the determinant of human behaviour and thought (Cherry, n.d.). This is the study of how as a whole, the features of a person come together and appear to be continuous, reappearing consistently throughout one’s life as their set, recognizable characteristics.

Personality is based on the tendencies that people have which creates commonalities or differences within their psychological behaviour (Comer, Gould, Furnham, 2013). It is comprised of the individual differences that people have in their characteristics (McLeod, 2014). This being said, these characteristics have continuity and thus will continue to come forward throughout one’s lifetime and will influence how they react to varying situations (Comer et al., 2013). It also is recognized to not be purely resulting from biological or social pressures at a particular time (Comer et al., 2013). These modern ideas relating to personality have only used or recognized for about 200 years and so this is a relatively new concept.

Personality is studied as the differences in characteristics of people and how these come together to form a whole, complete person (Ng, Chong, Ching, Beh, Lim, 2015). From these studies it has become evident that there are many theories which can aid in explaining the various standpoints of how personalities develop such as the trait approach, the social learning theory, the behavioural approach, the neopsychoanalytic approach and the cognitive approach. The theories that will be discussed in this essay are the psychoanalytic approach and the humanistic approach which successfully reflect how diverse the theories actually can be.

The Psychoanalytic Approach

This psychological approach was developed by Sigmund Freud (1956-1939) and is easily recognized due to its pessimistic view of human nature (Lahey, 2009) and the fact that it is claimed that personality structures are unconscious- which will be explored further later in this essay.

Freud claimed that people all underwent internal conflicts between instincts, their unconscious motives as well as past experiences and social norms- this in totality is what will influence the behaviour and characteristics of personality. When discussing human nature, the idea of psychic energy is brought to the forefront- this is what motivates people to either do something or not to do that thing (Larsen & Buss, 2012). Freud said that nothing simply happens by chance, everything is an “expression of the mind” (Lahey, 2009).

The instincts to which Freud refers to are either life instincts or death instincts. Life instincts are referred to as the libido and these are sexual instincts and those relating to self-preservation. Death instincts are linked to the aggression within humans. Freud claims that humans are all naturally very aggressive but the social rules and laws that are implemented are what actually stop us from acting out on our aggression (Larsen & Buss, 2012).

The conscious

The conscious is referred to throughout Freud’s works and is that which we know at all times. These thoughts and feelings are easily accessible and thus do not require much effort (Comer et al., 2013).

The preconscious

The preconscious simply put, is the information that you could bring forward into the conscious mind. It contains mental content that needs to be focused on specifically in order to be analyzed. Only when the information is needed for something can it be brought into consciousness and used (Comer et al., 2013).

The unconscious

The unconscious is that which you are unaware of. More specifically, it is the level containing most of what is stored in our minds and we can only access it in rare, exceptional circumstances. Freud stressed that this part was one of the most important aspects of the development of a personality (Comer et al., 2013). Everything that goes into this category are the things that society does not seem fit to include and thus those unacceptable thoughts are locked away here (Larsen & Buss, 2012).

The mind works through the conflict of three factors- the id, ego superego. The id and superego are polar opposites so there is the ego which takes the role of a mediator in the conflicts. An example of this interaction is when an infant is involved with their parents, the ego and superego will be developed and thus at some point they will no longer rely on them to make decisions but rather, they will be able to make their own decisions (Ng et al., 2015).

The id is completely unconscious and includes the instincts and libido (life instincts). The id is there simply to focus on one thing- the satisfaction of the physiological needs that one has. This works on reducing tension and maintaining a homeostatic level that one can live their best life possible with. The id operates on something called the pleasure principle- this means that the only things that will be done are those which bring the individuals themselves the feeling of pleasure. Immediate gratification is another large aspect which can be used to identify that something relates to the id. The id makes people selfish and inconsiderate and thus will only do what is good for them and not necessarily consider the effect that it could have on others (Comer et al., 2013).

The superego

The superego contrasts the id completely as it encompasses an internal moral code and a sense of right and wrong. Thus, it is greatly unlike the id since it is not inconsiderate. The self-control at this stage now comes from the threat of guilt and shame rather than the parental control which was previously there to keep one in check (Comer et al., 2013).

The ego is the mediator between the id and superego and is pressurized by these two factors as well as reality at an unconscious level (Comer et al., 2013). The ego aims to find a compromise or common standing that would allow both the id and superego to come to a decision which is most beneficial. If the ego cannot deal with the demands and conflict between the id and superego, anxiety becomes apparent. The ego finds and equilibrium between the longings of the id and the moral principles set out by the superego (Comer et al., 2013).

The Psychosexual Stages of Development

Freud proposed that development is linked directly to sex and aggression. In the first stage, the ‘oral stage’ the pleasure originates from eating and vocalizing. Next, in the ‘anal stage’, the pleasure comes from retention or repulsion of feces. In the ‘phallic stage’ between the ages of 3-6, the pleasure comes directly from touching and interacting with the genitals. The ‘latency period’ between the ages of 6-11 is where the individual learns to identify with their same-sex parent and does not get any sexual pleasure from any activities- this is suppressed from the ages of 6-11. Lastly, in the ‘genital stage’ when the individual reaches puberty, heterosexual attraction is developed- note: Freud did not consider situations where there were people who were homosexual, asexual or bisexual etc. The five stages will now be explored as the content of the essay allows for that (Comer et al., 2013).

Evaluation of the psychoanalytic theory

The psychoanalytic theory is a great contribution to the study of the theories regarding personality psychology. The idea of the unconscious was a new idea and had not previously been explored much prior to Freud’s work. The fact that development in childhood years greatly affects individuals even in adulthood was also a massive contribution to personality psychology. Although these positive contributions were made, there were many that are not seen as such, these are: the perception of women is not accurate and fair, there was not room left open for people to make choices, it was assumed that people have the same family structure and most importantly, it takes it for granted that all development is over by the time puberty is reached (Ng et al., 2015).

The Humanistic Approach

The humanistic approach contrasts so greatly with the psychoanalytic approach (which it is a response to) due to the mere fact that it is a lot more optimistic with regards to human nature (Lahey, 2009). The humanists decided that it is more important to focus on the potential that people have and how they have free will to make choices regarding their development. Maslow and Rogers were two humanists who suggested the ideas of “self-concept” and “self-actualization” as being a part of the overall positive nature and development of people (McLeod, 2007).

Abraham Maslow

Maslow stated that there is an opportunity for all individuals to grow and develop, fulfilling their ultimate potential. He believed that through working on fulfilling needs, the personality is developed (Comer et al., 2013). The needs that he recognized were arranged in a hierarchy where one works on the basic ones and once those are satisfied, moves on to the higher level (McLeod, 2007b). He also brought the idea that many psychologists have been focusing on biological factors perhaps too excessively and that they should consider the higher needs of people to get personal levels of fulfilment (Comer et al., 2013).

Carl Rogers

Rogers thought in the same way that Maslow did with regards to the overall positivity of human nature but differed in respect of the hierarchy of needs- Rogers felt that one should focus more on the idea of the ‘self’. Self-concept is how things are perceived to be and how we understand who we are (Larsen & Buss, 2012)- this is an idea of continuity that embodies people and was a part of Roger’s therapeutic practice (Comer et al., 2013).

All of this is related to how we view ourselves and how others view us. It develops due to how others recognize us and thus during early childhood it is completely necessary to have unconditional positive regard in order to develop successfully- this means that they need to receive acceptance from the adults around them no matter what happens in order to gain vital self-concepts and develop their personality successfully and develop their own personal worth (Comer et al., 2013). Many children at this stage recognize that acceptance is crucial and they develop their conditions of worth which can make them feel that they must meet criteria in order to be socially accepted. This can flow into adulthood which can be negative for their overall wellbeing. Rogers recognized that it was completely necessary for individuals to grow in a positive environment where transparency is embraced and where they were not being judged in order to develop correctly. Through all of this, it is possible to aspire to become the “ideal-self” where one becomes the person that they have always wished to be (McLeod, 2007a).

Evaluating the humanistic approaches

It can be identified that the theorists were perhaps too optimistic about human nature and that they oversimplified the factors involved in personality development. There is a great lack of biological references in the work and fail to include evolutionary thoughts. When looking specifically at Maslow’s theory, some psychologists find that it is a challenge to recognize whether or not it is actually correct to say that the needs to be fulfilled fall into the order that he claims that they ascend in (Comer et al., 2013).

Similarities between the two approaches

Although there are clear differences between the two theories, it is also evident that there are some similarities.

The first is that both theories do involve the importance of sex in development.

Both theories bring forward the notion that individuals are at the forefront of development. They are both stating that personality development is all to do with individuals and how they satisfy their needs and wants instead of saying that it is all an external occurrence (McLeod, 2007).

Both of the theories have been put under criticism. The psychoanalytic approach was criticized for the lack of empirical research as at the point of its development, there was not much prior research to refer to regarding personality psychology. The humanistic approach has been criticized for being too ambiguous- it is not easily identifiable whether one has fulfilled a need or not and can vary from person-to-person (McLeod, 2007c). Also, it lacks objectivity and refers to matters of common sense too often- thus lacking in empirical research just like the psychoanalytic approach.

Differences between the two approaches

It is a lot easier to identify the differences between the two contrasting theories as their core principles contradict.

Firstly, the psychoanalytic theory states that human nature is viewed in a very negative and pessimistic manner whilst the humanistic approach is more optimistic about human nature. Along with this consideration of human nature, there are differences in thought about the influence that society places on personality development (Lahey, 2009). In the psychoanalytic theory, humans are recognized as beings which have a selfish ‘monster’ inside of them which is actually simply a metaphor for the id. The id interacts with the pleasure principle solely and this is not really connected fully to reality. Freud claimed that in the unconscious, the most disgusting pleasures are locked away and only those censored erotic thoughts are in the preconscious or conscious levels (Larsen & Buss, 2012). On the other hand, the humanistic approach disregards the claims about the evilness of humans and rather focuses on their potential (Boeree, 2000).

The humanistic approach is different from the psychoanalytic approach because it does not claim that we have no control over our development (Comer et al, 2013). The humanists stated that motivation comes from trying to fulfil certain needs and by doing this, the personality develops. The psychoanalytic theorists believed differently as they claimed that motivation comes from the wants of the id- usually sexual in nature.

Both approaches give different views on how the personality develops. Psychoanalytic theorists would suggest that development occurs through stages between infancy and adulthood due to psychosexual development as the sexual energy from the id moves from body part to body part (Siegelman & Rider, 2012), . To contrast this view, the humanists believe that the personality will continue to develop throughout the life until they reach a point where self-actualization is achieved (Tay & Diener, 2011).

In summation, there are so many differences between the two contrasting approaches to personality psychology but yet there are still similarities between them. Through the diversity of the theories, it would be accurate to say that both theories have brought something unique to the study of personality psychology and will surely continue to have an influence in the development of personality psychology in the future.

Boeree, G. (2000). Abraham Maslow. Webspace. Retrieved August 22, 2015 from http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/maslow.html.

Cherry, K., (n.d.) Theories of Personality. About Education. Retrieved August 23, 2015 from http://psychology.about.com/od/psychologystudyguides/a/personalitysg_3.htm.

Comer, R., Gould, E., Furnham, A., (2013) Psychology. West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Lahey, B.B. (2009) Psychology: An introduction (10 th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Larsen, R. J. & Buss, D. M. (2012). Personality psychology: Domain of knowledge about human nature (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.


Does Psychoanalytic Therapy Really Work?

Over the years many people have questioned whether psychoanalysis really works. It has especially come under attack in recent years, as psychotherapy has become controlled by insurance companies, who bemoan any long-term treatment. Those who practice psychoanalytic psychotherapy have asserted strongly that it works. They point to qualitative improvements in social functioning, self-esteem, work relationships, and other such factors. And there are thousands upon thousands of case histories, written since the time of Sigmund Freud, that testify to its success.

However, the acid test of the efficacy of any method lies in the availability of hard evidence in the form of research. And, as it happens, we have two recent studies of psychoanalysis that offer evidence of its validity.

A study by Shedler in the February-March 2010 edition of the American Psychologist (put out by the American Psychological Association), examined the results of treatments using psychodynamic psychotherapy for a variety of psychological disorders. This was a meta-analysis that covered studies done around the world. It concluded that psychodynamic psychotherapy works as well as, or is at least equivalent to, other psychotherapy treatments deemed as supported by empirical evidence, such as CBT.

Prior to this study there was a meta-analysis of short-term psychodynamic therapy by Leichsenring and colleagues. published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 2004. This study looked at seventeen random controlled studies of treatment with depression, bulimia, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and various personality disorders. They measured results using the Hamilton depression scale and other such methods and found that symptoms improved when compared to control groups of patients on waiting lists or in non-psychodynamic therapies.

Of course, these days most psychotherapists, including most psychoanalysts, practice eclectic therapy, as no one modality is right for everybody. In my psychotherapy practice over 38 years, I have used behavioral and cognitive therapy as well as psychoanalytic therapy. I sometimes find that all three are needed with the same client, and that all can play an important role.

A person may have ongoing anger at a spouse, who may suffer from some form of depression that causes emotional paralysis and prevents getting a job. It then falls on this healthier individual to take responsibility for the family&rsquos income. On a cognitive-behavioral level I encourage the client to focus on the reality of the situation, which is that the spouse cannot look for a job because of the emotional problem, not because &ldquothe spouse is lazy.&rdquo

On a behavioral level I may also discuss the importance of detaching from the anger, noting that it is causing health problems. However, at the same time, on a psychoanalytic level I will focus on the transference&ndashthat is, on how unresolved anger at one&rsquos father (who had similar anger and paralysis) is now being displaced onto the spouse. All these approaches may be needed to bring about real change.

However, there is one ingredient of psychoanalytic therapy that has been there from the beginning and remains the special feature that makes it a vital form of therapy: the relationship between the client and the psychoanalyst. Clients, by being completely honest about their thoughts and feelings about the psychoanalyst, learn to understand themselves and how they relate to the analyst (and hence others) in an immediate way that goes right to the core of their issues. In doing this, they work through the misinterpretations (cognitive flaws) by being confronted with their immediate effect.

A client once came into treatment who would hardly talk for many weeks. There were long silences during which I would ask, &ldquoWhat are you thinking now?&rdquo Eventually the client got around to talking about how her parents had always been on her case as she grew up. In the treatment she was transferring her parents onto me and expecting me to be on her case if she told me too much. She also realized that she related to others in this same way. Thus the psychoanalytic method helped her to resolve some of her deepest issues right from the beginning.

Methods, however, don&rsquot do therapy people do. Methods are only as good as the people who use them. If you can form a good therapeutic alliance with a client, he or she will usually get better, no matter what the method is. If you can&rsquot form a good therapeutic alliance, no method will work.

Having said all this, the bottom line is that evidence does exist to support the benefits of psychoanalytic therapy. It does really work when it is done the way it needs to be done and when it is received the way it needs to be received.

As is so often the case, the doubts are not in the method, but in the mind of the beholder.


One of Freud's most important contributions to the field of psychology was the development of the theory and practice of psychoanalysis. Some of the major tenets of psychoanalysis include the significance of the unconscious, early sexual development, repression, dreams, death and life drives, and transference.

In terms of practical treatment, psychoanalytic sessions often feature a process of free association, where patients discuss thoughts, feelings, memories, and dreams, and the psychoanalyst attempts to uncover elements of their unconscious thoughts and desires. One of the key components of psychoanalysis is the idea that many psychological disorders stem from childhood trauma and repressed sexuality. The task of the psychoanalyst is often to uncover these buried experiences and feelings, to reduce the tension between the conscious and unconscious minds.

The Unconscious

One of the significant concepts in the study of psychoanalysis is unconscious. According to Freud, certain ideas, thoughts, and memories are repressed and made unavailable to the conscious mind. When this happens, they don't simply disappear, but instead, reside in the unconscious, and continue to affect the mind as a whole.

In particular, the unconscious is often home to repressed memories of childhood trauma, as well as to repressed sexual urges. These memories and desires often come into conflict with a patient's conscious desires and ideas, the result of which is often a psychological disorder according to Freud.

The Id, Ego, And Superego

According to Freud, the human mind could be divided up into three distinct parts: the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is the unconscious seat of many human impulses, desires, and drives. The id is present from birth and involves the satisfaction of basic needs, including hunger, thirst, and libido.

The super-ego is the component of the mind that makes moral decisions regardless of practical circumstances. The super-ego often reflects cultural rules, including those taught by parents, and involves ideas such as right and wrong, guilt, shame, and judgment.

The ego attempts to balance the conflicting desires of the id and super-ego. In doing so, the ego often engages in various defense mechanisms, including repression, rationalization, and projection to regulate the conflicting ideas and impulses of the id and super-ego.

Sexuality And Development


As a requirement for this course, HS 841, Group Counseling and Psychotherapy, I feel my final paper should reflect the relevant subject of psychoanalytic theory as applied to the counseling profession. Because psychoanalysis is the very seat

of the mental health field, I will deliberate on the key aspects of psychoanalysis in a general, sep-by-step fashion. Although it would go beyond the scope of this essay to cover every aspect of the psychoanalytic theory and its application completely, I will exemplify its relevance and identifying factors of the human services profession today with the assistance of various health care institutions and professionals in the field.

Psychoanalytic Theory…4
Introduction.

The subject of psychoanalytic therapy, the theory, science, practice and its vast relationship to mental health in general has had an esoteric affect since its renaissance in the late 19th century. And, although the caring professions of psychoanalysis and general counseling are similar in many respects, there are differentials in the practice of the two. Because the combined research of these professions are of extreme length, which could constitute a large sum of work, the most logical choice to exemplify the many aspects of these professions is to summarize the basic philosophy and science of this measureless therapeutic occupation.
During the creation of this project, the use of The Abraham A. Brill Library of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and Society has proven to be of great assistance for the culmination of this research. Phone interviews with Dr. Bernard Pacella, M.D., a neurophysiologist with the Parent Child Center with The New York Psychoanalytic Institute and Dr. Henry W. Beck, Ph.D., an affiliated psychoanalyst in privet practice, were able to supply enormous detail to their individual professions, which in assistance to this paper, has enabled a step-by-step exemplification for one of the most caring and needed professions today, which this research paper is dedicated.

Psychoanalysis, a name coined by Sigmund Freud to a system of interpretation
and therapeutic treatment of psychological disorders has come a long way sense the birth of this concept. Psychoanalysis began after Freud studied with the French neurologist J. M. Charcot in Paris, where he became convinced that hysteria was caused by emotional disturbance rather than by organic symptoms found in the nervous system. Later, Freud collaborated with Viennese physician Josef Breuer and wrote two papers on hysteria that were the precursors of his vast body of psychoanalytic research we are associated with today. Needless to say, psychoanalysis and its theoretical foundations have had an enormous influence on modern psychology and psychiatry and the human services field in general over the last 90 years that continues to evolve with new and innovated methods. Psychoanalytic therapy as a treatment has expanded and changed considerably during the last century, where the psychoanalytic approach has spread throughout the world, creating dramatic changes for the consumer population seeking treatment. Radical shifts have occurred in the social/cultural context of psychoanalytic practices worldwide. All of these factors have brought about considerable change in the definition and nature of psychoanalysis as a method of treatment, and because of this, psychoanalysis has become extremely multi-faceted in all the science and health care fields.

Psychoanalytic therapy is a treatment for relieving mental and emotional distress through what is often referred to as a talking cure, due to its simple technique, which involves no special action by either the therapist or the patient outside of verbal interaction.
Psychoanalytic therapy is based in the idea that much of our behavior, thoughts and attitudes are regulated by the unconscious aspects of the mind and are outside the ordinary conscious control we are accustomed with. By inviting the patient to talk about anything, including the day-to-day and mundane to the very complex matrix of his or her problems, the psychoanalyst helps that patient to reveal the unconscious needs, motivations, wishes and memories in order to gain a conscious control of that patient’s life. This form of treatment was developed by Sigmund Freud in the early part of the 20th century, yet many psychoanalysts beyond Freud have expanded on his works, as well as expanded on the treatments for the problems of today’s extremely complex society. And, as a result of these tenacious practitioners and researchers, the realm of psychotherapy has advanced considerably.
Counseling and psychotherapy…Is there a difference between the two? This paper will attempt to prove that there are several differences between counseling and psychotherapy as a whole, although many feel they are one in the same. While counseling and psychotherapy have several different elements in each, the following
information will also attempt to show the reader that there are some areas where the two overlap.

One definition of counseling can be viewed in three key elements: A learning-oriented process, carried on in a simple, one-to-one social environment, in which a counselor, professionally trained in relevant psychological skills and knowledge, seeks to assist the client by methods appropriate to his or her needs and within the context a specifically designed program, to learn more about the patient’s “self,” to learn how to put such understanding into effect in relation to more clearly perceived, an realistically defined goals so that the patient may become a more productive and happier member of his society. Basically, counseling can be described as a face-to-face relationship, having goals to help the patient to learn or acquire new skills which will enable him to cope and adjust to life’s daily situations and hardships. Therefore, in essence, the focus of the psychoanalyst is to help the client reach a maximum fulfillment or at least begin to introduce the potential for fulfillment, and to become fully functioning as a person as a whole, and healthy entity.
One of the major distinctions between counseling and psychotherapy is the subject of primary focus utilized. In counseling, the counselor will focus on the “here and now” reality of the patient’s situations. During the psychotherapy session, the therapist is literally looking into the patient’s unconscious or past, for a connection to his pasts un-dealt with problems, which are now obviously present in his daily situation, which causes the stress or anguish as a result.
Donald Arbuckle states, There is a further distinction to be made…This involves the nature or content of the problem which the client brings to the counselor. A

distinction is attempted between reality-oriented problems and those problems which coexist in the personality of the individual (p.67).
Counseling and psychotherapy also differentiate when it comes to the level
of adjustment or maladjustment of the patient. Counseling, according to Dr. Henry Beck, holds an emphasis on the concept of normal, where the counselor may classify the concept of “normal” as those without neurotic problems, yet have become victims of pressures from some outside environment. The emphasis in psychotherapy however, is specifically on the neurotic patient, or other severe emotional problems.
Counseling can also be described as problem solving, where in psychotherapy it is more analytically based, counseling may have a situation where a solution is not foreseeable. To this end, there appears to be two types of problems, solvable and unsolvable. If the problem is a solvable one, a therapist may help that patient by looking at the problem with him and help him to draw out a variety of solutions. When thinking of these possible solutions one must also think of the consequences to those solutions. While counseling deals with problem solving, psychotherapy on the other hand deals with the analytical view of the problem. Here, the therapist would determine the cause and effect of his patient’s behavior from the results of such behaviors. An example of this could be if a father abuses his child, the father’s behavior might stem from his past. The abusive father may have been a victim of abuse as a child himself, or have been a witness to similar abuse of a sibling or relative. It would be in the

therapist’s best effort to analyze each act of the present and try to link it to some aspect in the unconscious past.
The length of treatment also differs between counseling and psychotherapy, where most counseling sessions are far shorter in duration than psychotherapy. The time spent in counseling for example, is determined by goals set by the patient and the counselor at the beginning of the initial treatment planning. Once these goals are met, new goals may be set and future sessions determined depending on the patient’s progress. In contrast, psychotherapy tends to last a while longer, where sessions usually range from two to five years. Psychotherapy is more of a comprehensive re-education of the patient, where the intensity and length of therapy depends on how well the patient can deal with all of the new found information and expectation of goals. It could take quite sometime for the patient to be able to live with these feelings which originated in past experiences, that usually turn out to be hurtful ones.
The setting of treatment also differs between counseling and psychotherapy, as a counseling session usually takes place in a non medical setting such as an office or church, psychotherapy is a more medically related element found in the clinical or hospital setting. Another difference between counseling and psychotherapy has to do with the issue of transference, which can be viewed differently between the two formats. As Brammer and Shostrom (1977) state, “The counselor develops a close and personal relationship with the client, but he does not encourage or allow strong transference feelings as does the psychotherapist (p.223). The counselor tends to find transference as an interfering element within his or her counseling effectiveness and hoped outcome.
Psychoanalytic Theory…10

A psychotherapist might feel that this transference is helpful and that the client may be able to see what he or she is trying to do within this professional relationship. A
counselor may look at transference as a form of manifestation in an incomplete growing process, where the psychotherapist interprets these transference feelings as an unconscious group of feelings.
The problem of resistance and how it is dealt with is another area of counseling and psychotherapy that tends to differ, as counselors may see resistance as something that opposes the problem solving goal, where the counselor tries to reduce this as much as possible, the psychotherapist may find resistance to be a very important element to work with. If the therapist can understand the patient’s resistance, he can then understand how to help the patient change his or her personality through creating an enlightened awareness.
While there are clearly many differences between the counseling approach and that of psychotherapy, there are some similarities between the two that should be recognized too. Firstly, each of these formats are similar in the sense that each patient brings with him the assets, skills, strengths and possibilities needed to the therapy session. Secondly, counseling and psychotherapy are also similar in the way that
they both use, as Arbuckle refers to it as an “eclectic approach.”

Here, the counselors and therapists do not have only one technique, because they borrow from many different techniques instead of just one. Arbuckle argues that in this respect, counseling and psychotherapy are in all essential respects
Psychoanalytic Theory…11

identical, as the nature of the relationship which is considered basic in counseling and psychotherapy are similar, where the process of counseling
cannot easily be distinguished from the process of psychotherapy…The methods and techniques are identical in the matter of goals and or outcomes. (p.144)

One major similarity between counseling and psychotherapy are the
elements which build a person’s personality, as each of these processes deal
with attitudes, feelings, interests, self esteem, goals and related behaviors are all affected through counseling and psychotherapy.
The primary elements that separate psychoanalytic therapy apart from other forms of psychotherapy and counseling can be viewed in the following attributes:
• The Psychoanalytic therapist prefers to treat patients without medications, although on occasion he may refer a patient to a physician/psychiatrist for drugs to be used in the treatment of depression, psychosis, or anxiety.
• The psychoanalytic therapist does not usually give specific recommendations about how the patient ought to manage his life or solve problems. Instead, the analyst prefers to help the patient understand why he is unable to solve problems or what internal conflict is preventing him from knowing what to do in his life. When necessary, the analyst may suggest postponing a particular decision until

• a later date, or may act to prevent a patient from harming himself or sabotaging the overall treatment.
Some professionals in the field consider psychoanalytic therapy to be the best format for consistent therapy, while others feel that the behavioral schools, such as Gestalt, represent the most effective in treatment. Some feel that psychoanalysis is no more than a new age fad compared to more accepted sciences as, for instance, internal medicine or surgery. Because of this, there may be doubt in the patient, which may unfortunately hasten therapy. While current practice is based upon the early works of Sigmund Freud and his disciples, the field’s history has made new discoveries regarding the subject of character and technique, thus creating the therapist’s ability to help patients on a much greater level, as this specific method of treatment will offer much to its patients.
Psychoanalytic therapy is at times pleasurable and comforting, but it is also hard work. While the patients and the general public may imagine that psychotherapy is nothing more than self indulgence or a crutch that disrupts our material lives, anyone who has been analyzed, as a student, or as a patient, can readily explain that rather than escaping from reality, we learn to face it more comfortably, with a greater sense of purpose and to be encouraged to have a more independent daily life.

The Psychoanalyst
There are literally hundreds of forms of psychotherapy available to the public today, so it would be wise to understand each of these specific formats before selecting a therapist. Unfortunately, much of what has been written or said about psychoanalytic therapy has been by people who have little experience of the modern advances in the
field of psychoanalysis. The psychoanalyst, as a professional, is the most rigorously trained of all therapists. In order to practice, a psychoanalyst must complete many comprehensive courses of theoretical training, complete a deep personal analysis, and than treat patients in the psychiatric setting under the supervision of a senior analysts. Although the bulk of this training is usually available at many universities and graduate schools, most psychoanalysts are trained at independent training institutes and than licensed after an certain amount of time has been successfully completed, which will be close to, or more than two thousand hours of supervision, depending on the State.
These privet institutions are run by senior analysts and are monitored by accreditation bodies such as the American Psychological Association. Moreover, psychoanalysts usually have had prior training as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or as nurse practitioners. Many of these senior analysts may hold the degree of M.D., Ph. D., Psy. D., M.S.W., or M.S.N.

Psychoanalytic training usually takes five to ten years because the trainee must experience the in-depth formats of treatment himself, as well as treat cases under supervision until his supervisors feel he is competent to practice independently. Unlike graduate school courses which normally last one or two semesters, this training continues until the student has met the vigorous demands of all the courses, and when the supervisors and teachers agree that the training is complete, as well as prepare for and pass the exam for licensure in his or her own state.
The Patient
Understanding the patient in need of treatment, although being the very nature of psychotherapy can be extremely difficult, especially when decoding the complex and often times enigmatic nature of the human psyche. Because of this, it becomes paramount that the therapist not stereotype his or her client with that of other clients in the past, either actual or theoretical, or those expressed in the DSM-IV or related periodicals as case studies. The therapist must explore all the various avenues and possible stressors that may be either the primary or secondary cause for the patient’s problem.
Of the main arenas of the human psyche Sigmund Freud and others explored during the later half of the 19th century, were the buried, unresolved situations, such as parental/sibling resentment, sexual frustration and self-esteem issues of the

unconscious mind, as well as the discovery of hidden meanings behind dreams and their associations became of great interest, and considered directly tied to the
unconscious mind ultimately became a primary tool for psychoanalysis. Also, the reality of early childhood events, which may have left an indelible residue on the unconscious mind, is believed to be directly related to many negative effects on the patient’s present psyche, which may be responsible for many aspects of pathology.
Other problems associated with the treatment process for both the patient and the therapist are the barriers of resistance, which can be seen in several forms, and the misconceived subject of transference, which can be viewed in either a positive, or negative manner, depending on the views of the therapist, or that of the counselor, are major situations that both professionals will experience during their treatment relationship. Therefore, understanding the many aspects, both the good and the bad of the psychotherapeutic and counseling professions become clear, and because these attributes and potential problems are of paramount importance, the following represents a brief representation:

Psychoanalysis and Understanding the Unconscious Mind

The unconscious is composed of many mental processes, wishes, needs, attitudes, memories, and beliefs not directly available to ordinary, or as some suggest, wakeful awareness. It is hard for many people to accept the idea of the unconscious, the idea that something not under their direct control might influence their lives. However, close examination of this shows that many of the choices in life such as a
spouse, friends, career, life style, and patterns of health are based upon motivations of which people are not ordinarily aware of. Many sad or angry childhood memories are
also relegated to the unconscious, although they still control some day-to-day behaviors. Handicapped by a lack of awareness of the unconscious motivations, people can become victimized by emotional reactions and seen through various symptoms that inhibit their daily lives. Psychoanalytic therapy, in most cases, allows the patient to become aware of these unknown mental processes through their behavior, dreams, slips of the tongue and various free associations.

Dream Association and Psychoanalysis

Dreams play a useful role in psychoanalytic therapy because they offer, as seen in Freud’s work entitled the “Royal Road to the Unconscious,” the dreams people
Psychoanalytic Theory…17

express are most often that their unconscious needs, memories, conflicts and wishes of past and present situations. Dreams can also become an avenue of understanding to hidden aspects of the self when examined with the interpretive help of the analyst. The quintessential couch, although much misunderstood or misrepresented, is a useful tool in advancing the treatment process. For most psychoanalytic patients, it offers an opportunity to relax, undistracted by the therapist’s visible presence, and comfortably report thoughts, and feelings as they arise. The use of the couch also emphasizes that therapy is not just for social conversation, but for a specialized form of communication designed specifically to open up and promote healthy catharsis.

Resistance and Transference in Psychoanalysis

Dr Henry W. Beck, a psychoanalyst in privet practice from North Wales, Pennsylvania, who deals with patient’s suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder and eating disorders to men’s issues and family crisis situations, states, that during the course of every psychoanalytic therapy session, the patient sometimes demonstrates behavior that interferes with the progress of the treatment. This interference Dr. Beck is referring to is called resistance. Because psychoanalytic therapy helps the patient achieve freedom of thought and action by talking freely, the negative emotional forces that may cause the symptoms to manifest themselves as obstacles to psychotherapy, the patient may respond in the following manner:
Psychoanalytic Theory…18

• Becomes unable to talk any further without development.
• The patient feels he has nothing to say.
• The need to keep secrets from his therapist.
• Withholding information from the therapist because he is ashamed of them.
• The patient may feel that what he has to say isn’t important.
• Patient repeats himself constantly.
• Refrains from discussing certain topics.
• Wants to do something other than talk…Talks only about thoughts and not feelings.
• Talks only about feelings and not thoughts.

These and many other forms of possible resistance keep the patient from learning about himself, growing and becoming the person he or she wants to be. Together, the patient and the therapist study the meaning and purpose of the resistance and try to understand the key to unlocking it and allowing the patient to continue growing in a positive manner. Modern therapists recognize that a patient may have a great need to resist, and therefore use a relaxed approach to aid him in overcoming the problem.

Psychoanalysts discovered early in their work that patients can have distorted views of their analyst, which may hinder the much needed trust factor for a positive session. An psychoanalyst with a quiet, reserved demeanor may be perceived as an oppressive tyrant, observing in an overseer manner instead of a caring person who is genuinely interested in the patient’s problems. In an Alternative situation, a patient may become convinced that the psychoanalyst loves him or her even though no such feeling has been expressed. These types of feelings usually come from attitudes toward significant individuals in a patient’s past such as parents, teachers, lovers or siblings. Sometimes the feelings toward the therapist represent actual feelings about a person in that patient’s past, and at other times the feelings are those of a desired, fantasy
relationship with a significant individual. While not all patients develop these classical forms of transference, many patients find it necessary to understand the feelings they have toward their therapist, as this aids in the understanding of current relationships, the need for personal growth, expectations of others and attitudes toward themselves.

Psychoanalytic Therapy and Early Life Events

Events in the first five to six years of life have an important and lasting impact on the development of an individual’s unique character. However, the origins of emotional distress may be based in traumatic childhood events, difficult family relationships, early maturational needs that were absent, or various negative events in life. The past is
Psychoanalytic Theory…20

important only if it interferes with the patient’s ability to function in the present, so therefore, the therapist must help the patient whose emotional disorder is rooted in his or her childhood distress’ and grow out of it and than to assist the adult of these stressors to find, acceptance and closure.
Most people have read of Sigmund Freud’s landmark discoveries regarding the crucial role that sexual thoughts and feelings have in life. However, modern psychoanalysts recognize that anger, hostility, dependency, and many other motivations may be just as important in shaping personality. While Freud’s patients, mostly Victorian women, needed help to understand their sexuality, modern patients tend to have more difficulty coping with feelings of anger, loneliness, or the lack of a coherent sense of who they truly are.
Patients experience a wide range of emotions toward the therapist. Individuals who have received little love or understanding in life may respond to a therapist’s understanding attitude with feelings of love. Other frequent responses to the therapist include hatred, amusement, disinterest or extended periods of no feelings. Psychoanalytic therapy is usually appropriate for anyone who wants to have a happier
life with greater personal and emotional flexibility. Adults, children, couples, and whole families are frequently seen in psychoanalytic therapy sessions which may be a part of either private or group therapy. A wide range of emotional problems can be successfully treated with psychoanalytic therapy. Among them:
• Emotional pain, depression, boredom, restlessness.
Psychoanalytic Theory…21

• An inability to learn, love, work, or express emotion.
• Irrational fear, anxiety without a known cause.
• Pervasive feelings of meaninglessness, emptiness, unrelatedness.
• Lack of goals, values, or ideals.
• The feeling of being overwhelmed by responsibility and unable to relax and play.
• An inability to set practical, reachable goals, and accept responsibility.
• Unsatisfying relationships with spouse, children, or parents.
• Inability to have friends or lovers.
• The feeling that life is totally out of control and that one is not master of one’s fate.
• An excessively controlled life, dominated by ritual and obsession.
• Compulsive overeating or an inability to eat enough for good health.
• Physical problems that have a psychological origin.
In retrospect, the patient of psychoanalytic therapy is a partner with his therapist in a unique exploration of his life, consisting of his past, his present and his perceived future, and because no two people are alike, no two treatments are alike, which counts

for the vast differences in therapeutic approaches. In most settings however, the patient often lies on a couch, or sits in a comfortable chair with the therapist just out of view, and talks. There are no specific topics…The patient can say anything he wants to say, but he doesn’t have to talk about anything he would rather not discuss. As the patient talks, he reveals the past, his present life situation and future plans. Dreams, fantasies, sexual thoughts, angry thoughts, and feelings about himself and others are shared in a comfortable, safe manner. Over the course of time, the patient is helped by the therapist to tell the emotionally significant story of the patient’s life and problematic situations, permitting unconscious motives, fears, and memories to become integrated into current life.
It is this form of communication, which, hopefully, transforms the otherwise medicinal realities of psychotherapy in general, into a more personable relationship filled with genuine warmth, understanding and most importantly, compassion. The psychoanalyst must create this particular atmosphere in order to offer the most to his or her patients. Furthermore, the main function of the psychoanalytic therapist is to listen carefully and attentively to the patient in order to understand him and facilitate an equal form of communication that will promote efficient catharsis. To this end, the therapist should use both intelligence and compassion to obtain verbal and nonverbal clues to the patient’s problems. The analyst must first understand these disguised communications and then transform them into information useful to the patient. To do
this, the therapist asks questions, confronts distortions, and does anything else needed to help the patient share his thoughts and feelings comfortably.
Psychoanalytic Theory…23

Although there is no time limit on psychoanalytic therapy, some patients may have the best benefits from a short period of time, which can be six months or less, and others may wish to continue treatment for some years, where the average patient remains in therapy for a minimum of two years, but as long as five years. Staying in therapy longer is neither a sign of excessive dependence nor signifies a severity of illness. We know now that it takes a lifetime to develop the attitudes and specific character traits that contribute to emotional stress, and generally, although not always, time is required for making any positive change. And so, any therapist who promises change in a specified period of time is not being completely honest with his client.
In short, it is common that therapy is terminated when the goals of the patient have been achieved. When the patient is able to comfortably experience all of his feelings, both the good and bad feelings without having to act them out, and when he is able to comfortably relate all of these feelings to the analyst and act in his own best interest, the therapy is, theoretically complete.
Psychoanalytic theory and the therapy in this tradition have both evolved since Sigmund Freud. Freud placed his greatest theoretical emphasis on the study of the human sexual drive, in particular, the Oedipal phase of psychosexual development, which begins between the ages of four to six when a child falls in love with the parent of
the opposite sex. Since the time of Freud, greater emphasis has been placed upon the study of how an individual emerges into the world as a separate person with a sense of
Psychoanalytic Theory…24

himself and positive self-esteem. Current theory also deals with aggression, early mother-child interaction, social relations, family dynamics and psychosomatics, which further this concept of the self.
Early Freudians only accepted relatively mature, neurotic patients for treatment, which were seen on a daily basis, rather than the larger spectrum of patients we see today. Moreover, the only interventions used by the analyst at the turn of the century were to be interpretations or explanations of a patient’s behavior, which were almost always based in the sexual format. Patients are generally seen less frequently today, giving the patient a more liberal basis of treatment, a feeling of self-reliance and analysts have more flexibility in their responses to a patient. In short, modern analysis is modified to meet the needs of the individual, rather than expecting the patient to conform to the analyst’s requirements.
Since the birth of Freudian analysis in the early 1900’s numerous approaches have been developed including those of Jung, Adler, Horney, Sullivan, Klein, Kohut, and Spotnitz. Each school of psychoanalytic therapy focuses on certain aspects of treatment or personality. The differences between these schools have become far less dramatic with time. Frequently, the differences between analysts trained in the same tradition can be equal to or greater than those between analysts of different schools.

A strong-willed person may certainly modify the symptoms of emotional problems by willpower, but the unconscious will most often express itself in a different symptom. Certainly many people have radically changed the form and substance of their lives
without psychoanalytic therapy, but emotional distress caused by unconscious conflict can only be adequately met by psychoanalytic therapy.
Most people have such a high degree of resistance that an insight gleaned by self-analysis tends to be either superficial or confirmed as healthy by already-held beliefs, so rather than promoting change, this person continues in this misleading ether of self-deceit. Of course, many have tried and benefited to some extent from self-analysis, but a regimen of regularly scheduled appointments, combined with the assistance of an experienced analyst, is vital to the process. In addition, much of who we are is determined by our relationships with other people. An analyst provides an opportunity to observe ourselves in a close relationship and safely try out new ways of relating to others.
Conclusion.

It would be obvious to say that not all therapists believe that there is a distinction between psychotherapy and counseling, yet as seen with this aforementioned outline, psychoanalytical theory has several differentials from the general counseling psychology format that should be recognized. C.H. Patterson, however, feels that it is almost impossible to make a distinction, believing that the definition of counseling

equally applies to psychotherapy and vice a versa, and in contrast, Arbuckle argues that counseling and psychotherapy are identical in all essential aspects, and still others
believe that there is a distinction. Psychotherapy is concerned with some type of personality alteration or change, where counseling is concerned with helping individuals utilize their full potential in coping techniques.

Arbuckle (1967) included Leona Tyler’s thoughts on the differences between counseling and psychotherapy. Leona Tyler attempts to differ between counseling and psychotherapy by stating, “to remove physical and mental handicaps or to rid of limitations is not the job of the counselor, this is the job of the therapist which is aimed essentially at change rather than fulfillment. (p. 82)

With Tyler’s beliefs about the differences between psychotherapy and counseling, we can see a black and white logic of those philosophical views, which go beyond the generalized opinion of both these areas of expertise and ideals, which are also supported by the modern scientific community and human services professionals alike. With these differences understood, we as professionals may have the opportunity to better assist and support the consumer population individually and as a whole.
Overall, the major difference here, are the time and focus factors faced in each individual approach found in psychoanalytic therapist and the mental health counselor.

The difference may be found with counseling, which deals primarily with the here-and-now/reality situations, as in opposition, which the unconscious past as the primary focus in psychotherapy. Moreover, counseling has been described as helping the patient in
developing more competencies in coping with life situations where as psychotherapy deals with the re-organization of one’s whole personality and soulful philosophies.
One must take a close look at the philosophies and practices between counseling and psychotherapy to distinguish whether or not there is a difference between the two approaches. Although many can not distinguish the differences between counseling from psychotherapy today, even many professionals, we must look at the vast differences with the primary and secondary goals we set for our patients, as well as be able to identify the ideals and practices as they are. Fortunately, after reading the research of these aforementioned psychoanalysts and authors, I realized that there are indeed major differences between counseling and psychotherapy. And, as these findings, although still debatable for some, as to the goal and outcome for the patient may be different, the importance of this subject, and the mental, emotional and even the spiritual health of the consumer population, our patients, becomes clear.

Psychoanalytic Theory…28
References

Arbuckle, D. S. (1967). Counseling and Psychotherapy: An
Overview. New York: McGraw Hill.

Beck, H.W. Psychotherapy: Views and Ideas. The Patient and the Therapist. (n.d.) from Abraham A. Brill Library, http://www.nysa.org

Bettelheim, B. & Rosenfeld, A. (1993). The Art of the Obvious…Developing
Insight for Psychotherapy and Everyday Life. New York: Knopf.

Brammer, L . & Shostrom, E. (1977). Therapeutic Psychology: Fundamentals
of Counseling and Psychotherapy Third Edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
Prentice Hall.

Rogers, C. (1951). Client Centered Therapy. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

Shostrom, E. (1967). Man the Manipulator. Nashville, Tennessee:
Abingdon Press.


Introductory Works

Since it is impossible to cover the subject of psychodynamic theory in social work in a comprehensive way, the initial approach taken is to provide a list of introductory publications that together offer a comparative framework for reference on the subject, as well as offering current perspectives on the relationship between social work and psychodynamic theory more broadly. Berzoff, et al. 2011 offers an introduction to central psychodynamic perspectives used in social work practice, with special emphasis on the issues of race, culture, and gender. In a later work, Berzoff 2012 examines psychoanalytic ideas as these are applied to a social work framework in working with vulnerable populations. Borden 2009 provides an overview of central psychoanalytic concepts and theories in relation to various clinical situations and practice settings, while Brandell 2004 offers a historical overview of the relationship between clinical social work and psychoanalytic thought, as well as an examination of the therapeutic process, work with special populations, and various phenomena such as transference and countertransference. Goldstein 2001 comments on two important theoretical systems—object relations and self psychology—and how each theory may be applied to specific client situations associated with modern clinical practice in social work. The widely cited Mitchell and Black 1996 provides a synopsis of each of the major psychoanalytic traditions, while Pérez Foster, et al. 1996, in the authors’ examination of the role of culture in therapeutic relationships, offers a reaffirmation of what they believe to be psychotherapy’s commitment to progressive social change. Finally, Sudbery 2002 focuses on the most-essential dimensions of the client-worker relationship in clinical social work.

Berzoff, J., ed. 2012. Falling through the cracks: Psychodynamic practice with vulnerable and oppressed populations. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

Discusses the psychodynamic perspective from the standpoint of social work with vulnerable populations such as prisoners, orphans, and immigrants, and racial and gender minorities.

Berzoff, J., L. M. Flanagan, and P. Hertz, eds. 2011. Inside out and outside in: Psychodynamic clinical theory and psychopathology in contemporary multicultural contexts. 3d ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Provides an introduction to the major psychodynamic perspectives used in social work practice a discussion of race, gender, and culture in psychodynamic theories and a discussion of the psychodynamic treatment of several commonly treated clinical conditions (psychosis, personality disorder, mood and anxiety disorders, and trauma). First published in 1996 (Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson).

Borden, W. 2009. Contemporary psychodynamic theory and practice. Chicago: Lyceum.

Provides an overview of major psychodynamic concepts and theories and applies them to several clinical settings and situations.

Brandell, J. R. 2004. Psychodynamic social work. Foundations of Social Work Knowledge. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

Provides an overview of the psychodynamic perspective in social work historically, an introduction to the therapeutic process in psychodynamic social work, a discussion of the application of psychodynamic social work to special clinical populations, and a discussion of current research.

Goldstein, E. G. 2001. Object relations theory and self psychology in social work practice. New York: Free Press.

Introduces two of the predominant variants or schools of psychodynamic theory today, object relations and self psychology, and applies principles from these theories to the phases of social work practice with clients and to work with couples and families.

Mitchell, S. A., and M. J. Black. 1996. Freud and beyond: A history of modern psychoanalytic thought. New York: Basic Books.

Provides an overview of each of the major psychoanalytic traditions, situating each in its historical context. Case examples make each tradition come alive and provide an apt counterpart to the theoretical exposition of each model.

Pérez Foster, R., M. Moskowitz, and R. A. Javier, eds. 1996. Reaching across boundaries of cultures and class: Widening the scope of psychotherapy. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson.

Reaffirming psychotherapy’s roots in a progressive approach to social change, the authors describe work with clients previously thought to be unresponsive to psychodynamic therapy. Numerous examples guide the clinician to a better understanding of the role of culture in the therapeutic relationship.

Sudbery, J. 2002. Key features of therapeutic social work: The use of relationship. Journal of Social Work Practice 16.2: 149–162.

Argues that expertise in relationships is central to effective social work, whatever the setting, and conceptualizes relationships in psychodynamic terms. Analyzes the key components of the social worker’s use of the relationship with the client, in terms of attention to the client’s basic need, responsiveness to her or his aggression, and aid in the diminution of the client’s self-criticism.

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Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality Explained

The Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality is an idea that the personality of an individual will develop in a series of stages. Each stage is characterized by certain and very specific internal psychological conflicts. It is a theory that can be characterized by 4 key points.

1. Human behavior is the result of three component interactions.
Freud described these three internal components as being the id, the ego, and the superego. It is the conflict within their interactions that helps to develop personality.

2. Most of the conflicts are unconscious.
People are not aware of how their three internal components are in conflict with each other, despite the fact that this conflict shapes the mind in terms of personality and even behavior.

3. Sexual identification can influence this conflict.
Freud identified five different stages of psychosexual development which he believed would influence the outcomes of the conflicts occurring through the id, ego, and superego.

4. Social expectations and biological drives must be integrated.
As children develop, there are certain social expectations that are placed upon them. These expectations may be at odds with what their biological drive is telling them to do. How a child navigates through this process allows them to master their stages of development and this helps to provide the foundation of a mature personality.

Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality often comes under criticism because of its primary focus on individualized sexuality identification. This emphasis then led to an importance on the dreams that a person has, what the interpretation of that dream might be, and the defense mechanisms that an individual might use to protect their biological drive against societal expectations that are counter to them.

The 3 Elements of Personality Structure

The Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality is dependent on the definition of the three elements of personality structure. Freud identified each element in this manner.

ID: This part of a person’s personality is driven by an internal and basic drive. It is essentially a need for self-survival and replication. This means the needs of the id are based on instinct: thirst, hunger, or a desire to have sex would all be considered part of this element of personality. The decisions within this element are often impulsive.

EGO: This part of the personality is driven by reality. It is the balance between the instinctual form of personality and the moral form of personality. The ego, according to Freud, rationalizes the urges and instincts of the individual and separates what is real from the restrictions that societal groups place upon individuals.

SUPEREGO: This personality element is driven by morality principles. It is where people are able to connect with logic and other forms of higher thought or action. Instead of making a decision that is based on instinct, an individual engaged with their superego would make a judgment on write or wrong and use guilt or shame to encourage behaviors that are socially acceptable in themselves or in others.

The key to unlocking an individual’s personality is the development of the unconscious mind. This is where the true feelings, thoughts, or emotions of an individual happen to be. In order to understand these components of personality, it becomes necessary to access the unconscious mind. According to Freud, dreams would be the place where people could do such a thing.

What It Means to Get Stuck in Freud’s Theory

Freud’s ideas about individualized personality development are dependent on the progression of the individual. Freud believed that are different stages that occur based on how a person’s libido is focused on specific, but different body parts. In his order of progression, there is oral, anal, phallic, latency, and then genital.

Only if people are able to meet all of their needs through every other stage will they be able to meet at the genital stage with any available sexual energy. If needs are not met in the other stages, then that individual becomes fixated within that stage until their needs are met.

If a person were to be stuck, the unconscious mind may attempt to communicate this fact through the use of dreams. It may also come out in the form of a Freudian Slip, which would show evidence of the ego or superego not working properly. This, in turn, would affect an individual’s personality because no progression could be made until the communication from the unconscious mind was addressed.

Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality does have limits. Environmental impacts are not included despite evidence of its influence. There is no empirical data to support the theory, and culture and its influence are disregarded. Despite these limits, the approach does offer an explanation for certain defense mechanisms and why they are used, showing how individual personalities can develop over time.


So where do we go moving forward?

Freud is one of the founders of psychoanalytical (and psychodynamic) therapy, and as covered in a previous answer of mine, Freud's work is derived from empirical evidence and backed up with high profile journal articles, but his work is also seen as non-falisifiable under Karl Popper's criteria of falsifiability to distinguish science from nonscience (Popper, 1959).

In a scientific sense prediction refers to the ability of a hypothesis to accurately forecast what will happen under specific conditions. In order to test a hypothesis a scientist will make a prediction based on the hypothesis.

My argument on the predictability of mental health science is that not all outcomes can be predicted. Take survivors of abuse for example. It is well known that there are some who will go on to have mental health problems, and they last for many years. However some only suffer for a short time and some move on from the abuse without any adverse affects. A group of people can suffer the same "type and amount" of abuse (for want of a better phrase), at the same age and for the same duration, and each one of them can suffer differently. That surely throws scientific predictability out of the window as far as testing psychological theory is concerned. On the subject of predictability testing, with something like abuse it would be unethical to test predictability by subjecting test subjects with abuse and seeing what the result is so you would have to rely on case studies for this which is also a part of the problem with Freud's theories.

largely on the basis that psychoanalysts could easily deploy various defense mechanisms themselves and other psychoanalytic concepts to dismiss countervailing evidence.

and Hans Eysenck, an opponent of Freud, argues that

Freud's theories are falsifiable and therefore a science, though an incorrect one.

Whatever your standpoint is on Freud, I have seen plenty of questions on Psychology.SE about Freudian theory which I have provided well received answers to, so there seems to be a bit of contradiction here.

We need to define what pseudoscience is within Psychology.SE. If psychology is considered to be pseudoscientific in general, and pseudoscience is off-topic, does that mean all questions around psychology should be deemed off-topic within Psychology.SE? If not, considering @AaronWeinberg's hopes for agreement, for example,

we don't want to discourage/alienate professional clinicians of any school or discipline

how do we determine what psuedoscience within psychology is on-topic and what is off-topic? This may need to be explored in line with the Cognitive Sciences Reboot 2017: Call for action

My opinion is that the "pseudoscience" within Psychology should not be considered off-topic within Psychology.SE if Psychology is on-topic.


Benefits of Psychoanalytic Therapy

What makes psychoanalytic therapy different from other forms of treatment? A review of the research comparing psychoanalytic approaches to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) identified seven features that set the psychoanalytic approach apart.

  • Focuses on emotions. Where CBT is centered on cognition and behaviors, psychoanalytic therapy explores the full range of emotions that a patient is experiencing.
  • Explores avoidance. People often avoid certain feelings, thoughts, and situations they find distressing. Understanding what a client is avoiding can help both the psychoanalyst and the client understand why such avoidance comes into play.
  • Identifies recurring themes. Some people may be aware of their self-destructive behaviors but unable to stop them. Others may not be aware of these patterns and how they influence their behaviors.
  • Experience-oriented. Other therapies often focus more on the here-and-now, or how current thoughts and behaviors influence how a person functions. The psychoanalytic approach helps the people explore their pasts and understand how it affects their present and future.
  • Explores interpersonal relationships. Through the therapy process, people are able to explore their relations with others, both current and past.
  • Emphasizes the therapeutic relationship. Because psychoanalytic therapy is so personal, the relationship between the psychoanalyst and the patient is an important part of the treatment process.
  • Free-flowing. Where other therapies are often highly structured and goal-oriented, psychoanalytic therapy allows the patient to explore freely. Patients are free to talk about fears, desires, and dreams that they have never spoken of before.

Psychoanalytic therapy can also help you learn techniques for coping when future problems arise. Rather than falling back on unhealthy defenses, you may be better able to recognize your feelings and deal with them in a constructive manner.

As with any approach to mental health treatment, psychoanalytic therapy can have its pluses and minuses. Before deciding on this approach, it's important to take these factors into account.


Psychoanalytic Perspective: Exploring the Human Mind through Childhood Analysis

Since the dawn of time human beings have been attempting to develop means of explanation for the actions of others as well as the internal mechanisms that direct and control the way we all think. However, it wasn’t until fairly recently on Earth’s timeline that individuals began to construct psychological theories through the exploration of events that occurred throughout an individual’s childhood. In the sections to follow, we will discuss the psychoanalytic perspective, including a definition of the theory, major theorists, important elements, stages of development, and defense mechanisms.

To learn more about the mechanisms of the human brain, take a look at this course on practical psychology.


Psychological Constructs and Treatment Interventions

Dennis Thornton PhD , Charles E. Argoff MD , in Pain Management Secrets (Third Edition) , 2009

8 What is the relevance of psychoanalytic theory to understanding the experience of pain?

Psychoanalytic theory divides the psyche into three functions: the id—unconscious source of primitive sexual, dependency, and aggressive impulses the superego—subconsciously interjects societal mores, setting standards to live by and the ego—represents a sense of self and mediates between realities of the moment and psychic needs and conflicts. Psychoanalytic writings discuss how pain frustrates the satisfaction of dependency and sexual needs as well as appropriate dissipation of aggressive feelings. The blocked expression of these needs leads to inner turmoil. However, when sanctioned as a bona fide physical problem, pain allows for unconscious gratification of ambivalent dependency needs. Underlying anger may be expressed indirectly, in the form of passive-aggressive behaviors, whereby the patient holds family members and treating practitioner alike as hostages to endless complaints and demands for attention. The experiences of pain satisfy the superego's need to suffer and atone.


One of Freud's most important contributions to the field of psychology was the development of the theory and practice of psychoanalysis. Some of the major tenets of psychoanalysis include the significance of the unconscious, early sexual development, repression, dreams, death and life drives, and transference.

In terms of practical treatment, psychoanalytic sessions often feature a process of free association, where patients discuss thoughts, feelings, memories, and dreams, and the psychoanalyst attempts to uncover elements of their unconscious thoughts and desires. One of the key components of psychoanalysis is the idea that many psychological disorders stem from childhood trauma and repressed sexuality. The task of the psychoanalyst is often to uncover these buried experiences and feelings, to reduce the tension between the conscious and unconscious minds.

The Unconscious

One of the significant concepts in the study of psychoanalysis is unconscious. According to Freud, certain ideas, thoughts, and memories are repressed and made unavailable to the conscious mind. When this happens, they don't simply disappear, but instead, reside in the unconscious, and continue to affect the mind as a whole.

In particular, the unconscious is often home to repressed memories of childhood trauma, as well as to repressed sexual urges. These memories and desires often come into conflict with a patient's conscious desires and ideas, the result of which is often a psychological disorder according to Freud.

The Id, Ego, And Superego

According to Freud, the human mind could be divided up into three distinct parts: the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is the unconscious seat of many human impulses, desires, and drives. The id is present from birth and involves the satisfaction of basic needs, including hunger, thirst, and libido.

The super-ego is the component of the mind that makes moral decisions regardless of practical circumstances. The super-ego often reflects cultural rules, including those taught by parents, and involves ideas such as right and wrong, guilt, shame, and judgment.

The ego attempts to balance the conflicting desires of the id and super-ego. In doing so, the ego often engages in various defense mechanisms, including repression, rationalization, and projection to regulate the conflicting ideas and impulses of the id and super-ego.

Sexuality And Development


As a requirement for this course, HS 841, Group Counseling and Psychotherapy, I feel my final paper should reflect the relevant subject of psychoanalytic theory as applied to the counseling profession. Because psychoanalysis is the very seat

of the mental health field, I will deliberate on the key aspects of psychoanalysis in a general, sep-by-step fashion. Although it would go beyond the scope of this essay to cover every aspect of the psychoanalytic theory and its application completely, I will exemplify its relevance and identifying factors of the human services profession today with the assistance of various health care institutions and professionals in the field.

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Introduction.

The subject of psychoanalytic therapy, the theory, science, practice and its vast relationship to mental health in general has had an esoteric affect since its renaissance in the late 19th century. And, although the caring professions of psychoanalysis and general counseling are similar in many respects, there are differentials in the practice of the two. Because the combined research of these professions are of extreme length, which could constitute a large sum of work, the most logical choice to exemplify the many aspects of these professions is to summarize the basic philosophy and science of this measureless therapeutic occupation.
During the creation of this project, the use of The Abraham A. Brill Library of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and Society has proven to be of great assistance for the culmination of this research. Phone interviews with Dr. Bernard Pacella, M.D., a neurophysiologist with the Parent Child Center with The New York Psychoanalytic Institute and Dr. Henry W. Beck, Ph.D., an affiliated psychoanalyst in privet practice, were able to supply enormous detail to their individual professions, which in assistance to this paper, has enabled a step-by-step exemplification for one of the most caring and needed professions today, which this research paper is dedicated.

Psychoanalysis, a name coined by Sigmund Freud to a system of interpretation
and therapeutic treatment of psychological disorders has come a long way sense the birth of this concept. Psychoanalysis began after Freud studied with the French neurologist J. M. Charcot in Paris, where he became convinced that hysteria was caused by emotional disturbance rather than by organic symptoms found in the nervous system. Later, Freud collaborated with Viennese physician Josef Breuer and wrote two papers on hysteria that were the precursors of his vast body of psychoanalytic research we are associated with today. Needless to say, psychoanalysis and its theoretical foundations have had an enormous influence on modern psychology and psychiatry and the human services field in general over the last 90 years that continues to evolve with new and innovated methods. Psychoanalytic therapy as a treatment has expanded and changed considerably during the last century, where the psychoanalytic approach has spread throughout the world, creating dramatic changes for the consumer population seeking treatment. Radical shifts have occurred in the social/cultural context of psychoanalytic practices worldwide. All of these factors have brought about considerable change in the definition and nature of psychoanalysis as a method of treatment, and because of this, psychoanalysis has become extremely multi-faceted in all the science and health care fields.

Psychoanalytic therapy is a treatment for relieving mental and emotional distress through what is often referred to as a talking cure, due to its simple technique, which involves no special action by either the therapist or the patient outside of verbal interaction.
Psychoanalytic therapy is based in the idea that much of our behavior, thoughts and attitudes are regulated by the unconscious aspects of the mind and are outside the ordinary conscious control we are accustomed with. By inviting the patient to talk about anything, including the day-to-day and mundane to the very complex matrix of his or her problems, the psychoanalyst helps that patient to reveal the unconscious needs, motivations, wishes and memories in order to gain a conscious control of that patient’s life. This form of treatment was developed by Sigmund Freud in the early part of the 20th century, yet many psychoanalysts beyond Freud have expanded on his works, as well as expanded on the treatments for the problems of today’s extremely complex society. And, as a result of these tenacious practitioners and researchers, the realm of psychotherapy has advanced considerably.
Counseling and psychotherapy…Is there a difference between the two? This paper will attempt to prove that there are several differences between counseling and psychotherapy as a whole, although many feel they are one in the same. While counseling and psychotherapy have several different elements in each, the following
information will also attempt to show the reader that there are some areas where the two overlap.

One definition of counseling can be viewed in three key elements: A learning-oriented process, carried on in a simple, one-to-one social environment, in which a counselor, professionally trained in relevant psychological skills and knowledge, seeks to assist the client by methods appropriate to his or her needs and within the context a specifically designed program, to learn more about the patient’s “self,” to learn how to put such understanding into effect in relation to more clearly perceived, an realistically defined goals so that the patient may become a more productive and happier member of his society. Basically, counseling can be described as a face-to-face relationship, having goals to help the patient to learn or acquire new skills which will enable him to cope and adjust to life’s daily situations and hardships. Therefore, in essence, the focus of the psychoanalyst is to help the client reach a maximum fulfillment or at least begin to introduce the potential for fulfillment, and to become fully functioning as a person as a whole, and healthy entity.
One of the major distinctions between counseling and psychotherapy is the subject of primary focus utilized. In counseling, the counselor will focus on the “here and now” reality of the patient’s situations. During the psychotherapy session, the therapist is literally looking into the patient’s unconscious or past, for a connection to his pasts un-dealt with problems, which are now obviously present in his daily situation, which causes the stress or anguish as a result.
Donald Arbuckle states, There is a further distinction to be made…This involves the nature or content of the problem which the client brings to the counselor. A

distinction is attempted between reality-oriented problems and those problems which coexist in the personality of the individual (p.67).
Counseling and psychotherapy also differentiate when it comes to the level
of adjustment or maladjustment of the patient. Counseling, according to Dr. Henry Beck, holds an emphasis on the concept of normal, where the counselor may classify the concept of “normal” as those without neurotic problems, yet have become victims of pressures from some outside environment. The emphasis in psychotherapy however, is specifically on the neurotic patient, or other severe emotional problems.
Counseling can also be described as problem solving, where in psychotherapy it is more analytically based, counseling may have a situation where a solution is not foreseeable. To this end, there appears to be two types of problems, solvable and unsolvable. If the problem is a solvable one, a therapist may help that patient by looking at the problem with him and help him to draw out a variety of solutions. When thinking of these possible solutions one must also think of the consequences to those solutions. While counseling deals with problem solving, psychotherapy on the other hand deals with the analytical view of the problem. Here, the therapist would determine the cause and effect of his patient’s behavior from the results of such behaviors. An example of this could be if a father abuses his child, the father’s behavior might stem from his past. The abusive father may have been a victim of abuse as a child himself, or have been a witness to similar abuse of a sibling or relative. It would be in the

therapist’s best effort to analyze each act of the present and try to link it to some aspect in the unconscious past.
The length of treatment also differs between counseling and psychotherapy, where most counseling sessions are far shorter in duration than psychotherapy. The time spent in counseling for example, is determined by goals set by the patient and the counselor at the beginning of the initial treatment planning. Once these goals are met, new goals may be set and future sessions determined depending on the patient’s progress. In contrast, psychotherapy tends to last a while longer, where sessions usually range from two to five years. Psychotherapy is more of a comprehensive re-education of the patient, where the intensity and length of therapy depends on how well the patient can deal with all of the new found information and expectation of goals. It could take quite sometime for the patient to be able to live with these feelings which originated in past experiences, that usually turn out to be hurtful ones.
The setting of treatment also differs between counseling and psychotherapy, as a counseling session usually takes place in a non medical setting such as an office or church, psychotherapy is a more medically related element found in the clinical or hospital setting. Another difference between counseling and psychotherapy has to do with the issue of transference, which can be viewed differently between the two formats. As Brammer and Shostrom (1977) state, “The counselor develops a close and personal relationship with the client, but he does not encourage or allow strong transference feelings as does the psychotherapist (p.223). The counselor tends to find transference as an interfering element within his or her counseling effectiveness and hoped outcome.
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A psychotherapist might feel that this transference is helpful and that the client may be able to see what he or she is trying to do within this professional relationship. A
counselor may look at transference as a form of manifestation in an incomplete growing process, where the psychotherapist interprets these transference feelings as an unconscious group of feelings.
The problem of resistance and how it is dealt with is another area of counseling and psychotherapy that tends to differ, as counselors may see resistance as something that opposes the problem solving goal, where the counselor tries to reduce this as much as possible, the psychotherapist may find resistance to be a very important element to work with. If the therapist can understand the patient’s resistance, he can then understand how to help the patient change his or her personality through creating an enlightened awareness.
While there are clearly many differences between the counseling approach and that of psychotherapy, there are some similarities between the two that should be recognized too. Firstly, each of these formats are similar in the sense that each patient brings with him the assets, skills, strengths and possibilities needed to the therapy session. Secondly, counseling and psychotherapy are also similar in the way that
they both use, as Arbuckle refers to it as an “eclectic approach.”

Here, the counselors and therapists do not have only one technique, because they borrow from many different techniques instead of just one. Arbuckle argues that in this respect, counseling and psychotherapy are in all essential respects
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identical, as the nature of the relationship which is considered basic in counseling and psychotherapy are similar, where the process of counseling
cannot easily be distinguished from the process of psychotherapy…The methods and techniques are identical in the matter of goals and or outcomes. (p.144)

One major similarity between counseling and psychotherapy are the
elements which build a person’s personality, as each of these processes deal
with attitudes, feelings, interests, self esteem, goals and related behaviors are all affected through counseling and psychotherapy.
The primary elements that separate psychoanalytic therapy apart from other forms of psychotherapy and counseling can be viewed in the following attributes:
• The Psychoanalytic therapist prefers to treat patients without medications, although on occasion he may refer a patient to a physician/psychiatrist for drugs to be used in the treatment of depression, psychosis, or anxiety.
• The psychoanalytic therapist does not usually give specific recommendations about how the patient ought to manage his life or solve problems. Instead, the analyst prefers to help the patient understand why he is unable to solve problems or what internal conflict is preventing him from knowing what to do in his life. When necessary, the analyst may suggest postponing a particular decision until

• a later date, or may act to prevent a patient from harming himself or sabotaging the overall treatment.
Some professionals in the field consider psychoanalytic therapy to be the best format for consistent therapy, while others feel that the behavioral schools, such as Gestalt, represent the most effective in treatment. Some feel that psychoanalysis is no more than a new age fad compared to more accepted sciences as, for instance, internal medicine or surgery. Because of this, there may be doubt in the patient, which may unfortunately hasten therapy. While current practice is based upon the early works of Sigmund Freud and his disciples, the field’s history has made new discoveries regarding the subject of character and technique, thus creating the therapist’s ability to help patients on a much greater level, as this specific method of treatment will offer much to its patients.
Psychoanalytic therapy is at times pleasurable and comforting, but it is also hard work. While the patients and the general public may imagine that psychotherapy is nothing more than self indulgence or a crutch that disrupts our material lives, anyone who has been analyzed, as a student, or as a patient, can readily explain that rather than escaping from reality, we learn to face it more comfortably, with a greater sense of purpose and to be encouraged to have a more independent daily life.

The Psychoanalyst
There are literally hundreds of forms of psychotherapy available to the public today, so it would be wise to understand each of these specific formats before selecting a therapist. Unfortunately, much of what has been written or said about psychoanalytic therapy has been by people who have little experience of the modern advances in the
field of psychoanalysis. The psychoanalyst, as a professional, is the most rigorously trained of all therapists. In order to practice, a psychoanalyst must complete many comprehensive courses of theoretical training, complete a deep personal analysis, and than treat patients in the psychiatric setting under the supervision of a senior analysts. Although the bulk of this training is usually available at many universities and graduate schools, most psychoanalysts are trained at independent training institutes and than licensed after an certain amount of time has been successfully completed, which will be close to, or more than two thousand hours of supervision, depending on the State.
These privet institutions are run by senior analysts and are monitored by accreditation bodies such as the American Psychological Association. Moreover, psychoanalysts usually have had prior training as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or as nurse practitioners. Many of these senior analysts may hold the degree of M.D., Ph. D., Psy. D., M.S.W., or M.S.N.

Psychoanalytic training usually takes five to ten years because the trainee must experience the in-depth formats of treatment himself, as well as treat cases under supervision until his supervisors feel he is competent to practice independently. Unlike graduate school courses which normally last one or two semesters, this training continues until the student has met the vigorous demands of all the courses, and when the supervisors and teachers agree that the training is complete, as well as prepare for and pass the exam for licensure in his or her own state.
The Patient
Understanding the patient in need of treatment, although being the very nature of psychotherapy can be extremely difficult, especially when decoding the complex and often times enigmatic nature of the human psyche. Because of this, it becomes paramount that the therapist not stereotype his or her client with that of other clients in the past, either actual or theoretical, or those expressed in the DSM-IV or related periodicals as case studies. The therapist must explore all the various avenues and possible stressors that may be either the primary or secondary cause for the patient’s problem.
Of the main arenas of the human psyche Sigmund Freud and others explored during the later half of the 19th century, were the buried, unresolved situations, such as parental/sibling resentment, sexual frustration and self-esteem issues of the

unconscious mind, as well as the discovery of hidden meanings behind dreams and their associations became of great interest, and considered directly tied to the
unconscious mind ultimately became a primary tool for psychoanalysis. Also, the reality of early childhood events, which may have left an indelible residue on the unconscious mind, is believed to be directly related to many negative effects on the patient’s present psyche, which may be responsible for many aspects of pathology.
Other problems associated with the treatment process for both the patient and the therapist are the barriers of resistance, which can be seen in several forms, and the misconceived subject of transference, which can be viewed in either a positive, or negative manner, depending on the views of the therapist, or that of the counselor, are major situations that both professionals will experience during their treatment relationship. Therefore, understanding the many aspects, both the good and the bad of the psychotherapeutic and counseling professions become clear, and because these attributes and potential problems are of paramount importance, the following represents a brief representation:

Psychoanalysis and Understanding the Unconscious Mind

The unconscious is composed of many mental processes, wishes, needs, attitudes, memories, and beliefs not directly available to ordinary, or as some suggest, wakeful awareness. It is hard for many people to accept the idea of the unconscious, the idea that something not under their direct control might influence their lives. However, close examination of this shows that many of the choices in life such as a
spouse, friends, career, life style, and patterns of health are based upon motivations of which people are not ordinarily aware of. Many sad or angry childhood memories are
also relegated to the unconscious, although they still control some day-to-day behaviors. Handicapped by a lack of awareness of the unconscious motivations, people can become victimized by emotional reactions and seen through various symptoms that inhibit their daily lives. Psychoanalytic therapy, in most cases, allows the patient to become aware of these unknown mental processes through their behavior, dreams, slips of the tongue and various free associations.

Dream Association and Psychoanalysis

Dreams play a useful role in psychoanalytic therapy because they offer, as seen in Freud’s work entitled the “Royal Road to the Unconscious,” the dreams people
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express are most often that their unconscious needs, memories, conflicts and wishes of past and present situations. Dreams can also become an avenue of understanding to hidden aspects of the self when examined with the interpretive help of the analyst. The quintessential couch, although much misunderstood or misrepresented, is a useful tool in advancing the treatment process. For most psychoanalytic patients, it offers an opportunity to relax, undistracted by the therapist’s visible presence, and comfortably report thoughts, and feelings as they arise. The use of the couch also emphasizes that therapy is not just for social conversation, but for a specialized form of communication designed specifically to open up and promote healthy catharsis.

Resistance and Transference in Psychoanalysis

Dr Henry W. Beck, a psychoanalyst in privet practice from North Wales, Pennsylvania, who deals with patient’s suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder and eating disorders to men’s issues and family crisis situations, states, that during the course of every psychoanalytic therapy session, the patient sometimes demonstrates behavior that interferes with the progress of the treatment. This interference Dr. Beck is referring to is called resistance. Because psychoanalytic therapy helps the patient achieve freedom of thought and action by talking freely, the negative emotional forces that may cause the symptoms to manifest themselves as obstacles to psychotherapy, the patient may respond in the following manner:
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• Becomes unable to talk any further without development.
• The patient feels he has nothing to say.
• The need to keep secrets from his therapist.
• Withholding information from the therapist because he is ashamed of them.
• The patient may feel that what he has to say isn’t important.
• Patient repeats himself constantly.
• Refrains from discussing certain topics.
• Wants to do something other than talk…Talks only about thoughts and not feelings.
• Talks only about feelings and not thoughts.

These and many other forms of possible resistance keep the patient from learning about himself, growing and becoming the person he or she wants to be. Together, the patient and the therapist study the meaning and purpose of the resistance and try to understand the key to unlocking it and allowing the patient to continue growing in a positive manner. Modern therapists recognize that a patient may have a great need to resist, and therefore use a relaxed approach to aid him in overcoming the problem.

Psychoanalysts discovered early in their work that patients can have distorted views of their analyst, which may hinder the much needed trust factor for a positive session. An psychoanalyst with a quiet, reserved demeanor may be perceived as an oppressive tyrant, observing in an overseer manner instead of a caring person who is genuinely interested in the patient’s problems. In an Alternative situation, a patient may become convinced that the psychoanalyst loves him or her even though no such feeling has been expressed. These types of feelings usually come from attitudes toward significant individuals in a patient’s past such as parents, teachers, lovers or siblings. Sometimes the feelings toward the therapist represent actual feelings about a person in that patient’s past, and at other times the feelings are those of a desired, fantasy
relationship with a significant individual. While not all patients develop these classical forms of transference, many patients find it necessary to understand the feelings they have toward their therapist, as this aids in the understanding of current relationships, the need for personal growth, expectations of others and attitudes toward themselves.

Psychoanalytic Therapy and Early Life Events

Events in the first five to six years of life have an important and lasting impact on the development of an individual’s unique character. However, the origins of emotional distress may be based in traumatic childhood events, difficult family relationships, early maturational needs that were absent, or various negative events in life. The past is
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important only if it interferes with the patient’s ability to function in the present, so therefore, the therapist must help the patient whose emotional disorder is rooted in his or her childhood distress’ and grow out of it and than to assist the adult of these stressors to find, acceptance and closure.
Most people have read of Sigmund Freud’s landmark discoveries regarding the crucial role that sexual thoughts and feelings have in life. However, modern psychoanalysts recognize that anger, hostility, dependency, and many other motivations may be just as important in shaping personality. While Freud’s patients, mostly Victorian women, needed help to understand their sexuality, modern patients tend to have more difficulty coping with feelings of anger, loneliness, or the lack of a coherent sense of who they truly are.
Patients experience a wide range of emotions toward the therapist. Individuals who have received little love or understanding in life may respond to a therapist’s understanding attitude with feelings of love. Other frequent responses to the therapist include hatred, amusement, disinterest or extended periods of no feelings. Psychoanalytic therapy is usually appropriate for anyone who wants to have a happier
life with greater personal and emotional flexibility. Adults, children, couples, and whole families are frequently seen in psychoanalytic therapy sessions which may be a part of either private or group therapy. A wide range of emotional problems can be successfully treated with psychoanalytic therapy. Among them:
• Emotional pain, depression, boredom, restlessness.
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• An inability to learn, love, work, or express emotion.
• Irrational fear, anxiety without a known cause.
• Pervasive feelings of meaninglessness, emptiness, unrelatedness.
• Lack of goals, values, or ideals.
• The feeling of being overwhelmed by responsibility and unable to relax and play.
• An inability to set practical, reachable goals, and accept responsibility.
• Unsatisfying relationships with spouse, children, or parents.
• Inability to have friends or lovers.
• The feeling that life is totally out of control and that one is not master of one’s fate.
• An excessively controlled life, dominated by ritual and obsession.
• Compulsive overeating or an inability to eat enough for good health.
• Physical problems that have a psychological origin.
In retrospect, the patient of psychoanalytic therapy is a partner with his therapist in a unique exploration of his life, consisting of his past, his present and his perceived future, and because no two people are alike, no two treatments are alike, which counts

for the vast differences in therapeutic approaches. In most settings however, the patient often lies on a couch, or sits in a comfortable chair with the therapist just out of view, and talks. There are no specific topics…The patient can say anything he wants to say, but he doesn’t have to talk about anything he would rather not discuss. As the patient talks, he reveals the past, his present life situation and future plans. Dreams, fantasies, sexual thoughts, angry thoughts, and feelings about himself and others are shared in a comfortable, safe manner. Over the course of time, the patient is helped by the therapist to tell the emotionally significant story of the patient’s life and problematic situations, permitting unconscious motives, fears, and memories to become integrated into current life.
It is this form of communication, which, hopefully, transforms the otherwise medicinal realities of psychotherapy in general, into a more personable relationship filled with genuine warmth, understanding and most importantly, compassion. The psychoanalyst must create this particular atmosphere in order to offer the most to his or her patients. Furthermore, the main function of the psychoanalytic therapist is to listen carefully and attentively to the patient in order to understand him and facilitate an equal form of communication that will promote efficient catharsis. To this end, the therapist should use both intelligence and compassion to obtain verbal and nonverbal clues to the patient’s problems. The analyst must first understand these disguised communications and then transform them into information useful to the patient. To do
this, the therapist asks questions, confronts distortions, and does anything else needed to help the patient share his thoughts and feelings comfortably.
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Although there is no time limit on psychoanalytic therapy, some patients may have the best benefits from a short period of time, which can be six months or less, and others may wish to continue treatment for some years, where the average patient remains in therapy for a minimum of two years, but as long as five years. Staying in therapy longer is neither a sign of excessive dependence nor signifies a severity of illness. We know now that it takes a lifetime to develop the attitudes and specific character traits that contribute to emotional stress, and generally, although not always, time is required for making any positive change. And so, any therapist who promises change in a specified period of time is not being completely honest with his client.
In short, it is common that therapy is terminated when the goals of the patient have been achieved. When the patient is able to comfortably experience all of his feelings, both the good and bad feelings without having to act them out, and when he is able to comfortably relate all of these feelings to the analyst and act in his own best interest, the therapy is, theoretically complete.
Psychoanalytic theory and the therapy in this tradition have both evolved since Sigmund Freud. Freud placed his greatest theoretical emphasis on the study of the human sexual drive, in particular, the Oedipal phase of psychosexual development, which begins between the ages of four to six when a child falls in love with the parent of
the opposite sex. Since the time of Freud, greater emphasis has been placed upon the study of how an individual emerges into the world as a separate person with a sense of
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himself and positive self-esteem. Current theory also deals with aggression, early mother-child interaction, social relations, family dynamics and psychosomatics, which further this concept of the self.
Early Freudians only accepted relatively mature, neurotic patients for treatment, which were seen on a daily basis, rather than the larger spectrum of patients we see today. Moreover, the only interventions used by the analyst at the turn of the century were to be interpretations or explanations of a patient’s behavior, which were almost always based in the sexual format. Patients are generally seen less frequently today, giving the patient a more liberal basis of treatment, a feeling of self-reliance and analysts have more flexibility in their responses to a patient. In short, modern analysis is modified to meet the needs of the individual, rather than expecting the patient to conform to the analyst’s requirements.
Since the birth of Freudian analysis in the early 1900’s numerous approaches have been developed including those of Jung, Adler, Horney, Sullivan, Klein, Kohut, and Spotnitz. Each school of psychoanalytic therapy focuses on certain aspects of treatment or personality. The differences between these schools have become far less dramatic with time. Frequently, the differences between analysts trained in the same tradition can be equal to or greater than those between analysts of different schools.

A strong-willed person may certainly modify the symptoms of emotional problems by willpower, but the unconscious will most often express itself in a different symptom. Certainly many people have radically changed the form and substance of their lives
without psychoanalytic therapy, but emotional distress caused by unconscious conflict can only be adequately met by psychoanalytic therapy.
Most people have such a high degree of resistance that an insight gleaned by self-analysis tends to be either superficial or confirmed as healthy by already-held beliefs, so rather than promoting change, this person continues in this misleading ether of self-deceit. Of course, many have tried and benefited to some extent from self-analysis, but a regimen of regularly scheduled appointments, combined with the assistance of an experienced analyst, is vital to the process. In addition, much of who we are is determined by our relationships with other people. An analyst provides an opportunity to observe ourselves in a close relationship and safely try out new ways of relating to others.
Conclusion.

It would be obvious to say that not all therapists believe that there is a distinction between psychotherapy and counseling, yet as seen with this aforementioned outline, psychoanalytical theory has several differentials from the general counseling psychology format that should be recognized. C.H. Patterson, however, feels that it is almost impossible to make a distinction, believing that the definition of counseling

equally applies to psychotherapy and vice a versa, and in contrast, Arbuckle argues that counseling and psychotherapy are identical in all essential aspects, and still others
believe that there is a distinction. Psychotherapy is concerned with some type of personality alteration or change, where counseling is concerned with helping individuals utilize their full potential in coping techniques.

Arbuckle (1967) included Leona Tyler’s thoughts on the differences between counseling and psychotherapy. Leona Tyler attempts to differ between counseling and psychotherapy by stating, “to remove physical and mental handicaps or to rid of limitations is not the job of the counselor, this is the job of the therapist which is aimed essentially at change rather than fulfillment. (p. 82)

With Tyler’s beliefs about the differences between psychotherapy and counseling, we can see a black and white logic of those philosophical views, which go beyond the generalized opinion of both these areas of expertise and ideals, which are also supported by the modern scientific community and human services professionals alike. With these differences understood, we as professionals may have the opportunity to better assist and support the consumer population individually and as a whole.
Overall, the major difference here, are the time and focus factors faced in each individual approach found in psychoanalytic therapist and the mental health counselor.

The difference may be found with counseling, which deals primarily with the here-and-now/reality situations, as in opposition, which the unconscious past as the primary focus in psychotherapy. Moreover, counseling has been described as helping the patient in
developing more competencies in coping with life situations where as psychotherapy deals with the re-organization of one’s whole personality and soulful philosophies.
One must take a close look at the philosophies and practices between counseling and psychotherapy to distinguish whether or not there is a difference between the two approaches. Although many can not distinguish the differences between counseling from psychotherapy today, even many professionals, we must look at the vast differences with the primary and secondary goals we set for our patients, as well as be able to identify the ideals and practices as they are. Fortunately, after reading the research of these aforementioned psychoanalysts and authors, I realized that there are indeed major differences between counseling and psychotherapy. And, as these findings, although still debatable for some, as to the goal and outcome for the patient may be different, the importance of this subject, and the mental, emotional and even the spiritual health of the consumer population, our patients, becomes clear.

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References

Arbuckle, D. S. (1967). Counseling and Psychotherapy: An
Overview. New York: McGraw Hill.

Beck, H.W. Psychotherapy: Views and Ideas. The Patient and the Therapist. (n.d.) from Abraham A. Brill Library, http://www.nysa.org

Bettelheim, B. & Rosenfeld, A. (1993). The Art of the Obvious…Developing
Insight for Psychotherapy and Everyday Life. New York: Knopf.

Brammer, L . & Shostrom, E. (1977). Therapeutic Psychology: Fundamentals
of Counseling and Psychotherapy Third Edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
Prentice Hall.

Rogers, C. (1951). Client Centered Therapy. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

Shostrom, E. (1967). Man the Manipulator. Nashville, Tennessee:
Abingdon Press.


Introductory Works

Since it is impossible to cover the subject of psychodynamic theory in social work in a comprehensive way, the initial approach taken is to provide a list of introductory publications that together offer a comparative framework for reference on the subject, as well as offering current perspectives on the relationship between social work and psychodynamic theory more broadly. Berzoff, et al. 2011 offers an introduction to central psychodynamic perspectives used in social work practice, with special emphasis on the issues of race, culture, and gender. In a later work, Berzoff 2012 examines psychoanalytic ideas as these are applied to a social work framework in working with vulnerable populations. Borden 2009 provides an overview of central psychoanalytic concepts and theories in relation to various clinical situations and practice settings, while Brandell 2004 offers a historical overview of the relationship between clinical social work and psychoanalytic thought, as well as an examination of the therapeutic process, work with special populations, and various phenomena such as transference and countertransference. Goldstein 2001 comments on two important theoretical systems—object relations and self psychology—and how each theory may be applied to specific client situations associated with modern clinical practice in social work. The widely cited Mitchell and Black 1996 provides a synopsis of each of the major psychoanalytic traditions, while Pérez Foster, et al. 1996, in the authors’ examination of the role of culture in therapeutic relationships, offers a reaffirmation of what they believe to be psychotherapy’s commitment to progressive social change. Finally, Sudbery 2002 focuses on the most-essential dimensions of the client-worker relationship in clinical social work.

Berzoff, J., ed. 2012. Falling through the cracks: Psychodynamic practice with vulnerable and oppressed populations. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

Discusses the psychodynamic perspective from the standpoint of social work with vulnerable populations such as prisoners, orphans, and immigrants, and racial and gender minorities.

Berzoff, J., L. M. Flanagan, and P. Hertz, eds. 2011. Inside out and outside in: Psychodynamic clinical theory and psychopathology in contemporary multicultural contexts. 3d ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Provides an introduction to the major psychodynamic perspectives used in social work practice a discussion of race, gender, and culture in psychodynamic theories and a discussion of the psychodynamic treatment of several commonly treated clinical conditions (psychosis, personality disorder, mood and anxiety disorders, and trauma). First published in 1996 (Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson).

Borden, W. 2009. Contemporary psychodynamic theory and practice. Chicago: Lyceum.

Provides an overview of major psychodynamic concepts and theories and applies them to several clinical settings and situations.

Brandell, J. R. 2004. Psychodynamic social work. Foundations of Social Work Knowledge. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

Provides an overview of the psychodynamic perspective in social work historically, an introduction to the therapeutic process in psychodynamic social work, a discussion of the application of psychodynamic social work to special clinical populations, and a discussion of current research.

Goldstein, E. G. 2001. Object relations theory and self psychology in social work practice. New York: Free Press.

Introduces two of the predominant variants or schools of psychodynamic theory today, object relations and self psychology, and applies principles from these theories to the phases of social work practice with clients and to work with couples and families.

Mitchell, S. A., and M. J. Black. 1996. Freud and beyond: A history of modern psychoanalytic thought. New York: Basic Books.

Provides an overview of each of the major psychoanalytic traditions, situating each in its historical context. Case examples make each tradition come alive and provide an apt counterpart to the theoretical exposition of each model.

Pérez Foster, R., M. Moskowitz, and R. A. Javier, eds. 1996. Reaching across boundaries of cultures and class: Widening the scope of psychotherapy. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson.

Reaffirming psychotherapy’s roots in a progressive approach to social change, the authors describe work with clients previously thought to be unresponsive to psychodynamic therapy. Numerous examples guide the clinician to a better understanding of the role of culture in the therapeutic relationship.

Sudbery, J. 2002. Key features of therapeutic social work: The use of relationship. Journal of Social Work Practice 16.2: 149–162.

Argues that expertise in relationships is central to effective social work, whatever the setting, and conceptualizes relationships in psychodynamic terms. Analyzes the key components of the social worker’s use of the relationship with the client, in terms of attention to the client’s basic need, responsiveness to her or his aggression, and aid in the diminution of the client’s self-criticism.

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Psychoanalytic Perspective: Exploring the Human Mind through Childhood Analysis

Since the dawn of time human beings have been attempting to develop means of explanation for the actions of others as well as the internal mechanisms that direct and control the way we all think. However, it wasn’t until fairly recently on Earth’s timeline that individuals began to construct psychological theories through the exploration of events that occurred throughout an individual’s childhood. In the sections to follow, we will discuss the psychoanalytic perspective, including a definition of the theory, major theorists, important elements, stages of development, and defense mechanisms.

To learn more about the mechanisms of the human brain, take a look at this course on practical psychology.


Psychological Constructs and Treatment Interventions

Dennis Thornton PhD , Charles E. Argoff MD , in Pain Management Secrets (Third Edition) , 2009

8 What is the relevance of psychoanalytic theory to understanding the experience of pain?

Psychoanalytic theory divides the psyche into three functions: the id—unconscious source of primitive sexual, dependency, and aggressive impulses the superego—subconsciously interjects societal mores, setting standards to live by and the ego—represents a sense of self and mediates between realities of the moment and psychic needs and conflicts. Psychoanalytic writings discuss how pain frustrates the satisfaction of dependency and sexual needs as well as appropriate dissipation of aggressive feelings. The blocked expression of these needs leads to inner turmoil. However, when sanctioned as a bona fide physical problem, pain allows for unconscious gratification of ambivalent dependency needs. Underlying anger may be expressed indirectly, in the form of passive-aggressive behaviors, whereby the patient holds family members and treating practitioner alike as hostages to endless complaints and demands for attention. The experiences of pain satisfy the superego's need to suffer and atone.


Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality Explained

The Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality is an idea that the personality of an individual will develop in a series of stages. Each stage is characterized by certain and very specific internal psychological conflicts. It is a theory that can be characterized by 4 key points.

1. Human behavior is the result of three component interactions.
Freud described these three internal components as being the id, the ego, and the superego. It is the conflict within their interactions that helps to develop personality.

2. Most of the conflicts are unconscious.
People are not aware of how their three internal components are in conflict with each other, despite the fact that this conflict shapes the mind in terms of personality and even behavior.

3. Sexual identification can influence this conflict.
Freud identified five different stages of psychosexual development which he believed would influence the outcomes of the conflicts occurring through the id, ego, and superego.

4. Social expectations and biological drives must be integrated.
As children develop, there are certain social expectations that are placed upon them. These expectations may be at odds with what their biological drive is telling them to do. How a child navigates through this process allows them to master their stages of development and this helps to provide the foundation of a mature personality.

Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality often comes under criticism because of its primary focus on individualized sexuality identification. This emphasis then led to an importance on the dreams that a person has, what the interpretation of that dream might be, and the defense mechanisms that an individual might use to protect their biological drive against societal expectations that are counter to them.

The 3 Elements of Personality Structure

The Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality is dependent on the definition of the three elements of personality structure. Freud identified each element in this manner.

ID: This part of a person’s personality is driven by an internal and basic drive. It is essentially a need for self-survival and replication. This means the needs of the id are based on instinct: thirst, hunger, or a desire to have sex would all be considered part of this element of personality. The decisions within this element are often impulsive.

EGO: This part of the personality is driven by reality. It is the balance between the instinctual form of personality and the moral form of personality. The ego, according to Freud, rationalizes the urges and instincts of the individual and separates what is real from the restrictions that societal groups place upon individuals.

SUPEREGO: This personality element is driven by morality principles. It is where people are able to connect with logic and other forms of higher thought or action. Instead of making a decision that is based on instinct, an individual engaged with their superego would make a judgment on write or wrong and use guilt or shame to encourage behaviors that are socially acceptable in themselves or in others.

The key to unlocking an individual’s personality is the development of the unconscious mind. This is where the true feelings, thoughts, or emotions of an individual happen to be. In order to understand these components of personality, it becomes necessary to access the unconscious mind. According to Freud, dreams would be the place where people could do such a thing.

What It Means to Get Stuck in Freud’s Theory

Freud’s ideas about individualized personality development are dependent on the progression of the individual. Freud believed that are different stages that occur based on how a person’s libido is focused on specific, but different body parts. In his order of progression, there is oral, anal, phallic, latency, and then genital.

Only if people are able to meet all of their needs through every other stage will they be able to meet at the genital stage with any available sexual energy. If needs are not met in the other stages, then that individual becomes fixated within that stage until their needs are met.

If a person were to be stuck, the unconscious mind may attempt to communicate this fact through the use of dreams. It may also come out in the form of a Freudian Slip, which would show evidence of the ego or superego not working properly. This, in turn, would affect an individual’s personality because no progression could be made until the communication from the unconscious mind was addressed.

Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality does have limits. Environmental impacts are not included despite evidence of its influence. There is no empirical data to support the theory, and culture and its influence are disregarded. Despite these limits, the approach does offer an explanation for certain defense mechanisms and why they are used, showing how individual personalities can develop over time.


Benefits of Psychoanalytic Therapy

What makes psychoanalytic therapy different from other forms of treatment? A review of the research comparing psychoanalytic approaches to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) identified seven features that set the psychoanalytic approach apart.

  • Focuses on emotions. Where CBT is centered on cognition and behaviors, psychoanalytic therapy explores the full range of emotions that a patient is experiencing.
  • Explores avoidance. People often avoid certain feelings, thoughts, and situations they find distressing. Understanding what a client is avoiding can help both the psychoanalyst and the client understand why such avoidance comes into play.
  • Identifies recurring themes. Some people may be aware of their self-destructive behaviors but unable to stop them. Others may not be aware of these patterns and how they influence their behaviors.
  • Experience-oriented. Other therapies often focus more on the here-and-now, or how current thoughts and behaviors influence how a person functions. The psychoanalytic approach helps the people explore their pasts and understand how it affects their present and future.
  • Explores interpersonal relationships. Through the therapy process, people are able to explore their relations with others, both current and past.
  • Emphasizes the therapeutic relationship. Because psychoanalytic therapy is so personal, the relationship between the psychoanalyst and the patient is an important part of the treatment process.
  • Free-flowing. Where other therapies are often highly structured and goal-oriented, psychoanalytic therapy allows the patient to explore freely. Patients are free to talk about fears, desires, and dreams that they have never spoken of before.

Psychoanalytic therapy can also help you learn techniques for coping when future problems arise. Rather than falling back on unhealthy defenses, you may be better able to recognize your feelings and deal with them in a constructive manner.

As with any approach to mental health treatment, psychoanalytic therapy can have its pluses and minuses. Before deciding on this approach, it's important to take these factors into account.


So where do we go moving forward?

Freud is one of the founders of psychoanalytical (and psychodynamic) therapy, and as covered in a previous answer of mine, Freud's work is derived from empirical evidence and backed up with high profile journal articles, but his work is also seen as non-falisifiable under Karl Popper's criteria of falsifiability to distinguish science from nonscience (Popper, 1959).

In a scientific sense prediction refers to the ability of a hypothesis to accurately forecast what will happen under specific conditions. In order to test a hypothesis a scientist will make a prediction based on the hypothesis.

My argument on the predictability of mental health science is that not all outcomes can be predicted. Take survivors of abuse for example. It is well known that there are some who will go on to have mental health problems, and they last for many years. However some only suffer for a short time and some move on from the abuse without any adverse affects. A group of people can suffer the same "type and amount" of abuse (for want of a better phrase), at the same age and for the same duration, and each one of them can suffer differently. That surely throws scientific predictability out of the window as far as testing psychological theory is concerned. On the subject of predictability testing, with something like abuse it would be unethical to test predictability by subjecting test subjects with abuse and seeing what the result is so you would have to rely on case studies for this which is also a part of the problem with Freud's theories.

largely on the basis that psychoanalysts could easily deploy various defense mechanisms themselves and other psychoanalytic concepts to dismiss countervailing evidence.

and Hans Eysenck, an opponent of Freud, argues that

Freud's theories are falsifiable and therefore a science, though an incorrect one.

Whatever your standpoint is on Freud, I have seen plenty of questions on Psychology.SE about Freudian theory which I have provided well received answers to, so there seems to be a bit of contradiction here.

We need to define what pseudoscience is within Psychology.SE. If psychology is considered to be pseudoscientific in general, and pseudoscience is off-topic, does that mean all questions around psychology should be deemed off-topic within Psychology.SE? If not, considering @AaronWeinberg's hopes for agreement, for example,

we don't want to discourage/alienate professional clinicians of any school or discipline

how do we determine what psuedoscience within psychology is on-topic and what is off-topic? This may need to be explored in line with the Cognitive Sciences Reboot 2017: Call for action

My opinion is that the "pseudoscience" within Psychology should not be considered off-topic within Psychology.SE if Psychology is on-topic.


Psychology 1: A comparison between the psychoanalytic and humanistic approaches

This is some work that I put into my essay last term but figured it could be used for studying purposes also.

Introduction

Personality psychology is a branch of psychology that is widely studied due to the fact that the personality is the determinant of human behaviour and thought (Cherry, n.d.). This is the study of how as a whole, the features of a person come together and appear to be continuous, reappearing consistently throughout one’s life as their set, recognizable characteristics.

Personality is based on the tendencies that people have which creates commonalities or differences within their psychological behaviour (Comer, Gould, Furnham, 2013). It is comprised of the individual differences that people have in their characteristics (McLeod, 2014). This being said, these characteristics have continuity and thus will continue to come forward throughout one’s lifetime and will influence how they react to varying situations (Comer et al., 2013). It also is recognized to not be purely resulting from biological or social pressures at a particular time (Comer et al., 2013). These modern ideas relating to personality have only used or recognized for about 200 years and so this is a relatively new concept.

Personality is studied as the differences in characteristics of people and how these come together to form a whole, complete person (Ng, Chong, Ching, Beh, Lim, 2015). From these studies it has become evident that there are many theories which can aid in explaining the various standpoints of how personalities develop such as the trait approach, the social learning theory, the behavioural approach, the neopsychoanalytic approach and the cognitive approach. The theories that will be discussed in this essay are the psychoanalytic approach and the humanistic approach which successfully reflect how diverse the theories actually can be.

The Psychoanalytic Approach

This psychological approach was developed by Sigmund Freud (1956-1939) and is easily recognized due to its pessimistic view of human nature (Lahey, 2009) and the fact that it is claimed that personality structures are unconscious- which will be explored further later in this essay.

Freud claimed that people all underwent internal conflicts between instincts, their unconscious motives as well as past experiences and social norms- this in totality is what will influence the behaviour and characteristics of personality. When discussing human nature, the idea of psychic energy is brought to the forefront- this is what motivates people to either do something or not to do that thing (Larsen & Buss, 2012). Freud said that nothing simply happens by chance, everything is an “expression of the mind” (Lahey, 2009).

The instincts to which Freud refers to are either life instincts or death instincts. Life instincts are referred to as the libido and these are sexual instincts and those relating to self-preservation. Death instincts are linked to the aggression within humans. Freud claims that humans are all naturally very aggressive but the social rules and laws that are implemented are what actually stop us from acting out on our aggression (Larsen & Buss, 2012).

The conscious

The conscious is referred to throughout Freud’s works and is that which we know at all times. These thoughts and feelings are easily accessible and thus do not require much effort (Comer et al., 2013).

The preconscious

The preconscious simply put, is the information that you could bring forward into the conscious mind. It contains mental content that needs to be focused on specifically in order to be analyzed. Only when the information is needed for something can it be brought into consciousness and used (Comer et al., 2013).

The unconscious

The unconscious is that which you are unaware of. More specifically, it is the level containing most of what is stored in our minds and we can only access it in rare, exceptional circumstances. Freud stressed that this part was one of the most important aspects of the development of a personality (Comer et al., 2013). Everything that goes into this category are the things that society does not seem fit to include and thus those unacceptable thoughts are locked away here (Larsen & Buss, 2012).

The mind works through the conflict of three factors- the id, ego superego. The id and superego are polar opposites so there is the ego which takes the role of a mediator in the conflicts. An example of this interaction is when an infant is involved with their parents, the ego and superego will be developed and thus at some point they will no longer rely on them to make decisions but rather, they will be able to make their own decisions (Ng et al., 2015).

The id is completely unconscious and includes the instincts and libido (life instincts). The id is there simply to focus on one thing- the satisfaction of the physiological needs that one has. This works on reducing tension and maintaining a homeostatic level that one can live their best life possible with. The id operates on something called the pleasure principle- this means that the only things that will be done are those which bring the individuals themselves the feeling of pleasure. Immediate gratification is another large aspect which can be used to identify that something relates to the id. The id makes people selfish and inconsiderate and thus will only do what is good for them and not necessarily consider the effect that it could have on others (Comer et al., 2013).

The superego

The superego contrasts the id completely as it encompasses an internal moral code and a sense of right and wrong. Thus, it is greatly unlike the id since it is not inconsiderate. The self-control at this stage now comes from the threat of guilt and shame rather than the parental control which was previously there to keep one in check (Comer et al., 2013).

The ego is the mediator between the id and superego and is pressurized by these two factors as well as reality at an unconscious level (Comer et al., 2013). The ego aims to find a compromise or common standing that would allow both the id and superego to come to a decision which is most beneficial. If the ego cannot deal with the demands and conflict between the id and superego, anxiety becomes apparent. The ego finds and equilibrium between the longings of the id and the moral principles set out by the superego (Comer et al., 2013).

The Psychosexual Stages of Development

Freud proposed that development is linked directly to sex and aggression. In the first stage, the ‘oral stage’ the pleasure originates from eating and vocalizing. Next, in the ‘anal stage’, the pleasure comes from retention or repulsion of feces. In the ‘phallic stage’ between the ages of 3-6, the pleasure comes directly from touching and interacting with the genitals. The ‘latency period’ between the ages of 6-11 is where the individual learns to identify with their same-sex parent and does not get any sexual pleasure from any activities- this is suppressed from the ages of 6-11. Lastly, in the ‘genital stage’ when the individual reaches puberty, heterosexual attraction is developed- note: Freud did not consider situations where there were people who were homosexual, asexual or bisexual etc. The five stages will now be explored as the content of the essay allows for that (Comer et al., 2013).

Evaluation of the psychoanalytic theory

The psychoanalytic theory is a great contribution to the study of the theories regarding personality psychology. The idea of the unconscious was a new idea and had not previously been explored much prior to Freud’s work. The fact that development in childhood years greatly affects individuals even in adulthood was also a massive contribution to personality psychology. Although these positive contributions were made, there were many that are not seen as such, these are: the perception of women is not accurate and fair, there was not room left open for people to make choices, it was assumed that people have the same family structure and most importantly, it takes it for granted that all development is over by the time puberty is reached (Ng et al., 2015).

The Humanistic Approach

The humanistic approach contrasts so greatly with the psychoanalytic approach (which it is a response to) due to the mere fact that it is a lot more optimistic with regards to human nature (Lahey, 2009). The humanists decided that it is more important to focus on the potential that people have and how they have free will to make choices regarding their development. Maslow and Rogers were two humanists who suggested the ideas of “self-concept” and “self-actualization” as being a part of the overall positive nature and development of people (McLeod, 2007).

Abraham Maslow

Maslow stated that there is an opportunity for all individuals to grow and develop, fulfilling their ultimate potential. He believed that through working on fulfilling needs, the personality is developed (Comer et al., 2013). The needs that he recognized were arranged in a hierarchy where one works on the basic ones and once those are satisfied, moves on to the higher level (McLeod, 2007b). He also brought the idea that many psychologists have been focusing on biological factors perhaps too excessively and that they should consider the higher needs of people to get personal levels of fulfilment (Comer et al., 2013).

Carl Rogers

Rogers thought in the same way that Maslow did with regards to the overall positivity of human nature but differed in respect of the hierarchy of needs- Rogers felt that one should focus more on the idea of the ‘self’. Self-concept is how things are perceived to be and how we understand who we are (Larsen & Buss, 2012)- this is an idea of continuity that embodies people and was a part of Roger’s therapeutic practice (Comer et al., 2013).

All of this is related to how we view ourselves and how others view us. It develops due to how others recognize us and thus during early childhood it is completely necessary to have unconditional positive regard in order to develop successfully- this means that they need to receive acceptance from the adults around them no matter what happens in order to gain vital self-concepts and develop their personality successfully and develop their own personal worth (Comer et al., 2013). Many children at this stage recognize that acceptance is crucial and they develop their conditions of worth which can make them feel that they must meet criteria in order to be socially accepted. This can flow into adulthood which can be negative for their overall wellbeing. Rogers recognized that it was completely necessary for individuals to grow in a positive environment where transparency is embraced and where they were not being judged in order to develop correctly. Through all of this, it is possible to aspire to become the “ideal-self” where one becomes the person that they have always wished to be (McLeod, 2007a).

Evaluating the humanistic approaches

It can be identified that the theorists were perhaps too optimistic about human nature and that they oversimplified the factors involved in personality development. There is a great lack of biological references in the work and fail to include evolutionary thoughts. When looking specifically at Maslow’s theory, some psychologists find that it is a challenge to recognize whether or not it is actually correct to say that the needs to be fulfilled fall into the order that he claims that they ascend in (Comer et al., 2013).

Similarities between the two approaches

Although there are clear differences between the two theories, it is also evident that there are some similarities.

The first is that both theories do involve the importance of sex in development.

Both theories bring forward the notion that individuals are at the forefront of development. They are both stating that personality development is all to do with individuals and how they satisfy their needs and wants instead of saying that it is all an external occurrence (McLeod, 2007).

Both of the theories have been put under criticism. The psychoanalytic approach was criticized for the lack of empirical research as at the point of its development, there was not much prior research to refer to regarding personality psychology. The humanistic approach has been criticized for being too ambiguous- it is not easily identifiable whether one has fulfilled a need or not and can vary from person-to-person (McLeod, 2007c). Also, it lacks objectivity and refers to matters of common sense too often- thus lacking in empirical research just like the psychoanalytic approach.

Differences between the two approaches

It is a lot easier to identify the differences between the two contrasting theories as their core principles contradict.

Firstly, the psychoanalytic theory states that human nature is viewed in a very negative and pessimistic manner whilst the humanistic approach is more optimistic about human nature. Along with this consideration of human nature, there are differences in thought about the influence that society places on personality development (Lahey, 2009). In the psychoanalytic theory, humans are recognized as beings which have a selfish ‘monster’ inside of them which is actually simply a metaphor for the id. The id interacts with the pleasure principle solely and this is not really connected fully to reality. Freud claimed that in the unconscious, the most disgusting pleasures are locked away and only those censored erotic thoughts are in the preconscious or conscious levels (Larsen & Buss, 2012). On the other hand, the humanistic approach disregards the claims about the evilness of humans and rather focuses on their potential (Boeree, 2000).

The humanistic approach is different from the psychoanalytic approach because it does not claim that we have no control over our development (Comer et al, 2013). The humanists stated that motivation comes from trying to fulfil certain needs and by doing this, the personality develops. The psychoanalytic theorists believed differently as they claimed that motivation comes from the wants of the id- usually sexual in nature.

Both approaches give different views on how the personality develops. Psychoanalytic theorists would suggest that development occurs through stages between infancy and adulthood due to psychosexual development as the sexual energy from the id moves from body part to body part (Siegelman & Rider, 2012), . To contrast this view, the humanists believe that the personality will continue to develop throughout the life until they reach a point where self-actualization is achieved (Tay & Diener, 2011).

In summation, there are so many differences between the two contrasting approaches to personality psychology but yet there are still similarities between them. Through the diversity of the theories, it would be accurate to say that both theories have brought something unique to the study of personality psychology and will surely continue to have an influence in the development of personality psychology in the future.

Boeree, G. (2000). Abraham Maslow. Webspace. Retrieved August 22, 2015 from http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/maslow.html.

Cherry, K., (n.d.) Theories of Personality. About Education. Retrieved August 23, 2015 from http://psychology.about.com/od/psychologystudyguides/a/personalitysg_3.htm.

Comer, R., Gould, E., Furnham, A., (2013) Psychology. West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Lahey, B.B. (2009) Psychology: An introduction (10 th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Larsen, R. J. & Buss, D. M. (2012). Personality psychology: Domain of knowledge about human nature (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.


Does Psychoanalytic Therapy Really Work?

Over the years many people have questioned whether psychoanalysis really works. It has especially come under attack in recent years, as psychotherapy has become controlled by insurance companies, who bemoan any long-term treatment. Those who practice psychoanalytic psychotherapy have asserted strongly that it works. They point to qualitative improvements in social functioning, self-esteem, work relationships, and other such factors. And there are thousands upon thousands of case histories, written since the time of Sigmund Freud, that testify to its success.

However, the acid test of the efficacy of any method lies in the availability of hard evidence in the form of research. And, as it happens, we have two recent studies of psychoanalysis that offer evidence of its validity.

A study by Shedler in the February-March 2010 edition of the American Psychologist (put out by the American Psychological Association), examined the results of treatments using psychodynamic psychotherapy for a variety of psychological disorders. This was a meta-analysis that covered studies done around the world. It concluded that psychodynamic psychotherapy works as well as, or is at least equivalent to, other psychotherapy treatments deemed as supported by empirical evidence, such as CBT.

Prior to this study there was a meta-analysis of short-term psychodynamic therapy by Leichsenring and colleagues. published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 2004. This study looked at seventeen random controlled studies of treatment with depression, bulimia, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and various personality disorders. They measured results using the Hamilton depression scale and other such methods and found that symptoms improved when compared to control groups of patients on waiting lists or in non-psychodynamic therapies.

Of course, these days most psychotherapists, including most psychoanalysts, practice eclectic therapy, as no one modality is right for everybody. In my psychotherapy practice over 38 years, I have used behavioral and cognitive therapy as well as psychoanalytic therapy. I sometimes find that all three are needed with the same client, and that all can play an important role.

A person may have ongoing anger at a spouse, who may suffer from some form of depression that causes emotional paralysis and prevents getting a job. It then falls on this healthier individual to take responsibility for the family&rsquos income. On a cognitive-behavioral level I encourage the client to focus on the reality of the situation, which is that the spouse cannot look for a job because of the emotional problem, not because &ldquothe spouse is lazy.&rdquo

On a behavioral level I may also discuss the importance of detaching from the anger, noting that it is causing health problems. However, at the same time, on a psychoanalytic level I will focus on the transference&ndashthat is, on how unresolved anger at one&rsquos father (who had similar anger and paralysis) is now being displaced onto the spouse. All these approaches may be needed to bring about real change.

However, there is one ingredient of psychoanalytic therapy that has been there from the beginning and remains the special feature that makes it a vital form of therapy: the relationship between the client and the psychoanalyst. Clients, by being completely honest about their thoughts and feelings about the psychoanalyst, learn to understand themselves and how they relate to the analyst (and hence others) in an immediate way that goes right to the core of their issues. In doing this, they work through the misinterpretations (cognitive flaws) by being confronted with their immediate effect.

A client once came into treatment who would hardly talk for many weeks. There were long silences during which I would ask, &ldquoWhat are you thinking now?&rdquo Eventually the client got around to talking about how her parents had always been on her case as she grew up. In the treatment she was transferring her parents onto me and expecting me to be on her case if she told me too much. She also realized that she related to others in this same way. Thus the psychoanalytic method helped her to resolve some of her deepest issues right from the beginning.

Methods, however, don&rsquot do therapy people do. Methods are only as good as the people who use them. If you can form a good therapeutic alliance with a client, he or she will usually get better, no matter what the method is. If you can&rsquot form a good therapeutic alliance, no method will work.

Having said all this, the bottom line is that evidence does exist to support the benefits of psychoanalytic therapy. It does really work when it is done the way it needs to be done and when it is received the way it needs to be received.

As is so often the case, the doubts are not in the method, but in the mind of the beholder.


Watch the video: Οι 4 τύποι δεσμού και οι τρόποι που επηρεάζουν τις σχέσεις μας - Attachment Styles (May 2022).


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