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Psychoanalytic/ Psychodynamic Theory

Psychoanalytic/ Psychodynamic Theory

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Psychoanalytic/ Psychodynamic Theory

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  1. Psychoanalytic/Psychodynamic Theory FREUD

  2. Psychoanalysis • Theory of Personality • Method of Therapy • Technique of Investigation • Freud developed his theories based on intensive clinical studies of individual cases – women with hysterical symptoms

  3. Brief History 1856-1939 • 1881 – Practices medicine in neurology and nervous diseases • Basic research in “nerve” cells in simple animals  neurons- building blocks brain • Becomes interested in Breuer’s “talking cure” Anna O • Anna O - First client to receive psychological treatment (1880-1882)

  4. Anna O – 1859--1936

  5. Breurer’s Findings • Under hypnosisAnna connects symptoms to earlier traumas (that are repressed) • Refusal to drink – disgust seeing a dog drinking out of a glass • Hallucination while taking care of his sick-dying father • Re-lives the early emotional experience -------- hysterical symptoms disappear – catharsis

  6. Hypnosis vs. Free Association Therapy Goal: that patient remembers & re-lives “forgotten” traumatic experiences while awake --- free association Assumption: All behavior is purposeful, Therefore, Free associations, interpretedby the analyst, will lead to “forgotten” material  Unconscious

  7. Concept of Humans • Basic source of energy – Instincts • States of excitation in the body that seek expression and tension reduction • Biologically rooted • Source of all energy - libido • Behavior is purposeful— • determined by instinctual forces • goal is to seek pleasure and avoid pain But…..

  8. Society’s demands for restraint vs. instinct gratification • Direct Gratification – Possible sometimes • Sublimation – positive and culturally valued activities • Neurosis – maladaptive but more acceptable ways to the person or to society

  9. Instinctual energy exists in a state of tension created by opposing forces • EROSLife InstinctPreservation of self and species (Libido) • THANATOSDeath instinct Source of aggression and drive to die

  10. Levels of Awareness: Unconscious, Pre-conscious, Conscious • Unconscious -- Primitive • A-logical • Disregards time and space • Symbolic language • Many ideas may be condensed in one • Part = Whole • One whole = several objects

  11. Clinical evidence for postulating the unconscious • Dreams • Slips of the tongue – Freudian slip • Posthypnotic suggestions • Material derived from free-association • Material derived from projective techniques • Symbolic content of psychotic symptom • consciousness is only a thin slice of the total mind

  12. Implications of the Unconscious for Therapy • Significant part of our behavior is controlled by forces out of our awareness • Clients’ presenting concerns may not be the real problem to solve, but “symptoms” of the real problem • Symptoms are ways to cope with internal conflicts and unresolved issuesthat we may not be totally aware of

  13. Structure of Personality • Three psychic structures or mental functions that are grouped according to the role they play in the dynamic conflict • ID • EGO • SUPER EGO


  15. ID • Unconscious Biological Component • Base of instinctual life • Source of drive energy – Libido • Guided by pleasure principle, seeks gratification of instinct in action or fantasy • A-social – no regard for social norms • Life and death drives co-exist in dynamic tension

  16. SUPER EGO • Learned Aspect of Self, Ego ideal • Both conscious and unconscious • Moral aspect, guided by ideals • Lacks reality testing • Actions = Thoughts • Black –White judgments – no ability to compromise – Source of irrational guilt

  17. EGO • Conscious Aspect of Self –Reality Principle • Acts in the external world – behaviors • Site of perceptual cognitive skills • Mediates between Id and Super-Ego • Able to separate wish from fantasy • Tolerates tension and is able to compromise • Changes with time

  18. The Development of Personality • ORAL STAGE First year • Mistrust and rejection issues • ANAL STAGE Ages 1-3 • Anger, power, autonomy issues • PHALLIC STAGE Ages 3-6 • Related to later sexual attitudes and intimacy Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 4 (1)

  19. The Development of Personality • LATENCY STAGE Ages 6-12 • A time of socialization • GENITAL STAGE Ages 12-60 • Sexual energies are invested in life • Conflicts related to previous stages are re-awakened

  20. Erikson’s Stages of Development • Trust vs. Mistrust First Year Oral • Autonomy vs. Shame and doubt 1-3 • Initiative vs. Guilt 3-6 • Industry vs. Inferiority 6-12 • Identity vs. Role Confusion 12-18 • Intimacy vs. Isolation 18-35 • Generatively vs. Stagnation 35-60 • Integrity vs. Despair 60+

  21. Process of Psychic Life • Conflict is experienced for two main reasons: • Internal forces in dynamic opposition • Relationship with figures of authority and/or rigid super ego engender perceptions of danger which lead to repression of impulses and frustration • Conflict leads to Anxiety

  22. Anxiety • Painful emotional experience • Alerts Ego of danger • Classical Psychoanalyses: Emerges from the emotional repetition of the trauma

  23. Anxiety • The conflict may be between • ID-Ego Ego fears being overwhelmed by Id • ID-Super Ego Guilt, self-condemnation • Ego-Ego Aware vs. repressed Ego Desire/want versus fear, sense of threat

  24. Ego-Defense Mechanisms • Normal behaviors -- operate on an unconscious level to deny /distort reality • Help the individual cope with anxiety and prevent the Ego from being overwhelmed • Have adaptive value if they do not become a style of life to avoid facing reality Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 4 (4)

  25. Repression Denial Reaction formation Projection Displacement Rationalization Regression Intellectualization Sublimation Introjection Identification Compensation Defense Mechanisms

  26. Theory of Psychopathology (1/2) • When conflicts occur in early life, a fixation or “freezing” of development occurs • Person will have difficulty with the tasks of the stage in which conflict occurred • Conflicts at one stage influence the development of subsequent stages

  27. Theory of Psychopathology (2/2) • The experience of the conflict (then and now) generates ANXIETY • MECHANISMS OF DEFENSE help the Ego deal with the anxiety • Overuse of the defenses results in SYMPTOMSdisguised expression of repressed emotions and impulses

  28. Stage of Development and Trauma • 4/5 years + Neurosis • 2/3 years Obsessive/compulsive • First year Psychosis, Narcissistic, Borderline • Ego can handle the anxiety using the defenses, or • Ego is overwhelmed and person regresses to primitive, primary processes of thinking

  29. Therapeutic Objectives • Bring the unconscious conflict to awareness -- Resistance • Corrective emotional experience • Clients re-live past painful experiences under more favorable conditions to get a better solution to the conflict • The process involves • Catharsis – clients release of blocked emotions • Insight- client'sawareness and understanding of emotional reactions and use of defenses

  30. Resistance • Client behaviors that work against therapy progress • prevents the production of unconscious material • avoid dealing with painful emotions • Canceling appointments, terminating therapy prematurely, having nothing to say • Defense mechanisms: Denial, intellectualization, projection, rationalization • not connecting with feelings, blaming others, justify behaviors Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 4 (7)

  31. Psychoanalytic Techniques • Elicit Transference Relationship • The client reacts to the therapist as he did to significant others • To re-experience repressed memories and feelings • ANALYSIS OF TRANSFERENCE — allows the client to achieve insightinto the influence of the past on the present • Interpretation to lead to Insight • Therapist points out, explains, and teaches the meanings of what is revealed- connect unconscious to conscious- which leads to client’sinsight

  32. Psychoanalytic Techniques • Free Association • Client reports without censoring feelings & thoughts (to by-pass resistance) • Dream Analysis • “Royal road to the unconscious” to bring unconscious material to light • Confrontation & Analysis of Resistance • Helps client see secondary gain of behavior

  33. Counter-Transference • Therapists’ reactions toward the client • May be based on therapist’s unconscious issues • May interfere with therapist’s objectivity • Are inevitable • Therapist must monitor and manage counter-transference reactions

  34. Therapist: Blank screen, avoids ‘real relationship” to facilitate transference, increase objectivity in analysis

  35. Limitations Freud’s Theory • Reductionism and theory of instincts • Concepts are difficult to observe and measure empirically • Limited use in predicting behavior: goes from the adult back to the child • Socio-cultural limits • Based on women from higher SES • Victorian issues of sex and morality • Outdated gender role perspectives

  36. Contributions • Moved the study of “nervous diseases” to the realm of the psychological • Discovery of the Unconscious • Comprehensive complex theory • Has generated much study and continues to evolve • Basic tenets have been incorporated in modern theories

  37. Amygdala – receives perceptual stimulus directly; storages emotional memories • Prefrontal cortex- declarative memory- conscious recollections of past events, things, persons

  38. Pathways of Emotions: Fear