Psychodynamic Study in detail 2: Axaline case study of Dibs

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  • Psychodynaic study in detail 2: Axline case study of Dibs (1946)
    • Aim
      • To use play therapy to help Dibs unlock his problem and fulfil his potential
    • Case description
      • Dibs was a case study of one small boy who did not join in at school, would not be taught and was violent towards others
      • A teacher did not think Dibs was lacking in intelligence but Dibs was destruptive and would have to leave school.
      • Axline was called to try to help Dibs and she used a therapy that allowed Dibs to be himself and play as he liked.
    • Case analysis
      • Dibs talked to Axline and was very clear he was intelligent and read well for his age.
      • Axline discovered that Dibs mother has thought he might have learning difficulties so she spent a lot of time in the early years testing him.Axline thought that prahaps this excessive testing and anxiety
      • Father seemed not to love him and critisised him alot. had lead him to withdrawing
      • Dibs worked through his anger by using play and symbols.This linked to freuds idea of unconscious thinking.
      • Dibs behaviour could have come from demands of the ID becuase the SUPEREGO had become over controlling through his parents expectations
      • The ID had been repressed and needed to be released. As Dibs was also 5 years old and wanted to get rid of his father this can also be related to the oedipus complex.
    • Evaluation
      • Weakness
        • Difficult to test reliability because Dibs will never be 5yrs again. There are links to theory but difficult to apply
      • Positive
        • Shows that three parts of the personality need balancing
        • Shows that if problems acted out a balance can be achieved. Qualitative data, rich in-depth witch acutal words used by Dibs. Used many different methods, questionnaires, interviews,observations and play therapy so there is high validity


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