Therapy for normal and abnormal clients

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  • Created by: Hannah
  • Created on: 16-05-10 12:46

Psychodynamic concepts to mental health- Causes

  • Repression of traumatic events- repression in childhood= source of unconscious anxiety in aldulthood

EVIDENCE: multiple personality disorder and fugue supports repression and its effects.

  • Sublimation into somatic symptoms- underlying axiety symbolically expressed into hysteria (a disorder to the nervous system for which no physical neurological cause is found)

EVIDENCE: Case Study of Anna-O.

  • Regression- irrational id dominaters and there is no ego to make contact with reality. Adulthood depression,

EVIDENCE: many studies link parental loss and childhood trauma with a later mental disorder but are unable to distinguish between repression and regression

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Psychodynamic concepts to mental health- Treatment

1) Identifying the problem- Freud uses 3 methods for unrooting the unconscious causes of disorder:

  • Free association- thought associations expressed from client to analyst without inhinbition may have clues regarding cause of unconscious anxiety. Pauses or drying up of associations= unconscious resistance being met
  • Dream Analysis- unravelling the the symbolism of the manifest content of the dream (what was remebered), the latent content (what it actually meant) could be revealed.
  • Behaviour interpretation- slips of the tongue and abnormal behaviour due to unconscious causes.
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Psychodynamic concepts to mental health- Treatment

2) Producing improvement achieved by:

  • Catharsis- discharge of emotion (pyschic energy) associated with repressed impulses or traumatic memories brought about improvement.
  • Transference- the process whereby unconscious feelings of love and hate are projected onto the analyst. These feelings provide a basis for identifying, accepting and discussing the anlayst's interpretation of the problem.
  • Insight- increases ego control over revealed unconscious causes.
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Should people undergo psychoanalysis?

+Aims of Psychoanalysis: revealing our unconscious desires would improve our development as we are not wasting energy dealing with our unconscious therefore abnormal clients would benefit from Psychoanalysis.


- Webster suggested that Freud and Breuer may have misdiagnosed their patients and those that were supposedly cured (Anna-O) continued to show symptoms after treatment. Nowdays such patients would have been diagnosed with physical disorders e.g. Anna-O - epilepsy, M-I stomach pains caused by stomach tumour not hysteria.

- Having the opportunity to talk to someone about your problems alone could have improved patients symptoms and since Pyschoanalysis took so long, the symptoms may have spontaneously recovered (disappeared on their own) without the 'story' behind their problems. +- befitial to the patient to share burdens on a non-judgmental person in a safe environment

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Should people undergo psychoanalysis?


+ Smith and Glass (1977) showed psychoanalysis is more effective than no therapy at all for most people, but has slightly lower success rates than other therapies.

+ Freuds general theory suggests anyone would benefit from psychanalysis as it focuses on fixations during P.S.O.D.

+ Leichserring and Leibing (2007)- Psychoanalysis is as affective as other therapies

- Therapy expensive and time consuming- not avaliable to all. It can also be disruptive to our lives.

-Ethically- can be distressing for the patients but all therapies have this problem.

- Ethically- client unable to withdraw as refusing or leaving the therapy could indicate ego defence against uncovering hidden tuths

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