Psychological Therapies: Psychoanalysis

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  • Repression and the unconscious mind
  • Psychoanalysis is based on the assumption that people are unaware of the facts that cause their behaviour, emotions and general mental health. Some of which happening at an unconscious level.
  • Referred to as 'insight therapy' because of belief that if a person understands their past, and the influence of it on their behaviour, then they will be able to deal with problems better in their present life. 
  • Therapist attempts to trace unconscious factors to their origin so the person can deal with them. 
  • e.g. An adult struggling to form intimate relationships may link it to troubles in childhood relationships.
  • Free Association
  • The patient expresses thoughts as they occur, even if they seem irrelevant. 
  • Freud believed the value of free association lies with the belief that associations are determined by unconscious factors. Brings areas of conflict into consciousness.
  • Therapist Interpretation
  • Therapists listen as their patients talk, looking for clues and drawing tentative conclusions about a possible cause of the problem. 
  • Patients may initially resist or may even display 


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