Counselling - Lee

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Karen Lee the counselee is a middle age, middle class housewife with 3 teenage kids who reported general dissatisfaction over her uneventful and predictable life. The therapist in attempt to help her has studied her through psychoanalytic and cognitive behavioral therapies. The difference between these two therapies is very obvious in their length of treatment approach with psychoanalytic therapy requiring longer treatment period. Both also have differences in their substantial grounds such as in their rudimentary assumptions, views of assessment, therapeutic goals and established therapy processes.

Psychoanalytic Therapy Applied to the Case of Karen Lee

For Karen Lee, the psychoanalytic therapy would center on the unconscious psychodynamics of her behaviors (see Yeo [Lesson 2] 2011, pp. 36). Attention should be given to that which she appears to repress. She is neurotically anxious because of the general dissatisfactions in her life which give rise to her personality problems. (see Yeo [Lesson 2] 2011, pp. 37). She wonders how the years have gone in her life and always complains about her uneventful and predictable way of living. Other than her psychosomatic illness, she also alienates herself, feels depressed and is overweight (Yeo [Assignment] 2011, pp. 1). It is obvious that Karen is fixated to her (past) first three stages of psychosexual development which affected her subsequent personality development during her first six (biological) years. (Corey 2009, pp. 65-68; see also Yeo [Lesson 2] 2011, pp. 39).

Karen grew up in a very structured and disciplined home with a distant, authoritarian, and rigid father and critical and hard-to-please mother. (Yeo [Assignment] 2011, pp. 3). This has resulted her having a depreciated self-concept despite her having a degree in special education. Her identity as a person is no more than her being a mother, a wife and a student (Yeo [Assignment] 2011, pp. 1). She reported having difficulty in making and keeping friends and she feels socially isolated on account of her weirdness which shows that she is unable to develop close social relationship. (see Yeo [Assignment] 2011, pp. 1 and 3). She also shows signs of being fearful of a love relationship largely because she was not allowed to date until later in her life. Then her being married to the first person she had dated might construe as a sign of conservatism. (Yeo [Assignment] 2011, pp. 3). She is observably not recognizing her own power as a person since she does not know what she wants to be now and in the future (cf. in particular Yeo [Assignment] 2011, pp. 1). Just like her own mother, she became a full time mother thus showing her lacks sense of autonomy. (Yeo [Assignment] 2011, pp. 3) She fears of being alone (Yeo [Assignment] 2011, pp. 2) especially should she rock the boat. Clearly she also does not know her own sexuality, largely because she played with an opposite sex when she was six years old for which she earned rebuke and cold shoulders for weeks from her father, resulting in the feeling of guilt that was never resolved (see Yeo [Assignment] 2011, pp. 3).

The blank-screen approach is preferable in this case so that there is a possibility of fostering a relationship between Karen and the therapist (see Corey 2009, pp. 69). Such relationship would make Karen bring to surface the feelings that she associates with significant persons in her past – the “grist for the mill,” as it were, and the analysis of which is truly essential to therapeutic work (Corey 2009, pp. 69). The therapist can assumes that her present personality problems are product related to her parents and how her parents brought her up.

The blank-screen approach has ensuing analytic process that can make Karen’s unconscious conscious (Corey 2011, pp. 69-70; Yeo [Lesson 2] 2011, pp. 44). Karen would be freed from the control of the unconscious. As the therapy makes her talk extensively on her childhood, Karen is given a...
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