Professor Patricia Addesso
March 21, 2011
Psychotherapy Approaches within Treatment
Overwhelming events are abundantly overflowing in today’s society. Both positive and negative events affect society in numerous ways. Depending on the specific circumstances of an event, both personally and socially, a person’s emotions can alter from one emotion to another. Many people are able to manage his or her emotions with a support system which could include family and friends. Others may choose to seek a therapist or counselor outside of his or her support system. Psychotherapy supports an individual’s need or want of changes within his or her personal life. In order for a person to bring about the desired changes with a psychotherapist one of four types of primary approaches within therapy must be applied. The primary goal of psychotherapy is usually to alter changes within behavior by utilizing theories to support a person with overcoming problems or negative emotions.
Over 400 different types of diverse theories can be utilized by a therapist. All of the diverse theories are used to assist an individual with coping and understanding his or herself within the past, present, and future. The four primary approaches used within therapy are: psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic. The psychodynamic approach is generally used to assist individuals with defense methods to safe guard his or her self from emotions or behaviors that are impulsive and sometimes unconscious. The behavioral approach focuses more on actually altering a client’s behavior so that he or she can re-learn skills that the individual may have forgotten, but are necessary to function. Cognitive approaches within therapy assist clients to think in different ways by altering the individual’s personal dysfunctional cognitions that he or she may have. Humanistic therapy utilizes the philosophical view of the client’s own personal responsibilities. All therapists are skilled in different areas of training and use different methods, but one of the aforementioned primary approaches is almost always utilized (Feldman, 2009).
Psychoanalysis is categorized under Freudian psychotherapy which is founded on the theory that every person has withdrawn or hidden feelings within his or her self. When using psychoanalysis, the primary goal is to find a way to discharge the withdrawn or unconscious thoughts so that a person can decrease the authority of the controlled behaviors inside of his or herself. The therapist works on helping the client become aware of his or her subconscious feelings which helps eliminate stress and anxiety. Sigmund Freud believed that an individual’s personality was made up of three different systems that he labeled the id, ego, and the superego. Each of the three systems has a different function, but do work together to preside over a person’s behavior.
The id is described as the personality development within a newborn child and is unconscious. The ego and superego grow and develop from the id. The id embraces the biological impulses within a person which can include the need to eat, drink, sleep, and sexual pleasure. Regardless of external conditions, the id searches for instant gratification. During childhood the ego becomes present when the child learns that actual impulses are not always able to be met when wanted or needed. The ego accepts the reality of a situation within the conscious self. The superego symbolizes the ethics, values, and morals within a society and chooses whether an act is right or wrong. The superego can also be referred to as a person’s actual conscience. The superego grows and develops through consequences and awards learned through standards of the individual’s society (Feldman, 2009). Contemporary approaches used within psychodynamic therapy look for ways to reduce the unnecessary time consumed utilizing Freud’s theory which was...