Concepts Used by Freud for Psychodynamic Counseling

Pages: 8 (2584 words) Published: April 13, 2010
Outline Freud’s main concepts and consider these concepts in relation to the counselling process. Compare with other psychodynamic theory/theorists. Freud’s psychoanalysis was the original psychodynamic theory, but the psychodynamic approach as a whole includes all theories that were based on his ideas, including those of contemporary theorists such as Jung (1964), Adler (1927) and Erikson (1950). This essay will look at Freud’s main concepts and how these concepts are relevant to the psychodynamic counselling process going on to compare these concepts with those of another psychodynamic theorist, Erikson. Psychodynamic theory is a complex and involved theory of the human condition and the mind which I am learning includes several key concepts particularly relevant to the clinical counselling process including ego states, transference and counter transference, defence mechanisms and the notion of past and present links. Freud came to see personality as having three structures, which work together to produce all of our complex behaviours: the id, the ego and the superego.  All 3 ego states need to be well-balanced in order to have good store of psychological energy available to enable an equilibrium to benefit mental health. In the Freudian structure of personality the id represents our base instincts. It acts according to the pleasure principle, seeking instant gratification, avoiding pain or displeasure. In Freud’s view, the id is totally unconscious; it has no contact with reality. As children develop they experience the demands and constraints of reality, a new structure of personality emerges- the ego. The ego separates what is real it helps us to organize our thoughts and make sense of the world. It acts in accordance to the reality principle, seeking to satisfy the ids needs in a realistic way. The id and the ego have no morality. The superego is the Freudian structure of personality that is the moral branch of personality. The superego takes into account whether something is right or wrong . The superego as what we often refer to as our “conscience” punishing perceived misbehaviour with feelings of guilt. In skills practice we worked in tripods, counsellor, client and observer we were each watching for ego states. In the role of counsellor I could identify ambivalence with the client between the id and the superego. The id wanted freedom from responsibility always seeing to others, conflicting with the superego being overly responsible in seeing to other people’s needs and the stress that comes with that. The ego was realistic in expressing no recognition from others while working out of the superego, she also has needs and self care which where being neglected. I could see how all three were working in conjunction with each other. I found this very helpful from a counsellor point of view as I could identify where the client was in conflict and working out of each ego state. It’s also important in the counsellor role to check the ego is consistent while working with clients, if in id or superego state this would be transference of the counsellor’s own issues being triggered. It would be brought to supervision One of Freud’s most potent theoretical insights involves the concept of transference which is characterised by the unconscious redirection of feelings, retained from childhood, from one person to another. Freud highlighted its importance in psychoanalysis for understanding of the patient's feelings. It is common human trait for people to transfer feelings from one person to another for example from their parents to their partners or to children. For instance, a person could mistrust somebody who resembles an ex-spouse in manners, voice, or external appearance; or be overly compliant to someone who resembles a significant other, mother, father, teacher. In the counselling context, transference refers to redirection of a client's feelings for a significant person to the counsellor. Transference is often manifested...
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