Psychoanalytic and Adlerian therapy

Topics: Alfred Adler, Sigmund Freud, Psychoanalysis Pages: 7 (1479 words) Published: October 17, 2014


Comparison of Psychoanalytic Therapy and Adlerian Therapy

Comparison of Psychoanalytic Therapy and Adlerian Therapy
Psychoanalytic Therapy
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was the founder of the study of psychoanalysis also known as the unconscious mind. Freud devoted most of his life formulating his theory of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis assumes a hierarchy of levels of consciousness: conscious and unconsciousness. Conscious is the part of the mind that holds what we’re aware of. Unconscious stores all experiences, memories, and repressed material, and it has influences on our actions and our conscious behavior (Corey, 2013 p.66). The psychoanalytic approach include the structure of a mental framework of personality that being the Id, ego, superego, three connecting systems that constantly interact with one another in order to regulate the behavior of the individual. The Id is the primary source of psychic energy and the seat of the instincts. It is ruled by the pleasure principle, which is aimed at reducing tension, avoiding pain, and gaining pleasure (Corey, 2013 p. 65) The ego is the component that is responsible for dealing with reality. It is ruled by the reality principle, the ego does realistic and logical thinking and formulates plans of action for satisfying needs (Corey, 2013 p. 65) The ego develops from the id to ensure that the impulses of the id can express in a manner acceptable in the real world. The superego works with both the id and ego by inhibiting the id impulses and persuading the ego to substitute moralistic goals for realistic ones. Anxiety is a major concept in the psychoanalytic approach. Anxiety is a feeling of dread that results from repressed feelings, memories, desires, and experience that emerge to the surface of awareness (Corey, 2013 p. 69).

Freud developed the chronological phases of development also known as the psychosexual stages. There are three early stages of development that Freud believed often bring people to counseling when not resolved appropriately: oral, anal, and phallic stage. The oral (first year of life) stage deals with the inability to trust oneself and others. The anal stage (ages 1-3) deal with the inability to recognize and express anger. The phallic stage (ages 3-6) deals with the inability to accept one’s sexuality (Corey, 2013 p. 69). According to Corey, Freudian psychoanalytic view the first six years of life as crucial to the formation of an adult personality.

The role of the therapist is to encourage the client to talk about whatever comes to mind and to also let the client gain insight by relieving and working through the unresolved past experiences that comes into focus during sessions. Therapists usually assume an anonymous kind of role, also known as the “Blank-Screen” approach, where they limit self-disclosure that will then promote a ‘transference relationship’ in which their clients will make projections onto them (Corey, 2013 p. 72). One of the functions of the therapist is to assist the clients acquire freedom to love, work, play, achieving self-awareness, honesty, obtain more effective relationships, deal with anxiety in a realistic way, and gaining control over impulsive and irrational behavior. The therapists listens, learns, and decides when to make appropriate interpretation. A function of interpretation is to uncover unconscious material (Corey, 2013 p. 73).

Clients going through classical psychoanalysis must be a voluntary client because of the intensive and long-term therapy process clients must want and be willing to put fourth the effort to do the hard work. After engaging in a few sessions with the therapist, the therapist will then ask the client to lie on a couch and engage in “free association”. Free association is when the client is asked to say whatever comes to mind without self-censorship, also known as “fundamental rule” (Corey, 2013 p. 73).

Adlerian Therapy
Alfred Adler (1870-1937) early...
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