Psychoanalytic therapy The Basic Philosophies
Human beings are basically determined by psychic energy and by early experiences. Unconscious motives and conflicts are cen-tral in present behavior. Irrational forces are strong; the person is driven by sexual and aggressive impulses. Early development is of critical importance because later personality problems have their roots in repressed childhood conflicts.
Humans are motivated by social interest, by striving toward goals, and by dealing with the tasks of life. Emphasis is on the individual's positive capacities to live in society cooperatively. People have the capacity to interpret, influence, and create events. Each person at an early age creates a unique style of life, which tends to remain relatively constant throughout life.
The central focus is on the nature of the human condition, which includes a capacity for self-awareness, freedom of choice to decide one's fate, responsibility, anxiety, the search for mean-ing, being alone and being in relation with others, and facing the reality of death.
The view of humans is positive; we have an inclination toward becoming fully functioning. In the context of the therapeutic re-lationship, the client experiences feelings that were previously denied to awareness. The client actualizes potential and moves toward increased awareness, spontaneity, trust in self, and inner-directedness.
The person strives for wholeness and integration of thinking, feeling, and behaving. The view is nondeterministic in that the person is viewed as having the capacity to recognize how earlier influences are related to present difficulties. As an experiential approach, it is grounded in the here-and-now and emphasizes personal choice and responsibility.
Normal personality development is based on successful res-olution and integration of psychosexual stages of develop-ment. Faulty personality development is the result of inadequate resolution of some specific stage. Anxiety is a re-sult of repression of basic conflicts. Unconscious processes are centrally related to current behavior.
Key concepts of this model include the unity of personality, the need to view people from their subjective perspective, and the importance of life goals that give direction to behavior. People are motivated by social interest and by find-ing goals to give life meaning. Other key concepts are striv-ing for significance and superiority, developing a unique lifestyle, and understanding the family constellation. Ther-apy is a matter of providing encouragement and assisting clients in changing their cognitive perspective and behavior.
Essentially an experiential approach to counseling rather than a firm theoretical model, it stresses core human condi-tions. Normally, personality development is based on the uniqueness of each individual. Sense of self develops from infancy. Focus is on the present and on what one is becom-ing; that is, the approach has a future orientation. It stresses self-awareness before action.
The client has the potential to become aware of problems and the means to resolve them. Faith is placed in the client's ca-pacity for self-direction. Mental health is a congruence of ideal self and real self. Maladjustment is the result of a discrepancy between what one wants to be and what one is. Focus is on the present moment and on experiencing and expressing feelings.
Emphasis is on the "what" and "how" of experiencing in the here-and-now to help clients accept all aspects of themselves. Key concepts include holism, figureformation process, aware-ness, unfinished business and avoidance, contact, and energy.
Limitations of the Approaches The Therapeutic Relationship Goals of Thera apy
To make the unconscious conscious. To reconstruct the basic personality. To assist clients in reliving earlier experiences and working through repressed...
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