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Therapeutic process in Psychoanalytic Therapy

Discuss about the Repor for Counselling Theories for Treating Mental Disorders.

In simple words, we can explain the Psychoanalysis is the branch of psychology that mainly focuses on treating mental disorders that occur between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. To understand the Psychoanalytic Therapy, it is important to analyze the conscious and unconscious mind of a person (Forrester, 2008). The conscious mind is the one that includes the current memories, thoughts, awareness and observations. The unconscious mind contains those things that conscious mind is not aware like suppressed desires.

The famous psychologist Freud’s who introduce psychoanalysis theory divides the human psyche into three parts-

Ego – It develops with the life experience that shows in your personality towards the society.

Superego- Superego is hidden in your unconscious mind that helps a person in making the distinguish right from wrong and the ideal view of yourself, i.e. ego-ideal.

Id-  The id feature of personality is totally unconscious that includes the incentive and original behavior of an individual.

In this essay we are taking a case study of Peter a single, 40 years old is experiencing serious interpersonal conflicts and how the Psychoanalysis therapy treatment beneficial for him in by explaining the process, approach, any limitation regarding the use of this therapy.

Peter, a single 40-year-old is experiencing an interpersonal conflict at home and workplace. As his mental condition is disturbed while implying the psychoanalytic therapy for his treatment, let’s analyze his interpersonal conflict reason at workplace and homes.

The main cause of having involved in the conflict is maybe his loneliness as he is single at the age of 40. At this age, he realizes the need of life partner who share with him the feeling of togetherness. Due to his loneliness, he becomes frustrated, even on small things and gets irritated easily at a workplace that occur the interpersonal conflict. He does not get, the healthier environment at home as well as at the workplace due to his distressful and egoistic nature. He always loses his self-tempered, easily and depressed all the time.

According to him no one understands him properly and treat him as a troublesome person.

Psychoanalytic therapy is also named as talk therapy, which has long been used as an effective for addiction treatment. It is a long-term process that helps the Peter to identify and to deal with emotional issues (Blatt, 2013). In Psychoanalytic therapy certain points emphasize in the process of Peter treatment- –

The Stages of treatment

There are some factors that lie outside of the Peter responsiveness and conscious thoughts.

How to express the feeling, emotions and experiences in life also have a large impact on behavior and thoughts.

 The past experience of Peter shaped his present situation.

As Psychoanalytic Therapy recognizes the link between the mental and physical condition of Peter, and its interconnected the mind and nature of the body, it serves as a useful tool in the recovery process (Crumbley, 2015).

The Stages of treatment

The stage of treating the patient like Peter is categorized into three levels, i.e. the early or initial stage, the middle age and the final or the termination stage.

  1. The Early stage

Under this stage, the information regarding Peter is recorded. The initial information that includes his likes, dislikes, day schedule, his friends, employees, his standard of living and the other information that is necessary for future reference are to be recorded. In this stage the rule of therapy is explained, regarding the patient as well as the therapist responsibilities (Comins, 2003). The initial information to the treatment process may be recorded by the therapist as for the future or current references.

  1. The Middle stage- The middle stage is the vital part of the treatment, as at this stage, the transfer replies and the resistance to treatment become more distinct. In this stage, the therapist uses different techniques to increase the awareness into Peter behavior. These techniques are as follows-

In this technique the Peter verbalizes his thoughts and feeling without any editing and therapist analyze a pattern that is linked with the words. (Altstein, 2015). The therapist encouraged the Peter to say anything that comes to mind when some words give to him, for example-

The Therapist says the word “home” and Peter spontaneous replies says “loneliness”

Again Therapist says “life” Peter says “dull”

The therapist says office Peter says “hell”

This technique is used to uncover the unconscious desires that have been locked in the conscious mind of Peter.

The main goal of this technique is to make the unconscious material into conscious and provide insight and understanding (Wright & Abrahams, 2015).

Dream Analysis

 Under this technique, the therapist analyses the dreams of Peter as Psychoanalytic Therapy believes repressed feeling can be expressed in human dreams. For example-

The therapist asks Peter to write down any dream he has had and to bring it the next day of a treatment session with him. At night Peter had a dream that he was on the beautiful island all alone. He invites all of his friends, colleagues and dear ones on that island. It was a party going on and everybody was dancing with their partners (Balter, 2015). Suddenly a beautiful girl came and who was unknown to him and hold his hands and ask him to dance with her. They were dancing and enjoying and Peter was very happy. Suddenly a dreadful earthquake came with heavy rain and everyone got panicked and running here and the Peter got freighted and he got locked himself in a room after some time he came out he saw that there was nobody in his dream he was searching that girl and his friends but no one was there and he was crying like a mad person.

Free Association

The Therapist asked the Peter to do some free association with him about the dream.

The response continues in a similar manner and leads to an interpretation of the dream. It appears that the Peter is repressing the feeling of loneliness and single (Wachtel, 2012). This interpreting of dream uncovers the repressed material and also provides insight into Peter current functioning.

As, this therapy believes that in dreams repressed emotions, thoughts, and feeling can be expressed by dreams, hence the main goal is to analyze the Peter unconscious thoughts.

This technique allows the Peter to re-experience his past feeling in front of the therapist. This is considered to be valuable to the therapist as while talking about the past experience by the Peter may get him annoyed or lose his self-tempered and that need to be resolved (Sander, 2004).

As the level of ego is high in the behavior of Peter and this operates with the goal of enhancing the capabilities of ego.

 Resistance

 In this technique all forces that do battle with the treatment in a challenge to protect the status quo of the Peter obsession. Generally motivated by concern and the unconscious avoidance of painful affects, ideas, wishes, and fears present in Psychoanalytic therapy.

Last stage

In the final stage, the changes that occurred in Peter personality are combined and new behaviors are coagulated. Old memories are clearly understood in the context of his past. Conflicts resulting in maladaptive behavior at home and at the workplace, which was reassured in the therapy treatment with the therapist, are determined.

The goal in this stage refers to Peter in treatment to learn, to recognize their thoughts and feeling. The therapist maintains records to create a definite pattern in the Peter behavior and emotions. It helps the therapist for present and future references (Sander, 2004).

 All the stages in the Psychoanalytic Therapy have their own goals to modify the character like Peter, focuses on the technique that therapist applied. Treatment takes usually 5-6 time per week for several years.

The Psychoanalytical Therapy has various advantages and disadvantages that have encouraged further research into the monarchy of personality development.

Advantages

The importance of childhood: The theory emphasizes the importance of childhood experiences. It explains the personality in terms of unconscious wishes, a fear which was not fully aware of the conscious mind and deals with that childhood experiences are crucial in shaping adult personality. In the case of Peter having interpersonal conflicts with egoistic nature assumes that his childhood experience with friends and relatives were not good due to his egoistic attitude (Saint & Desrosiers, 1993). Some early experiences set in the mind of a person that affect his life as any death of nears one may be parents or sibling. These experiences of life always affect the personality of a person like Peter.

Dream Analysis

Analyze the various aspects of personality: The Psychoanalytic Therapy addressed the significance of the unconscious mind that makes up the majority of all personalities. According to this therapy, there are lots of things that stored in our mind and we consider only the conscious awareness, but what about the things that stored in the unconscious mind (Shipton, 2013). Aggression, frustration, true feeling thoughts all these terms, according to this therapy exposes in the unconscious mind. Dreams can provide access to the unconscious that is not easily recognized. As in the case of Peter, the therapist analyses his dream and recognize his attitude of negativity that may be the cause of interpersonal conflicts at home and at the workplace.

Defense Mechanisms- This therapy also describes the defense mechanism and every person has its own personality of expressing his feelings. Some are more egotistic, some are aggressive, have a phobia, some are very emotional, having lots of negativity in their minds and so on. All these thoughts or feeling depends on different conditions and every individual react differently (Lu, 2013). In the case of Peter, he may react more aggressively in his workplace and at home due to his frustration and irritated behavior as he is a single and needs a companion who fulfills his basic desires.

Limitations

Unscientific- Most of the Psychoanalytic Therapy concepts are unscientific as therapy is based on the subjective approach of information, records, free association techniques that do not have any scientific truth. In Peter case may be, some points show his frustrated behavior that arises a conflict in his personality, but there is no any logical proof for testing (Kaplan, Stukenberg, & Kruty, 2008).

Unconscious mind- This is the point of argument as scientifically it’s not easy to determine the unconscious mind. The therapy of Psychoanalytic could be claimed that it is unfalsifiable as it cannot be invested properly and logically.

Overlooked the environment factor- The therapy gives more emphasize on childhood age, dreams, and completely ignore the environmental factor. The environment where the person lives can also affect the personality of an individual. In all the cases, childhood experiences, his present fantasy world is not the only cause; there may be other causes also (Westen, 2002). In this case study of Peter at the age 40, the therapy does not find the reason behind his condition.

Why is he single at this age?

What are the conditions of having single status?

Transference

Which type of environment is he living and working?

All these answers are missing in this therapy and these are also important to resolve the condition of interpersonal conflict experiences of Peter.

Time-consuming and costly- The therapy is time-consuming as it needs to study and analyze the behavior of each individual that can take a lot of time and it is costly also (Lu, 2013).

Conclusion

 After analyzing the three stages early, middle and final stage of the Psychoanalytic Therapy, its process and various techniques like free association, dream analysis, resistance and transference, that are used in the treatment of Peter, its advantages and limitation, we can conclude that the treatment is beneficial for him for resolving the experience of interpersonal conflicts but it also need some modification in the therapy to make it more realistic and logically proved. As interpersonal conflicts can be destructive that develop the negative feeling as in Peter case and it can be solved by the Psychoanalytic therapy as this therapy is based on talk therapy and helps the Peter to uncover the roots of the problem of the interpersonal conflict he faces and experienced.

References

Altstein, R. (2015). Finding words: how the process and products of psychoanalytic writing can channel the therapeutic action of the very treatment it sets out to describe. Psychoanalytic perspectives, 13(1), 51-70.

Balter, I (2015). Adventures in psychoanalytic concepts and treatment. The psychoanalytic quarterly, 84(3), 745-773.

Blatt, S. (2013). The patient’s contribution to the therapeutic process: a rogerian-psychodynamic perspective. Psychoanalytic psychology, 30(2), 139-166.

Comins, J. (2003). Early stages of a psychoanalytic treatment: the case of laura. Psychoanalytic dialogues, 13(3), 301-312.

Crumbley, A. (2015). Review of the psychoanalytic vision: the experiencing subject, transcendence, and the therapeutic process. Psychoanalytic psychology, 32(1), 213-215.

Forrester, J. (2008). Psychoanalysis and history. Psychoanalysis & history, 10(1), 1-2.

Kaplan,  stukenberg, & kruty. (2008). Prediction of improvement in medical treatment for depression: using self-report measures of erikson's stages. Journal of the american psychoanalytic association, 56(4), 1348-1351.

Lu. (2013). Can individual psychology explain social phenomena? An appraisal of the theory of cultural complexes. Psychoanalysis, culture & society, 18(4), 386-404.

Saint-jean, M. & Desrosiers. (1993). Psychoanalytic considerations regarding the occupational therapy setting for treatment of the psychotic patient. Occupational therapy in mental health,12(2), 69-78.

Sander, F. (2004). Psychoanalytic couple therapy: classical style. Psychoanalytic inquiry, 24(3), 373-386.

Shipton, G. (2013). Psychoanalytic thinking in occupational therapy. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy,28(1), 75-78.

Wachtel, P. (2012). Reflections on the therapeutic process. Psychoanalytic perspectives, 9(1), 88-117.

Westen, D. (2002). Therapeutic action: a guide to psychoanalytic therapy. Psychotherapy research,12(2), 243-245.

Wright, D. & Abrahams, D. (2015). An investigation into the effectiveness of dynamic interpersonal therapy (dit) as a treatment for depression and anxiety in IAPT. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy,29(2), 160-170.

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