Theory Classical Psychoanalysis Term Paper

Pages: 12 (3827 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology

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Another characteristic assumption to the strengths approach is that people also have the necessary information that is relevant to them in defining their personal situations, both with reference to the problematic aspects, as well as to the potential solutions. This knowledge may be useful in prefiguring a patient's future. The social worker sees an opportunity when observing a client's resourcefulness and perseverance in managing a difficult situation. The strengths approach enables social workers to encourage clients to define and attribute meaning to their situations. Simply listening to and accepting the client's opinion is a recognition of the client's capacity and the quantity of internal knowledge of the situation (Weick, 1983; Weick & Pope, 1988, sources cited by Early, GlenMaye).

Consumers of social work services arrive in this situation because they are oppressed by society or abused by various people. According to Gutierrez, (1990 source cited by Early, GlenMaye) "Remembering the strengths necessary to struggle against oppression offers clues about client capabilities that the social worker should validate and build on. For example, when working with women who have been battered, social workers should identify the internal and external resources used to survive violence. A strength is whatever enabled a woman to begin to take control of her life."

Furthermore, another very important aspect of the strengths perspective is that human beings are considered to be very resilient, which means that human beings often survive and thrive despite all odds. As a consequence, increased confidence results in increased resilience (Anthony & Cohler, 1987; Garmezy, 1993; Haggerty, Sherrod, Garmezy, & Rutter, 1994 sources cited by Early, GlenMaye).

The discussion about the influence of the psychoanalyst and the strengths perspective applied to social work proves that the role of ethics in performing social activity is crucial. Since the patient is very vulnerable and easy to influence, the lack of morality would have extremely serious consequences on the future life of the person subjected to treatment. The importance of moral conduct cannot be sufficiently emphasized in this case.

4- How theory applies to working with individuals, families and/or small groups

Working with individuals is slightly different than working with families or other small groups. Introduction of psychoanalysis in social work poses a new set of methodological and ethical problems. According to Germain, (1970) and Petr & Spano, (1990) "The adoption of Freudian ideas in social casework, psychoanalytic techniques, and such movements as mental hygiene and child guidance define the era of diagnostic social casework."

The most appropriate field of work for psychoanalysis is the one where problems within the psyche are determine to have manifestations in behavior and relationships. In child guidance clinics, working with parents concentrates on change through education, while later in the process, mothers' personality difficulties became the object of the focus. (Hartman & Laird, 1983, cited by Early., GlenMaye,).

The Psychosocial Approach, begun in the 1930s, was, according to Hollis (1970) "a continuation of the Freudian emphasis on individual functioning and on the necessity of diagnostically oriented assessment of deficits in the individual and in the environment." McBroom, (1970) stated that "The concern of this approach shifted from individual neurosis to character disorders, and more recently, to "multiproblem" families." Hollis continues to argue that "what has remained consistent in this approach is an intervention based on "understanding of each part of the personal and social systems involved in the client's trouble" (Hollis, 1970, p. 72, cited by Early, GlenMaye,).

The problem-solving approach had a different perspective on problems, which were considered a normal part of the human condition. The normalization of problems was performed by the 1970's Perlman thesis of "living is a problem-solving process." Problem-solving capacities were preferred by the approach, in the detriment of psychological change. Focusing on deficits continued, supported by the assumption that the inability to deal with problems was caused by one or more of three deficits. As Perlman has put it: "the motivation to work on the problem in appropriate ways; the capacity to work on the problem in appropriate ways; the opportunity, whether of ways or means, to meet or mitigate the problem"

Bartlett and other practitioners have tried in the 1950's to place an emphasis on developing a theory of family diagnosis. Unfortunately, the available methods, which involved individually oriented psychoanalytic concepts, were more of a limitation to the effort than a genuine help. In the process of diagnosing and treating families, concepts such as ego psychology were used (Germain, 1970).

Individually oriented concepts couldn't explain in a satisfactory way the functioning of a family, so social workers began to look for support on the systems theory Germain, 1968; Hearn, 1958, 1969; Meyer, 1970, cited by Early, GlenMaye), which provided a framework for analyzing and organizing data about families.

Systems were used to conceptualize "the person-family constellation in its life space and for focusing on the transactions between the person or family and the social environment" Hartman and Laird (1983). Other researchers, (Wells & Biegel, 1992) used practice models in which the family and its dysfunctional transactions are the center of attention, ranging from family therapy to family preservation programs. Hartman and Laird (1983) have also presented a family-centered social work, who is still maintaining the emphasis on problems as "lacks or deficits in the environment, as dysfunctional transactions between systems, as adaptive strategies, or as results of interrupted growth and development rather than as disease processes located within the individual"

5- Discuss impact of racial, ethnic or soci0-cultural issues of the application of psychoanalytic theory.

Since psychiatry is seen as a method of social control, and racism as a form of oppression which influences society at large, the public's imagination has made a connection between racism and psychiatry. Racism is often blamed for being a 'mediating factor' in cases of 'psychiatric misdiagnosis' and 'mismanagement'. Misdiagnosis refers to both underdiagnosis and overdiagnosis and accounts for the lack of action and failure to prescribe adequate treatments due to an erroneous diagnostic. Usually, in the case of some ethnic groups, people do not seek help for very long periods of time.

Racism is not a new phenomenon, but the term creates confusion, as it is applied very often and without caution to all sorts of situations. It is not clear which exactly are the processes that are taking place, the degree to which the processes are institutionalized or individual and how much are the individuals aware of the impact of their actions.

The psychoanalytic theories developed by Freud in Vienna in the nineteenth century are currently universally accepted and adopted, although there is a close connection to the culture of that specific period. Despite the recommendations of some authors (Chess et al. 1953, cited by Bhugra, Dinesh, Bhui, Kamaldeep), some analysts have adapted it without modifications for the study of other cultures and groups. These authors suggest that, "unless the social milieu in which the patient functions is understood and given adequate consideration, significant errors in psychiatric management and prognostic factors will occur." Therefore, Psychoanalysis has been branded as racist.

Bughra and Bhui point out, in their 1997 study that "Patients from ethnic minorities are frequently not offered counseling or psychotherapy on the premise that such individuals are not psychologically sophisticated or psychologically minded."

The two authors find another problem here: "Therein lies another fallacy because psychological concepts practiced and taught in the West are very culture-bound and the indigenous psychologies and psychological interventions are ignored. There is plenty of clinical evidence to suggest that in spite of language barriers, group therapy works in ethnic minorities and with appropriate modifications family therapy can be undertaken successfully"

The needs of the clinical management of ethnic minorities' health care system stays in the social, economic, political and health care context and in the application of the standard psychiatric criteria for prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment. The results of psychological testing related issues are also decisively influenced by cultural and environmental factors. Another very different thing across the world is the concept of underlying personality, which varies wildly across cultures; personality in itself is not a static phenomenon and has to be assessed accordingly, in order to obtain proper results.

6- Discuss evaluative research of the effectiveness of the theory to a specific client population; ex. children, gay/lesbians.

Lesbian and gay liberation politics have as a goal a firm response to the pathologizing of homosexuality within classical psychoanalysis and its various revisions (ego psychology, self-psychology, object relations, and most recently, relational psychoanalysis). Despite the fact that Freud had proposed contradictory perspectives to homosexuality, his negative ideas on the subject have influenced not only psychoanalysis but also all mental health work in psychology, psychiatry, and, as a consequence, social work. Freud's influence has been so overwhelming that even feminist practitioners who do not support Freud's ideas are in constant debate with his concepts.

Freud argued in some places that homosexuality was not a perversion but a mere "inversion" of "object choice," one that all humans are capable of making; in others, he pointed out that… [END OF PREVIEW]

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