Theory Critique of Psychoanalytic Therapy and Adlerian Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1287 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology

¶ … Psychoanalytic and Adlerian Therapies

Analysis of Psychoanalytic Therapy and Adlerian Therapy

Psychoanalytic Therapy

Psychotherapy focuses on the unconscious and how it influences human behavior. It claims that a person is driven by aggression and sexual impulses. It focuses mainly on the first six years of human life and how events during this time period determine later personality. Repressed conflicts from childhood lead to personality problems later in life. Anxiety is a direct result of the repression of conflicts.

Psychoanalysts believe that unconscious motives, along with unresolved conflicts, lead to maladaptive behavior. Therefore, a psychoanalyst believes that to develop a normal personality, a person must go through five psychosexual stages successfully: Oral, Anal, Phallic, Latency, and Genital. Psychoanalysis focuses on early childhood, postulating that many of the conflicts which arise in the human mind develop in the first years of a person's life. Freud demonstrated this in his theory of psychosexuality, in which the libido (sexual energy) of the infant progressively seeks outlet through different body zones during the first five to six years of life. (Infoplease Encyclopedia, 2006)

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Inadequate resolution of any of these stages leads to flawed personality development. With the therapist's help, the client will make repressed conflicts conscious by relating dreams and free thoughts, as they traditionally recline on the psychiatrist's couch, relating free association and dreams to the therapist, bringing the unconscious into the conscious. Making unconscious conflicts conscious for the client will help them in working through them. Treatment techniques grew out of the historical development of Freud's study of the unconscious: (Psyweb Pro, 2006)

Term Paper on Theory Critique of Psychoanalytic Therapy and Adlerian Therapy Assignment

The basic postulate of psychoanalysis,... grew out of Freud's observation that the physical symptoms of hysterical patients tended to disappear after apparently forgotten material was made conscious Repression, reaction-formation, regression, displacement, and rationalization... protect the conscious mind from those aspects of reality it may find difficult to accept. The major defense mechanism is repression, which induces "forgetfulness" for harsh realities. (Psyweb Pro, 2006)

This kind of therapy is full of pitfalls. It may be useful for depression, but psychoanalytic therapy is not useful in clients that are self-centered, impulsive, or severely psychotic. The therapist needs extensive training and experience in order to analyze the thoughts presented by the client. The client must trust the therapist to make judgments upon the information given and to recommend treatment in the form of suggestions on how to change one's actions, through recognition of one's reflexive behavior, taking medications or continuing with free associative counseling sessions. If any element in the treatment plan is incorrect, the treatment may fail. And, in any case, t reatment will be long-term.

To shorten the long process, the early psychoanalytical therapist used hypnosis, but it was soon discarded in favor of free association." Dreams, Freud interpreted as symbolic wish fulfillments. Dreams were considered a primary key to the unconscious, and their analysis was an important part of Freudian therapy. Dream interpretation is effective only when the therapist has known the client well for a long time and is able to interpret the dreams in light of their knowledge of the client's intimate desires and fears. Dreams have their place in revealing one's desires and future goals, such as Jacob's dream that he was climbing a ladder, in the Bible. This (and other dreams, such as the Pharaoh's dreams interpreted by Moses) is explained by biblical scholars as having been prophesy, but may have been "Freudian" dreams that showed the dreamer how he was to act. Free association is easier to interpret and utilization of thoughts and knowledge of the client brings the client into clearer knowledge of themselves, which, after all, is the purpose of long-term therapy and the only way the client can recognize the problems and figure a way out of the conflicts that have beset them.

Adlerian Therapy

Adlerian Therapy takes a positive view of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Theory Critique of Psychoanalytic Therapy and Adlerian.  (2006, August 29).  Retrieved October 22, 2020, from

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