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Basic difference between Behavior therapy and Psychoanalysis - Essay Example

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In Behavior therapy, which is also called behavior modification or behaviorism, sets up rewards and punishments to change thinking patterns and shape behavior which can also involve relaxation training, stress management, biofeedback and desensitization of phobias…
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Basic difference between Behavior therapy and Psychoanalysis
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Basic difference between Behavior therapy and Psychoanalysis: In Behavior therapy, which is also called behavior modification or behaviorism, sets up rewards and punishments to change thinking patterns and shape behavior which can also involve relaxation training, stress management, biofeedback and desensitization of phobias. Behavioral therapist's help patients learn how to get more satisfaction and rewards through their own actions and how to unlearn the behavioral patterns that contribute to, or result from, their problems.
But in case of Psychoanalysis which is also called psychodynamic or psychoanalytic therapy, helps a person look inside himself or herself to discover and understand emotional conflicts that may be contributing to emotional problems. The therapist (psychoanalyst) helps the client "uncover" unconscious motivations, unresolved problems from childhood and early patterns to resolve issues and to become aware of how those motivations influence present actions and feelings.
Differentiating Behavior Therapy and Psychoanalysis
A Case study
The Case:
Jack, a college sophomore, is so fearful of asking a woman out that he hasn't had a date in over three years.
As this case is clearly a case of Phobia. A Phobia of proposing opposite sex. This case can be treated either by Behavior therapist or Psychoanalyst. Both solutions are discussed below.
When Behavior therapist or a Psychoanalyst is contacted, Jack will be asked for few questions such as
1) To start with, some formal questions to relax Jack.
2) Present problem as thought by Jack himself in detail.
3) Is Jack afraid of proposing any specific lady or lady in general
4) Related experiences on dating.
5) Unforgettable experiences.
Case (Jack) as treated by a Behavior therapist:
Once the Behavior therapist enquires Jack about himself and few formal questions, Behavior therapist will ask some more specific questions related to his way of treatment. The questions would be regarding Jack's interests, motivations, Friends, Academics, fantasies, strengths, goals, ambitions, aspirations, happy moments, distractions, weaknesses, other phobias (if any), disinterests, irritations, cultural values, relaxation techniques etc.,
Once Behavior therapist finds the reason behind the phobia, he will try to motivate the Jack to encounter the phobia on face, but with suitable rewards. Say Jack is interested in Sports, then the Behavior therapist will offer him a pair sport shoes for every encounter Jack faces with the phobia. This will make the situation into a competition rather than problem. Once this competition attitude sets in, Jack will unknowingly transfer his 'energy of phobia' into competitive spirit. And this is what Behavior therapist would like to achieve.
Jack's treatment is properly scheduled with/without medication depending upon his attitude and other characteristics. Once a schedule is prescribed to Jack, Behavior therapist will advice him, whenever phobia arises, to get himself relaxed. The suggested relaxation may be of any kind depending upon Jack's personal interaction with Behavior therapist. A song or 2 of Jack's favorite artist or 10 minute meditation or a cup of Coffee or deep breath-taking will always soothe the disturbed mind. Once this disturbance is calmed down, logical thinking improves thereby increasing ones' confidence levels. Jack is made to try again and again until he looses fear or till achieving what he is aiming for.
And as failures are eternal, they are the part of the trials; Jack is made to think on these lines to desensitize his phobia.
A Behavior therapist makes sure that the Jack is giving him proper feedback. Because feedback is that map which tells where the case is standing.
Behavior therapy is often criticized for its Trial and Error methods. Because a reward/punishment program combined with optional medication may not produce the desired results. These undesired results may be due to various conscious/unconscious reasons beyond the thought of the Behavior therapist.
Case (Jack) as treated by a Psychoanalyst (Freudian way ):
Once the Psychoanalyst enquires Jack about himself and some formal questions to make Jack quite comfortable with the Psychoanalyst. The basic treatment way of Psychoanalyst is dealing with the BASICS of the case. Psychoanalyst will discuss with the Jack about his childhood and any extreme and unforgettable experiences of the past. Psychoanalyst will focus his attention on the pitches and tone variations while listening to the Jack. This gives the Psychoanalyst the depth of the impacts due to various incidents/accidents. This is crucial.
Once the reason of phobia is found, the Psychoanalyst will try to manipulate the Jack's way of thinking. A detailed explanation of the impact of incident on the Jacks' mind will become a point of thought-diversification for Jack.
Before treatment, the Psychoanalyst will try to peep into jacks' past mindset. For this the Psychoanalyst will ask Jack about the logical reasons behind his phobia. While Jack answers for this point, the Psychoanalyst will enquire deep searching for the ROOT of the problem. At this point the Psychoanalyst will concentrate on:
1) How, when and where did the phobia started
2) Because of whom, did the phobia started
3) What is he really afraid of The girl or the result of the dating proposal (such as being rejected, humiliated, abused, teased etc.,)
4) Any other general phobia associated with Jack
5) The depth of the phobia that has occupied jacks' mind
After carefully analyzing the answers for these questions, psychoanalyst will carefully chalk out a detailed discussion(s) with Jack. The treatment, in the form of words, which manipulates the way the Jack thinks starts. The line of 'discussion' topics will be:
1) Clearly and detailed explanation of the reason behind the Jack's phobia
2) Comparative discussion with respect to his fellow mates on the same topic of dating.
3) Making Jack think more logically
4) Explaining the Jack what he is loosing. Most importantly his own time.
5) Asking the Jack to try out. In case Jack can't, the psychoanalyst may try to arrange a dummy date for Jack. This will make jack gain much more confidence and loose his phobia. Though at a later date, this dummy date disappears, the confidence instilled on Jacks mind will stay. In this type of operations, the results should be closely monitored and action taken as accordingly.
6) Medications (in-case applicable).
Difference between Behavior therapy and psychoanalysis for the case of Jack:
1) Though both forms of treatment require the in-depth background analysis of Jack, the basic difference would be the way it is implemented. While employing Behavior therapy, Jack is motivated by the way of rewards to encounter the phobia. This motivation factor, when thought off from another angle, will divert the concentration of Jack while he faces phobia. In case of psychoanalysis treatment, he is not subjected to diversion. But makes Jack to involve himself more into himself. A type of introspection.
2) Behavior therapy is more of a trial and error method. On the other hand, Psychoanalysis treatment is a long term introspection-reaction-introspection-reaction.. process.
3) The impact of Behavior therapy on Jack would be completely different from that of the psychoanalysis treatment because Jack is a sophomore. For ages between 10 & 30, the Behavior therapy shows immediate results owing to the high energy levels which when motivated or properly directed will overpower the inner feelings easily when compared to middle and old age people.
When dealing with Psychological problems, proper care should be taken in the areas of selecting the therapist and also the results expected.
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