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Psychoanalytic and Person-Centered Counseling Approaches - Essay Example

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The paper “Psychoanalytic and Person-Centered Counseling Approaches” discusses an interpersonal helping relationship which begins with the client exploring the way they think, how they feel and what they do, for the purpose of enhancing their life…
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Psychoanalytic and Person-Centered Counseling Approaches
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Download file to see previous pages Counseling uses different approaches in carrying out its function. Two of which are the psychoanalytic and person-centered approaches. Psychoanalysis is considered as the most comprehensive of all the personality theories, yet, it is also the most controversial. It has generated a great number of positive and even negative criticisms. Sigmund Freud, the Father of Psychoanalysis, has stirred the greatest amount of critical interest indeed. In a nutshell, what makes Freud's theory so interesting Three reasons account for this (J. Feist & G. Feist 17). Firstly, Freud dealt much on sex and aggression which made these two concepts the twin cornerstones of psychoanalysis. As a matter of fact, sex and aggression are still gaining popularity in research at present. Secondly, psychoanalysis was upheld and widely propagated by Freud's followers who romanticized him as almost a mythological hero. Thirdly, Freud was able to elaborate on his theories because of his good command of the language that stimulated and excited a number of people. Freud was generally noted for the following concepts: levels of mental life namely, the unconscious, preconscious, and conscious; provinces of the mind that is the id, ego, superego; instincts and anxiety as dynamics of personality; stages of development specifically the infantile, latency, genital, and maturity stage; and the infamous defense mechanisms. Basically, these were products of Freud's interactions with his patients, analysis of his own dreams, and his wide readership about various sciences and humanities. These experiences contributed much to the evolution of his theories and therapeutic techniques as well. Jess and Gregory Feist (48) divided the development of Freud's therapeutic techniques into two: the early and the later techniques. For the early technique, Freud engaged in pressure technique. He focused on extracting repressed childhood memories. He did this by placing his hand on a patient's forehead or placed the head of the patient between his hands. He then instructed the patient to think under the pressure of his hands and describe what comes into his or her mind. Surprisingly, much of the results Freud obtained from his patients were childhood seduction memories. However, he eventually realized that such technique was a highly suggestive and coercive one; hence, he was uncertain whether the memories his patients reported were real or were just simply fantasies. In this regard, he opted for a more passive technique. For his later psychoanalytic therapy, his objective was to uncover repressed memory through free association, dream analysis and Freudian slips analysis. In short, the goal of these techniques was to transform the unconscious into conscious experience. In free association, patients are asked to verbalize everything that comes into their mind, no matter how relevant or irrelevant the ideas may be. The logic of this technique is to arrive at the unconscious by starting with a conscious idea and following it through a pool of associations wherever it leads. Tedious as it may seem, many found this technique unfavorable. Hence, dream analysis was favored more. Freud's basic assumption was that all dreams were wish fulfillments. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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