Therapeutic Methods Models Term Paper

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Sigmund Freud (1856-1949)

Sigmund Freud is the undisputed father of psychoanalysis. Should this statement seem to contradict assertions regarding the age-old status of psychology, it must be clarified that Freud was the first theorist to formalize the process of analysis, a practice that is not used in all modalities of psychology today. Analysis, specifically the psychoanalysis so often parodied in the cartoon of the tormented patient lying on the couch before the bearded quasi-Freudian father figure of the therapist, presupposes in its theoretical structure the existence of an subconscious element to the human mind, in other words, that how humans think they immediately perceive the world is not all that there is to human consciousness.

Freud used techniques such as free association to elicit reasons for his patient's behaviors. Freud began his treatment upon hysterics. He grew to believe that unresolved childhood traumas rather than physiological causes were at the root for the difficulties experienced by these individuals. They often suffered physical paralysis from no explainable causes. Rather focusing on the 'here and now,' Freud believed one must go back into childhood and resolve old childhood dilemmas, else one's emotional maturity would forever be arrested and fixed in the past.

Thus, the method Freud used was analysis, primarily focusing on a 'talking cure,' not to vaguely make a patient 'feel better' by 'opening up' but so the analyst, trained in the art of interpretation could understand how the patient's development had gone awry. An analyst, to accomplish an effective form of therapy, must be trained in understanding such things as the different stages of oral to anal fixation, from the need for a transition from the Oedipal complex to a mature identification with the father (for the male) to letting go of penis envy (for the female). "Instead of treating the behavior of the neurotic as being causally inexplicable - which had been the prevailing approach for centuries - Freud insisted, on the contrary, on treating it as behavior for which is meaningful to seek an explanation by searching for causes in terms of the mental states of the individual concerned. Hence the significance Freud he attributed to "slips of the tongue or pen, obsessive behavior, and dreams - all, he held, are determined by hidden causes in the person's mind, and so they reveal in covert form what would otherwise not be known at all. This suggests the view that freedom of the will is, if not completely an illusion, certainly more tightly circumscribed than is commonly believed, for it follows from this that whenever we make a choice we are governed by hidden mental processes of which we are unaware and over which we have no control." (Thorton, 2004, The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Sigmund Freud") Freud's account of the unconscious, and the psychoanalytic therapy associated with it, are best illustrated by his famous tripartite model of the structure of the mind or personality -- that of the id, ego, and super-ego. Id, ego, and super-ego. The impulsive subconscious id, the primitive and unconscious urges or desires, the sense of self that is the ego, and the social consciousness of repression in the form of the super-ego all are tributes to the idea that human consciousness is complex, and contains subconscious elements.

Ivan Pavlov (1849-1946)

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, when discussing the theories and influences upon Freud and the development of the practice of analysis notes that the evolutionary doctrine of Charles Darwin radically altered the prevailing conception of the human mind, "whereas before man had been seen as a being different in nature to the members of the animal kingdom by virtue of his possession of an immortal soul, he was now seen as being part of the natural order, different from non-human…

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Works Cited

Pavlov, Ivan. (2003) Lectures and translations. http://www.ivanpavlov.com last modified: April 14, 2003. Retrieved on September 19, 2004 at http://www.ivanpavlov.com/

Ross, Kelly R. (2002) Karl Jung. Retrieved on September 19, 2004 at http://www.friesian.com/jung.htm

Thorton, Steven P. (2001) "Sigmund Freud." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved on September 19, 2004 at http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/f/freud.htm#Backdropto his Thought

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