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Lecture

Psychotherapy

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY 108
Professor
Franklyn Prescod
Semester
Fall

Description
-1Lecture# 30 Psychotherapy (Part I) Ÿ Can we change our defining characteristic, and the answer to that is yes Ÿ As a whole or a group after a certain amount of time, you will naturally gain or lose characteristics, naturally become more conscious, more emotionally stable, etc. (as we age) Ÿ People want to know if they can change if they make a deliberate effort to change, and the answer is yes, psychotherapy does work, by reading psychology books, meeting a therapists, they will succeed, cope better with their problems and stress, etc. Ÿ As part of psychotherapist studies, they must have a theory of personality, of how people work, fi your going to have an idea of how and what depresses them Ÿ Series of personality change are based on a more basic theory of personality Ÿ One very prominent theory of change mechanisms is Freudian psychoanalysis Ÿ Freud changed how we saw ourselves, prior to Freud we though of ourselves of masters of our own experiences, that consciousness is primary, but Freud said that we may be captains of our own ship but only a fool goes on board of a ship and does not take into account the ocean, the unconscious ocean that we sit on is really what tells us where we go as people Ÿ Early childhood is important, the ideas of conflict, anxiety, all of Freud’s ideas Ÿ Core concepts is the idea of conflict, one of the things that Freud captured in his thinking is the idea that humans are conflicted, we are often ambivalent about things, our choices are not often clear cut, competing motives that determine how and what we do Ÿ Conflict to Freud was anxiety, being that the egos inability to keep control of things, when the ego starts to think I cant control the id and superego, there is experience of anxiety, and persistent inability to manage the anxiety leads to symptoms what Freud calls neurosis=persistent anxiety and manifestation in daily life Ÿ Wide range of defence mechanisms to protect ourselves from anxiety, but they don’t always work, cannot withstand magnitude of anxiety Ÿ Freud also had theories of development, at the heart of Freudian thinking was a developmental theory, how personality was built over infancy and childhood, sequence of stages how personality was put together, we all moved through the oral, the anal and the fallic stages Ÿ And how at each stage, particular component of personality comes online Ÿ Oral stage, issues of trust (the id emerges), the anal stage, issues of control (develop the ego) and then there is the fallic stage, infantile sexuality, fear, and overcoming (development of conscious or superego)=its expected that all of us pass through these stages, and if we don’t pass the previous one then we cannot move on to the different issues Ÿ Leading us to new concept, the idea of fixation, this notion of developmental sequence, a sequence fo stages that need to be negotiated and solved, that some point along this line we fail, the potential and likelihood that we fail to negotiate the problems successfully=produces a quality called fixation (quality of being stuck at a particular developmental stage, makes it hard for us to move on to later stages) Ÿ e.g. army metaphor, a general commanding an army, army is moving from one battle site to another, it defeats one and moves on to next battle, but there is resistant, and the subsequent battle doesn’t go as well as predicted, the general needs to command the army to move on, but battle is not finished, so general can choose to take some troops to next battle and leave some troops behind, stationed at the post and deal with any instigations after they have moved on, so army moves on but smaller in size and reduced in strength=key idea, some of our energy and strength is left behind, we are less equipped, move on with less resources, not as strong as we were before Ÿ When the army is defeated again, they know where to run back to and required to retreat, they know to go back to the station post, this is called regression=during period of stress, people have tendency to return to the state which causes happiness, to leave behind what you cannot cope with Ÿ Our impulse is to return to a more happier, safer time, when things were still unresolved, earlier stages Ÿ This reflects a quality we all have, what is the stage we return to Ÿ The notion of fixation has another issue, an issue we fail to resolve, will repeat itself (repetition compulsion), we cant leave our issues behind, we will compulsively work on those problems until they are solved Ÿ Some of the ways personality derails, fixation, where and how we regress, and the conditions in how we repeat past relationships and conflicts Ÿ Akey idea a psychotherapist will introduce into the therapy is the distinction between what is seen and observed, with what is hidden and unobserved (text, and subtext, the manifest and the latent, the surface of what you can see vs. underlying meaning) Ÿ The analysts confronting the manifest
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