Chapter 14(1).docx

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27 Apr 2012

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Chapter 14 Psychotherapy, Consciousness, and Well-Being
Psychological Therapies and Emotions
Human consciousness has struggled to find right relation with emotions
In East, emotional life thought be best modulated by meditation, and attitudes like non-attachment to worldly things
o Mindfulness meditation found to have effects on brain similar to positive emotions, shifting activation to left hemisphere
In West, transformation of self was of interest to classical Greeks and to Hebrews thought to derive from ancient Egyptians
o Incorporated into Christianity and became driving force in Renaissance
o One version at core of everyone is piece of divine substance, soul, that was detached from God and contained inside a
human body. Task on earth is to see through veils of bodily existence, and undertake spiritual journey
Roman Catholic confession was made before group of neighbours and by medieval times, performed with priest. It has 7
o First comes confession not just of general sinfulness but specific sin
o Second must come emotion of shame and remorse for sin
o Third, needs to be restitution for wrong
o Forth part was anticipated amendment of life
In many societies comparable practices exist that may be classed broadly as psychotherapeutic
In all different tributaries of stream, at center of process of change are emotions
o In west from direction of psychoanalytic therapy, which both stands in long line of therapies from different cultures
and has been origin of most modern Western approaches to psychotherapy. Therapist tries to work with client to make
sense of emotion-based symptoms and in contrast to medical approach of trying directly to relieve suffering and anguish
of symptoms
Basic Idea of Psychoanalytic Therapy
Freud’s first form of psychotherapy focused on emotionally traumatic events in patient’s earlier life
o Therapy aimed at recalling trauma, enabling it to become conscious allowing emotions associated with it to be
experienced and expressed and thus freeing patient from trauma’s harmful effects
o Center of new idea, formed in final few years of 19th century was neurotic people suffer from inner conflict
Psychoanalysis attracted both adherents and detractors
o Detractors argued that psychoanalysis was less therapeutic procedure
o Psychoanalytic therapy continues to flourish and become part of Western culture
o Crews and Grunbaum are against it
o Freud’s reputation questioned in controversies surrounding cases where people reported having recovered memories of
childhood sexual-emotional traumas and abuse that were repressed
Freud proposed therapy of listening carefully, with respect and with “evenly hovering attention” to parents who suffered from
emotional disorders
Therapy’s Focus on Emotions
1986 Kazdin counted 400 variants, most of which were eclectic incorporated selected aspects from different variants into
most therapies involve close relationship with therapist, talk and suggestion and nearly all involve emotions in more-or-less
explicit way
therapy is interaction with another person in which one can discover some properties of emotion schemas typically anxiety,
anger and despair
Therapy provides context of relationship in which one experience’s emotion schemas, understands them better, take
responsibility for them and modify aspects of behaviour accordingly
Psychoanalysis: Unconscious Schemas of Relating
Distinctive feature of psychoanalytic therapy is recognition of transference of client to therapist
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o Transference: discussed by Freud in case of Ida Bauer, where Freud gave pseudonym “Dora”. Freud explained new
method; patent was asked to lie on couch, narrate story of life and say whatever else came to mind. Freud suggested
interpretations to fill gaps in story
Transference is manifestation of emotion schemas, mental models that embody ways of relating to others that have become
o Best thought of as set of emotional attitudes toward significant others from past
Andersen and Chen studied transference studied experimentally and used term rational self for beliefs and emotions of selfhood
that derive from earlier relationships
o General procedure was to ask participants to write 14 sentences of description of themselves in relation with 2
significant others 1 whom they had positive feelings and one whom they have negative feelings
o Looked to see how far relational trait from past affect relationship with person met for first time
Anderson, Reznik and Manzella showed description of new person that resembled previous description of significant other and
facial expressions were of more positive emotions when description was reminiscent of significant other they liked than for when
it resembled someone they didn’t like
Berk and Anderson asked 120 people to write descriptions of significant others and 2 weeks later, people returned to lab for what
they thought was unrelated experiment, where asked to talk on intercom for 8 mins with another person (targets)
o 120 targets, one for each perceiver and didn’t know purpose of experiment and as experiments gave info that purported
to about target, asked them to get to know target person to provide balanced assessment of them
o When target’s traits resembled those of perceiver’s positive significant other, target exhibited more positive emotion in
conversation when positive transference from perceiver was received, made target happier than when negative
transference was received
o For targets in control, no differences in positive emotions found
Psychoanalytic therapy designed to recognize transferences, and to bring them to consciousness
Transference occurs in many kinds of relationship and occurs in almost every consultation with physician
o occurs in relationships of student and teacher
o occurs in encounters with people who have power or influence authority figures
o Occurs in romantic relations where we may be needy, demanding, or irritable, or unavailable
Idea of psychoanalytic therapy is that relationships are so fundamental to every aspect of life, including mental health, that if
they’re based on figures from past rather than on real people in present
Emotional schemas that are problematic are based on intense wishes bound tightly to beliefs that people hold about what is
wrong with them, or how they can never be satisfied
Idea of psychoanalysis as interpretation of transference is that effects of emotion-relational schemas are brought directly into
therapeutic relationship
Crits-Christoph devised metod to recognize what they call Core Conflictual Relationship Themes in transference
o Shows that when therapists recognize and interpret occurrences of themes, patient makes better progress in therapy
Emotion-Focused Therapy Changing Emotions by Emotions
Why have emotions such a central role in therapy?
o Greenberg argues that making emotions explicit confers on schemas, on which they are based, sense of clarity and
possibility of control
o Greenberg and Spinoza says that only way to change emotions is by means of another emotion, and may be taken as
goal of emotion-focused therapy
in therapy, emotions can be explored
Emotions signal that some goal or concern is affected
o If only partly known, emotion may be best clue to importance of concern
Part of task of therapy is to recognize emotions that we haven’t allowed ourselves to experience fully enough
o Therapy consists of encouraging fuller experience of emotions
o With recognition and expression, primary emotions and origins become more comprehensible
Clients tend to experience some emotions too much Greenberg calls these secondary emotions
o Psychoanalysts call them defences
o They are emotions clients often report as troublesome and derive from certain primary emotions that were
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