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Lecture 11

Psychology 46-333 Lecture 11: Notes on Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

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Kenneth Hart

Lecture 11 on Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Psychodynamic Approach to Psychotherapy  Goal: Getting access to the unconscious  Psychodynamic treatment is very effective for a range of complicated mental health conditions and is more effective than short-term treatments o According to a 2009 publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association  A meta-analysis of multiple studies demonstrating that long-term psychodynamic therapy works (weekly treatment lasting at least 50 sessions) What is Psychodynamic Treatment?  Psychodynamic model has 3 aspects: o It is an approach to therapy/treatment o A theory of the causes of abnormality o An approach to understanding personality  Psychodynamic Approach o Found by Sigmund Freud o Freud's version called "psychoanalysis" aka "depth psychology" o Focused on sex instinct and aggression Historical Antecedents  1885, Freud given grant to study in Paris with Jean Charcot  Charcot was famous for study of hysterics (ex. hysterical blindness, paralysis, and deafness)  psychogenic in origin, not biological  No known neurobiological cause (presumed psychic)  Hypnosis could unearth repressed trauma and "cure" the hysterical symptoms  Memory of trauma is blocked from awareness and stored in the unconscious  First historical "talking cure"  Alleviation of "patients" neurotic problems just by talking  But, talking must lead to "insight" for cure (the talking cures them only if it takes them to the unconsciousness)  Sometime called "insight therapy"  Neo-Freudian include: o Alfred Adler (disagreed with Freud that motivation is the need for power, not sex and aggression)  coined the term inferiority complex o Carl Jung (we have a shared unconscious  collective unconscious aside from personal unconscious) o Horney (one of the first women psychoanalyst; focus on interpersonal relationship) o Rank (German) Goals of Psychodynamic Treatment  To make the unconscious conscious  To help client gain "insight" into thoughts, feelings and mental activity  the unconscious reason of the conscious "why"  Expanding the scope of conscious awareness to aspects of psyche previously outside of client's mind?  The very presence of the unconscious was a fundamental idea of Sigmund Freud  The model assumes we all have an unconscious and that the unconscious is very influential unknown to us (we are actually puppets by the unconscious) o We think we have free will but we don’t; Freud was against free will Unconscious Determination  Of all kinds of problems (ex. depressive symptoms, anxiety, eating disorders)  The cause of all problems is unconscious processes but also other forms of causes (ex. biology)  3 part model of the mind  Id (the unconscious), Ego (conscious awareness, sense of personal identity, sense of agency), superego (cultural ideals)  Id is ruled by pleasure principle (satisfied with sexual and aggressive activities)  The ego (the judge) o The apparent chief executive officer of the mind o The conscious decision maker (self/identity) o The consciously recognized "authority" is but a mere puppet o Thus ego is deceived o Operates in accordance with "the reality principle" o Has "defenses"; ego protects its integrity  defends itse
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