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PSYC 2210 Lecture Notes - Anal Stage, Repetition Compulsion, Oral Stage

Course Code
PSYC 2210

of 3
-1Lecture# 30
Psychotherapy (Part I)
ŸCan we change our defining characteristic, and the answer to that is yes
ŸAs 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)
ŸPeople 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.
ŸAs 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
ŸSeries of personality change are based on a more basic theory of personality
ŸOne very prominent theory of change mechanisms is Freudian psychoanalysis
ŸFreud 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
ŸEarly childhood is important, the ideas of conflict, anxiety, all of Freud’s ideas
ŸCore 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
ŸConflict 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
ŸWide range of defence mechanisms to protect ourselves from anxiety, but they don’t always work,
cannot withstand magnitude of anxiety
ŸFreud 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
ŸAnd how at each stage, particular component of personality comes online
ŸOral 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
ŸLeading 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
Ÿe.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
ŸWhen 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
ŸOur impulse is to return to a more happier, safer time, when things were still unresolved, earlier stages
ŸThis reflects a quality we all have, what is the stage we return to
ŸThe 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
ŸSome of the ways personality derails, fixation, where and how we regress, and the conditions in how
we repeat past relationships and conflicts
ŸA key 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)
ŸThe analysts confronting the manifest content, the goal of the analyst is to scratch beneath the surface,
get to the latent content that isn’t immediately apparent
ŸOne concept is the dream (royal road to unconscious), the stuff of the dream that you will describe to
the analysts, the manifest content, and they will help you figure out the latent part of the dream
ŸFreud regarded human behaviour as multi-layers, multiple potential meanings,
ŸHuman isn’t just determined by all the wishes and urges, etc. , its ‘over determined’
ŸThe goal is to unravel all of these meanings and bring it to life
ŸAdditional metaphor that is helpful to understanding, is to use the idea of a treaty or compromise
between all the competing forces of how we want to behave
ŸAl of the structural components inside of us want to have some say of our behaviour, but they have to
compromise to produce a behaviour, and Freud saw behaviour as a formation of compromised
behaviour, (compromised and resolved)
ŸAll behaviours consist of this, some behaviours show this in a unique form
ŸFor e.g. slips of the tongue, parapraxies, you mean to say one thing but accidentally you say something
else, this notion of a slip fro Freud were very revealing, the compromised between we want to say,
unconsciously thinking or wanting with the things that were allowed to say(slips of the tongue are
hiccups of the system, where the compromise is more obvious)
ŸSymptoms, heating forces of us which are let out a little at a time through symptoms
ŸDreams, where we try to in disguised form, to allow ourselves to experience all the wishes and urges
we cant experience in conscious life, the playground we allow ourselves is the dream, it represents a
wish fulfillment, a kind of compromise, meaning of the dream must be disguised so our conscious is
not aware
ŸSurface dream=manifest content based on latent material, somehow we manage to go from this latent
behaviour to this manifest material that we remember in having
ŸHow do we go about producing a dream, Freud thought about a process called dream works
ŸAll sorts of processes, symbolic representation, things that concern us are abstract, don’t have picture
attached to them, symbolic representation is when we take the abstract wishes and make them
concrete, make them into pictures of things we can see
ŸOnce we have an image or picture to stand for things that provoke us or cause anxiety, we can
manipulate the symbol, shape and form it (compression, and substitution or condensation and
ŸCondensation is the omission of compression of multiple latent content into a single manifest image
(disguised because all latent content is put together)
ŸSecond idea is the idea of displacement or substitution, shift in emphasis of threatening source, we take
threatening, stressful symbols and replace them with more trivial images that don’t scare or worry us
ŸAfter condensation and displacement, we then undergo secondary revision, smooth out all the
symbolizing and replacing into a dream narrative
ŸThe goal of therapy is to return to the latent, its to unpack the manifest material of life and uncover and
bring out all the latent material
ŸDream analysis, use the same process with anything
ŸAnalytical process is that careful attempt to discern and find the underlying material
ŸThe patient comes into the office and says you wont believe the dream I have, and you think that the
analyst will simply tell you what your dream means
ŸWhat most typically happens is that the analyst asks you to free associate, tell you what comes to mind
when you think about the dream, the patient is encouraged to report a stream of consciousness report,
allow things to come to mind
ŸTherapist then provides an interpretation and explains what problem you may have
ŸThe interpretation is offered as an explanation for all of this behaviour
ŸInterpretation may go wrong, not a good time, the patient may not be ready to hear your explanation,
or they can be inaccurate
ŸPresuming that they are interpreting it right, you will bring truly unconscious ideas into the room, and
this will be very anxiety arising to the patient, and the patient will try to resist, protect ourselves from
that experience
ŸPatients will get angry, you can start forgetting appointments, accidental things happen to miss
appointments, but all of these things are signs of resistant
ŸResistance is a good sign, interpretation is picking up something real within the patient
ŸEventually a person will breakthrough their resistance and have conscious realization of the conflict,
insight, combination of cognitive understanding and intense emotional experience
ŸThis insight allows you to be transformative, allow you to solve and heal the conflict
ŸThe Lakewood that you can experience this insight and resolve the problem is nil
ŸPatients forget or misplace the interpretations as they try to forget insight of their dreams,
cyclical=called working through the four processes