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PSYC 4060 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Unconscious Mind, Family Therapy, Cognitive Map

Course Code
PSYC 4060
Gary Turner
Study Guide

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- psychotherapy: seek assistance for a person’s main concern in life
- therapeutic relationship: work together to accomplish goals
- alleviate discomfort for the client, listen to and work through a problem, enhance
life functioning and experience, provide new insight to the client
- help people to live a fulfilling life (definition up to the client); restore functioning,
increase well-being, foster sense of independence/agency
- usually go to therapy w/ a specific issue in mind
- process includes: therapeutic relationship, identify/understand the problem,
talking, self-reflection, experiences change our perceptions of reality
- bridging a rel (doesn’t always have to be personal), making a connection, move
someone from A to B, 2-way comm (b/w client and therapist, w/in person: internal
comm b/w diff brain areas, w/in therapist, w/ people and env)
- for successful therapy: client is most crucial! It’s their lives, they have to make the
changes. Client-therapist rel inherent in any success (approach isn’t as important)
- client responsible for changes that occur w/in themselves (can’t be changed by
anyone); therapist facilitates change (need: empathy, caring, understand RF/values)
- attitude of therapist, personal qualities and skills important (need to be genuine,
honest, congruent  therapy success!) BUT in the end the client changes themselves
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Psychoanalytic Psychotherapies
The theoretical perspective
1) How is human nature described? what layer of human existence is emphasized?
- experience/emotions mainly motivated by unconscious (outside awareness, it’s
who we are!) implicit knowledge, wishes, fantasies (avoid psych pain) = intrapsychic
- history of sexuality, sexual abuse, sexual fantasies (as children) impact adults 
sexual instincts, rather than abuse, role in dev (psychosexual)
- sexual feelings in infancy  out of consciousness b/c deemed unacceptable 
construct memories of infantile emotions  conflict/behavioural problems in adults
- thinking/actions motivated by psychic energy linked to sex. Libido activated by
external/internal stimuli. Deviate from norm = tension. Discharge tension = pleasure
- imagination (fantasy/desire) and emotions (ex/ neurotic patient) rule us
- society causes us to repress sexual fantasies of the id, so they can’t be fulfilled
- attachment to the primary caregiver is crucial (fear when there is separation)
- mental layer (mind separate from physical), memory, imagination, emotion, ego
2) How is the psychotherapeutic problem described?
- unconscious mind: wishes/impulses/desires culturally not appropriate/threat to
indv reside. Outside of awareness, no direct effect on person’s functioning
- modern version of Freud: any exp reflects compromise b/w underlying wish that
has implicit effect on person AND fear of what will happen if it’s realized
- BOTH: conflict b/w society/desires; intrapsychic, repressed to unconscious
- modern: object/subject rel (repress ideas about who other person is)
The Intervention
1) overall strategy, main elements, to address psychotherapeutic problem? primary
goal of strategy? commonly used specific techniques? what are their specific goals?
- defense: intrapsychic, avoiding emotional pain by pushing “undesirable” aspects of
the self (memory, wish, fantasy) out of awareness
- transference: transfer reps of people/emotions associated w/ sig people in lives to
therapist. countertransference: therapist’s feelings/emotions towards patient
- 2 person psych: therapist/clients BOTH participants (mutually influence each
other). Therapist must understand own contributions/interaction style
- crucial for therapist and patient to have a good, trusting relationship (alliance)
- intersubjectivity: hold onto own exp and understanding others have own views
- verbal interpretation crucial
- transference to analyze how views of past/present ensure continuation of self-
defeating behavioural/thought patterns
- dream interpretation to bring unconscious to conscious awareness  analyzed
- Jung: emotional complexes repressed b/c threatening (delayed rxn to emotionally
charged words)
- don’t be too directive or too much advice (condescending, judgemental, impinge
your views on client  can create resistance)
- don’t divulge too much personal info to client
- seating arrangement: the patient is lying down and the therapist is in a chair behind
- overlap: bring unconscious conscious! via historical reconstruction, insight
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- primary vehicle of change is client-therapist rel (verbally delve into unconscious
influencing factors)
- enactment: contemporary = how personalities affect each other, explored aloud
- want to lower the unconscious factor drive, increase agency
- resistance: motivating to avoid change, impede therapy  maybe opportunity!
- rupture and repair: contemporary, interrupt harmony, want to return to it. May
need to probe the client, if you notice a change in affect
The Therapist
1) What is the therapist’s role?
- dynamic dyad b/w client and therapist is area to study (can reveal unconscious
motivations of the patient)
- find ways patient unconsciously avoids painful/threatening memories, thoughts
- identify w/ client, immerse in experience, feel empathy towards them
- help clients gain awareness of unconscious influences, patterns in rels
- reassure client who is feeling anxious
- well-thought out termination: consolidate all benefits made through treatment
- help the patient identify how childhood experiences contribute to problems
(decreasing self-blame)  better able to develop adaptive coping strategies
- containment: helper (contemporary), no judgement. aware of/attend to cause of
frustration; deal w/ it many ways, handled to allow session to progress successfully
- non-disclosure (traditional): neutral, blank screen
- help clients learn to recognize emotions/behaviour patterns  dev healthier ones
2) What qualities and skills of the therapist are emphasised?
- find roots of problems in unconscious, bring them to awareness via emotional
insight (combine conceptual and affective to new understanding = immediate
emotional quality, impacts daily life)
- help client go from feeling vulnerable to emotions/symptoms  understand
association b/w symptoms, ways of being and own contributions to conflict.
- contain/attend to own emotions when working, tolerate painful issues that arise
- work through process of inevitable misunderstandings in relatedness
change in client’s implicit relational knowing
Note any major points in the reading not covered by the above questions.
- primary (feeling expressed metaphorically) versus secondary (consciousness,
logical, orderly, foundation for rationality)
- Id (psychic energy, pleasure), ego (reality), superego (morality/values, norms)
- object relations theorists: dev internal rep of rels w/ significant others
- research does show it can be helpful in LT (continued after therapy ended)
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