Chapter 14- psychotherapy, consciousness and well being
The basic idea of psychoanalytic therapy
-Sigmund Freud’s first form of psychotherapy focused on emotionally traumatic events in a
patient’s earlier life. Freud’s therapy was aimed at recalling the trauma, enabling it to
become conscious, allowing the emotions associated with it to be experienced and
expressed, thus freeing the patient from the trauma’s harmful effects.
-According to him neurotic people suffer from inner conflict like both feeling sexually
attracted to someone and feeling at the same time inhibited by the prohibitions of society.
Therapy’s focus on the emotions
-Most therapies involve a close relationship with therapist, talk, and suggestion. Therapy is
an interaction with another person in which as a patient or client one can discover some
of the properties of one’s emotion schemas – typically schemas of anxiety, anger, and
despair – and can change to some extent how these schemas operate.
Psychoanalysis: unconscious schemas of relating
-The distinctive feature of psychoanalytic therapy is the recognition of transference of the
client to the therapist. The idea of transference was discussed by Freud.
-The patient was to lie on a couch, narrate the story of her life, and say whatever came to
mind. In turn, Freud suggested interpretations to fill gaps in the story.
-Transference is the manifestation of emotion schemas, mental models that embody ways
of relating to others that have become habitual. Such attitudes and emotions are projected
onto people in the present including the therapist.
-Susan Anderson and Serena Chen performed experiments on transference. They use the
term relational self for the beliefs and emotions of selfhood that derive from earlier
-Procedure ask participants to write 14 sentences of description of description of
themselves in relation with 2 significant others, one for whom they had positive feelings
and one for whom they had negative feelings. The experimenters wanted to see how far
these relational traits from the past might affect a relationship with a person whom the
participant meets for the first time.
-Then they showed people a description of a new person that resembled their own previous
description of a significant other. Their facial expressions were more of positive emotions