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Chapter 7

PSYC36H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Emergence, Rorschach Test, Thematic Apperception Test

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Amanda Uliaszek

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PSYC36: Ch. 7 – Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
The psychoanalytic approach began with Freud’s discovery of the unconscious and the use of free
Psychoanalysis ushered in a new form of scientific inquiry of the study of the mind and self.
Almost all contemporary systems of psychotherapy have their roots in psychoanalysis and base many of
their constructs and principles on Freud’s foundation.
Modern Popular Currently Practiced Psychoanalytic Variants:
Structural-Drive Therapy – Intrapsychic Perspective
In structural-drive theory, the psychodynamic psychotherapist conceptualizes symptoms as
manifestations of unconscious drives and conflicts among intrapsychic agencies (id, ego, super ego).
Conflicts between the desire for gratification and societal restraints, along with developmental and
traumatic events, may emerge in symptoms and characterological patterns that are ways in which
equilibrium is attempted.
Ego psychology, added to structural-drive theory, emphasized the concept of defenses and how they are
Trauma/suffering result in either structural problems (i.e., managing affect, maintaining a coherent sense
of self, utilizing appropriate defenses) that indicate a problems with internal regulatory systems or
developmental deficits that are related to poorly organized integration in internal structural domains such
as the affect system or the cognitive-perceptual system.
oThis approach is based on the structural model of the mind whereby forces generated by
repressed traumata result in anxiety that cannot be effectively managed and result in neurotic
adjustment or clinical syndromes.
Anna Freud’s The Ego and Mechanisms of Defense – 9 individual defenses:
oRegression = the return to an earlier level of functioning to avoid anxiety and tension. It can be
adaptive such as in play or a sign of a significant breakdown.
oReaction Formation = the process by which an individual transforms unacceptable impulses or
fantasy into a more acceptable version
oUndoing = where a person attempts to clarify or negate negative impulses by rationalizing or
attempting to withdraw the communication
oIntrojection = occurs when we psychologically take in aspects of significant others and can be a
normal part of development
oIdentification = the process of internalizing aspects of another and can be a healthy part of normal
oProjection = the process of seeing our own negated impulses and wishes in another
oTurning against the Self = attacking the self for unacceptable behaviour or feelings through self-
abuse or negative internal beliefs that are often subvocalized
oReversal = when the opposite emotion from what a person feels appears on the surface
oSublimation = the process whereby impulses and feeling that are unacceptable are transformed
into socially acceptable aims.
Zones of functioning, were protected by effective defenses, these zones include cognition, perception,
affective regulation, reality testing, and impulse control and are part of our ego-adaptive capacities
There are 100 defenses that have been catalogued – these defense have adaptive value in that they are
incorporated to help the individual survive.
Relational Psychoanalysis – Object Relations and Interpersonal Theory
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Relational psychoanalysis recognizes the importance of early attachment experiences on the internal
models of the individual.
In these theoretical models, aggression does not emerge from biologically based instinctual organization
but from a disruption of attachment relations.
Object relational psychotherapists believe that the dyad must be studied to understand the individual; the
essential dyad is the maternal-infant attachment system.
oIn the relational approach, the quality of the psychotherapist and patient’s relationship is the
essential vehicle of the healing process.
oEarly attachment schema are presented and activated in relationships and the psychotherapist
attempt to figure out what parts of the internalized parental objects are standing in the way of
developmental processes and nature self-other relationships.
The interpersonal branch of the relational approach emphasized the transactions that occur between
individuals in dyadic configurations.
oThe most basic needs are biological satisfaction and interpersonal security.
oAs in object relations, the relationship with the psychotherapist is the crucial agent in healing and
the real relationship with the psychotherapist is often emphasized over the transference
Bowlby’s work in attachment theory - elaborated how the attachment system was vital to growth and
development and how psychopathology can develop when attachment bonds are prematurely disrupted.
oFour basic attachment style: (1) secure, where the child experiences the security of a firm
foundation; (2) insecure, where the child is anxious due to maternal insufficiency; (3)
preoccupied, where the child is vigilant and ambivalent about maintaining a connection with an
inconsistent parental figure; (4) disorganized, where the infant behaves erratically often sending
opposing messages at the same time, often due to neglect/abuse.
The most robust curative factor for all types of psychotherapy is the therapeutic relationships.
Self-Psychological Theory
Kohut & Rogers founded self-psychology with an emphasis on the self of the patient as a functional unit.
Opposed to the intrapsychic conflict model of the structural-drive approach, self-psychology emphasized
developmental defects  this suggests that psychopathology is related primarily to deficits rather than
In self-psychology, the psychotherapist seeks to identify weakness and deficits within the self, such as
unstable self-esteem or impaired self-concept.
Through the use of emphatic attunement and mirroring, the psychotherapist seeks to provide a corrective
emotional experience that allows the individual to develop more integrative self-functions and be less
Multiperspective Approach
Most contemporary psychodynamic psychotherapist utilizes a multiperspective approach combining
elements from structural-drive, ego psychology, object relations, and self-psychological theory
Thus, the psychoanalytic clinician views the patient’s patterns, personality configuration, and symptom
constellations through multiple lenses to enhance understanding and facilitate treatment planning.
Key Aspects:
Freud’s technique of free association and conceptualization of the unconscious allowed him, and others
who followed, to explore the dark recesses of the human psyche and to provide a map of the unconscious
and psychological suffering.
Freud’s dream analysis = dreams are clues to the problems and passions of client’s life.
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Free association is a procedure by which the individual freely reports whatever comes into his/her head
without censoring.
oFree association allows the analyst to have access to unconscious processes, and interpret the
fantasies, dreams, and musing of the patient.
Freud outlined the topographical contours with his delineation of the unconscious, preconscious, and
conscious zones.
Freud proposed a tripartite model of the human psyche, with the three structural components: (1) id, (2)
ego, (3) superego.
Freud explained how the “instinctual” sexual and aggressive forces are modulated and channeled either
neurotically into symptom formations or characterologically into personality disturbance
His emphasis on psychosexual development development represented one of the first attempts at
developing a stage theory of human development.
The key concepts of repressions and resistance offered psychoanalyst a way to understand how
acceptable impulses and painful affects, are essentially pushed down into the unconscious where they are
expressed in derivative form, such as slips of the tongue and symptom formations
oResistance refers to the patient’s use of defenses to keep the analyst from getting too close to the
painful feelings associated with the trauma.
oDealing with resistance is one of the major challenges for the analyst who must bypass these
through free association and interpretation.
Freud described the basic structure of the mind in three parts and their function:
1. Id
-Portion of the mind that harbors our instinctual organization (sexual and aggressive impulses), drives,
wishes, or primary process.
-Finds expression in the part of us influenced by our unadulterated drive for hedonistic gratification.
-Original component of mind from which the ego and superego are differentiated through a process of
-Psychic agency close to our physical being and from which energy, termed Eros (pleasure seeking) is
-Operates by the pleasure principle and attempts to avoid pain and maximize pleasure or gratification.
2. Ego
-Psychic agency that attempts to mediate the instinctual, gratification-seeking aims of the id with the
demands to supersede the primary process, or the gratification-seeking function, of the id.
-Ego system incorporates defenses as a means of carrying out the aims of adaptation and survival.
-It works in conjunction with the id, attempting to balance impulses but also using the energy to
provide drive, creativity, and motivation
-When there is a breakdown of the ego functions, the individual may lose control of his/her ability to
adequately perceive reality and control the force of primary process so that constraints are loosened –
this is a common occurrence seen individuals under the influence of substances that relax the ego
3. Superego
- Superego represents the internalized value system of society as portrayed and shaped by parental
attachment and sociocultural influences
-It represents the ideal state of how the individual should behave according to internalized parental
-It is formed from the punishment and praise provided by parents transformed into superego functions.
-Compared to the pleasure-seeking aims of the id and the reality orientation of the ego, the superego is
concerned with ideals of mortality and perfection.
-It serves as a constant judge for the actions of the ego.
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