Unconscious Aspects of The Personality And Promotes Adaptive Functioning

Psychoanalysis is not a single theory but rather, it is a diverse collection of many theories that attempt to explain facets of human functioning. Psychoanalysis promotes awareness of unconscious, maladaptive, and continuous recurrent patterns of emotion and behavior. It allows previously unconscious aspects of the self to become integrated and promotes adaptive functioning, healing, and creative expression. Psychoanalytic therapies have proven to be beneficial for dealing with a wide range of human relational and emotional health problems in different populations. Common Features Psychodynamic approaches share several basic assumptions which include a developmental understanding of psychopathology, unconscious motivation and intentionality, the use of transference, the past lives on in the present, a person-oriented perspective, a recognition of complexity, a focus on the inner world and psychological causality, and continuity between normal and disrupted personality development.

There is increasing consensus among the different psychodynamic approaches that factors influencing psychological development occur outside of conscious awareness.

Additionally, normal and pathological psychological functioning involves conflict and attempts are made to achieve and maintain psychological balance outside of conscious awareness. The mind in conflict occurs when individuals are of two or more minds about something. For example, Shedler (2006) states you can desire something and at the same time also fear it which is an inner contradiction that involves both ambivalence and conflict. Another common feature of psychoanalysis is that the past lives on in the present which is where individuals repeat and recreate the past from templates or scripts learned from earlier experiences. For example, a child who had an emotionally distant father may be attracted to men who are emotionally unresponsive as an adult.

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She may recreate this pattern of behavior in therapy by viewing her therapist as powerful if he is distracted and bored or viewing him as boring when he is caring and attentive. Transference involves the activation of old patterns, desires, unconscious feelings or schemas that predispose individuals to repeat the past in the present. The hallmark of psychoanalysis is the use of transference and countertransference as a means to “understand a client and effect change and that problematic relationship patterns reemerge in the relationship with the therapist.”  Psychological causation in psychoanalysis refers to the many causes and meanings that illustrate overdetermination and multiple functions. There is no one-to-one cause and effect but rather, multiple causes of symptoms or behaviors (overdetermination) that served many purposes (multiple functions). The concept of associative pathways is central to psychoanalytic theory where multiple associations can be linked to seemingly random mental events (e.g., slips of the tongue).

Additionally, psychoanalytic approaches typically consider the whole person and emphasize the roles of multifinality and equifinality. Equifinality suggests there are many potential pathways towards an outcome while multifinality implies that a given factor can result in a variety of outcomes dependent on other factors that are present. In psychoanalysis, the focus is always on the person and their developmental history rather than solely on a particular symptom, disorder, or developmental outcome Psychoanalytic approaches emphasize the complexity of psychological functioning in that the reciprocal relationship between developmental events and circumstances and their later contributes to new meanings (e.g., a girl realizing in adolescence that her father’s behavior toward her as a child involved sexual abuse). Further, psychoanalytic approaches are characterized by a focus on the inner psychological world and psychological causality across the lifespan. Psychological development can be seen as involving a move toward increasing complexity, differentiation, and integration of feelings, thoughts, and representations of self and others.

These range from the most primitive undifferentiated feelings, thoughts, and fantasies of the infant to more elaborated, differentiated, and integrated representations of self and others, or internal working models, hopes, desires, fantasies, dreams, and fear. Psychoanalytic approaches emphasize the essential continuity between normality and pathology. Normal and disrupted psychological development involve attempts to find a balance between the impact (psychological and biological) of past experiences and current needs in the context of an individual’s environment. Treatment Outcomes Different types of psychotherapy and psychoanalytic treatments, in particular, have several common features. The specific techniques used in each type of psychotherapy can only be partially responsible for treatment outcomes as research shows that compared to other types of psychotherapy, psychodynamic therapists tend to place a stronger emphasis on affect and emotional expression,  the exploration of patients’ tendency to avoid topics (i.e. defenses), the identification of recur- ring patterns in behavior, feelings, experiences, and relationships,  the past and its influence on the present, interpersonal experiences, the therapeutic relationship, and the exploration of wishes, dreams, and fantasies.

Specific analytic treatment outcomes in psychoanalysis are symptom improvements in relationship functioning and well-being, increased ability for self-analysis, ability to experiment with new behaviors in interpersonal relationship, discovering pleasure in new challenges, increased tolerance for negative affect, increased insight into how the past determines the present, and use of self-calming and supportive strategies. Psychotherapist competencies may overlap with other treatments, but specific psychodynamic competencies include the ability to work with transference, countertransference, and defenses. Factors responsible for therapeutic change in psychoanalysis include 1) changes in the ego, id, and superego, changes in defenses and coping strategies (ego psychology), changes in the object representations (object relations), changes in self-structures (self-psychology), changes to the desire of Other (Lacanian approach), changes in states of mind (attachment theory), and the capacity to understand the self and others (mentalizing).

The common features among these theories and schools of thought are that psychoanalytic treatment results in the capacity to engage in self-analysis even after treatment has ended, which leads to increased inner freedom and sustained efficacy through an increased capacity to deal with stressors, Personal Reflections Although there is a not a single unified psychoanalytic perspective, there are basic principles that remain similar across all psychoanalytic perspectives that include: the assumption that individuals are motivated in part by their fantasies and wishes outside of awareness, facilitation of awareness of unconscious motivations to increase choice, exploration of avoidance behaviors, exploration of ambivalence about change, emphasis on the therapeutic relationship to explore unconscious and conscious self-defeating thoughts and behaviors, emphasis on the therapeutic alliance in effecting change, and an emphasis on helping clients to understand how the past and present plays a role in self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. Shedler (2011) states “we have sided with the forces of dark over light.

We have betrayed ourselves”. Shedler (2011) suggests academic psychology has encouraged resistance to know and understand the self by providing rationalizations in the form of theories which are fixed, dogmatic, and reductive answers about what to believe and what judgments to make. Psychoanalysis is a process requiring an open mind, soul, and spirit to continue the ongoing process of discovery for truth and knowledge of life and oneself. Socrates is famous for his quote “the unexamined life is not worth living” which is an invitation to discover who you are and how you want to live. Socrates and psychoanalysts are both committed to the idea the self is a continuous process of evolution and encourages a sense of wonder through self-exploration using discussion and dialogue.

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Unconscious Aspects of The Personality And Promotes Adaptive Functioning. (2022, Apr 30). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/unconscious-aspects-of-the-personality-and-promotes-adaptive-functioning/

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