A method for diagnosing
and treating mental illness and achieving better self-awareness using the principles of psychoanalytic theory.
The goal is to discover the disturbing unconscious processes and bring them into the conscious emotion (or energy)
can be expressed (and thereby dissipated) and the disturbing unconsious ideas (now conscious) can be "worked through" (dealt
Psychoanalysis is a long process, generally because the chain of traumatic events
from deep in the past is believed to be the determinant of each symptom. To treat a patient, the memory of these traumatic
experiences must be broght to the conscious part of the patient's mind to trigger an emotional catharsis and to allow the
person to consciously handle the disturbing ideas connected with the trauma. Psychoanalysis uses hypnosis, free association,
dream analysis, and transference. Hypnosis was used early in his career, but later discarded because many of the patients
could not be hypnotized. Freud used free association, in which a patient is instructed to say whatever comes to mind , no
matter how trivial. Freud thought dreams were a direct route to the unconscious, because a person's defenses are relaxed while
dreaming. Freud also used transference to discover disturbing unconscious processes.
What is its "utility to social
Social workers use psychoanalysis to counsel clients.
Sources- The Social Work Dictionary by Robert L. Barker and The Practice of Social Work by
Charles H. Zastrow
SOWK 355 " Courtney Perryman" Fall 2005