Contemporary Theories and Therapies

Psychoanalysis

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Founder/s

Sigmund Frued




Definition/Description

A method for diagnosing and treating mental illness and achieving better self-awareness using the principles of psychoanalytic theory.




Therapeutic Goal
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 with).


Treatment Techniques
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 work practice"?
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