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Application of Psychodynamic Theory: Deborah Case Essay

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Updated: Mar 28th, 2021

Provide an understanding of Deborah’s issues that is congruent with the psychodynamic theoretical perspective to include: (a) A list of Deborah’s ego strengths; (b) A description of the problem(s) as it would be explained by psychodynamic theory; and (c) Potential reasons for the problematic behavior(s) as explained by psychodynamic theory.

  1. A list of Deborah’s ego strengths
    1. Over-possessiveness
    2. Persistent efforts to impress her mother
    3. Shyness
  2. A description of the problem(s) as it would be explained by the psychodynamic theory
    1. The SW’s therapy report reveals that Deborah has various egocentric issues that have contributed to her present state of mind. The fact that she is over-possessive has compelled her to control her normal life in certain situations to impress her mother. According to the psychodynamic theory, Deborah’s hypercritical parents have constantly made negative impact on her social life. This situation has forced her to perceive herself as a failure amongst other people. This state of mind has lowered her ego since her early childhood. Another problem that is explained by the psychodynamic theory is that Deborah has been having a feeling that her views were not as important as the views of other individuals. This state of affairs has negatively affected her potential to do anything substantial and relevant. Consequently, the relationship between Deborah and her parents strongly attributes to the negative impression about herself.
  3. Potential reasons for the problematic behavior(s) as explained by psychodynamic theory.
    1. The main reason for Deborah’s predicament is her parents’ hypocriticalness. This situation has created a detrimental perception in her mind. According to Appelbaum (2012), constant criticism instills low self-esteem and poor confidence in a person’s mind. Particularly, Deborah’s mother has remained the most hypercritical. She does not seem to realize that her daughter has become a responsible grownup and needs her time and space to make independent decisions. Absurdly, the same parents have been constantly making negative criticisms about her that have negatively affected her social life. However, her confidence has significantly improved. At some point, she purposely denied her mother’s invitation to attend a movie session. She claims that driving to her mother’s place will be tiresome.

Based on the information that you have provided in Question No.1, provide: (a) a minimum of two treatment goals that are congruent with Deborah’s ego strengths. What Deborah wants from treatment, and the psychodynamic perspective; (b) a description of the interventions you would use based on the TX goals you selected; and (c) the approximate length of time you will need to achieve the goals selected and why.

  1. A minimum of two treatment goals that are congruent with Deborah’s ego strengths.
    1. At the outset, Deborah requires self-independence in matters that pertain to making individual decisions and adherence to her views without fear of intimidation. This treatment goal will boost her confidence and ego. Independent decision-making is an important treatment remedy to let her know that the perceptions her hypercritical parents about her are probably different from the perceptions of other people. Perhaps, independent decision-making will justify her actions whether they are wrong or right. Secondly, Deborah should be encouraged to expose her feelings. This action will significantly boost her ego and self-esteem. Eventually, she will attain enough confidence and boosted ego to express her feelings regardless of what other people may perceive about her.
  2. A description of the interventions you would use based on the TX goals you selected
    1. The intervention to Deborah’s case revolves around a constant reminder that she has the freedom and right to defend her own opinion against the opinions of other people. She should understand that individuals have different perceptions towards her character. Therefore, she ought to express herself without unnecessarily thinking about how other people perceive about her. On the other hand, encouraging Deborah to express herself freely and abide by the decisions that she makes without fear of intimidation. Based on the TX goals, it is important to let Deborah understand herself scrupulously thorough independent thinking since individuals learn about themselves constantly.
  3. The approximate length of time you will need to achieve the goals selected and why.
    1. Usually, psychodynamics may take up to two years to ensure full implementation of psychoanalytical procedures (Siegel & Hilsenroth, 2013). According to the authors, psychodynamic treatment involves various psychological processes to change the identities of people owing to modifications that were imposed on them during their early stages of emotional development that lead to long-term effects. However, Deborah’s case calls for a short intervention as compared to many psychodynamic treatments. According to psychodynamics theories, Deborah’s case does not demand for constant meetings with a therapist. The time of psychological therapy will range from two weeks to a month to achieve the TX goals.

How did the SW use Deborah’s transference reaction as an opportunity to therapeutically intervene to provide Deborah with a growth promoting experience? Do you agree with the SW’s approach? Explain your response.

The SW used the transference reaction as an opportunity to intervene Deborah’s case therapeutically by putting her as an entity of emotional reaction in an attempt to make her understand the perceptions of her parents. The SW seeks to enable Deborah realize that what her parents think about her is very different from what she thinks. Therefore, the SW used this opportunity as a basis of the therapy session by letting Deborah know that her perception was different from the perceptions of other people. This situation elevated Deborah’s alertness to an extent that she wanted to know what the SW was thinking about her.

The SW’s approach was effective since she already knew what Deborah had gone through in her early childhood up to adolescence. Most importantly, the SW clearly understood that Deborah might think that she has the same perception towards her as her parents. The SW guaranteed Deborah that her perception towards her was different from her parents’ perceptions and that it was the SW’s time to know her real identity without considering the perception of her parents. This way, the SW encouraged her to become self-reliant and psychologically independent. This situation implied that Deborah had to set limits in her relationship with her parents.

Describe two ways in which you would evaluate Deborah’s progress. What would you measure? How and when would you measure it?

One of the ways to evaluate Deborah’s progress is by monitoring her relationship with her colleagues (Boterhoven De Haan & Lee, 2014). The fact that Deborah was a marketer implies that she can become more outspoken to develop her career. This kind of progress can earn her promotion to managerial positions. Her managers have revealed that she only shares her views in written documents. However, she should become verbal while delivering her views that pertain to the company’s welfare to be promoted. Improving her outspokenness and confidence to offer her ideas is an effective way of promoting Deborah’s progress.

Another way of evaluating the progress is by looking into the social interaction between Deborah and her new boyfriend David. This strategy can also involve monitoring of whether she has made new friends after the therapy. The evaluation should also seek to determine whether the commitment of her relationship with David could eventually lead to marriage. In this sense, the progress can be measured effectively by looking into how many new friends Deborah has acquired and the duration Deborah has maintained the relationship with David.

What do you anticipate will be Deborah’s response to termination? How would you handle the termination including how and when you would inform Deborah of the termination. Explain your answer.

Deborah’s response towards the termination gave her a much stronger perception about herself that made her to realize that she was a different person altogether. Certainly, Deborah is expected to respond with a willing attitude to end the therapy since she has already understood the cause of her predicament and has taken the right steps to live with a changed attitude towards herself and her relationships with colleagues, friends, and family.

Termination of Deborah’s therapy should be handled with openness whilst considering her willingness in a bid to enable her to determine her readiness to terminate or continue with the therapy. Generally, the best time to terminate the therapy is when positive outcomes reveal in her personal and professional life (Appelbaum, 2012).

Reference List

Appelbaum, A. (2012). Review of ‘Psychodynamic psychotherapy: A clinical manual’. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 29(2), pp. 274-75.

Boterhoven De Haan, K., & Lee, C. (2014). Therapists’ thoughts on therapy: Clinicians’ perceptions of the therapy processes that distinguish schema, cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic approaches. Psychotherapy Research, 24(5), pp. 538-49.

Siegel, D., & Hilsenroth, M. (2013). Process and Technique Factors Associated with Patient Ratings of Session Safety during Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 67(3), pp. 257-76.

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