Home > Free Essays > Health & Medicine > Psychiatry > Psychoanalysis and Psychiatric Treatment Methods
Cite this

Psychoanalysis and Psychiatric Treatment Methods Essay

Introduction: The Notion of Psychoanalysis

The idea of psychoanalytic investigation extended from the theory of humanism, which supported the process of challenging and verifying personal self as the way of measuring one’s emotional health (Lye par. 3). Thus, the basic practices of dreams interpretation, as well as sexuality, personal desires analysis, and mental disorders identification, were put in the focus of psychoanalytic description. The major theorist of the discipline is the Austrian psychologist, Sigmund Freud, who developed a doctrine of mental distinctions and human behaviors being the follow-ups of unconscious desires.

The Overview of the Freudian Psychoanalytic Approach

Sigmund Freud’s idea of psychological impulses as the reactions to subconscious wishes earned a wide popularity not only through its originality but the extension of the first public clinics. Thus, the scandalous psychologist became the first doctor, who launched a program of founding the primary free-access clinics. The project evolved in Austria, in the first part of the 20th century and the practice was rapidly overtaken by the British and Hungarian medical institutions. The public services, which provided free-of-charge psychological treatment, became social in character, for they embraced a form of the democracy establishment and gave birth to multilevel social services throughout the world (Danto 9). The techniques and practices that were applied in the first psychiatry clinics included the methods of direct observation and discussions mostly. However, some traditional treatment elements were still present in the program of psychoanalytic examination.

Psychotherapy Practices: The Cruelty of Treatment

When one regards the practices of psychiatric treatment, the cruel practices of lobotomy, cold and hot water exposure, and some other physical tortures are often recounted. The approaches of bodily treatment of mental disorders stem from the 20th century. The following overview of the major aggressive approaches to human psychology provides a consisted notion of the psychoanalysis background.


The practice of lobotomy was initially employed as an effective response to prolonged depressions, schizophrenia, and some other severe mental illnesses. The treatment technique first evolved in Portugal. It was developed by a neurologist, Egas Moniz, who deduced that gaining direct access to the human brain through drilling holes in a skull may improve the intellectual stability of a person. From that time on, the method was spread throughout multiple European and American clinics. Today, lobotomy is not used as a psychiatric treatment practice since it was acknowledged that the technique poses some threat to human life. Thus, in 1967, the American patient died directly during the session of lobotomy. Consequently, the practice was discarded by the World Health Organization (Tartakovsky par. 12).


The usage of isolation as a treatment technique was initially employed by the nurses, who did not cope with separate highly-disturbed or aggressive patients. Since the time of psychiatric clinics existence, the experts faced the problem of extensive cruelty or rage, which was demonstrated by the clients. Therefore, they used to close the patients in separate rooms so that to give them a chance to calm down. It was noticed that the practice was quite helpful, for the desolated revealed relative submission after the session of separation. Consequently, isolation became a full-value treatment technique. At the end of the 20th century, however, it was certified by the psychological investigations that solitude does not allow people to cope with their problems. In contrast, it only stiffens their desires, which can evolve in the further mental complications. Thus, the practice was forbidden (“Isolation of Patients in Protected Rooms during Psychiatric Treatment” par. 5).

Insulin and Electroshock Therapies

The history of shock therapy in psychiatry began in the first decade of the 20th century and stemmed from the idea of convulsions being the effective treatment of such illness as apathy. Since the convulsions can be evoked by the electroshock therapy or insulin-imposed coma, the shock-based approach to recovery was developed. The method functioned for 70 years and was widely spread throughout multiple clinical settings (Shorter and Healy 10). With the course of time, the approach became employed as a tool for manipulation and patients subdue, which posed some dangers to human health. Moreover, it was claimed that the effects of the therapy had a temporary character. Consequently, the practice was eradicated by the theorists of psychoanalysis.

Water Treatment and Holdovers

The earliest types of psychotherapies take their roots from the 17th century. In this context, one usually regards the practices of various physical exposures and modifications, which were interpreted as the reactions to intellectual disabilities. For instance, the first psychologists were used to applying hydrotherapy as a producer of multiple bodily reactions. Since the human organism provides certain impulses in response to high and low temperatures, water was often heated or frozen (“Restoring Perspective: Life and Treatment at London Asylum” par. 1). Moreover, the doctors made an extensive use of holdovers in the 17th century. This method targeted depression treatment and implied brain stimulation through the application of different physical materials.

Conclusion: Summarizing the Popular Psychiatry Approaches

The reviewed methods of psychiatric treatment provide a picture of psychoanalysis functioning in the first part of the 19th century. According to the estimation, the variety of therapies was based on some bodily reactions analysis. In the aftermath of the study, it may be concluded that the application of the mentioned techniques is based on vain assumptions and can pose a considerate threat to human health.

Works Cited

Danto, Elisabeth Ann. Freud’s Free Clinics: Psychoanalysis & Social Justice, 1918- 1938, New York: Columbia University Press, 2007. Print.

Isolation of Patients in Protected Rooms during Psychiatric Treatment 2010. Web.

Lye, John. Psychoanalytic Theory: Terms and Concepts. 2008. Web.

Restoring Perspective: Life and Treatment at London Asylum 2011. Web.

Shorter, Edward, and David Healy. Shock Therapy: A History of Electroconvulsive Treatment in Mental Illness, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2013. Print.

Tartakovsky, Margarita. The Surprising History of the Lobotomy. 2011. Web.

This essay on Psychoanalysis and Psychiatric Treatment Methods was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar

301 certified writers online

Cite This paper

Select a referencing style:


IvyPanda. (2020, June 10). Psychoanalysis and Psychiatric Treatment Methods. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/psychoanalysis-and-psychiatric-treatment-methods/

Work Cited

"Psychoanalysis and Psychiatric Treatment Methods." IvyPanda, 10 June 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/psychoanalysis-and-psychiatric-treatment-methods/.

1. IvyPanda. "Psychoanalysis and Psychiatric Treatment Methods." June 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/psychoanalysis-and-psychiatric-treatment-methods/.


IvyPanda. "Psychoanalysis and Psychiatric Treatment Methods." June 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/psychoanalysis-and-psychiatric-treatment-methods/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Psychoanalysis and Psychiatric Treatment Methods." June 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/psychoanalysis-and-psychiatric-treatment-methods/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Psychoanalysis and Psychiatric Treatment Methods'. 10 June.

More related papers