The functioning of human psychology is one of the areas that have experienced a lot of research work. Many theories have been developed to explain mechanisms behind certain human behaviours. Despite all these efforts, human psychology remains one of the most controversial areas of study. This paper analyses psychoanalytic theory and its therapeutic processes in treating mental complications. The paper discusses some principles applied in the theory and the roles played by therapists and clients in the treatment process.
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Psychoanalytic therapy is a treatment procedure in which therapists strive to determine the influence of unconscious mind to the patient’s behaviour (Aziz, 2007). According to Aziz (2007), this theory assumes that certain behaviours can be initiated by unconscious mind without the knowledge of the affected person. In this regard, it is believed that mental instability can be caused by lack of balance between the unconscious and conscious elements of human mind.
The therapy is, therefore, designed to bring the unconscious element into conscious mind to strike a balance and restore normal mental functioning (Aziz, 2007). Aziz notes that psychoanalytic therapy is anchored on the principles of psychoanalysis as defined by Sigmund Freud (2007). The therapy also involves identification of some events in the early childhood life of the affected person that may be silently influencing the displayed behaviour. In this regard, both the therapist and the client play special roles in the treatment process (Aziz, 2007).
Psychoanalytic therapy employs the principle of free association (Corey, 2013). A special relationship has to be developed between the therapist and the client. In addition, the interaction has to be held on equal basis so that the client can talk freely. It should be noted that therapists have an obligation to create conducive environment in which clients feel free (Corey, 2013). During the interaction, therapists are expected to identify and interpret unconscious elements that may be associated with the clients’ abnormal behaviours.
The principle of free association requires that therapists identify unconscious elements by noting and interpreting instances of resistance (Corey, 2013). In this case, it is believed that people may resist change because they fear uncertainty. Fear that results from conscious mind can be easily explained. However, some resistance can be caused by unconscious mind. Such kind of fear cannot be explained by the affected person because he or she is not a where that it exists. Therapist can help to identify issues underlying resistance in such situations (Corey, 2013).
Sometimes clients exhibit transference during interaction. Transference is defined as a situation where one directs anger to a person who is very innocent (Corey, 2013). In such a case, the client should be helped to realize that his or her anger is a result of mere fantasies carried from the past (Corey, 2013).
In general, psychoanalytic therapy aims at helping clients understand themselves. However, the success of the therapy also depends on the client to a certain extent (Corey, 2013). Clients are supposed to exercise patience because psychoanalytic therapy is time consuming. In addition, the therapy depends on the principle of free association which can only prevail if the client cooperates. It is worth noting that the role of a client can be passively influenced by the therapist. However, the relationship has to remain cordial rather than subjective.
In conclusion, psychoanalytic therapy aims at helping patients understand their dynamics by finding balance between their conscious and unconscious elements. In this regard, therapists play their role by identifying unconscious elements and bringing them to the conscious mind of the client.
Aziz, R. (2007). The syndetic paradigm: the untrodden path beyond Freud and Jung. Albany: State University of New York.
Corey, G. (2013). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.