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Psychodynamic Psychotherapy’ Key Issues Essay


Psychodynamic psychotherapy is one of the most efficient ways to identify the key issues that a patient suffers from and define the avenues for further treatment. Although it is rather hard to judge a particular case without actually taking part in the procedure, the video session in question seems to provide sufficient information for further analysis. After applying the concept of free association to the patient’s experience, it will be concluded that she needs to reconsider her relationships with the parents, particularly, her urge to “babysit” them as a result of fear of losing them due to a disease.

Applying the concept of free association, or the state of mind, in which the patient creates seemingly unrelated metaphors of their life (Kalat, 2013, p. 527), one will be able to notice that the patient is projecting her fear of losing her parents onto her dreams. As a result, such scenarios as losing them in a storm (her recent dream) emerge. Indeed, it seems that the patient does not want to recognize her fears; as a result, the latter manifest themselves in the form of her nightmares. Seeing how the very idea of her parents dying or even getting injured is immediately blocked by the patient’s mind, the only way that her fears can be expressed is through her dreams. The fact that her parents are taken away from her by a storm, i.e., something that she cannot control, may mean that the patient is afraid of losing control over their lives, as well as her connection with her parents.

Using the dream analysis technique, which was defined by Freud as a technique of interpreting the symbols viewed by the patient in a dream (Desmond, 2012, p. 6), will also work in the given case. An example of a dream analysis has been provided above; the key parallels between the patient’s fears and her visions have been drawn. It should be noted, though, that the patient is the only person that can locate the correct interpretation of her dreams; while several elements mentioned by the patient seem rather obvious, some parts of her dream may be symbolic of something that the therapist may be unaware of, such as childhood memories. To be more exact, the fact that the patient sees herself as a little girl in her dream is worth more thorough consideration.

Speaking of resistance, which is a patient’s unwillingness to reveal the unconscious thought process to the therapist (Himelstein, 2013, p. 68), the patient tries to block the idea of her parents suffering from her mind. Finally, the fact that the patient relates her insecurity about her parents’ health can be viewed as an example of transference, which is a phenomenon of projecting emotions onto particular objects or people (Starr, 2013, p. 144).

Along with several other techniques, the principles of the free association have helped discover the true meaning of the patient’s disturbing dream and the nightmare that she had. Because of an incredibly strong bond with her parents, as well as her unwillingness to mature and live her own life, the patient has become overprotective towards her parents. As a result, she feels an unceasing urge to retain the connection with her mother and her father.

Speaking of the means to address the issue in question, one must mention that being as dependent on one’s parents as the patient is rather unusual for an adult person. Therefore, the means to change the patient’s attitude by making her more independent should be sought. Reconsidering the self-image may help the patient overcome her fears.

Reference List

Desmond, J. (2012). Psychoanalytic accounts of consuming desire: Hearts of darkness. London, UK: Palgrave MacMillan.

Himelstein, S. (2013). A mindful approach to psychotherapy with at-risk adolescents. New York, NY: Routledge.

Kalat, J. (2013). Introduction to psychology. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

Starr, L. A. K. (2013). A psychotherapy for the people: Toward a progressive psychoanalysis. New York, NY: Routledge.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Psychodynamic Psychotherapy' Key Issues." May 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/psychodynamic-psychotherapy-key-issues/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Psychodynamic Psychotherapy' Key Issues'. 13 May.

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