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Psychodynamic Theoretical Approach to Counseling and Psychotherapy Essay

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Updated: Jun 30th, 2022

My primary approach towards counseling and psychotherapy is rooted in the concept of psychodynamic analysis, which is mainly based on psychoanalysis developed by Sigmund Freud. It is important to note that the given theory emphasizes the criticality of driving forces within a person’s mind, and it is especially applicable to unconscious influences (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2018). In other words, the approach accentuates the relevance of a patient’s or client’s inner needs and mental issues, which are buried deep beneath the conscious layer of thoughts. The psychodynamic approach, as its name suggests, focuses and addresses the dynamic forces, which directly or indirectly affect an individual.

The psychodynamic theory and counseling approach was historically developed by Sigmund Freud due to his early works on hysteria in the late 1890s. At the beginning of the 20th century, Freud developed his core theories based on the case of hysteria, which was focused on the explanation, where the issue is the result of a past traumatic experience rather than a physical factor (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2018). In other words, unconscious and hidden problems of the memory affected a person’s current state, where the manifestation was the hysteria itself. In the following years, Freud refined his theory with the collaborative efforts of other well-known psychologists, such as Carl Jung.

The basis of all assumptions of the psychodynamic theory is rooted in the notion of all behavioral issues originating from the unconscious part of the mind. In other words, the concept can be called as psychic determinism, which emphasizes the fact that all behavioral patterns and elements of behavior have a causal origin, and thus, they do not emerge on their own (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2018). One of the most critical phases of human development is a person’s childhood, which has the strongest and long-lasting impact on the behavioral aspects of an individual. The psychodynamic theory accentuates that one’s psyche is comprised of three major components, which are Superego, Ego, and Id (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2018). These elements of a mind are tightly interconnected and play a major role in shaping a person’s behavior, and the corresponding issues are the result of problems, which originate from these parts of a psyche.

The role of a therapist or psychotherapist is of paramount importance because it is he or she who identifies and attempts to fix the underlying mental issue causes. The professional can utilize a wide range of methodological tools to access the unconscious aspect of a client’s mind. Therefore, the therapist is an important element of the therapy process because he or she is the one who identifies the underlying problematic areas of the behavioral disturbance.

The goal of the therapeutic process of the psychodynamic approach is to find the cause within the subconscious mind that results in a specified issue.

The techniques might include hypnosis, slips of the tongue, projective tests, free associations, and dream analysis, which can possess their own set of advantages and disadvantages (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2018).

In conclusion, the basis for my approach to counseling and psychotherapy process is the psychodynamic theory, which was developed and implemented by Sigmund Freud in the early 1900s. The core of the concept focuses on the notion of the subconscious, where the author assumes that all behavioral problems have a root origin in the unconscious mind. In other words, the client himself or herself does not understand that many problems are the result of past experiences, such as childhood disturbances. The theory was first derived from the case involving hysteria, where it was identified that past traumatic events were the key trigger of hysteric behaviors.

Reference

Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2018). Counseling and psychotherapy theories in context and practice: Skills, strategies, and techniques (3rd ed.). John Wiley and Sons.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Psychodynamic Theoretical Approach to Counseling and Psychotherapy." June 30, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/psychodynamic-theoretical-approach-to-counseling-and-psychotherapy/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Psychodynamic Theoretical Approach to Counseling and Psychotherapy'. 30 June.

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