What are the Techniques of Psychoanalysis?

Psychological treatment

Perspective create the difference and in psychology 4 early school of thought were used to explain the psychology behind human behaviour and Mental Disorders. All these schools of thought use different techniques to treat mental disorders. These schools of thought are Structuralism, Psychoanalysis, Behaviourism, and Humanism. Psychoanalysis was considered as the second school of thought in psychology which was established in the early 1890s by Sigmund Freud, whose work stemmed partly from the clinical work of Josef Breuer and others. While Freud was treating patients of neurosis he originated this school of thought.

What is Psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalysis is a set of theories that, studies the unconscious mind to understand human behavior and disorder by using different techniques such as Free association, Dream Analysis, transference, and countertransference. He also gave Structural, Topographical, and theory of psycho-sexual development. His primary concern was to understand the conflict between conscience and unconscious mind and how the defense mechanism plays a role in this process. This school of thought gives importance to a person’s early childhood experiences, traumas, and fixation in psycho-sexual development. This is why Freud had to face criticism and his fellow Psychologist parted ways due to deference of opinions.

Let’s first talk about techniques used in Psychology Analysis: Psychoanalysis therapy is basically talk therapy. In this therapy, each technique encourages the patient to think and express themselves and their past. By doing so, the individual uncover memories that may have been repressed (defense mechanism) and linked to the manifestation of their specific psychopathy.

1) Free association:

In the process of free association therapist encourages the client to freely express themselves, including the resistance and defence mechanism. Clients have to speak or write whatever comes to his mind. In this process, the client unconsciously reveals the unconscious operations of their mind. The connection which the client has with the therapist plays an important role in this therapy. The connection with the therapist’s prompts and the places that their mind goes signal to the therapist potential areas within the individual’s unconscious that may need further investigation.

Through this connections that they make with the therapist’s prompts and the places that their mind goes signal to the therapist potential areas within the individual’s unconscious that may need further investigation. The therapist helps the client through investigation to resolve the conflict that was leading to the psychopathology.

2) Dream Analysis:

The unconscious mind of the individual works more prominently while the person is in sleep as a defense mechanism before being slightly less active. In this process, the therapist investigates the repressed feelings of the client that can be expressed in dreams. Through this process, the therapist tries to uncover the unconscious material of the client.

Dream content was divided into two types:
  • Manifest content: this reference to the dream as it appears.
  • Latent content: this content is about fears, conflict, hidden motives, and wishes.

    Usually, this process is about understanding the symbolic meaning of the content. Therapists do this by uncovering the latent content within the manifest content of the dream. The therapist can ask the client to write down his dream and bring it into the next session and then with the help of client therapist will try to find the symbolic meaning of his dream by interpreting his dream to understand his repressed feelings.

    3) Transference:

    The redirection of emotions experienced in childhood onto the therapist. Transference is about expressing past feelings into the present. The client transfers his feelings to the therapist. By this process, the client re-experiences the feelings that need to be resolved.

    Types of Transference:
    • Positive Transference: Positive transference is when the client redirects the positive feelings or assumes to have positive characteristics to the therapist. This form of Transference can be useful for resolving the repressed feelings and having a better therapeutic alliance.
    • Negative Transference: When the client redirects negative feelings (Anger, hate, or suspicion) onto the therapist. This Transference can help in the therapeutic process. These negative emotions once come into the therapeutic process The therapist can investigate it to uncover the repressed feeling which was projected towards any dominant figure (Such as parents or siblings).
    • Sexualized Transference: it is also known as Erotic Transference. In this transference, clients can have Intimate, sexual, Reverential, feelings of worship, Romantic, and sensual.

    In this type of Transference, clients crave erotic satisfaction and believe that they will achieve happiness only after their erotic wishes are fulfilled. Sometimes clients leave the therapy in between because of the disappointment they are experiencing due to unfulfilled wishes. They can believe by fulfilling these feelings only a therapist can show his love towards them.

    Counter Transference:

    Counter Transference is when therapist redirects his repressed feelings to the client. Sigmund Freud considered this as an obstacle in the therapy process as modern practitioners consider that it can also provide benefits to the therapy process. It can affect the therapist objectively. Therapist can work on his countertransference once he recognizes it.

    Examples of counter-transference:
    • Inappropriately disclosing personal information
    • Offering advice
    • Not having boundaries
    • Developing strong romantic feelings toward you
    • Being overly critical of you
    • Being overly supportive of you
    • The therapist allows his feelings and experiences to interfere therapy process

    4) Resistance:

    While Sigmund Freud was applying talk therapy on clients he observes the sudden development of uncooperative behaviour of the client during the session. He named this behaviour (Sudden change in cooperation) as resistance. According to him this behaviour happens because the conscious mind is about to experience the unconscious mind threat. Behavior reflecting this resistance includes sudden silences during conversation, forgetting words, discomfort while speaking, or prolonged pauses during speech.

    In short resistance work’s as a client’s unwillingness to change or grow within the therapeutic treatment. Resistance can be conscious and unconscious.

    Id resistance:

    id resistance reflects the unconscious desire for consistency in a manner that is based upon the pleasure principle. The unconscious id opposes any change in its accustomed patterns of gratification, manifesting as resistance. The repetition compulsion motivates unconscious id impulses, leading to a form of resistance to therapy.

    Ego Resistance:

    This type of resistance is about neurotic resistance to a proposed state of Childlike safety. In this resistance client shows minor medical symptoms for gaining attention and sympathy.

    Super Ego Resistance:

    In this resistance, the client gives self-punishment by the self-imposed impediment. This is the weakest form of resistance-reflecting the moralistic sentiments of the superego. It’s about the client’s underlying guilt. Psychoanalysis frequently uses these four techniques.

    Psychoanalysis techniques are useful for understanding the unconscious mind and complexes. This technique brings the root cause of psychopathology to the surface of the therapy process. The therapist’s constant effort, combined with the client’s support, can resolve these issues and achieve the therapy’s objective.

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