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Give a constructive criticism on this presentation. (200 words)

The Unconscious Mind
Topic: Psychoanalysis

Description of Psychoanalysis

· Sigmund Freud coined the term “psychoanalysis” and it can be defined as, “a method in treating mental disorders, shaped by psychoanalytic theory, which emphasizes unconscious mental processes and is sometimes described as ‘depth psychology” (Encyclopedia).

Basic Assumptions of Psychoanalysis

· “Psychoanalytic psychologists see psychological problems as rooted in the unconscious mind” (McLeod, 2019). 

· The manifest symptoms are a result of latent hidden issues.

· The classic reasons include lingering issues during development or repressed trauma.

· Freud believed that insight could be obtained, and people could be mentally healed by making conscious their unconscious thoughts and motivations.

· Treatment focuses on exposing the repressed conflict to consciousness, where the patient can handle it.

Timeline of Psychoanalysis

· 1895:  Freud and Breuer’s Studies on Hysteria – use of “the talking cure” or interpretation therapy to setup future psychoanalysis. 

· 1905:  Freud produces Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality – presented link between child development and adult sexuality.

· 1910:  The International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) is founded.  Freud and followers wanted to establish a formal institutional base for psychoanalysis.

· 1899:  Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams – analysis of a possible complex hidden meanings.

· 1908:  The first International Psychoanlaytical Congress  was held in Salzburg, Austria.  This event would lead to institutionalizing Freud’s practices and theories world-wide

· 1915:  Freud published Thoughts for the Times on War and Death – analyzed political events and cultural mindsets that could way to massive tragedies.

· 1930:  Freud wrote Civilization and it’s Discontents – shows a correlation of a “super-ego” that society and individuals develop.

· 1968:  The May Paris Protests – this was a student-lead strike that resonated globally.  French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan, developed some controversial innovations in clinical practice (Shmoop, 2008

· 1919:  Beyond the Pleasure Principle is written – Freud’s explanation of the risks humans take and why.  Also, he covers trauma and post-traumatic disorders.

· 1936:  The Ego and Mechanisms of Defence by Anna Freud is released – Freud’s daughter studied defense mechanisms and dove deeper into the human ego.

Historical Literature of Psychoanalysis

Freud’s Interpretation Of Dreams (1899):

· Freud regarded dreams as a royal road to the unconscious; dream interpretation has thus been an important psychoanalytic technique. According to Freud, sources of dreams include stimuli from the external world, subjective experiences, organic stimuli within the body, and mental activities during sleep. Empirical evidence has supported some of these assertions. The self-organization theory of dreaming posits that memory consolidation, emotion regulation, and reception of external stimuli can contribute to dream content; hence, dream content can contain important information about the dreamer.(Zhang, 2018)

Freud’s Theory Of Sexuality (1905):

· Although Freud considered the entire body to be a source of sexual pleasure, he believed that this plea-sure was concentrated on different parts of the body at different stages of development. At any stage, the area of the body on which sexual pleasure is concentrated is called an erogenous zone. The erogenous zones give the stages of development their respective names. According to Freud, the experiences a child has during each stage determine, to a large extent, his or her adult personality. For this reason, Freud believed that the foundations for one’s adult personality are formed by the time a child is about five years old.

Freud’s Thoughts for the Times on War and Death (1915)

· According to Freud, within the warring nations, high social standards induced much self-restraint on the individual. These social standards were the basis of the civilized state’s existence. Freud asserts, however, that there is a disagreement between the warring state’s moral standards and its actions. The state acts in the way that it openly condemns in the individual, including deliberately lying and using deception. According to Freud, the second major factor that contributes to the mental anguish of the time is an alteration in the people’s attitude towards death. While humans are aware that death is the eventual outcome of their lives, in reality their own death is unimaginable to them. However, even though they cannot fathom their own deaths, humans are still deeply affected when it occurs to other people. The war has taken away their ability to ignore death. It can no longer be denied, as people are dying by the thousands. (Technow)

Freud’s Beyond The Pleasure Principles (1919):

·  The major theme of Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle is that man is driven by the instinct of death. This was a significant turning point of his ideas of the “most basic instincts that govern mental life” (Sugarman, 2016).  Moreover, in his book he explains that individuals undergo stressful and traumatic experiences in their lives which causes them to repeatedly relive these experiences. An example he uses is a soldier who deals with post-traumatic stress as they relive their experiences in the trenches. These experiences bring no value to the soldier’s life. From this example, he came up with the repetition compulsion principle which is “the tendency toward these [negative] repetitions can override the pleasure principle” (Sugarman, 2016). Furthermore, at the end of the text, he describes the death instinct which opposes his two life instincts: the sexual and ego instincts. Freud mentioned that the death instinct operated “in opposition to the life instincts, which by the end of the monograph subsume both the sexual and ego instincts of his former schematic” (Sugarman, 2016). This school of thought changed modern psychology as Freud proposed that humans are driven by more than just their sexual drive. 

Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents (1930)

· Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents written in 1930 focuses on the problem that the “great material advance of civilization” has led to our society being feeling unhappy (Freud, 1930). The unhappiness that Freud is referring to is because of the “almost intolerable degree of instinctual renunciation imposed by the cultural superego, a renunciation not only of erotic but also of aggressive (death) instincts” (Freud, 1930).  In the book, Freud goes on to compare social and individual development and the similarities that the two share.  Freud believed that society has led humans to become depressed and angry as the world was advancing at an alarming rate. Due to humans and their angry nature, they would then mistreat each other due to their high level of aggression. The ending of his book was interesting because Freud did not have any solution for society to improve their happiness. This school of thought changed modern psychology as Freud blamed civilization for unhappiness. 

The Ego and Mechanisms of Defense by Anna Freud (1936)

· Throughout Sigmund Freud’s life he described a variety of ego defenses that he describes in his published work. His daughter elaborated on her father’s work by adding ten more ego defenses. The ten ego defenses that Anna came up with include denial, repression, projection, displacement, regression, sublimation, rationalization, reaction formation, introjection, and identification with the aggressor. Defense mechanisms are unconscious reactions to protect an individual from a situation that causes them to feel anxious thoughts or emotions. According to Sigmund Freud, the Freudian theory describes defense mechanisms as “a distortion of reality in some way so that we are better able to cope with a situation” (McLeod, 2019). This school of thought has changed modern psychology as many more types of ego defenses have been developed due to Freud and his daughter’s work.

What is Psychoanalytic Therapy?

The psychoanalytic theory can be described as “key techniques [that] are [an] interpretation, dream analysis, free association, analysis of resistance, analysis of transference, and countertransference. Techniques are designed to help clients gain access to their unconscious conflicts, which lead to insight and eventual assimilation of new material by the ego” (Corey, 2017). 

Modern Psychoanalysis

Although Freud discussed the beginning of treatment, he made no reference to the manner in which the patient first makes emotional contact. Today we are aware that the analyst’s response to the patient’s first contact is essential in determining whether a treatment contract can be attained. The manner in which the patient contacts the analyst, the contact function is a guide to understanding what the patient needs  (Liegner, 2020). The importance of the therapist and client relationship is very important and is key ingredient if any sort of therapy will be successful. The client must feel comfortable in the presence of the therapist to make emotional contact so that a relationship based on trust and mutual respect can be established.  A therapist and client contract will dictate the course of therapy to be taken and what the goals of the treatment will be.

Current Treatment Attachment Theory

“Applying ideas from attachment theory and the concept of play, he explores his development inside and outside the treatment room that enabled him to follow the patient’s contact more effectively, which led to the formation of a therapeutic relationship” (Rothauser, 2017). Once the therapeutic relationship is formed it must continue to be nurtured. “Among attachment theory’s unique points of strength that make it suitable for exploring the concepts of responsiveness and attunement in psychotherapy are (a) it has an exceptionally strong empirical base, providing a bridge between clinical thinking and empirical research; (b) it offers a strong foundation for integration between diverse psychotherapy orientations; (c) it encompasses a developmental lifespan approach, “from the cradle to the grave”; (d) it is a theory of affect regulation and defensive processes” (Wiseman & Egozi, 2021

Psychoanalytic Theory of Instinctual Drives

“The concept of instinctual drive has a central role in the psychoanalytic situation and in psychoanalytic technique. Because of their constant demands, the drives and their derivatives continually press for representation and discharge. As the drives press for discharge, they simultaneously evoke the defensive, integrating, synthesizing, and reality testing functions of the ego. Instinctual drive is a psychological concept referring to impelling, motivating forces arising from the body’s metabolic activities, which appear in mental life in the form of their derivatives and transformations — wishes, fantasies, and behaviors” (Moore, 1995).

Effectiveness of Treatment

The efficacy of psychoanalysis is highly contingent on the patient’s willingness to commit to the course of treatment. To achieve long-term success, the doctor-patient connection must be strong and trusting. It is preferable to assist patients in gaining a better grasp of their own psychology in order for them to uncover the fundamental reasons of their problems and break the cycle of dysfunction rather than simply treating symptoms.

After reviewing prior research, one systematic review came to the conclusion that psychoanalytic therapy was an effective treatment that resulted in the reduction of symptoms and the development of long-term changes that lasted for years after treatment was completed (Gaskin, 2016).

The advantages and disadvantages of psychoanalysis are the same as those of any other type of therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy. Over the course of time, psychoanalysis, with its in-depth investigation of the mind, has been proved to bring about constructive change. Psychoanalysis, as opposed to other forms of treatment, seeks to identify and treat the underlying cause of the problem.

Psychoanalysis can be beneficial for those who have not responded to other forms of treatment since it explores the causes behind certain beliefs, attitudes, and actions, as well as their consequences. Over the course of time, psychoanalysis, with its in-depth investigation of the mind, has been proved to bring about constructive change (Gaskin, 2016).

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