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Intra-psychic conflict is a notion whereby the ego rehearses the scenario that is mostly feared and inter-subjective in nature thus triggers off a self-protective reaction aimed at justifying the signal anxiety being experienced by the client (Brown, Miller, and Eason 468-470).
Defense mechanisms are primarily unconscious processes endorsed to the structured ego hence helps the subject’s ego to tackle and avoid apprehension, unpleasant emotions and psychic mayhem. These copying styles also protect individuals from awareness of both internal and external stressors hence act as mediators between their emotional reactions and the stressors. They are procedures that help in working through conflicts of psychic nature in order to develop psychic growth. The defense mechanisms are classified into mature (altruism, sublimation), immature (introjections, regression), neurotic (isolation, dissociation) and narcissistic (distortion, denial). These defense mechanisms do result from the interactions that occur between the id, ego and superego which are the basic structures found in anatomy of personality and try to compromise the attempts made to satisfy the id so that the superego, a socialization agent, can deal with it adequately. However, there are some defense mechanisms that try to explain aspects associated with psychopathology. For example, when a child grows in a family with abusive parents, the kid will eventually grow to abuse his/her peers hence the aggression behavior identified in them (Brown, Miller, and Eason 477-482).
Transference is a reaction commonly experienced and expected by the clients as they undergo feelings for the psychoanalyst; they are love and or hate that affect every living being. Normally, clients/patients view their analysts as role models and parents. The intense belief held by the client on the psychotherapist can pose problems that must be resolved immediately within the work of the psychoanalyst. For example, the client can resemble mixed feelings of love and hate that one had in his childhood for the parents thus begins treating the psychotherapist in accordance with the feelings. This will be going out of proportion with the treatment being given and as such, the client needs to realize that the therapist is only doing his assigned duty of bringing the feelings to light; your feelings are important and not those of the therapist attending you. This transference reaction is a very delicate feeling or response that needs to be handled carefully to avoid problems and disasters from occurring. For instance, many are the times when clients have had to be sexually involved with the therapist due to the fact that the psychoanalyst took the client’s erotic stance to a more personal level which is not ethical because his duty is to make the client understand their clinical meaning. When a patient feels an emotion during the therapeutic sessions, the task of the analyst is to name the feeling as an emotion and comprehend it as an emotion (Brown, Miller, and Eason 473-485).
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Counter transference is also known as the analyst’s unconscious response given to the patient. Therefore, it was considered to have unconstructive effects on the therapeutic relations. According to Freud, counter-transference consists of inapt reactions of the analyst due to his or her own conflicts that are unsettled. In a natural sense of life, psychotherapists also experience their own conflicts and confusions within their therapeutic environment and outside it because they are human beings like the rest who conflict. Hence, counter-transference does include irrational thoughts and reactions of the analyst which directly affects to the patient. If for example these feelings are taken personally, the psychotherapist is bound to get angry, abusive, spiteful, or even seductive and thus, if the counter-transference reactions become too intense for the psychotherapist to handle, h/she might have to end the treatment and refer the client to someone so as to ensure that the client is safe (Brown, Miller, and Eason 496-600).
Family constellations as an approach is used to reveal the dynamics that are hidden in a family so that they can be worked on by the psychotherapist in order to heal the patients. It is normally created so that members of a family are represented by members of a group where each and every one of them is spontaneously placed in a position and takes the place of an individual in a family. These groups of persons representing individuals in a family then begin to feel out the concerned emotions, fears and desires of that person in the family thus bringing to light disharmony. As we know, each of us is connected to another at the soul (morphogenic field) level hence the true nature and story of the family comes to light for the very first time. We become telepathically connected to each other even when we decide to create distance with our family; we forget that we are connected emotionally and energetically. The family constellation is a deep experience for those participants playing the roles of others. For example, there are times when the ‘role player’ reports situations in an intense way irrespective of the real ages of the family member being represented. Many are the times when a child seeks to find harmony within the family thus the player should be able to view himself as a child and know the exact needs of that child (Oberst and Stewart 220-218).
Humans’ primary goal is to strive for superiority or self-perfection. This superiority is achieved healthily through guidance of social interest and the need for an individual to become superior in his environment. Everyone grows up with inferiority complex feelings and thus searches for some form of social compensation which leads to a healthy psychic life depending on the sufficiency of the compensation. Superiority complex is developed through covering up our inferiority complex by pretending to be better people from others who have been looking down on you. Examples are those bullies and dictators we come by in our every day society. The only way we can see ourselves to be better and bigger than them is to view them as being smaller than individuals. Those individuals who try putting other people down for their ethnic origins, sexual orientation, height and race among others should be put in their place by ignoring their mild accusations and viewing them as minute creatures you can crash. However, one should not resort to taking drugs and or alcohol to hide their feelings. This drive of one becoming superior enables individuals to become creative, competent and skilled in their areas of specialization and interaction in societal level (Oberst and Stewart 142-150).
Neurotic symptoms come about when the feeling of vulnerability is maintained during childhood development and eventually becomes devastating due to poor parental behavior, or physical disabilities which leads the person to feeling discouraged hence resulting into an inferiority complex state, but is later compensated by the superiority complex, which is a pathological feeling of both power and arrogance, the individual lacks social interest and tries to evade the problems that present themselves in his/her life rather than resolve them, its outstanding characteristics being those of ignoring the welfare of other people, thus the neurotic tendency rules, or avoid others. The individual goal at this point in time is being recognized and seen as important in society and will use any style or strategy to ultimately reach the goal. The mistakes that people commit during this goal attainment are: extreme yearning for attention, inapt need for authority, revenge quest and position of inadequacy theory generated (Oberst and Stewart 29-37).
Psychological position is when the child’s later behavior has been influenced by parents’ attitude. For example, if the child is neglected during his early stages of development, he will probably develop a feeling of discouragement and if the child is overprotected, he will use tricks like being sick thus submitting the whole family to his will. However, if the overprotected child feels neglected, he will acclimatize to a life style of neglect and the vice versa also applies. In a case like this, it is not the child’s experience that dictates his actions, but rather the conclusions drawn from his experiences (Oberst and Stewart 67-76).
Counseling vs. psychotherapy is different in terms of work execution, but focuses on the social forces, therapy and analysis of early childhood development which was mostly concerned with eradication of inferiority complex through positive interaction in society. In counseling, a counselor gives ‘orders’, recipes, and suggestions for his patients to follow so as to improve his psychic condition. The counselor is an expert in several life domains like marriage, education, and leadership. Adlerian therapy is a friendly interaction between the therapist and the patient./ The therapist is given the task of uncovering the goal(s) that are behind the patient’s behavior by understanding the problem critically and uncovering the reactions of other human beings to those of misbehaviors of the patients, and ultimately endow the patient with clues for active learning of better roles and the setting of new goals (Sommers-Flanagan 90-100).
Social interest according to Adler is exemplified by an individual as a measure of maturity and succession evidence in lives tasks hence the foreseeable reparation for all the expected weaknesses of man as a social being. In therapy, social interest is a measure of therapy. It is a way of life that has positive feelings of assurance in an individual and an authentic concern in other’s welfare and well being (Sommers-Flanagan 100-110).
The three basic qualities considered for therapeutic triad are: genuineness, non possessive warmth and empathy. According to Rogers, genuine people do not at any point present a false fascia since there non-verbal behavior matches with their inner way of thinking and belief. Ashley Heslop on the other hand, views genuineness as those sets of attitudes and behavior from a counselor which are essential for achieving a high level counseling process. It is an important aspect of communication as a process in the therapeutic triad hence the person who reflects genuineness is one who simply tries to be him/herself at all times. The person is always comfortable with the interactions h/she makes by not adapting to roles that will make him/her acceptable in the community. Professional role, spontaneity, non defensive, consistency and self sharing are some of the qualities that make up genuineness (Smith 561-563).
Non possessive warmth has been used widely to describe sensitivity, friendliness and consideration from the counselor. For an effective counseling relation between the therapist and the patient, personal warmth is basic and should be showed. According to Carl Rogers, this is called quality unconditional positive regard. On the other hand, Traux and Carkhuff came to a conclusion that the higher the level of non-possessive warmth, the more the more the client attained a constructive change in personality. One should always bear in mind that the patient who is the client is a person who deserves to be treated with respect at all times hence the therapist is willing to be there for the patient. Bordin and Raush came up components that are involved in non-possessive communication as the counselor’s commitment, efforts of the counselor in understanding the client and spontaneity. These components have shown that the counselor’s efforts in understanding the client with regard to respect and warmth are the major ties existing between the counselor and the patient (client). In a counselor’s final analysis, the patient’s non-possessive warmth experience matters (Smith 567).
Empathy as the relationship developed between the client and the counselor enable a client to set his/her feelings in an orderly manner by regrouping his attitudes and reasserting his personality. Traux defines empathy as, ‘sensitivity to current feelings, and the verbal facility to communicate this understanding in a language attuned to the client’s current being,’ that is, ability of an individual to see the world in other’s eyes. For the client to be able to overcome the feelings of alienation and segregation, the counselor’s empathy will be the ultimate solution. Therefore, it involves the ability of the therapist to fully experience the feelings and experiences of the client, reflect upon them but suspend his own judgments and tolerate his concerns then communicate to the client the understandings. Adler says that it is the manner in which the counselor communicates accurate empathy and fosters growth of the individual and not the techniques and theories applied. The counselor will achieve the best results if and when they act as human beings (Smith 555-560).
In my own view, this kind of therapy is best because it fully considers the client as a human being and embraces them with love, understanding and respect that is essential for any human being. The only existing limitation with this type of counseling is that there are some patients who are not ready to be themselves and thus one the medication has been administered, it posses more danger to his/her personality since it will have been corrupted and tampered with which at times leads to lose of memory and even sexual attraction by the client to the therapist which affects the evaluations given. The person should be assisted in making his/her decisions, have micro-skills and eventually will be able to facilitate the process of interaction.
REBT (Rational emotive behavior therapy)
REBT was developed by Albert Ellis to resolve problems of specific nature that face individuals. It is the first cognitive form of behavior therapy that teaches the patient on how to identify the irrational (unhealthy thinking) beliefs, dispute them accordingly and replace them with rational (healthy thinking) beliefs. Once the client has been fully outfitted with healthy (rational) beliefs, the emotional difficulties and challenging behaviors are abated with much ease. The theory generally focuses on feelings, cognitions and behaviors where A stands for Adversities, B for beliefs (believing-emotion-behaving) and C for the consequences.
REBT in psychotherapy is when an individual is being diagnosed with a specific psychosomatic problem hence are similar to medical illnesses that need treatment even though emotional diagnosis and treatment are difficult problems to describe and resolve. All psychological problems and changes do involve individual symptoms like emotions, behavior, conflicts and thought processes and the changes that occur in interpersonal relationships (Ellis and Dryden 134).
In marriage/couple therapy (counseling), the focus of attention is the relationship between two people which involve individual symptoms, the problems and existing conflicts in the relationships. For example, if one experiences difficulty in controlling his/her temper it results in more arguments with the partner, hence the need to see a therapist who will be able to identify the issues arising and causing conflict in the relationship. The therapist goes ahead to decide the necessary changes to be effected for both partners to feel satisfied with each other in the relationship. Counseling therapy enhances good communication between partners and instills in them the virtue of being attentive to listen keenly to each other. Couples need to learn not to compete with each other, but try and identify the common goals of life and how they will share responsibilities with each other in the relationship (Ellis and Dryden 136).
REBT holds that when a family member becomes emotionally upset at point C due to a momentous experience, at point A, we say that A may radically contribute to but in reality does not cause C. Instead, in individuals and families they are largely created by B. In the family approach, REBT takes the humanistic and existentialist positions created largely by the family members by taking the phenomenological view of what happens to them. REBT emphasizes unconditional self-acceptance (USA) and unconditional acceptance of others (UAO). It takes the stand that says that we ought not to rate our selves, our essence, or being, but we should rate our deeds, acts and performance. Acceptance in family therapy is stressed in ways like: acceptance of human frailty, of human demandingness, of uncaringness and unlovingness, acceptance of proneness to human disturbance, unconditional self-acceptance and other forms of acceptance and lastly, to accept the unchangeable frustrations. REBT has thrived to show people on the acceptable methods of the existing family conditions that they dislike and cannot change them (Ellis and Dryden 138).
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