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Psychoanalysis

Historical Development of Psychoanalysis: – Originated in Vienna in the 1890s under Sigmund Freud. – Freud’s key works include ‘Studies on Hysteria’ (1895) and ‘The […]

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Historical Development of Psychoanalysis:
– Originated in Vienna in the 1890s under Sigmund Freud.
– Freud’s key works include ‘Studies on Hysteria’ (1895) and ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’ (1899).
– Key figures like Alfred Adler, Carl Gustav Jung, Erich Fromm, and Karen Horney contributed to the development of psychoanalysis.
– Psychoanalysis emphasizes the unconscious mind and childhood experiences.
– Psychoanalysis remains influential in psychiatry and cultural analysis.

Therapeutic Techniques and Approaches:
– Psychoanalysis involves bringing unconscious material into consciousness.
– Patients aim to induce transference to relive conflicts in therapy.
– Sessions involve patients lying on a couch while analysts interpret thoughts and dreams.
– Analysts analyze conflicts and defense mechanisms to improve self-understanding.
– Despite controversies, psychoanalysis remains influential in mental health treatment.

Effectiveness, Controversies, and Modern Developments:
– The effectiveness of psychoanalysis as a treatment has been contested.
– Freud’s theories on unconscious drives, repression, and childhood sexual abuse have faced criticism.
– Over 3000 psychoanalysts practice in the U.S. in the 21st century.
– Modern developments include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and attachment theory.
– Challenges to Freud’s theories on female sexuality emerged in the 1960s.

Analytical Theories and Approaches in Psychoanalysis:
– Psychoanalytic theories distinguish between the conscious and unconscious mind.
– The unconscious mind influences behavior and cognition.
– Therapeutic techniques aim to confront defense mechanisms and improve self-understanding.
– Analysts interpret transference and countertransference to help patients understand themselves.
– Different theoretical schools within psychoanalysis emphasize the influence of unconscious elements on the conscious.

Key Theoretical Concepts in Psychoanalysis:
– Topographic theory divides mental apparatus into Conscious, Preconscious, and Unconscious.
– Structural theory divides the psyche into id, ego, and super-ego.
– Ego psychology focuses on autonomous and synthetic functions.
– Object relations theory explains human relationships through mental representations.
– Concepts like Oedipal conflicts, self psychology, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and relational psychoanalysis are key theoretical approaches in psychoanalysis.

Psychoanalysis (Wikipedia)

Psychoanalysis is a set of theories and therapeutic techniques that deal in part with the unconscious mind, and which together form a method of treatment for mental disorders. The discipline was established in the early 1890s by Sigmund Freud, whose work stemmed partly from the clinical work of Josef Breuer and others. Freud developed and refined the theory and practice of psychoanalysis until his death in 1939. In an encyclopedic article, he identified the cornerstones of psychoanalysis as "the assumption that there are unconscious mental processes, the recognition of the theory of repression and resistance, the appreciation of the importance of sexuality and of the Oedipus complex." Freud's colleagues Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav Jung developed offshoots of psychoanalysis which they called individual psychology (Adler) and analytical psychology (Jung), although Freud himself wrote a number of criticisms of them and emphatically denied that they were forms of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis was later developed in different directions by neo-Freudian thinkers, such as Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, and Harry Stack Sullivan.

The words "Die Psychoanalyse" in Sigmund Freud's handwriting, 1938
ICD-9-CM94.31
MeSHD011572

Freud distinguished between the conscious and the unconscious mind, arguing that the unconscious mind largely determines behaviour and cognition owing to unconscious drives. Freud observed that attempts to bring such drives into awareness triggers resistance in the form of defense mechanisms, particularly repression, and that conflicts between conscious and unconscious material can result in mental disturbances. He also postulated that unconscious material can be found in dreams and unintentional acts, including mannerisms and Freudian slips. Psychoanalytic therapy, or simply analytical therapy, developed as a means to improve mental health by bringing unconscious material into consciousness. Psychoanalysts place a large emphasis on early childhood in an individual's development. During therapy, a psychoanalyst aims to induce transference, whereby patients relive their infantile conflicts by projecting onto the analyst feelings of love, dependence and anger.

During psychoanalytic sessions a patient traditionally lies on a couch, and an analyst sits just behind and out of sight. The patient expresses their thoughts, including free associations, fantasies, and dreams, from which the analyst infers the unconscious conflicts causing the patient's symptoms and character problems. Through the analysis of these conflicts, which includes interpreting the transference and countertransference (the analyst's feelings for the patient), the analyst confronts the patient's pathological defence mechanisms to help patients understand themselves better.

Psychoanalysis is a controversial discipline, and its effectiveness as a treatment has been contested, although it retains influence within psychiatry. Psychoanalytic concepts are also widely used outside the therapeutic arena, in areas such as psychoanalytic literary criticism and film criticism, analysis of fairy tales, philosophical perspectives such as Freudo-Marxism, and other cultural phenomena.


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