Sigmund Freud

Freud (1856-1939)

– did not believe people could change
– therapeutic alliance concept
– one of the first to take a developmental perspective
– reaction formation: the exact opposite
– repression: block disturbing thoughts
– idea of unconscious motivations & “pre-ordained” life scripts
– he believed there was a mismatch between a person’s unconscious desire(s) & civilisation & the prevailing culture

ID: illogical/emotional(the pleasure principle 1 libido/death instinct)[conflicts with social pressures]
EGO: logical/rational (the reality principle | act realistically)
SUPER-EGO: conscience (the morals principle | instilled by parents/our culture)
[Note: ID & SUPER-EGO are entirely unconscious]

Psychodynamic psychotherapy – 7 characteristics
1) focus on patient’s affect / expression of emotions
2) exploration of patient’s attempts to avoid topics / engage in activity to hinder progress in therapy
3) identify patterns in a patient’s actions/thoughts/feelings/relationships
4) emphasis on past experience
5) focus on patient’s interpersonal experience
6) emphasis on the therapeutic relationship
7) exploration of a patient’s wishes

– defence mechanism:
– displacement coping style: you take frustrations out on those “safer” to blame
– sublimation: channel anger into a more constructive outlet, such as doing more work
– denial: refuse to acknowledge reality or subjective experience that is apparent to others
– projection: falsely attribute own unacceptable feelings/impulses /thoughts to another
– rationalisation: conceal true motivation


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