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Parliament breach accused underwent psychoanalysis

  • Published
    2nd Jan, 2024
Context

The prominence of ‘classical psychoanalysis’ has declined over time, while the topic has evolved to become less authoritarian and more practical.

What is Psychoanalysis?

  • Psychoanalysis, often misconstrued and sometimes associated with mental health alone, is more than just a therapeutic method; it's a comprehensive worldview.
  • Originating in Vienna, Sigmund Freud, a pioneering psychiatrist, coined the term and developed psychoanalysis as a revolutionary approach to treating individuals with symptoms resistant to conventional medical interventions.

Evolution of Psychoanalysis

  • Classical psychoanalysis, initially authoritarian, has transformed over time into a more practical and less rigid discipline.
  • This evolution is indebted to advancements in neurology, psychiatry, psychology, philosophy, and the natural and social sciences.

The Unconscious: Core Concept in Psychoanalytic Theory

  • Central to psychoanalysis is the concept of the unconscious.
  • Freud proposed that memories, affects, and instinctual impulses could be cut off from consciousness due to their threatening nature.
  • The unconscious, influenced by cultural conditioning, conceals traumatic memories and instinctual wishes that are deemed socially unacceptable.

Components of the Psyche: Id, Ego, and Superego

  • Freud further developed the idea of the psyche's structure, distinguishing between the id, ego, and superego.
  • The id, driven by instincts, seeks instant gratification, while the ego, a rational counterpart, weighs situations and delays gratification.
  • The superego, shaped by social values, can be overly demanding, leading to self-punitive behavior.

Contemporary Views on the Mind

  • Contrary to Freud's tripartite model, contemporary psychoanalysts view the mind as composed of multiple self-states that emerge in various contexts.

Defenses, and Resistance

  • Defenses, intrapsychic processes, help individuals avoid emotional pain.
  • Resistance, identified by Freud, refers to clients' reluctance to engage in therapy and is addressed through techniques like free association.

Transference and Countertransference

  • Freud introduced the concepts of transference and countertransference.
    • Transference involves projecting past templates onto the therapist, providing an opportunity for clients to gain insights into the effects of past experiences on current behavior.
    • Countertransference acknowledges that therapists may have unresolved conflicts and emphasizes the need for therapists to work through these issues.

Psychoanalysis in Practice

  • Psychoanalysis aids in making the unconscious conscious, exposing individuals to their hidden wishes and self-deceptive behaviors.
  • Freud's interpretation of dreams, considered wish fulfillment, was a crucial aspect of psychoanalysis, although contemporary psychiatrists may differ in this regard.

Therapeutic Mechanism and Change

  • The therapeutic relationship itself acts as a change mechanism in psychoanalysis.
  • By presenting a new relational experience that challenges maladaptive models, therapists aim to bring about fundamental changes in personality functioning.

Way forward:

  • Psychoanalysis, with its roots in the innovative work of Freud, continues to evolve, offering profound insights into the human psyche.
  • From its origins as a treatment modality for the unexplained to its contemporary applications, psychoanalysis remains a dynamic and influential force in understanding and navigating the complexities of the mind.
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