Counseling and Therapy

Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on counseling and therapy: logbook entry. The Psychoanalytic theory is premised on the belief that human nature is greatly affected by a person’s early childhood experiences and conflicts between impulses and prohibitions. I believe the complicated theories developed by Freud became highly controversial especially in the era they were presented due to the fact that it involved psychosexual issues considered “taboo” at the time. Still, because it attracted much interest and debate, it gained a prestigious distinction in the field of Psychology to merit a great deal of influence, intensive study, modification and application (Bateman, Brown & Pedder, 2000). His idea of the three systems of personality, the id, ego and superego being in constant battle within a person makes sense to me, as I liken it to a person’s continual debate of what is right and wrong, and then behaves according to his moral decisions. Such decisions are affected by what society dictates as well as what the person truly desires for himself. Freud’s views human behavior as determined by irrational forces, unconscious motivations and biological and instinctual drives evolving in the first six years of life (Freud, 1991). His psychosexual stages namely oral, anal, phallic, latent and genital all centered on a body part that provides great pleasure at a particular stage of development. Hence, experiences that greatly affect the individual at each stage leave a mark in one’s personality. Although the Freudian view of psychosexual stages of development coincides with other contemporary theories on human growth and development, I find it too degrading. It demeans a person’s capacity to make sound judgments because he is viewed as enslaved by his biological fixations and primal needs. It is as if it implies that a person is imprisoned by his past experiences and that his horrible past determines his woeful future. To survive living with negative experiences that may have marred a person’s personality or life views, he develops “defence mechanisms” that aim to keep those traumatic experiences repressed in the unconscious (Dryden, 2007). These defence mechanisms are usually practiced by everyone in their daily life not knowing that they are applications of Freudian thought. Defence mechanisms, I believe is one aspect of the Psychoanalytic theory that I would find useful in my practice as a counselor, as the patterned use of whichever kind already says a lot about the coping style and personality of the client. Personally, upon reading the list of common defence mechanisms, I related to many of it, and immediately caused me to reflect on why I use them and realize that in most instances, I am personally to blame for negative consequences of my decisions and behaviours. Equally impressive were the theories of Klein and Winnicott in applying psychoanalytic theories to children. Their theories dealt with several issues concerning young children and their primary relationships with their parents (Klein, 2000). They gave more clarity to the links between childhood and adulthood emotional and psychological issues.

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