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Outline and evaluate therapies from the Psychodynamic approach used to treat mental disorders.

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Introduction

Outline and Evaluate one or more alternative therapies from either Psychodynamic or cognitive approaches (30 marks) The psychodynamic model of abnormality makes a number of assumptions in relation to the causes of abnormal behaviour. Firstly the model assumes that abnormal behaviour is primarily caused by unconscious conflicts and anxieties that have origins in the past, usually, it is assumed, from childhood. One method of investigating and treating these abnormalities is psychoanalysis. The purpose of psychoanalysis is to gain insight into the causes of psychological disturbances and to make the "unconscious conscious". This therapy places importance on childhood and repressed impulses and conflicts. The patient is called the analysand and a number of different methods are employed to bring the analysand's unconscious to the surface. One such method is free association, which allows a free flow of feelings, thoughts and images. The analysand is encouraged to talk about whatever comes to mind without feeling embarrassed or ashamed. They are relieved of any responsibility for what they say and so this way the internal 'censor' will relax, allowing unconscious material to emerge. ...read more.

Middle

therapy ineffective in the short term which could be detrimental for someone with depression and suicidal thoughts for example as they may require more immediate help. The time period over which psychoanalysis is conducted also means the treatment is usually expensive, closing it up to some people. In addition because treatment carries on over such a long period of time it is unclear whether it is psychoanalysis or life events and other variables of the analysand that impact upon the outcome of treatment. There is also debate whether psychoanalysis actually works. One of the biggest critics of psychoanalysis is Eysenck who studied the effectiveness of psychotherapy. Eysenck reviewed two outcome studies incorporating waiting list controls His findings showed that 66% of the control group spontaneously improved whereas 44% of the psychoanalysis patients improved. He concluded psychoanalysis did not work. Eysenck later backed this further by referring to meta-analysis comparing psychoanalysis with no treatment in 19 studies. The results of which showed no difference between the two conditions after a year. However Muftson et al conducted a 12 week clinical trial with 48 adolescents diagnosed with major depression. ...read more.

Conclusion

The group warm up by playing verbal and non-verbal games to gain trust, they then act out the problem and finally share their experience of the drama without passing judgement on the protagonist to help them gain insight into the event. As with psychoanalysis there are some strengths and limitations to the therapy. Firstly the therapy is again only suitable for those with 'neuroses' disorders. However the therapy is extremely effective and although the experience can be emotional and traumatic, people have testified as to its effectiveness in coming to terms with unresolved issues. Psychodrama is also useful to those who would find it difficult to address their issues in real life and may teach new skills in how to interact with others and to better communicate. Some may find it difficult to engage in role play though and may not wish to deal with their problems in this way. Finally there are also ethical issues with psychodrama, particularly putting people at risk of emotional harm as well as a risk to their confidentiality as there is nothing really stopping the people in the group sharing details about other members in the group. ...read more.

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