Presentation on theme: "The Unconscious, Ego Psychology"— Presentation transcript:
1The Unconscious, Ego Psychology Theories of the EgoThe Unconscious, Ego Psychology& coping with crisesSSS 571
2Psychodynamic theory Freud's biopsychosocial approach Two Freudian models of the mindEgo Psychology and autonomous ego functionsCoping and AdaptationChange Concepts
3“Psychodynamic Theory” is NOT just one theory… It is a set of theoriesDrive or structural theoryEgo PsychologyObject Relations TheorySelf PsychologyRelational TheoryOur focus today:Classical theory (drive theory & ego psychology)Focus of advanced psychodynamic theory (SSS 723):Contemporary theories (object relations, self psychology, & relational theory)
4What is psychodynamic theory? It is a set of theories that describe...the changing inner energies that motivate, dominate, & control people’s behaviorIt provides a framework that examines...past experiences & present reality, as well as the internal & external forces that impact emotional developmentIt looks from “the inside out & the outside in”
5Freud's PathHow did a medically trained neurologist come to describe this particular theory of the mind?Charcot & the state of art of psychological care in the 19th centuryFreudian problems in Victorian context
12Psychodynamic Commonalities Personal history (particularly early childhood experiences) influence development.The psyche is formed at the intersection of internal and external forces.A dynamic unconscious (UCS) influences thoughts, feelings and behaviors.The “Talking cure” is influenced by transference.
13Basic Premises of all Psychodynamic Theories Internal & external forces—both conscious & unconscious, based on past experience & present reality—interact to motivate, dominate, & control human behavior, personality development, & social functioningThe internal mind affects how we relate to the external environment & the external environment affects the internal mind in a dynamic interaction throughout the life span
14Assumptions about human behavior All biological, psychological, & social factors interact in a complex way to impact development & adaptation throughout lifeHumans learn to adapt to the external environment through relationships shaped by in-born genetic capacities , culture, & socio-historical contextEarly childhood experiences & relationships shape personality development & interact with present reality to shape adaptation in current life
15Two Freudian SchemataThe importance of theories of the mind-a framework in which to understand presenting problems.Topographic theoryStructural theoryFreud's theory developed and changed, but built on what had come before
16Topographic ModelConscious (cs)-the part of the mind that interacts with the external world, and which can reflect on itself.Pre-conscious (pcs)-the part of the mind in which thoughts, feelings and ideas are being prepared for outward expression. Can be brought to attention.Unconscious (ucs)-governed by the pleasure principle. The cauldron of wishes, desires and fears that make up the bulk of our mind.
18“These wishes of our Unconscious, ever stirring, never dying—immortal, one might say— remind us of the legendary Titans whose shoulders from time immemorial bore the great mountain-masses laden upon them by the victorious gods, which even now still quake from time to time from the convulsions of their limbs…” (Int. of Dreams, 363, J. Crick, trans.)
19Aspects of a Freudian Theory of the Mind: The unconsciousDisavowed wishes and dreamsControlled chaos and a mechanism of controlPersistent (but moderately mutable) mental representationsA personal history
20Freudian Psychosexual Stages Oral stage (First year of life)Focus on primary gratification through oral meansAnal stage (2-3 yrs)Focus on primary gratification through holding on & letting go, corresponds with toilet trainingPhallic (Oedipal) stage (3-5 yrs)Focus on primary gratification through genitals; awareness of erotic feelings for parents; emergence of triangular relationshipsLatency stage (5 or 6 through puberty)Focus on repression of erotic feelingsGenital stage (puberty through adulthood)Focus on primary gratification though meeting adult sexual needs
21The move to Structural Theory Guilt, anxiety & self-loathingDrive theory's mechanism of changeObservation informs theory
22Structural Theory Id Superego Ego (Where did the ucs go?) (A note on translation.)
25The It (Id) The home of our sexual and aggressive urges. Fully unconscious, although the unconscious is not fully id.“the dark inaccessible part of our personality...We approach the id with analogies: we call it chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitation.”
26The Over-me (Superego) Both conscience and punisher.The seat of moral expectations and regulation of self-esteem associated with meeting those expectations.Identification & moral development
27The I Conscious and unconscious has an integrative function & provides psychological cohesionmediates between the Id and the SuperegoThe (non-unitary) Executive.
28Post-Freudian Ego Psychology Anna Freud elaborated the mechanisms that the ego uses to maintain homeostatis, and mediate the impingements from inside (the id, the ucs ego, the superego) and outside (unacceptable reality).Heinz Hartmann developed a theory of the mechanisms of the ego that are independent of psychodynamics, and inherent in the mental structure from birth.
29How does the ego develop? Ego development occurs as result of:meeting basic needsidentification with otherslearningmastery of developmental taskseffective problem-solvingsuccessful copingThe ego develops capacities to function in the world, known as “ego functions”Enable people to function in coherent, organized manner
30Hartmann's ego functions Some ego functions are inborn & hereditary & function autonomously, i.e., “conflict-free”At birth, we are “preadapted” to an “average expectable environment”Some functions (perception, memory, intelligence, thought processes, motor activity, reality testing) are separate from the drives
31Bellack's list of ego functions: Reality testingJudgmentSense of reality of the world & the selfModulating & controlling drives, affects, & impulsesObject or interpersonal relationsThought processesAdaptive regression in the service of the egoDefensive functioningStimulus barrierAutonomous functioningMastery-competenceSynthetic-integrative function
32Ego Defenses“The defensive methods so far discovered by analysis all serve a single purpose—that of assisting the ego in its struggle with its instinctual life. They are motivated by the three principle types of anxiety to which the ego is exposed—instinctual anxiety, objective anxiety and anxiety of conscience. In addition, the mere struggle of conflicting impulses suffices to set the defence-mechanisms in motion.”--Anna Freud, The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence
33How defenses operate:Defense mechanisms operate out of conscious awareness, while coping mechanisms are consciousDefenses protect individuals from intolerable or unacceptable impulsesEffective defenses enable optimal functioning without undue anxiety, while maladaptive defenses distort reality & impair overall ego functioning
37Eriksonian Ego Psychology The work of Erikson not only grew out of a critique of Freud's psychsexual stages, it also integrated observations from post-Freudian ego psychology.
38Erickson’s Eight Stages of Man Epigenetic Stages AgesVirtuesBasic trust vs. mistrust (0-18 mo)Autonomy vs. shame & doubt (18-3 yr)Initiative vs. guilty (3-6 yr)Industry vs. inferiority (6-11 yr)Identity vs. confusion (11-18 yr)Intimacy vs. isolation (young adulthood)Generativity vs. stagnation (middle adulthood)Integrity vs. despair (old age)HopeWillSense of purposeCompetencePersonal identityLoveCareWisdom
39What is a crisis? An upset in psychological equilibrium triggered by: outside harm or threat from the environmentinternal developmental or biological changesinterpersonal challenges, conflicts, or lossesSymptoms may include anxiety, guilt, shame, sadness, envy, disgust, fear“Traumatic stress”—actual or threatened severe injury or death of oneself or significant others
40Diathesis/stress model of mental illness “Diathesis”—a predisposition to develop disease or morbid condition“Diathesis/stress model”—an interaction of life experiences with biological variables (genetics, neurochemistry, neuroanatomy)Each person has a unique vulnerability to stress
41Coping and AdaptationOur efforts to manage stress & meet new challengesBiological coping (demands on nervous & hormonal systems)“fight-or-flight”“tend-and-befriend”Psychological copingDefense mechanisms (internal, unconscious traits)Coping styles or capacities (fluid states, changeable)Problem-focused—change environmentEmotion-focused—change internal self
42Individual's ability to cope with stress is influenced by: Capacity to adapt & restore equilibriumInterpersonal relationshipsCurrent environmental supports & resources“social supports”—resources that provide material, emotional, & instrumental supportpersonal supports perhaps salient—affirm identity, compensate for deficits
43ACCORDING TO CLASSICAL THEORY & EGO PSYCHOLOGY Core Change ConceptsACCORDING TO CLASSICAL THEORY & EGO PSYCHOLOGY
44Psychopathology, according to classical theory Unresolved “conflicts of the mind” between id, ego, & superego or between ego & external environment:May cause “fixation” at developmental stagesMay cause weak ego functioning , leading to difficulties with adaptationMay cause inadequate defensive functioning leading to symptomsSymptoms of unresolved conflict (e.g., anxiety, depression, compulsions, or sociopathy) are:Efforts to overcome or work through conflictsEfforts to compensate for conflicts
45Transference—a key to all dynamic treatments Transference defined as:The feelings & wishes from past experiencesplaced onto another in the presentThe central component of the “talking cure”A means for viewing client’s unresolved conflictsby the interaction with the clinicianCountertransference defined as:The clinician’s feelings about the client in treatmentThrough understanding transference, clients may develop insight & self-understanding, leading to change
46EGO-MODIFYING TREATMENT EGO-SUPPORTIVE TREATMENT Treatment based on ego psychologyEGO-MODIFYING TREATMENTEGO-SUPPORTIVE TREATMENTFocus: past & present; conscious, unconscious, & preconsciousNature of change: insight & conflict resolutionCurative process: make unconscious conscious through interpretationUse of relationship: use & understand positive & negative transferenceFocus: current behavior, conscious thoughts/feelings; limit past focusNature of change: ego mastery, increased understanding, better person-in- environment fitCurative process: strengthen ego, shore up defenses, promote adaptationUse of relationship: real relationship, positive transference, corrective relationship
47EGO-MODIFYING TREATMENT EGO-SUPPORTIVE TREATMENT Interventions & treatment populationsEGO-MODIFYING TREATMENTEGO-SUPPORTIVE TREATMENTTypes of interventions:Nondirective, reflective, interpretive; “free association;” work with environment not emphasized but may be used; usually long-term tx.Appropriate clients:Persons with good ego strengths, but maladaptive functioningTypes of interventions:Direction, support, education, structure, some reflection; environmental modification; provision & mobilization of resources; short- or long-term tx.Appropriate clients:Persons encountering crises, life transitions, extreme stress; with low tolerance & impulse control
48SSS 571: Susanne Bennett, Ph.D. 10/05/2009“…a knowledge of psychodynamic forces can illuminate what is going on in any human interaction or communication, no matter how brief it is.” --Berzoff, J., Flanagan, L., & Hertz, P. (Eds.). (2008). Inside out and outside in (2nd ed.). NY: Jason Aaronson, p. 2.48Psychodynamic Theory48
49Ego Psychology’s use in social work practice SOCIAL WORK THEORISTS& EGO PSYCHOLOGY TODAY
50Social Work’s long history with ego psychology Ego psychology was very influential in early social workMary Richmond ( ), wrote Social Diagnosis (1917)Backlash emerged in s due to civil rights movements, war on povertyFounding of Clinical Social Work Journal (1972) & Federation of Societies for Clinical Social Work (1971) re-emphasized social work’s psychodynamic roots
51Well-known MSW psychodynamic scholars Howard Parad, wrote Crisis Intervention, Ego-oriented CaseworkEda Goldstein, wrote Ego Psychology & Social Work Practice, Short- term Treatment in Social Work: An Integrative Perspective, Self- Psychology and Object Relations Theory in Social Work PracticeJerald Brandell, wrote Psychodynamic Social WorkJoan Berzoff, wrote Inside Out and Outside In: Psychodynamic Clinical theory and Psychopathology in Contemporary Multicultural Contexts
52Psychodynamic theory in current SW practice Ego psychology is used as underpinning for supportive treatmentEgo-supportive treatment takes a “strengths-based approach”Focuses on adaptation, restoring equilibrium, & building social supportsEspecially useful in work with clients who are severely mentally ill, homeless, in crisis, recently traumatized, in nursing homesContemporary psychodynamic practice is embraced by current practitioners in brief & long term treatmentEspecially in work with individual clients with personality disorders or complex trauma; or in working with couples
53Freudian Controversies UniversalityOedipus conflict, penis envy, and the politics of genderHomosexualityFantasy and reality
54Critiques of Freud Biology and mental illness. The problem of repression.Too many sexual urges, not enough positive influences.Freud & Einstein...human nature and hope.
55Critiques of Ego Psychology Freudian theory foregrounds the importance of the unconscious, while post-Freudian ego psychology tends to give primacy to the (more or less conscious) ego.When mastery and “proper” ego functioning are the focus of treatment, the therapist may become the model of normalcy.Cultural factors often ignored.
56Evaluating Freudian Theory EvidenceApplicationUsefulnessInclusiveness