As a requirement for this course, HS 841, Group Counseling and Psychotherapy, I feel my final paper should reflect the relevant subject of psychoanalytic theory as applied to the counseling profession. Because psychoanalysis is the very seat
of the mental health field, I will deliberate on the key aspects of psychoanalysis in a general, sep-by-step fashion. Although it would go beyond the scope of this essay to cover every aspect of the psychoanalytic theory and its application completely, I will exemplify its relevance and identifying factors of the human services profession today with the assistance of various health care institutions and professionals in the field.
Table of Contents
Psychoanalysis in Review….…………………………………………………………………..5
Psychoanalysis and Understanding the Unconscious Mind………………………………..15
Dream Association and Psychoanalysis……..……………………………………………..16
Resistance and Transference in Psychoanalysis………………..…………………………17
Psychoanalytic Therapy and Early Life Events…………………………………………….19
The subject of psychoanalytic therapy, the theory, science, practice and its vast relationship to mental health in general has had an esoteric affect since its renaissance in the late 19th century. And, although the caring professions of psychoanalysis and general counseling are similar in many respects, there are differentials in the practice of the two. Because the combined research of these professions are of extreme length, which could constitute a large sum of work, the most logical choice to exemplify the many aspects of these professions is to summarize the basic philosophy and science of this measureless therapeutic occupation.
During the creation of this project, the use of The Abraham A. Brill Library of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and Society has proven to be of great assistance for the culmination of this research. Phone interviews with Dr. Bernard Pacella, M.D., a neurophysiologist with the Parent Child Center with The New York Psychoanalytic Institute and Dr. Henry W. Beck, Ph.D., an affiliated psychoanalyst in privet practice, were able to supply enormous detail to their individual professions, which in assistance to this paper, has enabled a step-by-step exemplification for one of the most caring and needed professions today, which this research paper is dedicated.
Psychoanalysis in Review
Psychoanalysis, a name coined by Sigmund Freud to a system of interpretation
and therapeutic treatment of psychological disorders has come a long way sense the birth of this concept. Psychoanalysis began after Freud studied with the French neurologist J. M. Charcot in Paris, where he became convinced that hysteria was caused by emotional disturbance rather than by organic symptoms found in the nervous system. Later, Freud collaborated with Viennese physician Josef Breuer and wrote two papers on hysteria that were the precursors of his vast body of psychoanalytic research we are associated with today. Needless to say, psychoanalysis and its theoretical foundations have had an enormous influence on modern psychology and psychiatry and the human services field in general over the last 90 years that continues to evolve with new and innovated methods. Psychoanalytic therapy as a treatment has expanded and changed considerably during the last century, where the psychoanalytic approach has spread throughout the world, creating dramatic changes for the consumer population seeking treatment. Radical shifts have occurred in the social/cultural context of psychoanalytic practices worldwide. All of these factors have brought about considerable change in the definition and nature of psychoanalysis as a method of treatment, and because of this, psychoanalysis has become extremely multi-faceted in all the science and health care fields.
Psychoanalytic therapy is a treatment for relieving mental and emotional distress through what is often referred to as a talking cure, due to its simple technique, which involves no special action by either the therapist or the patient outside of verbal interaction.
Psychoanalytic therapy is based in the idea that much of our behavior, thoughts and attitudes are regulated by the unconscious aspects of the mind and are outside the ordinary conscious control we are accustomed with. By inviting the patient to talk about anything, including the day-to-day and mundane to the very complex matrix of his or her problems, the psychoanalyst helps that patient to reveal the unconscious needs, motivations, wishes and memories in order to gain a conscious control of that patient’s life. This form of treatment was developed by Sigmund Freud in the early part of the 20th century, yet many psychoanalysts beyond Freud have expanded on his works, as well as expanded on the treatments for the problems of today’s extremely complex society. And, as a result of these tenacious practitioners and researchers, the realm of psychotherapy has advanced considerably.
Counseling and psychotherapy…Is there a difference between the two? This paper will attempt to prove that there are several differences between counseling and psychotherapy as a whole, although many feel they are one in the same. While counseling and psychotherapy have several different elements in each, the following
information will also attempt to show the reader that there are some areas where the two overlap.
One definition of counseling can be viewed in three key elements: A learning-oriented process, carried on in a simple, one-to-one social environment, in which a counselor, professionally trained in relevant psychological skills and knowledge, seeks to assist the client by methods appropriate to his or her needs and within the context a specifically designed program, to learn more about the patient’s “self,” to learn how to put such understanding into effect in relation to more clearly perceived, an realistically defined goals so that the patient may become a more productive and happier member of his society. Basically, counseling can be described as a face-to-face relationship, having goals to help the patient to learn or acquire new skills which will enable him to cope and adjust to life’s daily situations and hardships. Therefore, in essence, the focus of the psychoanalyst is to help the client reach a maximum fulfillment or at least begin to introduce the potential for fulfillment, and to become fully functioning as a person as a whole, and healthy entity.
One of the major distinctions between counseling and psychotherapy is the subject of primary focus utilized. In counseling, the counselor will focus on the “here and now” reality of the patient’s situations. During the psychotherapy session, the therapist is literally looking into the patient’s unconscious or past, for a connection to his pasts un-dealt with problems, which are now obviously present in his daily situation, which causes the stress or anguish as a result.
Donald Arbuckle states, There is a further distinction to be made…This involves the nature or content of the problem which the client brings to the counselor. A
distinction is attempted between reality-oriented problems and those problems which coexist in the personality of the individual (p.67).
Counseling and psychotherapy also differentiate when it comes to the level
of adjustment or maladjustment of the patient. Counseling, according to Dr. Henry Beck, holds an emphasis on the concept of normal, where the counselor may classify the concept of “normal” as those without neurotic problems, yet have become victims of pressures from some outside environment. The emphasis in psychotherapy however, is specifically on the neurotic patient, or other severe emotional problems.
Counseling can also be described as problem solving, where in psychotherapy it is more analytically based, counseling may have a situation where a solution is not foreseeable. To this end, there appears to be two types of problems, solvable and unsolvable. If the problem is a solvable one, a therapist may help that patient by looking at the problem with him and help him to draw out a variety of solutions. When thinking of these possible solutions one must also think of the consequences to those solutions. While counseling deals with problem solving, psychotherapy on the other hand deals with the analytical view of the problem. Here, the therapist would determine the cause and effect of his patient’s behavior from the results of such behaviors. An example of this could be if a father abuses his child, the father’s behavior might stem from his past. The abusive father may have been a victim of abuse as a child himself, or have been a witness to similar abuse of a sibling or relative. It would be in the
therapist’s best effort to analyze each act of the present and try to link it to some aspect in the unconscious past.
The length of treatment also differs between counseling and psychotherapy, where most counseling sessions are far shorter in duration than psychotherapy. The time spent in counseling for example, is determined by goals set by the patient and the counselor at the beginning of the initial treatment planning. Once these goals are met, new goals may be set and future sessions determined depending on the patient’s progress. In contrast, psychotherapy tends to last a while longer, where sessions usually range from two to five years. Psychotherapy is more of a comprehensive re-education of the patient, where the intensity and length of therapy depends on how well the patient can deal with all of the new found information and expectation of goals. It could take quite sometime for the patient to be able to live with these feelings which originated in past experiences, that usually turn out to be hurtful ones.
The setting of treatment also differs between counseling and psychotherapy, as a counseling session usually takes place in a non medical setting such as an office or church, psychotherapy is a more medically related element found in the clinical or hospital setting. Another difference between counseling and psychotherapy has to do with the issue of transference, which can be viewed differently between the two formats. As Brammer and Shostrom (1977) state, “The counselor develops a close and personal relationship with the client, but he does not encourage or allow strong transference feelings as does the psychotherapist (p.223). The counselor tends to find transference as an interfering element within his or her counseling effectiveness and hoped outcome.
A psychotherapist might feel that this transference is helpful and that the client may be able to see what he or she is trying to do within this professional relationship. A
counselor may look at transference as a form of manifestation in an incomplete growing process, where the psychotherapist interprets these transference feelings as an unconscious group of feelings.
The problem of resistance and how it is dealt with is another area of counseling and psychotherapy that tends to differ, as counselors may see resistance as something that opposes the problem solving goal, where the counselor tries to reduce this as much as possible, the psychotherapist may find resistance to be a very important element to work with. If the therapist can understand the patient’s resistance, he can then understand how to help the patient change his or her personality through creating an enlightened awareness.
While there are clearly many differences between the counseling approach and that of psychotherapy, there are some similarities between the two that should be recognized too. Firstly, each of these formats are similar in the sense that each patient brings with him the assets, skills, strengths and possibilities needed to the therapy session. Secondly, counseling and psychotherapy are also similar in the way that
they both use, as Arbuckle refers to it as an “eclectic approach.”
Here, the counselors and therapists do not have only one technique, because they borrow from many different techniques instead of just one. Arbuckle argues that in this respect, counseling and psychotherapy are in all essential respects
identical, as the nature of the relationship which is considered basic in counseling and psychotherapy are similar, where the process of counseling
cannot easily be distinguished from the process of psychotherapy…The methods and techniques are identical in the matter of goals and or outcomes. (p.144)
One major similarity between counseling and psychotherapy are the
elements which build a person’s personality, as each of these processes deal
with attitudes, feelings, interests, self esteem, goals and related behaviors are all affected through counseling and psychotherapy.
The primary elements that separate psychoanalytic therapy apart from other forms of psychotherapy and counseling can be viewed in the following attributes:
• The Psychoanalytic therapist prefers to treat patients without medications, although on occasion he may refer a patient to a physician/psychiatrist for drugs to be used in the treatment of depression, psychosis, or anxiety.
• The psychoanalytic therapist does not usually give specific recommendations about how the patient ought to manage his life or solve problems. Instead, the analyst prefers to help the patient understand why he is unable to solve problems or what internal conflict is preventing him from knowing what to do in his life. When necessary, the analyst may suggest postponing a particular decision until
• a later date, or may act to prevent a patient from harming himself or sabotaging the overall treatment.
Some professionals in the field consider psychoanalytic therapy to be the best format for consistent therapy, while others feel that the behavioral schools, such as Gestalt, represent the most effective in treatment. Some feel that psychoanalysis is no more than a new age fad compared to more accepted sciences as, for instance, internal medicine or surgery. Because of this, there may be doubt in the patient, which may unfortunately hasten therapy. While current practice is based upon the early works of Sigmund Freud and his disciples, the field’s history has made new discoveries regarding the subject of character and technique, thus creating the therapist’s ability to help patients on a much greater level, as this specific method of treatment will offer much to its patients.
Psychoanalytic therapy is at times pleasurable and comforting, but it is also hard work. While the patients and the general public may imagine that psychotherapy is nothing more than self indulgence or a crutch that disrupts our material lives, anyone who has been analyzed, as a student, or as a patient, can readily explain that rather than escaping from reality, we learn to face it more comfortably, with a greater sense of purpose and to be encouraged to have a more independent daily life.
There are literally hundreds of forms of psychotherapy available to the public today, so it would be wise to understand each of these specific formats before selecting a therapist. Unfortunately, much of what has been written or said about psychoanalytic therapy has been by people who have little experience of the modern advances in the
field of psychoanalysis. The psychoanalyst, as a professional, is the most rigorously trained of all therapists. In order to practice, a psychoanalyst must complete many comprehensive courses of theoretical training, complete a deep personal analysis, and than treat patients in the psychiatric setting under the supervision of a senior analysts. Although the bulk of this training is usually available at many universities and graduate schools, most psychoanalysts are trained at independent training institutes and than licensed after an certain amount of time has been successfully completed, which will be close to, or more than two thousand hours of supervision, depending on the State.
These privet institutions are run by senior analysts and are monitored by accreditation bodies such as the American Psychological Association. Moreover, psychoanalysts usually have had prior training as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or as nurse practitioners. Many of these senior analysts may hold the degree of M.D., Ph. D., Psy. D., M.S.W., or M.S.N.
Psychoanalytic training usually takes five to ten years because the trainee must experience the in-depth formats of treatment himself, as well as treat cases under supervision until his supervisors feel he is competent to practice independently. Unlike graduate school courses which normally last one or two semesters, this training continues until the student has met the vigorous demands of all the courses, and when the supervisors and teachers agree that the training is complete, as well as prepare for and pass the exam for licensure in his or her own state.
Understanding the patient in need of treatment, although being the very nature of psychotherapy can be extremely difficult, especially when decoding the complex and often times enigmatic nature of the human psyche. Because of this, it becomes paramount that the therapist not stereotype his or her client with that of other clients in the past, either actual or theoretical, or those expressed in the DSM-IV or related periodicals as case studies. The therapist must explore all the various avenues and possible stressors that may be either the primary or secondary cause for the patient’s problem.
Of the main arenas of the human psyche Sigmund Freud and others explored during the later half of the 19th century, were the buried, unresolved situations, such as parental/sibling resentment, sexual frustration and self-esteem issues of the
unconscious mind, as well as the discovery of hidden meanings behind dreams and their associations became of great interest, and considered directly tied to the
unconscious mind ultimately became a primary tool for psychoanalysis. Also, the reality of early childhood events, which may have left an indelible residue on the unconscious mind, is believed to be directly related to many negative effects on the patient’s present psyche, which may be responsible for many aspects of pathology.
Other problems associated with the treatment process for both the patient and the therapist are the barriers of resistance, which can be seen in several forms, and the misconceived subject of transference, which can be viewed in either a positive, or negative manner, depending on the views of the therapist, or that of the counselor, are major situations that both professionals will experience during their treatment relationship. Therefore, understanding the many aspects, both the good and the bad of the psychotherapeutic and counseling professions become clear, and because these attributes and potential problems are of paramount importance, the following represents a brief representation:
Psychoanalysis and Understanding the Unconscious Mind
The unconscious is composed of many mental processes, wishes, needs, attitudes, memories, and beliefs not directly available to ordinary, or as some suggest, wakeful awareness. It is hard for many people to accept the idea of the unconscious, the idea that something not under their direct control might influence their lives. However, close examination of this shows that many of the choices in life such as a
spouse, friends, career, life style, and patterns of health are based upon motivations of which people are not ordinarily aware of. Many sad or angry childhood memories are
also relegated to the unconscious, although they still control some day-to-day behaviors. Handicapped by a lack of awareness of the unconscious motivations, people can become victimized by emotional reactions and seen through various symptoms that inhibit their daily lives. Psychoanalytic therapy, in most cases, allows the patient to become aware of these unknown mental processes through their behavior, dreams, slips of the tongue and various free associations.
Dream Association and Psychoanalysis
Dreams play a useful role in psychoanalytic therapy because they offer, as seen in Freud’s work entitled the “Royal Road to the Unconscious,” the dreams people
express are most often that their unconscious needs, memories, conflicts and wishes of past and present situations. Dreams can also become an avenue of understanding to hidden aspects of the self when examined with the interpretive help of the analyst. The quintessential couch, although much misunderstood or misrepresented, is a useful tool in advancing the treatment process. For most psychoanalytic patients, it offers an opportunity to relax, undistracted by the therapist’s visible presence, and comfortably report thoughts, and feelings as they arise. The use of the couch also emphasizes that therapy is not just for social conversation, but for a specialized form of communication designed specifically to open up and promote healthy catharsis.
Resistance and Transference in Psychoanalysis
Dr Henry W. Beck, a psychoanalyst in privet practice from North Wales, Pennsylvania, who deals with patient’s suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder and eating disorders to men’s issues and family crisis situations, states, that during the course of every psychoanalytic therapy session, the patient sometimes demonstrates behavior that interferes with the progress of the treatment. This interference Dr. Beck is referring to is called resistance. Because psychoanalytic therapy helps the patient achieve freedom of thought and action by talking freely, the negative emotional forces that may cause the symptoms to manifest themselves as obstacles to psychotherapy, the patient may respond in the following manner:
• Becomes unable to talk any further without development.
• The patient feels he has nothing to say.
• The need to keep secrets from his therapist.
• Withholding information from the therapist because he is ashamed of them.
• The patient may feel that what he has to say isn’t important.
• Patient repeats himself constantly.
• Refrains from discussing certain topics.
• Wants to do something other than talk…Talks only about thoughts and not feelings.
• Talks only about feelings and not thoughts.
These and many other forms of possible resistance keep the patient from learning about himself, growing and becoming the person he or she wants to be. Together, the patient and the therapist study the meaning and purpose of the resistance and try to understand the key to unlocking it and allowing the patient to continue growing in a positive manner. Modern therapists recognize that a patient may have a great need to resist, and therefore use a relaxed approach to aid him in overcoming the problem.
Psychoanalysts discovered early in their work that patients can have distorted views of their analyst, which may hinder the much needed trust factor for a positive session. An psychoanalyst with a quiet, reserved demeanor may be perceived as an oppressive tyrant, observing in an overseer manner instead of a caring person who is genuinely interested in the patient’s problems. In an Alternative situation, a patient may become convinced that the psychoanalyst loves him or her even though no such feeling has been expressed. These types of feelings usually come from attitudes toward significant individuals in a patient’s past such as parents, teachers, lovers or siblings. Sometimes the feelings toward the therapist represent actual feelings about a person in that patient’s past, and at other times the feelings are those of a desired, fantasy
relationship with a significant individual. While not all patients develop these classical forms of transference, many patients find it necessary to understand the feelings they have toward their therapist, as this aids in the understanding of current relationships, the need for personal growth, expectations of others and attitudes toward themselves.
Psychoanalytic Therapy and Early Life Events
Events in the first five to six years of life have an important and lasting impact on the development of an individual’s unique character. However, the origins of emotional distress may be based in traumatic childhood events, difficult family relationships, early maturational needs that were absent, or various negative events in life. The past is
important only if it interferes with the patient’s ability to function in the present, so therefore, the therapist must help the patient whose emotional disorder is rooted in his or her childhood distress’ and grow out of it and than to assist the adult of these stressors to find, acceptance and closure.
Most people have read of Sigmund Freud’s landmark discoveries regarding the crucial role that sexual thoughts and feelings have in life. However, modern psychoanalysts recognize that anger, hostility, dependency, and many other motivations may be just as important in shaping personality. While Freud’s patients, mostly Victorian women, needed help to understand their sexuality, modern patients tend to have more difficulty coping with feelings of anger, loneliness, or the lack of a coherent sense of who they truly are.
Patients experience a wide range of emotions toward the therapist. Individuals who have received little love or understanding in life may respond to a therapist’s understanding attitude with feelings of love. Other frequent responses to the therapist include hatred, amusement, disinterest or extended periods of no feelings. Psychoanalytic therapy is usually appropriate for anyone who wants to have a happier
life with greater personal and emotional flexibility. Adults, children, couples, and whole families are frequently seen in psychoanalytic therapy sessions which may be a part of either private or group therapy. A wide range of emotional problems can be successfully treated with psychoanalytic therapy. Among them:
• Emotional pain, depression, boredom, restlessness.
• An inability to learn, love, work, or express emotion.
• Irrational fear, anxiety without a known cause.
• Pervasive feelings of meaninglessness, emptiness, unrelatedness.
• Lack of goals, values, or ideals.
• The feeling of being overwhelmed by responsibility and unable to relax and play.
• An inability to set practical, reachable goals, and accept responsibility.
• Unsatisfying relationships with spouse, children, or parents.
• Inability to have friends or lovers.
• The feeling that life is totally out of control and that one is not master of one’s fate.
• An excessively controlled life, dominated by ritual and obsession.
• Compulsive overeating or an inability to eat enough for good health.
• Physical problems that have a psychological origin.
In retrospect, the patient of psychoanalytic therapy is a partner with his therapist in a unique exploration of his life, consisting of his past, his present and his perceived future, and because no two people are alike, no two treatments are alike, which counts
for the vast differences in therapeutic approaches. In most settings however, the patient often lies on a couch, or sits in a comfortable chair with the therapist just out of view, and talks. There are no specific topics…The patient can say anything he wants to say, but he doesn’t have to talk about anything he would rather not discuss. As the patient talks, he reveals the past, his present life situation and future plans. Dreams, fantasies, sexual thoughts, angry thoughts, and feelings about himself and others are shared in a comfortable, safe manner. Over the course of time, the patient is helped by the therapist to tell the emotionally significant story of the patient’s life and problematic situations, permitting unconscious motives, fears, and memories to become integrated into current life.
It is this form of communication, which, hopefully, transforms the otherwise medicinal realities of psychotherapy in general, into a more personable relationship filled with genuine warmth, understanding and most importantly, compassion. The psychoanalyst must create this particular atmosphere in order to offer the most to his or her patients. Furthermore, the main function of the psychoanalytic therapist is to listen carefully and attentively to the patient in order to understand him and facilitate an equal form of communication that will promote efficient catharsis. To this end, the therapist should use both intelligence and compassion to obtain verbal and nonverbal clues to the patient’s problems. The analyst must first understand these disguised communications and then transform them into information useful to the patient. To do
this, the therapist asks questions, confronts distortions, and does anything else needed to help the patient share his thoughts and feelings comfortably.
Although there is no time limit on psychoanalytic therapy, some patients may have the best benefits from a short period of time, which can be six months or less, and others may wish to continue treatment for some years, where the average patient remains in therapy for a minimum of two years, but as long as five years. Staying in therapy longer is neither a sign of excessive dependence nor signifies a severity of illness. We know now that it takes a lifetime to develop the attitudes and specific character traits that contribute to emotional stress, and generally, although not always, time is required for making any positive change. And so, any therapist who promises change in a specified period of time is not being completely honest with his client.
In short, it is common that therapy is terminated when the goals of the patient have been achieved. When the patient is able to comfortably experience all of his feelings, both the good and bad feelings without having to act them out, and when he is able to comfortably relate all of these feelings to the analyst and act in his own best interest, the therapy is, theoretically complete.
Psychoanalytic theory and the therapy in this tradition have both evolved since Sigmund Freud. Freud placed his greatest theoretical emphasis on the study of the human sexual drive, in particular, the Oedipal phase of psychosexual development, which begins between the ages of four to six when a child falls in love with the parent of
the opposite sex. Since the time of Freud, greater emphasis has been placed upon the study of how an individual emerges into the world as a separate person with a sense of
himself and positive self-esteem. Current theory also deals with aggression, early mother-child interaction, social relations, family dynamics and psychosomatics, which further this concept of the self.
Early Freudians only accepted relatively mature, neurotic patients for treatment, which were seen on a daily basis, rather than the larger spectrum of patients we see today. Moreover, the only interventions used by the analyst at the turn of the century were to be interpretations or explanations of a patient’s behavior, which were almost always based in the sexual format. Patients are generally seen less frequently today, giving the patient a more liberal basis of treatment, a feeling of self-reliance and analysts have more flexibility in their responses to a patient. In short, modern analysis is modified to meet the needs of the individual, rather than expecting the patient to conform to the analyst’s requirements.
Since the birth of Freudian analysis in the early 1900’s numerous approaches have been developed including those of Jung, Adler, Horney, Sullivan, Klein, Kohut, and Spotnitz. Each school of psychoanalytic therapy focuses on certain aspects of treatment or personality. The differences between these schools have become far less dramatic with time. Frequently, the differences between analysts trained in the same tradition can be equal to or greater than those between analysts of different schools.
A strong-willed person may certainly modify the symptoms of emotional problems by willpower, but the unconscious will most often express itself in a different symptom. Certainly many people have radically changed the form and substance of their lives
without psychoanalytic therapy, but emotional distress caused by unconscious conflict can only be adequately met by psychoanalytic therapy.
Most people have such a high degree of resistance that an insight gleaned by self-analysis tends to be either superficial or confirmed as healthy by already-held beliefs, so rather than promoting change, this person continues in this misleading ether of self-deceit. Of course, many have tried and benefited to some extent from self-analysis, but a regimen of regularly scheduled appointments, combined with the assistance of an experienced analyst, is vital to the process. In addition, much of who we are is determined by our relationships with other people. An analyst provides an opportunity to observe ourselves in a close relationship and safely try out new ways of relating to others.
It would be obvious to say that not all therapists believe that there is a distinction between psychotherapy and counseling, yet as seen with this aforementioned outline, psychoanalytical theory has several differentials from the general counseling psychology format that should be recognized. C.H. Patterson, however, feels that it is almost impossible to make a distinction, believing that the definition of counseling
equally applies to psychotherapy and vice a versa, and in contrast, Arbuckle argues that counseling and psychotherapy are identical in all essential aspects, and still others
believe that there is a distinction. Psychotherapy is concerned with some type of personality alteration or change, where counseling is concerned with helping individuals utilize their full potential in coping techniques.
Arbuckle (1967) included Leona Tyler’s thoughts on the differences between counseling and psychotherapy. Leona Tyler attempts to differ between counseling and psychotherapy by stating, “to remove physical and mental handicaps or to rid of limitations is not the job of the counselor, this is the job of the therapist which is aimed essentially at change rather than fulfillment. (p. 82)
With Tyler’s beliefs about the differences between psychotherapy and counseling, we can see a black and white logic of those philosophical views, which go beyond the generalized opinion of both these areas of expertise and ideals, which are also supported by the modern scientific community and human services professionals alike. With these differences understood, we as professionals may have the opportunity to better assist and support the consumer population individually and as a whole.
Overall, the major difference here, are the time and focus factors faced in each individual approach found in psychoanalytic therapist and the mental health counselor.
The difference may be found with counseling, which deals primarily with the here-and-now/reality situations, as in opposition, which the unconscious past as the primary focus in psychotherapy. Moreover, counseling has been described as helping the patient in
developing more competencies in coping with life situations where as psychotherapy deals with the re-organization of one’s whole personality and soulful philosophies.
One must take a close look at the philosophies and practices between counseling and psychotherapy to distinguish whether or not there is a difference between the two approaches. Although many can not distinguish the differences between counseling from psychotherapy today, even many professionals, we must look at the vast differences with the primary and secondary goals we set for our patients, as well as be able to identify the ideals and practices as they are. Fortunately, after reading the research of these aforementioned psychoanalysts and authors, I realized that there are indeed major differences between counseling and psychotherapy. And, as these findings, although still debatable for some, as to the goal and outcome for the patient may be different, the importance of this subject, and the mental, emotional and even the spiritual health of the consumer population, our patients, becomes clear.
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