Chapter 3 - CHAPTER 3 Overview of Background-Focused...

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CHAPTER 3 Overview of Background-Focused Treatment Systems Importance of Past Experiences in Treatment Skill Development and Exercises Asking Helpful Questions Conducting an Intake Interview Example of an Intake Interview Exercises Summary We are our histories, our families, the events in our lives, our joys and losses, our dreams, and more. All our experiences have shaped and continue to shape us. Most clinicians agree that we cannot fully understand our clients and their concerns unless we learn about their backgrounds and contexts. However, clinicians disagree on the amount of time they spend exploring clients’ histories, on the importance of past experiences in determining present functioning, and on the ways clinicians should focus on those past experiences in relieving present concerns and promoting mental health. This chapter focuses on approaches to counseling and psychotherapy that emphasize understanding and working through unresolved problems and issues in the client’s past. Clinicians advocating these approaches believe that unless treatment facilitates healing of past wounds and relieves developmental blocks, people will continue to repeat harmful and dysfunctional patterns. According to treatment approaches that emphasize the past, a young man with a seductive and unreliable mother probably will mistrust women and will have difficulty in forming healthy intimate relationships. Similarly, the woman who, as a child, saw the blood, pain, and grief associated with her mother’s sudden miscarriage may fear becoming pregnant, whether or not she can link her fears to her mother’s loss. These examples reflect the potential impact of the past on the present. Whether clinicians emphasize the past or focus almost entirely on the present, they need some understanding of their clients’ backgrounds to make accurate diagnoses and plan successful treatments. Chapter 4 begins the discussion of treatment approaches that emphasize background with a consideration of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis. Although many theories of human development and psychotherapy have been advanced since Freud’s work began more than 100 years ago, he is generally regarded as the father of psychotherapy. His ideas and strategies continue to inform and contribute to treatment in the 21st century Alfred Adler and Carl Jung were Freud’s colleagues early in their careers but ultimately developed their own theories, discussed in chapters 5 and 6 . The ideas of the Freudian revisionists, including Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, Karen Horney, Helene Deutsch, Harry Stack Sullivan, and the object relations theorists, all of whose work was inspired and influenced by Freud’s, are considered in chapter 7 . Finally, a modern psychodynamic approach, brief psychodynamic psychotherapy (developed by Malan, Sifneos, and others), is presented in chapter 8 . IMPORTANCE OF PAST EXPERIENCES IN TREATMENT
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This note was uploaded on 04/25/2010 for the course PSYCHOLOGY PSY400 taught by Professor Rosaliewood during the Spring '10 term at Argosy University.

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Chapter 3 - CHAPTER 3 Overview of Background-Focused...

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