DSST Fundamentals of counseling

Defense mechanisms are normal and by themselves do

Info icon This preview shows pages 15–17. Sign up to view the full content.

Defense mechanisms are normal and by themselves do not represent neurotic behavior. They operate at the unconscious level so people are largely unaware that their perceptions are really a distorted form of reality. Repression is the ego defense mechanism that involuntarily removes something from a person’s consciousness. When a thought, feeling, or emotion is too painful for the person to rationally handle, the ego suppresses the threatening idea. The ego seeks to maintain control and if a particular notion threatens to upset the balance then it moves in and does whatever is necessary to maintain control. Most memories within the first 5 years of life are considered to be repressed but these events have a significant influence on the growth and development of a human being. Denial is the preconscious or conscious manifestation of repression . Denial is the simplest of defense mechanisms and most people are aware when they are denying reality. It is the act of
Image of page 15

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

blinding oneself to what is really happening and living in a world that is “better” and easier to deal with. Denial is common in traumatic situations. There are many other ego defense mechanisms (rationalization, regression, sublimation to name a few) and they all operate in such a way as to allow the ego to maintain control over the body and its perception or reality. In psychodynamic therapy the counselor maintains a neutral stance and encourages a transference relationship. Transference is the act of a client projecting reactions onto the counselor in the same way the client would react to a person who played a significant role in their personal life – usually a father or mother. The counselor then analyzes the reactions and gains insight into the client’s thought patterns by “playing the role” of this significant person. For this reason the relationship between a client and counselor is central to psychodynamic therapy and a great deal of time is spent nurturing this relationship. Transference, in psychoanalysis, is the situation in which the patient comes to feel about the analyst in the same way he or she once felt about some other important person in his/her life. Using a phenomenological approach, the counselor attempts to understand the client’s subjective reality. Phenomenological orientation requires a counselor to pay attention to how their client views and perceives the world. By understanding this “subjective reality” the counselor can then begin to understand what motivates behavior and help the person make decisions that are more in-line with the client’s ultimate goals. As a student under Sigmund Freud for many years, Erikson expanded upon Freud’s psychoanalytic ideas, and developed his own views on human development as a progression through eight psychosocial stages.
Image of page 16
Image of page 17
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern