9 Chapters
Medium 9781780490168

CHAPTER FOUR: The road to self-discovery

Ingrams, Jonathan Karnac Books ePub

Oak Park, Chicago was the birthplace of Carl Rogers (1902–1987), still one of the most influential figures in psychotherapy today. Rogers pioneered a move away from traditional methodologies. In contrast to Freud’s rather gloomy view of human nature as a cauldron of sexuality and aggressive tendencies, manifested in the id and the ego, which the super-ego struggled to keep under control, Rogers took a very different view of humanity. Perhaps because for a time he studied to be a priest, he saw people as fundamentally healthy and believed that we all have the ability to develop our potential to the fullest extent, provided that conditions are in place for us to do so.

A plant trying to grow in a dim and musty cellar will send out tendrils towards the light it needs if it is to survive. But, significantly, if the plant is moved and placed in an environment conducive to healthy growth it will automatically thrive. This is the essence of Rogers’ therapeutic approach. He was intrigued by the way that even if conditions are harsh, this tendency will endow the organism with the capacity to make the very best of what is available to sustain itself. Thus, mushrooms can push up paving stones, birds migrate for thousands of miles, and humans can create works of art, utilize atomic energy, and invent the cuckoo clock.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781780490168

CHAPTER FIVE: How we construct our world

Ingrams, Jonathan Karnac Books ePub

In physical medicine the diagnosis of a set of symptoms will usually point to a particular disorder. Unfortunately, psychotherapy offers no such straightforward process. In an attempt to create some set of ground rules, many of the pioneers drew up charts of how we could be expected to think and act at different periods of our lives. Bowlby and Winnicott explored mainly evolution in the early years. Jung developed the idea of four stages of development and consciousness from childhood through youth, middle life, and old age. The Danish psychoanalyst, Eric Erikson (1902–1994), later created his psychosocial theory, The Eight Stages of Man—our psychological development from birth to the end of our lives. Daniel Levinson (1920–), an American psychiatrist, came up with a hypothesis in which he predicted that the pattern of an individual’s progress at any given point in time will be the product of their social and physical environment. In this, he distinguished between men and women in two books, The Seasons of a Man’s Life (1978) and The Seasons of a Woman’s Life (1996).

See All Chapters
Medium 9781780490168

CHAPTER SIX: Inter-relationships

Ingrams, Jonathan Karnac Books ePub

On the face of it, Eric Berne (1910–1970) might not have been expected to bring about a significant new approach to psychotherapy. He had wanted to practice psychoanalysis, and trained at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute. But when he completed his course in 1956, he was loftily advised that he was not yet ready for membership of the academy and should do further study before reapplying. This was far from the disaster that it might have been, as Eric Berne was spurred into pursuing his long-held ambition to develop a completely new approach to psychotherapy.

He was in accord with Freud that human nature is comprised of interlinked components which affect our behaviour and attitudes. Freud, you will recall, identified three such elements: the id, ego, and super-ego. The id he saw as the basic animal in us; the ego, a part of us that devises strategies to achieve the demands of the id; and the super-ego, which represents our conscience and moral code.

But Berne wanted to move away from abstract analogies and metaphors. For him if a theory was to have true validity, it must be observable; that is, you had to be able to see it in action. Perhaps even more importantly, Berne wanted to make psychotherapy more accessible by using concepts and colloquial language that could be understood by everyone, professionals and clients alike. After years of development, he came up with a new approach to psychotherapy, which he called Transactional Analysis, or TA.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781780490168

CHAPTER SEVEN: The power of conditioning

Ingrams, Jonathan Karnac Books ePub

Give me a child until he is seven, and I will give you the man.

—Francis Xavier, co-founder of the Jesuit Order

(attributed)

The quotation above reflects the potential influence of conditioning. It suggests that if children are brought up from the earliest years to respond in a particular way to certain stimuli in the form of events or situations, these responses will be locked into their minds and cannot be changed. This brings us to the question: How well might we recognize the influence of childhood conditioning? And, importantly, if this conditioning is proving unproductive for us or our clients, how might it be changed or modified?

The most straightforward example of stimulus/ response behaviour is that which, if not completely out of our control, is largely automatic. A tickle in the throat produces the reflex action of a cough. We yawn when we are tired (or bored!), and instinctively change position if we are uncomfortable. We’re hardly aware of the processes and coughs or sneezes are quite difficult to suppress unless we catch them very early. These are defined as innate responses.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781780490168

CHAPTER NINE: The counselling environment today

Ingrams, Jonathan Karnac Books ePub

When Freud practised, all his patients were women, all were hysterics, and all were subjected to psychoanalysis or free association. Throughout the history of psychotherapy, individual approaches have often been modified or combined to enhance results or to reflect the pressures of modern living.

For example, Person-Based Cognitive Therapy or PBCT combines CBT with Rogerian perspectives together with the concept of “mindfulness”, which lays particular emphasis on immediate experience. In this respect, it shares a platform with Gestalt in which, you will recall, clients are encouraged to concentrate on their feelings, thoughts, and emotions as they experience them in session. Cognitive Analytical Therapy (CAT) is another collaborative approach which combines psychodynamic practice with Kelly’s personal construct theory and cognitive-behavioural techniques. Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) draws on the work of John Bowlby to help families whose children have detachment problems, whilst Parent—Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) integrates behavioural and play modalities to improve parent—child relationships.

See All Chapters

See All Chapters