Organismic Valuing Process

One of the most prominent concepts within psychoanalytic therapy is that of transference, as developed by Freud (1912), it is a process whereby the client unconsciously redirects their feelings and attitudes about a person in their past on to the therapist. Freud (1912) understood that these feelings can come in two forms either by the means of positive transferences, in which the therapist is seen in a very positive light or through negative transferences where hostile feelings are portrayed onto the therapist. Freud put much of his emphasis on positive transferences suggesting that it is this transference which is helpful in forming the basis for a useful working alliance, thus signifying that the therapist who is viewed in the most positive light has much more power to cure there client. (Falchi,2009) Freud viewed transference as a defence mechanism he called repetition compulsion, he believed that people will repeat past events or behaviour which was distressing in earlier life in the here and now, this he believed was how transference is so critical to understanding the repetition compulsion.

It is inevitable that developments within psychoanalytic theory have lead to alterations in the meaning and usage of the term ‘transference’. Melanie Klein (1952) diverged from Freud and introduced her own psychoanalytic technique, in which she enriched and expanded upon the concept of transference, postulating that the presence of transference within the therapy room was representative of the fears, feelings, and fantasies, associated with former experiences which are reconstructed for the present relationship. (Daniels 2003) Furthermore Klein (1952) proposed that these feelings and attitudes where not necessarily an accurate representation of previous relationships, but only the mixture of actual experiences and unconscious phantasys which the client holds in there inner world, which are constantly processed via projection, re-introjections, and re-projection. For example the father that the person views in there inner world may be very different from the actual father of there past.

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Transference is now viewed as a process which manifests itself in all relationships whether it be therapeutic, personal or professional, unresolved past issues are defended from reaching consciousness by the process of transference as these feelings are projected into current relationships.

The process of transference has been criticised by those such as Jones (2003) as lacking empirical validation and verifiability, nonetheless analysis of the Transference is still viewed as being a fundamental and potent aspect psychoanalytic therapy, which allows the client to experience and express in a very vivid way those unresolved feelings, thoughts and object relations which may have been deeply repressed, by exploring the clients typical interactions using a ‘here and now’ approach to patient therapy. It allows the therapist into the clients inner world in order to gather understanding of there unconscious processes. Through acknowledging and implementing the process of transference it allows analysts to support there patients in understanding how past events may have shaped there current world as well as disconnecting from issues in their past in order to accept their past as part of their identity without it overshadowing their life and creating problems in the unconscious.

As emphasised by Klein (1952), the process of transference is a fundamental aspect within psychoanalytic therapy, because of what it reveals about the clients internal-object world as well as providing opportunities for therapeutic modifications bu modifying the harshness of internalized objects and inner persecutors.. For instance, the client may experience the analyst as the bad object of their past. In such a case it is important that new modes of interpersonal relating are learned, via the analyst’s ability to provide the client with the necessary counterbalance to the bad objects during the transference, in these conditions early anxieties can be alleviated so therapeutic change can occur. (Daniels, 2003)

Providing the correct environment is established, the process of transference can become a very useful analytical tool. For instance, in situations where a child has been neglected or even severely abused by their parents, providing a safe setting for this individual may allow them to project their negative feelings towards their parents onto the therapist. By the therapist being neither abusive nor neglectful in response to the client, and instead providing the client with a stable and accepting relationship in which they are viewed very importantly, it allows the client to come to terms with and express there true feelings towards their parents, which were far to dangerous to articulate in there previous setting. Once these have been expressed the patient is likely to feel much more relieved.

It is clear that the concept of transference have significantly contributed to the process of psychoanalysis, if a strong transference relationship is produced which is safe for exploration, then transference becomes an essential analytical tool to discovering the unconscious.

Outline Melanie Klein’s concept of the ‘paranoid schizoid’ and ‘depressive position’ in infant psychic development. To what extent does Klein’s theory differ from that of Freud?

Psychoanalytic theory has been constantly developed since the times of Freud, One key psychoanalyst who diverged away from Freud was Melanie Klein. (1965). by focusing on human relationships as the principal motivational force in life she deviated from the traditional psychoanalytic focus on pleasure seeking behaviour and aggression as the key drives to successful development.

Klein (1952) postulated that it is the development during the very primitive months and years of life which is vital in providing the foundation for the character which will continue throughout. Furthermore Klein (1946) proposes that the earliest stage of infantile psychic development is comprised of the successful completion of two distinctive developmental positions, the paranoid-schizoid and the depressive positions.

The paranoid schizoid position was postulated by Klein (1946) as occurring at the earliest phase of development. Klein believed at this primitive stage in development, objects can only be perceived as being all good or all bad, which she believed to be a defence mechanism, known as splitting. It is understood that this mechanism is implemented as a part of the infants inherited predisposition to reduce and to cope with any anxiety that they experience, due to the unpredictable nature of the world around them. Klein focused very much on the mothers breast when introducing the idea of splitting. She suggested that at this stage in development the breast can only be seen as two separate objects wither all good or all bad for the infant. Thus the breast can be introjected into the babies world in two ways either as satisfying its immediate needs this would be viewed as the good breast on the other hand the child is also likely to introject breast as being a bad object if it has an unsatisfying feed. The child can not understand that the breast belongs to a whole object and is not separate.

If the ego is developed sufficiently then over time good and bad can be integrated by the infant and ambivalence and conflict can be tolerated. This is a sign of the development into the depressive position. This is the stage where the infant begins to recognise that it is not omnipotent and that the mother is a whole object. As the child realises that it is possible to tolerate ambivalence and thus to recognize whole objects that contain both good and bad aspects, it begins to feel depressed in that there is no longer any all good objects but it also feels guilt about the fantasies of destroying the bad object which they now realise is not separate. The depressive position is never fully resolved, and psychological life is a continuing pursuit of compensation for the harm done.

Klein is renowned for her divergence from the traditional psychoanalytic ideas introduced by Freud. One of the main differences is apparent when exploring views on development within the first year of life, especially the development of the ego and the superego. Klein differed from Freud in this respect; she did agree that the psychic contained the ID, ego and the superego. However she argued that all components can to some degree be noted from birth suggesting that the superego is in operation much before the end of the Oedipus complex rather than following it as suggested by Freud (1923). Klein also saw the superego as being quite harsh and cruel within the paranoid schizoid position of development before developing into a more forgiving and helpful one in the depressive position.

Freud was highly criticised by Jung as well as other psychoanalysts for his huge emphasis on pleasure and sexual drives in the development of infants this is where Klein diverged from Freud’s ideas that humans as purely pleasure seeking individuals and instead focuses on, relationships as central to what it is to be human, as well as key to psychotherapy, especially the relationship with the therapist. Klein seems to shift the focus from biologically predetermined stages of development and instead introduces the role that early phantasys play in the formation of interpersonal relations and the understanding of the world. In Klein’s usage, unconscious phantasys underlie all thought and activity, whether that is creative or destructive, phantasys are vital to the expression of internal object relations in the analytic situation. Although Freud did recognize the existence of phantasys within development he did not see them as key to development tending to focus much of his attention instead on the unconscious.

Describe Rogers’s concept of the ‘Organismic Valuing Process’ (OVP). Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of this aspect of Person Centred theory.

One of the fundamental concepts within humanistic psychology is that of the ”organismic valuing process” (OVP). Rogers (1952) refers to this as the innate tendency to automatically select, pursue and seek those situations which fit into our inherent aspirations, in order to lead a fulfilling life. It is a subconscious and biologically driven process which guides people in evaluating new experiences to maintain or enhance their growth potential and eventually reach actualization. In order for this to be achieved it is important that their values are not fixed, but instead experiences are evaluated in terms of the satisfactions which are innately experienced this process is called the organismic valuing process.

From birth, children innately respond to their sensory experiences, they will repeat and value those experiences which generate good feelings for them. However it seems as though it is at this stage where difficulties and incongruence’s are likely to develop. It is very common at this stage, that judgemental and critical messages can be portrayed towards the infant, this is usually through there parents attempt to implement rules of behaviour, consequently this leads to feelings of incongruence between what the infant is experiencing as good, their organismic valuing process, and how this is viewed by others., This can lead to the child internalising the values and beliefs portrayed by others, a process called conditions of worth, this will shape an individual into someone who is cut off from their own sense of worth and value this can become a vicious cycle as they begin to behave in ways which they feel is expected of them and not to there true organismic feelings, this is believed to prevent all personal growth for the individual.

As the individual grows older this valuing process is essential if they are to achieve self actualization, under favourable circumstances it allows the development of an optimum self-esteem and an accurate sense of who the person “really is” as well as who they would ideally like to become. This gives the individual clear goals which they can work towards in order to reach self actualization. It is inevitably that life is never this simple and everyone faces high demands and responsibilities within there everyday life which can alter what they choose to do, as they feel responsibility for certain jobs and situation which can shift the person away from their organismic valuing process.

At first glance the idea of an organismic valuing process, where individuals can rely freely on the evidence of their own senses to make value judgments, seems to be a very appealing and positive outlook. However it is also viewed by those such as Cofer & Appley (1964) as a very naA?ve and overly optimistic interpretation of human nature. It is very questionable that all humans have an innate drive to do ”good”. A lot of criticism towards Rogers approach has centered around its failure to provide insight into the evil side of human nature such as criminals and violent people who do not seem to be functioning in this innately positive way, On the other hand it has been suggested by those such as Myers (2000) that there may in fact be such a skill as an organismic valuing process, when analysing self reports on peoples views of their lives, most people reported feeling happy and very satisfied with their lives, this research suggests that although it may seem, overly optimistic to think that people strive for good it also seems as though people are very good at reaching and striving towards a stage where they are very satisfied with there lives.

A further criticism of the organismic value processing is that there is inadequate empirical research to support its premises. It is very difficult to define and measure such a subjective concept scientifically, therefore the concept lacks empirical evidence, therefore the theory has to be criticized for not providing substantial evidence for its assumptions. Although it is heavily criticized for its lack of empirical evidence there have been attempts to investigate the organismic valuing process such as by Sheldon et al (2003) by investigating the way in which people change their goal choices over time, to investigate if people tend to change their goals, they found that people tend to move away from those goals which are extrinsic in nature and move towards intrinsic goals suggesting that there is such a thing as OVP. They concluded that people may have a positive bias toward changing their minds in directions most likely to be SWB enhancing

List three behavioural interventions that might be used in cognitive-behavioural therapy, explain the theoretical rationale for using these techniques and explain how they might operate to facilitate client change

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a key treatment in overcoming, anxieties, addictions and phobias. It is increasingly used by clinicians as an empirically valid way to treat clients, by focusing on the problem in the “here and now”. Instead of investigating the past as a cause of these problems rather it looks for ways to improve your state of mind now, for this reason it is becoming more popular in the therapeutic world. Furthermore behavioural interventions are seen as core aspects of CBT and are seen as vital to assist the client in reducing the frequency as well as eliminating any unwanted or maladaptive behaviours. There are various forms of behavioural intervention and the one used will depend on the circumstances of the client.

One key behavioural intervention is, Systematic Desensitisation which was introduced by Wople (1958) this is a therapeutic intervention which focuses its attention on the process of relaxation in overcoming phobias and anxiety disorders. It aims to reduce the link between the distressing situation/object and the subsequent feeling of anxiety which can be inhibiting to the clients ability to function and manage there everyday life. The process involves substituting the previous response to a feared stimulus for example public speaking with a contradictory message, such as relaxation which is introduced by the therapist step by step. Over time this will lead to the positive reactions to the situation therefore diminishing or hopefully eradicating the negative responses all together

This behavior modification technique of systematic desensitization, which is founded on the principles of classical conditioning, can be used to facilitate client change in some of the most common fears such as public speaking. In this situation the therapist can facilitate change by introducing the client to three key techniques. The initial process will involve progressive relaxation training , a technique initially perfected by Edmund Jacobson during the 1930s. The next stage would involve the client ordering anxiety provoking situations into a hierarchy ranging from very anxiety provoking i.e performing in a theatre, to low anxiety provoking i.e performing to one person. The client can thus move through the hierachy by pairing the activity with the relaxation techniques learned previously. Thus, a gradual desensitization occurs, with relaxation replacing alarm.

Another behavioral intervention which is implemented by therapists as well as teachers and trainers is social skills training (SST) used to help those who have difficulties relating to other people. This is a key process in improving peoples well being, a person who lacks these essential social skills can have great difficulty when communicating in everyday life this can lead to social isolation. It is in these situations when Social skills training can become an essential behavioral intervention. The therapist begins by dismantling these complex social behaviors into manageable chunks. In order of difficulty, and then to gradually introduce them to the patients, so they can learn in a manageable way the social skills required to become more integrated into society.

How the specific behaviour intervention you describe e.g. a behavioural experiment, systematic desensitisation would be seen by a behaviourist therapist as helpful in bringing about a change in the client’s behaviour i.e. what are the processes and mechanisms thought to be involved?

Social skills training is a process which focuses on teaching the patients ways to avoid those social situation which may affect there behavior in a negative way for example for an alcoholic it is important to establish the behavior for drinking at parties where alcohol is served, or when they find themselves in other situations in which others may pressure them to drink. The SST would view the This can be very influential as part of the process of preventing the alcoholic from continuing with such behavior.

A key behavioral intervention involves Reinforcement techniques focusing on operant conditioning It is theorized therefore that human behaviour is both learned and governed by its antecedents and its consequences. Simply put, children are more likely to learn and retain behaviours for which they receive positive reinforcement (reward) and are less likely to learn

The first process in being able to facilitate client change is to carry out a functional analysis in order to understand which conditions are responsible for maintaining the behaviour, why and when the behaviour occurs

This is a process in which the therapist is required to carry out a detailed assessment which can identify the complex patterns of behaviour which are involved in the behaviour which needs to be solved Functional assessments are used to identify the most powerful reinforcement, after these have been established the therapist can then intervenes to assist client in changing these conditions Interventions are designed to achieve long term, generalised behaviour change in target and related skill areas (McGahan, 2001). The aim is to modify reinforcement schedules to increase the desired behaviour and decrease the undesired behaviour

These behavioural interventions are useful ways to prevent the persistence of negative behaviours within cognitive behavioural therapy in an ethical way unlike those interventions such as aversion therapy.

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