Psychodynamic Theory Review In the article “The Future of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy,” Cortina (2010) reviews past and current issues concerning psychodynamic theory in relation to therapy practices. He describes how and why a once widely accepted and common method of psychological treatment has since suffered a swift weakening in popularity and reliability. Cortina (2010) also speaks about the basic concepts that underlie the psychodynamic theory so that possible interpretations can be drawn as to why this theory has succumbed to such criticism over the decades.
Although, the psychodynamic theory does not have a good reputation, Cortina (2010) examines past and current research on how psychodynamic theory is making a comeback, and it’s now supposed effectiveness. The Deterioration of Psychodynamic Theory According to Cortina (2010), one of the tell-tale signs that psychodynamic theory has taken a dive in the world of psychotherapy is because of the decline in related book sales. Not even a decade ago, the bestselling psychoanalytical books were sold by the tens of thousands.
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Over the past few years, less than 500 have been taken off the shelves and found their way into the hands of appreciating scholars. A proposed reason for this is that Freud’s credibility has been lost. Although there was not adequate scientific evidence to back up his theories back in the day, a lot has changed in the past century. Unfortunately, Freud’s theory has become nothing more than a “postmodern-deconstructive philosophy” (Cortina, 2010, The Decline of Psychoanalysis, para. 4). Concepts of Psychoanalytical Theory
Shendler (2010), as referenced by Cortina (2010), list some basic concepts of the psychoanalytical theory. People act according to unconscious processes and impulses. When those processes become conflicted with one another, trouble ensues. People also respond to emotional processes. Recognizing and accepting conscious and unconscious emotions are essential to psychoanalytical theory. This theory focuses on defense mechanisms. People tend to behave in ways that are not in context with what is going on.
Psychoanalytical theory has a tendency to pay close attention to the development of the mind. How a person thinks and perceives can reveal a lot about what is going on in the mind. Social processes are also important especially how individuals relate to and communicate with one another. Lastly, psychoanalytical theory focuses on dreams and a person’s imagination. These are the doors to the unconscious. Research Cortina (2010) provides evidence from past and current research that favors psychoanalytical theory.
Science has come a long way in the past decade; therefore, scientists have a better understanding about what is really going on in the human mind. With the use of tools such as the MRI, they can make connections between thoughts, emotions, actions, and specific areas of the brain and other physiological processes. Researchers have also obtained a wealth of information from case studies. Although many are still skeptical about the reliability of psychoanalytical theory, evidence has shown many strengths and benefits of this theory. Conclusion
Regardless of the unpopularity of psychoanalytical theory, opinions and attitudes are starting to change. There is a considerable amount of evidence that supports the ideas behind and the benefits of this theory. Since only a small percentage of practitioners receive specialized training in psychoanalytical therapy, much has to be done to convince the public and academic sector that psychoanalytical theory is not a fairytale. Personal Perspective I believe that the psychoanalytical perspective to psychotherapy has many good qualities, as well as, some questionable qualities.
I agree with Cortina (2010) that this theory is making some great strides to prove itself worthy in the scientific field. I do not fully adhere to the notion that many of our actions are driven by unconscious motives because that tends to take accountability and choice away from the individual. I am fascinated by this theory only for the purpose of study, not in practice. Reference Cortina, M. (2010). The future of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes, 73(1), 43-56. doi:10. 1521/psyc. 2010. 73. 1. 43