Psychoanalytic Theory Of Mental Health

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This paper will share some of the history and impacts of the psychoanalytic theory. Sigmund Freud’s concepts and influences will be explored in an effort to understand the formation of psychoanalysis. An endeavor will also be made to appreciate how some parts of this theory could be useful within the context of different models as it relates to mental illness.
Mental Health’s Influence of Psychoanalytic Theory Until the advent of psychoanalysis, the general thought when dealing with mental health in the 19th century was one of a medical model, that is, psychological issues were considered a result of a biological function. This was not a new concept, with Hippocrates detailing similar thoughts behind such maladies (Hergenhahn & Henley, 2014).
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Freud’s formulation of psychoanalysis was also influenced by Darwin’s theory of evolution, and Freud believed that all creatures, even humans, were motivated predominately by instinct instead of reason (Hergenhahn & Henley, 2014). Freud’s view of the human mind was that the instinctive behavior had a very real effect on an individual’s personality and was due, at least in part, to acts of aggression or a desire for sexual gratification (Hergenhahn & Henley, 2014). Although an evolutionary perspective certainly played a part in Freud’s theory, it is important to note that the evolution of sexual motivation was not as dominate in the development of psychoanalysis as perhaps is sometimes indicated (Zukier, …show more content…
Although Freud also admitted in the same lecture that psychoanalysis is only an exchange of words in which the physician tries to lead the patient through a process that helps them understand their thoughts (Freud, 1920). Which would seem to limit the medical aspect of treatment and accentuate the psychological model with respect to a mental issue. For instance, depression can be seen as a genetic disposition, biochemical or hormonal imbalance, or even damage to neural pathways. In this way, a medical model could be employed in modern times in which a patient is given drug treatment to compensate for possible deficiencies. However, this does not necessarily correct the cause of the illness, but could eliminate or reduce the symptoms. Psychoanalysis may have some limited benefit in these situations, but in conjunction with alleviating symptoms, may also discover the root cause that led to the mental

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