Good vs. Evil in Psycho Essay

“Psycho” is a classic suspense film directed by Alfred Hitchcock which features a central female protagonist, a seemingly ordinary young woman named Marion Crane, who crosses paths with a dangerous mentally ill motel owner, Norman Bates. As their strange relationship develops, a dominant theme of good versus evil is introduced to the audience through the use of characterisation, editing, mise-en-scene and various other media techniques. From the outset, Hitchcock introduces an initial theme of good versus evil during the opening credits.

The title scene could be seen as a reflection of the personality of Norman Bates as the credits themselves are presented as fragmented titles which come together as one on the screen but then shake and split up again, which hints towards the disjointed personality of Bates. The fact that the titles are dotted around the screen suggests that his character is severely unbalanced and not in a stable condition, foreshadowing the idea that his mind is in different places at different times and it is hard to tell when his mind-set will alter.

The contrasting colours used in this scene are also important to the later character development as the black, white and grey each reflect the constantly conflicting part of Bates’ temperament. The darker areas on the screen reflect the deepest inner shadow of his mind, while the lighter areas show that he can also be a good person. They show the persistent inner conflict and the constant battle between good and evil. The grey, however, represents the uncertain parts of his split personality but could also be interpreted to refer to the indecision and doubt seen in the character of Marion as the film develops.

This primary theme is developed as we are familiarised with the character of Marion Crane, the dominant leading role. We first see her meeting up with her boyfriend, Sam, in a hotel room during her lunch hour. The camera enters the room by zooming through the window and Hitchcock wants us to feel as if we are intruding on a private moment between the characters inside. This sense of voyeurism is clearly accentuated by the very first shot of the couple which is very personal and intimate – making the viewer feel rather awkward.

This scene acts as a vital link to the film as a whole and is fundamental for the expansion of the theme of good and evil as it gives Marion a clear reason to steal the money in the scene that follows. Marion is presented as a good character at this point as her good intentions are outlined: we see that she just wants to marry Sam and for them to be able to be together respectably. When Sam states that he would not be able to provide for her, Marion is given an obvious ulterior motive and a chance to make the transition from good to evil, therefore setting up the entire film.

We also notice that, the first time we see Marion, she is wearing white underwear: hinting to her kind and innocent personality but, when we see her after she has made the decision to steal the money, she is wearing black underwear. This visual symbolism presents a contrast between the two different stages of characterisation and depicts the character change of Marion as she goes from good to evil. Similar to the original view of Marion, when we first meet Norman Bates he seems like a very ordinary person, but as the scenes progress we begin to notice slight abnormalities in his behaviour.

When Marion arrives at the Bates Motel, the heavy rain which forces her to stop is foreshadowing her impending doom while acting as effective pathetic fallacy as she is feeling isolated and guilty at this point. The fact that Norman hesitates before giving her the key to cabin one hints at his irregularity, along with the fact that he opens the window as soon as he enters the room – as if he is setting up his own escape route – and he never mentions the bathroom, foretelling the event which will take place there.

Also, when Marion is checking into the motel, what should have been a clear view of Bates is blurred in the mirror: showing that he is changeable and that his personality is hazy. In a similar shot, only half of his face is shown and this clearly symbolises the fact that only one half of him can ever be fully good at any one time – the other half will always remain evil. However, sympathy is also evoked for Norman in this scene as we see that his mother takes an instant dislike to Marion – something which you would not normally see between two strangers.

We see how close – and slightly strange – the relationship between Norman and his mother and the unnatural dependence they have on each other, showing that Norman is trapped in his current situation and making him seem like a good person. A similar effect is used throughout the scene in Norman’s parlour by with the use of light and dark as the lighting picks out significant features such as only one side of Norman’s face and the underside of the owl’s wings.

The owl with its wings spread signifies his mother controlling his mind and shows that she is ever present, although we never see her, even when he is behaving normally she will always be inside his mind, therefore making the viewer feel sympathetic towards him as he has no control over his actions. Conversely, framing him next to an owl may suggest that Norman is a predator and the owl is his equal. Like the owl, many other birds are featured in the parlour scene, linking back to the recurring theme.

Framing Marion next to them when she first enters the room makes her seem vulnerable and presents her as equal to the birds which Norman has stuffed. The shower scene is important to the character development of Marion as we see her clear transition from the evil character she turned into after stealing the money back to the good character we saw in the beginning. She has changed her mind about stealing the money and has made the decision to go home. We are able to pinpoint the exact moment of relief as she flushes the toilet: it is as if she is flushing away her problems and guilt.

This effect is also used when the water goes down the plughole in the shower: representing the washing away of her sins. However, I feel that this image could also be taken to represent evil as Marion’s life is being washed away and she is going to down to Hell for the sins she has committed. A contrast between Norman and his Mother is clearly displayed in this scene although we also see that Norman can be evil while being totally himself as we see him spying on Marion before she is murdered.

After the murder, Norman is linked to the crime in many ways. The camera work and editing assists this by panning directly to a view of Norman’s house, telling the story without the need for dialogue. Almost immediately following this we see Norman running from the house and consequently directly linking himself to the murder. We see him automatically assume that his mother has killed Marion without questioning her, making the viewer even more suspicious of him.

Both good and evil sides of Norman are presented to the audience at this point as, although he seems flustered and hurried when he first discovers what his mother has done, he is able to relax into a state of unemotional professionalism which allows the viewer to realise that this has happened before. By pretending so strongly that it was in fact his mother who killed Marion, I think it is obvious he is trying to convince himself that he has done nothing wrong and, ultimately, that he is not mentally ill. The mise-en-scene when he sinks Marion’s car is representative of this.

We see him framed next to a tree with a split trunk, suggestive to his split personality. The contrast between the two sides of Norman’s personality is extended in the scene which features Marion’s sister, Lila, as she searches the house for evidence relating to the murder. When she enters mother’s room, it looks very inhabited: the bed seems as if someone has just gotten up and the wardrobe is full of neatly stored clothes. Despite the clutter, everything is organised and tidy. I believe this highlights the extent of Bates’ mental illness as we see how much effort he has gone to keep up the illusion.

The subjective close-up shot of the hands when Lila scans the dressing table suggests that Norman is still in the clutches of his mother and the darker side of his personality hence reminding us that he is not in control of his situation. Norman’s room provides a total contrast when compared with his mother’s. It is a lot smaller and appears to have remained the same since he was a child and contains an eclectic mix of the possessions of a childish boy and those of a twisted man.

This conveys the idea that perhaps he is refusing to grow up or his mind has never developed past this stage. This idea combined with the toys explains his dependence on his mother and why he is so unwilling to leave her. The stuffed owl which sits at his door brings back the recurring motif of birds while also representing the ever present Mrs Bates. She is always watching him and he allows her to control him completely and make his decisions – just as if he were a child. The battle between good and evil continues as Lila makes her way down to the cellar and mother is finally revealed.

As the scene ends the climax is completed with a close-up shot of “mother” which allows us to clearly see the light and dark reflecting in her eye sockets – representing the fact that it is possible for Norman to be both a fully good and fully evil character. Although we are now aware that mother is dead in reality, she continues to live on inside Norman. The last time we see the character of Norman Bates, he has been arrested and we are able to see that the dominant evil personality of “mother” has won and taken over.

To display this, we hear Norman thinking in his mother’s voice and understand that he believes that he is her – unnervingly outlining the severity of his mental illness. The medium shot of Norman sitting in the chair is effective as it shows his body language while he behaves like an old woman; the image is creepy and, in my opinion, really gets under your skin. At this stage I think that it is important we hear mother before we see Norman as it allows the audience to realise that he is not really Norman any more, showing that he is still and not fighting with his inner self as it appears the battle for good over evil has finally been lost.

As the camera zooms in on Norman, we see his blank stare change to a sinister grin and a super imposed shot of mother’s skull on his face which shows that the good side of him is trapped inside for what looks like forever. For me, the film did have a satisfying ending as we see the detective bring the case to a close so there are no more remaining questions, but the creepy smile we see at the end makes me think otherwise; leaving us at a cliff hanger of sorts. In conclusion, I believe that, with the use of media features such as characterisation and editing, Hitchcock is able to present a highly engaging struggle between good and evil.

Although I did feel sympathy for the character of Norman, I believe that he did have the option to control his actions and get help to fight back against his evil personality but, as he relied on his mother too much, he did not want to push her away. However, while Marion’s decision to steal the money was irresponsible and out of character, I still feel that she did it with good intentions. Overall, I felt that the fact that evil came out on top rather than the more typical outcome made it particularly realistic as, in a real life situation, good would not always prevail.

Mind and Rumors Essay

Rumors are dark, hurtful, mischievous things that are spread to cause destruction. Rumors have been around since the beginning of time, and are stronger now more than ever. Rumors are whispered, as if to indicate that they will not spread. Rumors are shouted, printed, posted, and broadcasted. Rumors are lies and those whom associate with rumors are bad people, or are they? Rumors are not always bad, and they don’t always turn out to be lies. There are many unknown things about rumors, like how and why are they really created?

DiFonzo defines a rumor as “…unverified information statements that circulate about topics that people perceive as important; arise in situations of ambiguity, threat, or potential threat; and are used by people attempting to make sense or to manage risk” (375).

A rumor starts out as an important thought in one persons mind. A thought that is kept to oneself merely stays a thought and never develops into a rumor.

But, a thought that is just important enough to share with someone else morphs into a rumor. Rumors are not always intentional lies. They do however start out as unverified information.

If a rumor is verified it is no longer a rumor, it then becomes factual information. The information that is passed from one person to many people is thought to be of importance. Whether the rumor pertains to something local, nationwide, global, social, political, public, or private it contains information that is substantial and has the possibility to be life changing. A rumor is targeted to a certain group of people. The spread of the rumor depends on the number of people who perceive the information as important. The group can range from a few people to the majority of the world.

A rumor of “Bob cheated on Mary with Susan” would certainly be very important to a small number of people and could devastate their lives. On the other side of the spectrum a rumor that “An asteroid five times the size of Saturn is headed toward earth and total death is imminent” would also be of great importance and would affect many people. Rumors are born, bred, and sought out of human emotion. The amount of rumors increase in times of perceived danger, threat, and stress. “In practice it has been found that the emotional needs most frequently served by rumors are wish, fear, and hostility” (Knapp 361).

A rumor is spread or sought to satisfy an emotional need of hope, comfort, fear, and hostility. Therefore it makes sense that the amount of rumors increases during stressful times. In the aftermath of the recent tornados in Oklahoma, rumors exploded. Social media, radio stations, and television stations broadcast the information from the moment of touchdown. Two different television stations broadcast contradicting information at the same time and facebook erupted with photos, videos, and information. People were calling other people, turning on the television, and getting on facebook to seek information or give it.

They sought answers, comfort, and hope. Why then do some rumors flourish and are known all over the world and others die out after only a short run? One reason has already been brought up, the number of people who consider the information important. A rumor can live longer if it is adaptable to its audience. A rumor that has information added to or taken out may appear more important to certain groups. Another factor in a successful rumor is the length of it. A rumor that is long and complicated will be hard to remember and hard to tell. Another reason is the desire for humans to be accepted.

People will agree with someone else even if they are not sure themselves to avoid hostility and risk losing other peoples good opinion of them. Perhaps people agree because of self-doubt. If one person thinks a rumor is wrong but is hesitant to disagree because the majority believe it to be true then they must be wrong and not the group. People’s personal and social anxiety can escalate a rumor fast and wide. If the majority of people are passive, have self-doubt, or want to avoid conflict then the number of people who perceive the rumor to be true increases.

Sunstein states, “Often people will be suspicious of a rumor, or believe that it is not true, but they will not contradict the judgment of the relevant group, largely in order to avoid social sanctions” (393-394). In conclusion, it is sufficient to say that rumors are more complex than originally thought. They have distinct characteristics and classifications that define them. The most successful rumors are important to the world. If a rumor is assembled just right under the perfect conditions, the result are everlasting.

Health Psychology Essay

In this assignment I will be explain two different health psychology issues and explaining them. The two different issues I have decided to talk about are eating disorders and childbirth. I will then compare the two health psychology issues in relation to their common themes and also their different. P3 Explain specific health psychology issues. Using two health psychology issues of interest to you, you should explain the specific issue in detail Eating Disorders (anorexia and bulimia) Anorexia and bulimia are caused through psychological issues.

Eating disorders are known by an unusual attitude towards food that causes someone to change their eating habits and behaviour and also their image. An individual with an eating disorder will focus on their getting their weight, shape, size down to the least they can, and also change the way they look. This causes them to make unhealthy choices about eating which then causes damage to their health and other things. Around one in 250 women will experience anorexia at some point in their lives, and the condition usually starts around the age 16/17.

This is because at this age girls want people to like them and boys to start being attracted to them, so they feel the need to become skinny and different. Also a lot of celebrities battle with the weight and some have become anorexia so teenage girls don’t see anything wrong with it. Sometimes there are biological and other things influencing someone to have an eating disorder. They are often responsible because of the pressure from friends and the media to be thin, as a lot of young girls feel they should look a certain way to be popular and for boys to notice them.

The consequences from an eating disorder can be more serious than the way someone looks. Spotting that a person has an eating disorder can be very difficult to see, especially if it is someone close to yourself. If an eating disorder is not spotted and treat it can have a major impact on someone’s life. It can effect someone’s job or schoolwork, and can also break up relationship with family and friends. The effects of an eating disorder can sometimes be fatal. To treat an eating disorder and recovering from one can take a long time.

To treat a disorder usually involves monitoring a individuals physical health and helping them deal with psychological problem. It is important for friends and family to be there for the individual and help them believe they can get better with time and support from the loved ones. Examples of treatment could be cognitive behaviour therapy also known as CBT, another method is interpersonal psychotherapy, dietary counselling and also medication. Psychological Causes of Obesity Many people today eat when their emotionally such as because the person is bored, sad, anger or even happy.

Obesity can be caused by things like stress or depression and can cause a number of different health implications. For example a person that is obese is more likely to have diabetes later in life and also suffer heart problems. Over 30% of today’s population seek treatment for weight problems and this is all caused through binge eating. Binge eating is when someone eats large amount of food while feeling they can’t control how much they are eating, people who seriously binge and a very obese develop a disorder call binge eating disorder.

The people with this kind of eating disorder find it difficult to lose weight and also find it difficult to control how much they are eating. Many people may need serious help for example counselling or medication or even operation to make the stomach smaller to help there binge eating addiction. Childbirth Childbirth today is most likely in the hospital and a team of midwifes help delivery the baby, in today’s society childbirth is very all to do with the medication given. Epidurals are the most common drug used in childbirth, and are used for over half of all child birthday in hospitals.

An epidural interferes with normal bio-feedback between the pelvic muscles and the mother’s brain during labour. The drug slows down the labour, which can cause some serious things happen during giving birth. Things such as making the mother three times more likely to be given a drip, and it can also double the chances of the mother having to have a caesarean. There are different side effects when using an epidural such as a drop in the mother’s blood pressure leading to lack of oxygen for the baby.

When an epidural is given, the baby can have some difficulties with taking the milk from the mother and maybe some behaviour problems. Home births are now a very rare thing and can only go forward if the midwife says it can, and can only occur if the baby’s head is upside down. There can be risks and benefits to having a home birth, these are: previous difficultly giving birth or heavy bleeding after the birth, previous c section, raised blood pressure and finally anaemia. There are many different cultural and religious views of childbirth.

Caesarean section rates have been increasing due to higher number of caesarean section for the baby’s sake, and keeping the baby from getting upset and distressed through labour. Water births are a nice way for women to give birth, this is because water is an effective pain relief in labour. When women are having a water birth warm water is usually used to help the woman unwind and relax, it eases aches and pain. More woman are choosing to have a water birth, and women who have impaired mobility may find giving birth in water helpful rather than in the hospital.

The culture which the mother of the baby has been brought up in always plays a big part of how women deal with their pregnancy and labour. Some Christians believe that the labour pain can be seen as ‘the way God intended it to be’. This is something strong Christians believe and will go through labour with no pain relief, this may inspire some women who are not Christian to go through without pain relief and give a natural birth. In cultures such as Japan, the woman must not express much distress through labour, she has to be seen very calm and composed.

In the Middle East and Mediterranean area women are expected to scream and cry uncontrollably in the childbirth. The woman of the east doesn’t always use pain relief, the screaming and crying throughout labour is to express her labour pain and message to her support people that she needs loving and sympathy. The Western are often see labour pain as something to be fixed or stopped, in some cases the western turn to medical resources to relief the pain of labour with gas and air, and maybe an epidural. Now woman a trying to use natural therapies to minimise using pain relief.

The Psychological Causes of Homicide Essay

On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, who was only 20, shot his mother then shot twenty children and six adult staff members in a mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. This mass murder is on record in American history for the as being the second most deadliest mass shooting by a single person , and the second deadliest mass murder in a elementary school. Although this incident is the most fatal public school shooting in the United States. So, what causes people to kill?

Due to irrational emotions and psychological imbalances in the Anterior Rostral Prefrontal Cortex of the brain which is important for processing emotions, fear and social and motor skills, people commit violent crimes that hurt others (Kate Kelland).

Adam Lanza was diagnosed with, “sensory integration disorder”, also now known as sensory processing. People who have sensory processing disorder or SPD may over-respond to stimuli and find clothing, physical contact, light, sound, or food unbearable. They may also under-respond and feel little or no reaction to pain or extreme hot and cold.

A third form involves sensory motor problems that can cause weakness, clumsiness or delay in developing motor skills (Alaine Griffin, Josh Kovner). The disorder SPD is due to a defect in the Anterior Rostral Prefrontal Cortex of the brain, like many others that cause motor skill problems and irrational emotions and empathy to emotions and pain. The combination of these effects can cause people who experience them to be potentially dangerous and capable of committing violent crimes. The emotions that violent criminals have can be categorized into specific groups that can be considered motivations for them to commit such crimes.

Everyday Psychology has made a Typology of Violent Offenders who do not suffer from brain defects and reasons why they would commit homicide. The first group is the Chronically Aggressive Individuals. These are people who get easily frustrated, and have limited or poor impulse control. These people frequently express anger or hostility (through passive-aggressive behavior) and resent authority. They usually believe violence and/or aggression are lawful responses to various interpersonal problems in life. They find pleasure or reinforcement is derived from the expression of anger.

Often they display the characteristics of a “stimulus seeker” – they participate in bold, fearless, or reckless behavior and are more likely to exhibit substance abuse. Typically, violence occurs in a situational context: an offense, fight, or disagreement but are less likely to engage in acts of unexpected “explosive” violence (Paul G. Mattiuzzi). These types of people do not like to be caught off guard because they like to be in control. The second group is The Over-Controlled Hostility Type. These people seem to be polite, serious, sober, and rarely display or express anger.

They do not cuss or yell, and may even be offended by such behavior. They are likely to be morally righteous and see themselves as “good people”, and often see others as “not such good people”. After the violence, people say that they never expected it, “He always seemed like such a nice guy; he was always so quiet” (Paul G. Mattiuzzi). These types of offenders can be very unpredictable and unexpected. The third group is The Hurt and Resentful. They feel that people walk on them and that they are never treated fairly.

When they are passed over, the blame is always placed on someone else. They think things are easier for everyone else; other people get more and have more advantages. They do not accept criticism well and in response to reprimands; they develop grudges, which are sometimes deeply held. This is when the Violence occurs because they hold grudges and are “impotent” to deal with their anger in other ways (Paul G. Mattiuzzi). These individuals exhibit self sympathy and often feel badly for themselves. The fourth group is The Traumatized.

Whose aggression occurs in response to a single, massive assault on their individuality. Usually something happens that is potently offensive, absolutely intolerable, and which strips them of all sense of personal power (Paul G. Mattiuzzi). Usually they have a hard time coping and moving on so they display aggressive behavior. The fifth group is The Obsessive. They are immature and egotistical individuals who demand or crave attention and affection, and get upset when deprived of desired gratifications (Paul G. Mattiuzzi). The sixth group is The Paranoid.

They typically engage in behaviors which make their paranoid beliefs come true. Many times delusions may reach the point at which the person is out of contact with reality (Paul G. Mattiuzzi). People who experience this place blame on anyone else because they are in a false sense of reality. The seventh group is The Insane. Usually rare, but does not understand the nature and quality of their actions. Typically they have essential misperceptions of reality, are incapable of rational behavior, and delusional beliefs prevent them from knowing between right and wrong behavior.

Their beliefs and perceptions are different than those of reality. They confuse beliefs about what is right, what is wrong, and what is necessary (Paul G. Mattiuzzi). They have an altered state of mind that causes them to display violent behaviors. The eight and last group is The Just Plain Bad & Angry. This is a combination of the seven previous groups with the exception of the Insane group. Usually they display the characteristics of being: angry, hostile, jealous, resentful, impotent, and disturbed individuals.

They feel socially isolated, socially inadequate, and worthless (Paul G. Mattiuzzi). Abnormalities within the Anterior Rostral Prefrontal cortex and Temporal Poles have been studied to see that the lack of grey matter that triggers empathy can cause some people to commit violent crimes. A psychopath is a person with a psychopathic personality, which is apparent as amoral and antisocial behavior (such as Adam Lanza). Usually they display a lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme self-interest, and failure to learn from experience.

People who suffer from this, compared to violent offenders that are healthy, have structural differences in their brain that cause them to have less grey matter in certain areas. These areas of the brain are important for processing others people’s emotions, intentions, fear and social skills (Kate Kelland) so, when people are lacking in these areas they become dangerous. There are two divisions that separate people who commit homicide; psychopaths who are lacking normalities of the brain, and sociopaths who are individuals with irrational emotions.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) lists both Psychopathy and Sociopathy under the heading of Antisocial Personalities because they both engage in similar actions and have similar characteristics. People commonly group sociopaths and psychopaths as the same thing. The differences between sociopaths and psychopaths are primarily differentiated by the origin of the disorder. In the mental health field the general opinion is that psychopaths are actually much more of an inborn occurrence while sociopath, which displays clinical presentation, is the consequence of environmental stressors.

There are three general categories of therapy, behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy, and psychotherapy. Different therapy options have their advantages and disadvantages in treating Antisocial Personalities for both people who suffer from sociopathy or psychopathy, and a patient might tolerate one clinical setting or approach over another . There is no cure for sociopathy or psychopathy, but it can be managed well or it can be managed inadequately. For example, Sociopaths don’t respond very well to punishment, but they do respond to incentives.

For psychopaths Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has become one of the most popular MRI techniques in brain research by allowing visualization and characterization of white and grey matter in the brain. ” DTI provides a capable way for comprehensive, noninvasive, functional anatomy mapping of the human brain (Assaf Y, Pasternak O)”. People that commit violent crimes have different motivations for different crimes, and most types of homicides can be characterized by the individuals that commit them (Paul G. Mattiuzzi). Antisocial Personality Disorders (ASPD) exhibit behavior that manipulates, exploits, violates the rights of others.

Many people in the world experience Antisocial Personality disorders, and while not all people who suffer from them commit homicide they are very capable of it because they are usually impulsive, irresponsible, and lack remorse or feeling towards others (Anne- Marin B). Psychopaths do not have Antisocial Personality Disorders, they have parts of the brain that are not fully functioning properly, causing for them to not be able to understand other people’s emotions or process empathy the same as a “healthy” person. Sociopaths can have Antisocial Personality Disorders.

There is not one general group that categorizes all sociopaths because they can experience many different emotions that place them in different groups. Either way people who have these disorders display irrational behavior that can come in the forms of violent abuse. There is no cure for an Antisocial Personality Disorder but there are ways to manage and control a person’s behavior so that they do not commit violent crimes. The most accurate way to do so is by knowing how they respond negatively to certain commands and trying to avoid triggering any of them so they don’t become troubled or feel the need to be aggressive.

Frued and Modern Psychoanalysis Essay

“Modern psychoanalysis” is a term coined by Hyman Spotnitz. “Influenced by the works of Sigmund Freud, Dr. Spotnitz believed that the principles of psychoanalysis could be extended to cure the severe narcissistic disorders that Freud had deemed untreatable. ” (Sara Sheftel, 1991) Dr. Spotnitz and his colleagues described it as a “body of theoretical and clinical approaches” that could be used to envelop the full spectrum of emotional disorders and broaden the potential for treatment to pathologies thought to be untreatable by conventional methods.

Modern psychoanalysis and other forms of psychotherapy are significantly different when compared to Freud’s concept of psychoanalysis back then. However, the popularity of the “talking cure” has remained present and people today actually realize that therapy works. When Freud first started treating patients this way, most people did not believe that simply talking about their problems would somehow fix physical issues too. Modern psychoanalysis takes Freud’s basic theory of human psyche and use it as its starting point.

Modern psychoanalysis differs from other methods of psychoanalysis by following Freud’s later work and the work of Melanie Klein in stressing the importance of dealing with destructive behaviors as well as sexual motivation in order for the human psyche to evolve. (Pickren, 2010) Like all psychoanalysts, modern psychoanalysts emphasize the unconscious nature of much of human motivation, the impact of the early development of mental functioning on later functioning, and the tendency of people to repeat patterns of handling emotional arousal states.

Also similar to other schools of psychoanalysis, modern psychoanalytic treatment emphasizes helping the patient talk progressively, working on resolving resistance to putting everything into words and on analyzing the transference of repetitive emotional patterns experienced with the analyst. (New England Association Schools and Colleges, 2010) But we cannot deny the influence Freud has had upon thinking in the 20th and 21st centuries. This has spread throughout Western culture and into the international creative arts.

His thoughts can be observed in art, literature, cinema and the stage. Notions of identity, memory, childhood, sexuality, and of meaning have been shaped in relation to – and often in opposition to – Freud’s work. No doubt this influence will continue into the future. Psychoanalysis gained more popularity after Freud’s death, but then decreased in popularity again in the modern world. People today are looking for a type of “fast food, drive-thru” style of treatment. Therapy using psychoanalysis requires using a much longer amount of time than our society today have the patience for.

Less lengthy forms of psychotherapy is preferred today, such as psycho-dynamics, family therapy, and cognitive-behaviorism. Sigmund Freud completely changed how the Western world thinks of the mind and human behavior, by using and developing techniques such as dream interpretation and free association. Freud has been universally acclaimed as well as he was deeply disliked by many who knew him for his personal views and his curt and deceptive personality. But for better or worse we live with a profound influence of Freud’s style of psychoanalysis.

If You Could Go Back in Time Essay

I have many reasons to explain my choice. First, I wish to come back my childhood to remember my happy and impartial time. After many competition in school, university and now, society I realize that childhood is the most beautiful time and place. I want to forget all stressfulness, competition and response in life. To do that, we need a place that has no noise, no boss, no business, no salary and so on.

And only childhood give us peaceful, it reminds us your games with friends, our parents’ sacrifice to give us the best things, our funny and impartial dreams about future job such as: sometimes i wanted to be a rock star, famous actress, doctor, teacher… It is worthwhile to have chance to remember the most beautiful time in whole life.

Another reason is that, I want to fix my faults in the past.

It is common knowledge that most of us made some bad things in childhood and this chance help us fix them.

I have never forgot one story in my childhood. When I was a six-year-old girl, my family was quite poor. Once time I saw a beautiful but expensive doll of my friend. I liked it and hope I would have one but my mother had no money to buy it. She said sorry while I cried loudly and said that:” I hate mom. You can imagine that my suddenly sentence made my mother really sad and she felt she couldn’t give me everything I need. I really regret about this until now. If I could turn back time I would fix my biggest fault in my childhood and say that:” I love mom”. Going back time is an unreal dream but we have rights to imagine and wish. If I can stop the time and fly through time, I would go back my childhood to have peaceful time, to fix some faults those make my love ones sad.

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Developmental Psychology Paper Essay

Piaget, Erikson, and Kohlberg. I decided to conduct personal interviews and relate my findings to these three theories. Piaget’s theory explained the four stages of cognitive development. Erikson divided psychosocial development into eight stages, describing how the people and the environment affects how we gain our personality. Kohlberg’s theory of moral development was to understand the reasoning to why we make the decisions we do. Below are how my finding relate to these various developmental psychological theories. Piaget’s four stages of cognitive development start with the sensorimotor stage.

This stage is from birth to around two years of age when the infant creates their first understanding of the world around them by taste and touch. At two years of age to six or seven years, the child transitions into the pre-operational stage.

In this stage the child’s thinking is still egocentric. Even though this age group has stable concepts and mental reasoning, they lack the logic for mental operations and can only think in their point-of-view.

Then the concrete operational stage begins at about seven years old and lasts until the child is, approximate, eleven years old. During this stage, the child can understand and form simple mathematical operations. Egocentrism will be eliminated and they will no longer be able to see life from one perspective (their own point of view). Not only in mathematical operations, the child can perceive multiple aspects when solving a problem. At this stage, they begin to form a sense of responsibility for their pets and/or personal belongings. Formal operational, Piaget’s final stage, begins around age twelve and continues through adulthood.

Formal operational phase is when the chid develops into an adult and is capable of abstract thought and moral reasoning influences decision making. The trial-and-error method begins here, along with the start of considering future outcomes and consequences from decisions. Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development begin with birth to the first year of life. During this time an infant is completely helpless and relies off their caretaker for everything. For this first year it is crucial for the caretaker of the infant to form a relationship for socialization development. The second stage extends from the first year of the child to age three, when there is a conflict between doubt or shame and autonomy. The genital, or third stage lasts from age four to age five. The conflict here is between imitative and a feeling of guilt. The fourth stage, the latency stage, lasts from six to eleven years old. This is when a child learns to reason, create, and earn. The conflict is between industry and inferiority.

These first four stages are more dependent on others and the individual is easily influenced by their environment. The last four stages of Erikson’s developmental theory occurs when the individual begins to search for their mature self and a sense of direction. The fifth stage begins with adolescence, that lasts from age twelve to age eighteen. Here, the conflict is between identity and role confusion. The adolescent transitions into the young adulthood stage, lasting from age eighteen to twenty-five. This is a time when developing a sense of identity and career success. This is when the individual is on the path to maturity and independence. Adulthood lasts approximately from thirty-five, to fifty five years old. During this phase the adult starts to pass on their knowledge to another. The conflict is between generality or self absorption. The final stage of development is maturity. This stage lasts until death, when the individual struggles to look back on life with a sense of satisfaction and evaluate our life. Kohlberg’s theory of moral development provides us with a clearer understanding of why we make choices.

This theory was divided into three stages of moral reasoning. The most basic stage, is pre-convention. During this stage the idea that we make our decisions due to fear of punishment or desire for reward occurs. A child is most likely to made decisions with this stage, due to a fear or obedience to authority. Next, conventional morality is less of a fear to an authority figure, more the individual wanting to do the right thing. This is society conforming us to play nice to maintain social order. Post-conventional may be the opposite of conventional. Post-conventional does not mean we do something wrong to beat conformity, but an individual will follow what they believe to be good even if it conflicts with the laws or mores of society. According to Piaget’s second stage, the pre-operational stage, the child’s thoughts and actions are egocentric and lack logic for mental operations. The child I interviewed had a self-centered outlook on life, lacking realistic goals and achievements.

At this time in the child’s life, they are also at Erikson’s latency stage, when they learn to reason, create, and earn, thus explaining why one of this child’s biggest accomplishments was mixing two sodas to create one. In conclusion, Piaget’s and Erikson’s theories can accurately predict a child’s thoughts and behaviors. Teenagers are more complicated, for they have moved past the latency stage into the adolescence stage. Identity development and role confusion are the larger conflicts. Also at this point, they transition into the formal operational stage, when they can think abstractly and make their own decisions. When asked if she had gained or lost self-confidence over the years, the girl I interviewed, Ashley, responded: “So I lost it throughout middle school, but gradually started gaining it through high school.”

This is due to Ashley struggling and beginning to find her identity. She had already goals that she wanted to achieve and was able to predict what she wanted to do in five years. As a teenager, Ashley can make decisions for other reasons than fear of punishment or desire. A step away from adulthood, at adolescence Ashely is almost able to act and think like an adult. Adulthood is similar to adolescence in a way. Due to the fact that both adolescences and adults are able to make decisions using any of the previously mentioned moral reasoning strategies and both are in the formal operational stage. Whereas, adulthood continues to branch away from adolescence is only evident using Erikson’s developmental stages. The young adult I interviewed, Dustin, is on the fence of two stages: young adulthood and adulthood.

By now, Dustin should have a sense of self and independence. “Back then I had no ambition, I just wanted to lay video games. I mean I still want to play video games, but I also want money and to be successful,” said Dustin when I asked him how different he was from when he started high school. Over the years his desires and goals changed as he matured with his career. Yet, at forty-seven with four kids and a career, the woman I interviewed had no problems understanding her identity ulike a teenager or young adult might have. Her conflicts are generality, feeling worthless or without purpose in life. According to Erikson, at this stage middle-aged adults have the desire to pass on their knowledge and skills to the next generation. When asked what she wanted to achieve in the next five years, she responded: “I want to get all four my kids financially independent and start saving money for retirement.”

She also shared her hopes about her children getting married and having kids: “I’ll be able to play with them but not have to worry about all the responsibilities.” Towards the end of our lives when we reach elderly adulthood, various experiences can be fulfilling or disappointing. The final stage of Erikson’s theory, maturation, when the individual struggles to look back on what they have done with a sense of satisfaction. When I asked my grandma what she wanted to achieve in the next five years, there was a pause in her voice and I could tell the answer she blurted out was not genuine. Perhaps my grandma had been through so much, she no longer wanted to challenger herself with more life hurdles.

“I think kids had more fun and didn’t worry about material things,” she said after I asked how things were different now compared to when she was a teenager. My grandma looked back on her past fondly, and offered me advice how I should act in the future. She had more advice and knowledge to pass on than plans ahead of her. Over the course of the implementing these theories into my personal interviews, I have learned that the development of the brain works in stages, and the three scientific studies could accurately predict the behaviors of the various age groups I questioned. In conclusion, the studies were very effective in explaining how our behaviors and development increase over time, and in which order they do.

Counselling Psychology Essay

During the history of psychology and counselling a wide range of attitudes and approaches have been developed in order to provide individuals with the ability to explore his or her inner world through varied strategies and modes of interaction. The aim was to increase the level of awareness as well as the level of motivation and changes (Sarnoff, 1960). According to Stefflre & Burks (1979), Counselling doesn’t just occur between two people, “it denotes a professional relationship between a trained counsellor and a client.

This relationship is usually person-to-person, although it may sometimes involve more than two people”, it also focuses upon the stimulation of personal development in order to maximize personal and social effectiveness and to forestall psychologically crippling disabilities (p.14). For this assignment the Psychoanalytic Theoretical approach to Counselling will be examined, along with its theorist Sigmund Freud and the therapeutic techniques associated with this theoretical approach. Before one can begin to explore techniques of psychoanalysis, it is important to briefly review Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, the developmental personality and his stages of psychological development.

Psychoanalytic theory and its practice originated in the late nineteenth century in the work of Sigmund Freud. According to Sarnoff (1960), psychoanalytic theory is considered to be the historical foundation of therapy. It describes the “mechanisms of ego defence which serve to protect the individual against external and internal threat” it also offers a distinctive way of thinking about the human mind and how it responds to psychological distress (p. 251). This theory has evolved into a complex, multifaceted and internally fractured body of knowledge situated at the interface between the human and natural sciences, clinical and counselling practice and academic theory. Therefore the term psychoanalysis refers to both Freud’s original attempt at providing a comprehensive theory of the mind and also the associated treatment (Wachtel & Messer, 1997, p.39-42). Freud viewed human nature as dynamic, that is, he believed in the transformation and exchange of energy within the personality.

These dynamic concepts consist of instincts, libido, cathexis, anticathexis and anxiety and are related to the way one distributes psychic energy (Hergenhahn & Olson, 2007). In attempting to account for why human beings behave as they do, Freud invented the topographic and structural models of personality. The topographical model or “iceberg” of the mind was intended to help analysts understand how patients repress wishes, fantasies, and thoughts. In the topographical model, the mind is divided into conscious, preconscious, and unconscious systems (Passer & Smith, 2007, p.443-445). The conscious system includes all that we are subjectively aware of in our minds. The preconscious includes material that we are capable of becoming aware of, but do not happen to be aware of currently. According to Freud (as cited in Passer & Smith, 2007, p.444), the metaphor of “the psyche is like an iceberg” was proposed.

Like an actual iceberg only the upper ten percent of it is visible or conscious and the rest is submerged and unseen below the water’s surface. So likewise, most human behaviour results from unconscious motivation, hence the unconscious system includes material that we have defensively removed from our awareness by means of repression and other defence mechanisms. So when unconscious materials attempt to enter the conscious level, a “censor” function (repression) pushes it back or lets it through in a disguised form (Ewen, 1992). As a result, counsellors try to move unconscious material to the preconscious and then to the conscious mind, to increase the patient’s self-awareness. With this model Freud realized that their was certain explanatory limitations, such as the model’s inability to account for certain forms of psychopathology and as a result developed an alternative that explained normal and abnormal personality development.

This alternative is known as the structural model (Brammer, Shostrum & Abrego, 1989). According to Freud (as cited in Gladding, 2000, p.187-188), the structural model for psychoanalysis consists of three psychic structures the id, ego and superego, which differ in terms of power and influence. These parts symbolise the different aspects of a person’s personality. The id and superego are confined to the unconscious and the ego operates mainly in the conscious but also interacts with the preconscious and unconscious of the topographical model. The id which develops within the next three years of an individual’s life is the source of ones motivation, and includes sexual and aggressive drives. Sigmund Freud’s theory believed that both the sexual and aggressive drives are powerful determinants of why people act as they do; it involves an analysis of the root cause or causes of behaviour and feelings by exploring the unconscious mind and the conscious mind’s relation to it.

This id demands the satisfaction of the antisocial instincts and obeys an inexorable ‘pleasure principle’. The id is viewed as not having any logic, values or ethics, for example the id wants whatever feels good at a certain time (Hergenhahn & Olson, 2007). Therefore Freud saw that it was urgent to control the pleasure principle and he postulated that there must be a ‘super-ego’ to control the id. The ego can be viewed as the executive of personality; it consists of a group of mechanisms such as reality-testing, judgment and impulse control. It incorporates these techniques so it is able to control the demands of the id and of other instincts, becoming aware of stimuli, and serving as a link between the id and the external world (Pervin, Cervone & John, 2005). As an individual’s ego develops so does the perception of reality and a wider view beyond, the pleasures of subjective gratification, is attained. Therefore the pleasure principle that was developed by Freud was replaced by the reality principle (Garcia, 1995).

As described by the psychoanalytic theory, the psychological conflict that the ego faces, in respect to dealing with the demands of the superego and the id, is an intrinsic and pervasive part of human experience. For example, if an individual is under pressure and the balance is tipped too far towards one element, thus creating excessive anxiety, the ego is forced to take extreme measures to relieve the pressure, by incorporating what is know as defence mechanisms (Passer & Smith, 2007, p.444-445). These principle defences consists of repression, projection, reaction formation, displacement, regression, rationalization, denial and identification, these are used to defend the ego and are known in therapy as denial or repression. Therefore the way in which a person characteristically resolves the instant gratification versus longer-term reward dilemma, in many ways comes to reflect on their “character” (Kleep, 2008). In contrast to the id is the superego, which is developed at around age five.

It is the internalized representation of the traditional values, ideas and moral standards of society and strives for perfection (Pervin et al., 2005). Counsellors who use the structural model commonly focus on helping patients handle conflicts that occur between these three mental agencies by assessing the level of functioning of the client’s id, ego, and superego, the specific areas of weakness and strength in each (Garcia, 1995). For example, counsellors usually diagnose a patient as psychotic if his or her ego suffers a severe impairment in reality-testing. Freud believed that human social and personality development occurs through his psychoanalytic theory of development. This theory consists of five stages the oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital. These are characterized by a dominant mode of achieving libidinal pleasure and by specific development tasks. An individual’s personality according to Freud has been shaped by the age of five and he believes this time is the most critical for an individual (Hergenhahn & Olson).

During these years if an individual is able to successfully negotiate these stages, then healthy personality develops. However, if through “over-gratification” or “under-gratification”, conflicts are not resolved adequately specific traits and characters develop and continue through to adulthood. Therefore, Freud believed that the three early stages of development often brought individuals to counselling because there were not properly resolved (Pervin et al., 2005). According to Gladding (2000),”Counsellors who work psychoanalytically should understand at which stage a client is functioning because the stages are directly linked to the plan of treatment” (p.189). Children experience conflicts in different stages of development. In each stage, conflict centers on a different theme. In Freud’s oral sensory stage, which occurs from birth to one year, conflict at this point centers on feeding. Children in this stage want to eat things that the Ego tells them is not good for them.

Freud believed that some individuals do not pass this stage successfully and remained dependent and overly optimistic. Such people also find it hard to make intimate friends with others and fear loss which may be accompanied by ‘greed’ (Passer & Smith, 2007, p.443-445). Individuals who are considered to have an oral personality are usually narcissistic which means according to the DSM IV-TR “enduring pattern[s] of inner experience and behaviour” that are sufficiently rigid and deep-seated to bring a person into repeated conflicts with his or her social and occupational environment” (Barlow & Durand, 2005, p.445). In other words the individual is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, need for admiration, extreme self-involvement, and lack of empathy for others. However, this disorder is only diagnosed when these behaviours become persistent and very disabling or distressing (Barlow & Durand, 2005). In the second stage which is known as the anal stage and occurs in the second year of life, conflict centers on bowel training. In counseling this stage involves two phases, one is an aggressive phase.

This allows the client to share information that was stored up. The other phase is the retentive phase, where clients may hold on to their negative beliefs and attitudes until they are ready to release them. The reason for such behavior by clients is because they may find some pleasure in resisting and withholding this information (Garcia, 1995). The controversial “Oedipal complex” for boys or “Electra complex” for girls occurs in the phallic stage and happens around three to five years. This stage is seen by counselors as the phase of initiation and transition. According to Garcia (1995), “Counselors may act as initiators by providing appropriately challenging experiences within the scope of each individual’s potential for mastery” (p.499). Freud proposed children at this stage compete with the same sex parent for the affection of the opposite sex parent for example boys desire to have their mother but are prevented by the presence of their father (see Appendix 1).

Fear of punishment forces repression of such desires and consequently the superego is developed. To unsuccessfully go through this stage is believed to be associated with obsessive compulsive behaviours (Passer & Smith, 2007, p.446-447). Psychoanalysts pointed out several reasons why the Oedipal complex seem unreal to individuals. Firstly, individuals are unable to comprehend their own Oedipal complex when they were children and what was comprehended was energetically repressed almost as soon as individuals became aware of it. Secondly, individuals gradually accept their culture’s perception for their sexual and aggressive life (Klepp, 2008). In the Caribbean for example boys have more freedom than girls and they learn that they must become like their father, who is stereotypically aggressive, ambitious, powerful, and in direct contrast to his mother, who is stereotypically passive, obedient and nurturing and according to societal norms girls should also possess such traits. Therefore because of societal perspectives on an individual’s life, it is considered as the norm and is accepted for a man to possess more than one female.

However it is unorthodox and frowned upon for females to behave in this manner. The fourth stage which is known as the Latency occurs from age six years until puberty. In this stage sexual instincts are repressed and superego is fully developed. At this time clients may be initiating and cultivating new and transitional alliances outside of the helping relationship (Garcia, 1995). The fifth and last stage which is known as the genital stage begins with puberty and continues for the rest of adult life. Mature sexuality is the theme of this stage. This stage is also known as the definitive phase of the counseling process and marks the end of the counseling process and the beginning of its outcome which would be demonstrated over time (Garcia, 1995). Freud suggested strongly that personality was essentially established when the Oedipus and Electra complexes were successfully resolved (Hergenhahn & Olson, 2007, p.40-43).

Patients usually get in contact with a psychoanalytic counsellor when defences have failed and anxiety has developed. Therefore, the primary goal of counselling, within a psychoanalytic frame of reference, is to make the unconscious conscious. By doing so any material that is repressed is brought to the conscious level and can be dealt with (Wachtek & Messer, 1997). According to Freud (as cited in, Pervin, Cervone & John, 2005, p. 74-82), unhealthy individuals are unaware of the many factors that cause their behaviour and emotions and as a result these unconscious factors have the potential to produce unhappiness, which in turn is expressed through a score of distinguishable symptoms, including disturbing personality traits, difficulty in relating to others and disturbances in self-esteem or general disposition.

The counsellor employs a variety of techniques to tap into a patient’s unconscious such as free association, dream analysis, analysis of transference, analysis of resistance and interpretation. All these methods have the long-term goal of strengthening the ego (Gladding, 2000, p.192-194). Free association is a method that replaced hypnosis in Freud’s therapy. It consists of a patient speaking about any subject matter one basically abandons his or her customary conscious control over one’s behaviour and gives free verbal expression to every thought, feeling or impulse of which one becomes aware. Conclusions are then based on what was said and by doing this the counsellor is hoping that the client will abandon all normal forms of censoring, or editing their thoughts (Rieber, 2006).

An example of the use of free association is lying on a couch, in dim light and in a peaceful room, the patient produces the following free association: “I am thinking of the fluffy clouds I seem to see with my very eyes. They are white and pearly. The sky is full of clouds but a few azure patches can still be seen here and there…” (Ewen, 1992, p.57). Colby (1960) pointed out that, this technique often leads to some recollection of past experiences and at times a release of intense feelings such as catharsis that have been blocked but resistance may occur during free association (p.54-58).. This means that the patient is unable to recall traumatic past events. Therefore, one task of the counsellor would be to overcome resistance. Blocking or disruptions in associations serve as cues to anxiety arousing material. According to Grünbaum (1986), free association is not a valid method of accessing the patients’ repressed memories because there is no way of ensuring that the analyst is capable of distinguishing between the patients’ actual memories and imagined memories constructed due to the influence of the analyst’s leading questions (p. 226).

Another type of technique that is related to free association is transference. Pervin et al., (2005) stated that, “transference refers to a patient’s development of attitudes towards the counsellor based on attitudes held by that patient toward earlier parental figures” (p.129). In other words it is the client’s unconscious shifting to the counsellor of feelings and fantasies that are reactions to significant others in the patient’s past and present (Stefflre & Burks, 1979). This process is encouraged by the client reclining vulnerably on a couch, with the counsellor out of sight and remaining a “blank slate” as much as possible. At this time a parent child relationship is developed among client and counsellor and therefore transfers the patient’s old emotions with his or her actual parents unto the counsellor. This makes for an extremely difficult situation in which the counsellor has a huge amount of influence, which is necessary but requires care and restraint (Sue & Sue, 2007).

Freud initially believed transference was a hurdle in counselling. However, he eventually recognized that transference is a universal phenomenon and also occurs outside of the counselling session. But in order for the counselling section to produce change the transference relationship must be work through. Work through occurs after transference in the case of most learning, the insights gained through psychoanalytic counselling must be practiced to integrate them in one’s life. It other words it allows the client to understand the influence of the past on his or her present situation, to accept it emotionally as well as intellectually, and to use the new understanding to make changes in present life. By doing this the client will also learn to avoid repressing the material (Schaeffer, 1998; Ewen, 1992). Ewen (1992) pointed out, several disadvantages to the transference technique. Firstly, this technique can not be effectively applied to group counselling.

Secondly, “it is possible for the transference to become extremely negative as when powerful distrust or obstinacy is displaced from a castrating parent to counsellor” and the counsellor must be very careful not to aggravate deserved love or hate which would give the client a valid excuse for refusing to recognise and learn from the transference technique (p.59). Warwar & Greenberg (2000) discussed recent changes in psychoanalytic theory. Rather than presenting a problem, countertransference currently is considered to be a fundamental, useful component of the psychoanalytic counselling process, because it provides the counsellor with useful information about the counselling relationship (p.571-600). Countertransference occurs when the counsellor begins to project his or her own unresolved conflicts unto the client.

While transference of the client’s conflicts unto the counsellor is considered a healthy and normal part of psychoanalytic counselling, the counsellor’s job is to remain neutral as not to breech any of the ethical codes of counselling (Rosenberger & Hayes, 2002). Individuals are seen as being motivated by their past and present relationships, rather than by biological urges when this technique is in use, therefore the counselling relationship is seen as real. Thus client’s behaviour is not seen primarily as transference, but as responses in a current relationship. In addition, change is understood to be the result of the constructive emotional experience of the counselling relationship, rather than the result of insight. This new emphasis on the reality and importance of this type of relationship appears to be integrated into other approaches to counselling as well (Sue & Sue, 2007). Some criticisms of countertransference are that it can be damaging if not properly managed.

With proper monitoring, however, some sources show that counter-transference can play an important role. Counsellors are encouraged to pay close attention to their feelings in respect to this technique, and to seek peer review and supervisory guidance as needed. Rather than eliminating counter-transference altogether, the goal is to use those feelings productively rather than harmfully (Schaeffer, 1998). The basic method of psychoanalysis is interpretation. Brammer, Shostrum & Abrego (1989) states, “interpretation is an attempt by the counsellor to impart meaning to the client. Interpretation means presenting the client with a hypothesis about relationships or meanings among his or her behaviours” (p.175). In psychoanalytic counselling the counsellor is silent as much as possible, in order to encourage the patient’s free association and to interpret resistances and repressions that the client has not yet understood, but is capable of tolerating and incorporating, so as to better understand the unconscious conflicts that are interfering with daily functioning, such as phobias and depression (Clark, 1995).

Interpretations by the counsellor appear to be the critical variable in counselling success, along with client insight about underlying motivations, in order to achieve client goals. Therefore the goal of interpretation is to enable the ego to assimilate new material and to speed up the process of uncovering further unconscious materials (Wachtel & Messer, 1997). According to Clark (1995) Interpretation was rejected by critics as a valid technique because, “ it was perceived as undermining the counsellors relationship, minimizing or subverting client responsibility and restricting the counselling process to an intellectual endeavour” (p.486). Freud (as cited in Passer & Smith, 2007, p.170-172) saw dreams as the major source of insight into the unconscious and as very important. Dreams are seen as the “royal road to the unconscious” and are not literal in nature but symbolic. Dreams also consist of two levels of content the latent and manifest.

Dream Analysis is a very imperfect science, as there are many levels of distortion between the patient’s unconscious and the counsellor’s interpretation, bearing in mind, according to Freud, dreams are interpreted in terms of phallic meanings (Hergenhahn & Olson, 2007). For example it is amazing how many ordinary items can be interpreted as being a penis such as chair legs or a vagina such as purses. Each fragment of a dream leads quickly to the disclosure of unconscious memories and fantasies and then unto associations of other topics. Another technique that is involved in the psychoanalytic process of counselling is Analysis of resistance.

Although a client may feel the need to change and truly desire help for themselves through the counsellor many things can enter the picture to alter this change; these things are referred to as resistance. Resistance refers to any idea, attitude, feelings or action which can be conscious or unconscious that fosters the status quo and gets in the way of change. For example: missed or being late for appointments, rambling on about the economy or politics, any type of distraction that seems to keep the client from actually focusing on the real issues is considered resistance (Sue & Sue, 2007,p.98). According to Gladding “a counsellor’s analysis of resistance can assist clients gain insight to their situation and other behaviours (p.193). Psychoanalytic theory has been applied to counselling in terms of the assessment of personality. This theory is the underlining factor of the performance based or projective tests used in psychoanalytic counselling. These assessments assist counsellors in the analysis of individuals’ unconscious thoughts, motives, feelings, conflicts and repressed problems from early childhood.

These types of test generally have an unstructured response format, meaning that respondents are allowed to respond as much or as little as they like (free association) to a particular test stimulus, which is normally ambiguous (Pervin et al., 2005). The most common type of test used in this area includes the Rorschach Inkblot test. This test is a method used in psychological evaluation; it can be administered to children as young as three, adolescents and adults. This assessment tries to probe the unconscious minds of clients. The counsellor will show the subject a series of ten irregular but symmetrical inkblots and ask the client to identify the inkblot. As the patient is examining the inkblots the counsellor writes down everything the patient says or does, no matter how trivial the subject’s responses.

These responses are then analysed in various ways noting not only what was said but the time taken to respond and which aspect of the drawings was focused on. At this time if a client consistently sees the images as threatening and frightening the counsellor might infer that the subject may be suffering from paranoia. Major criticisms of this test include a lack or reliability and validity. Individuals who benefit the most from psychoanalytic counselling are those middle aged clients who are searching for a meaning to life (Pervin et al., 2005). The principal concepts of psychoanalytic counselling can be grouped as structural, dynamic, and developmental concepts. This theory is a method for learning about the mind and insights into whatever the human mind produces. It is a way of understanding the processes of everyday mental functioning and the stages of development (Sue & Sue, 2007). Freud’s approach is subject to several criticisms.

Firstly, it is too time consuming, expensive and generally ineffective to those who seek help from a psychoanalytic counsellor who has less disruptive developmental or situational problems and disorders. Secondly, techniques involved in psychoanalysis, such as Freud’s ideas on the interpretation of dreams and the role of free association, have been criticized. For instance, one counsellor may observe one phenomenon and interpret it one way, whereas another counsellor will observe the same phenomenon and interpret it in a completely different way that is contradictory to the first psychoanalyst’s interpretation (Stefflre & Burks, 1979). Despite the weaknesses of psychoanalysis, there are many strengths of the theory that are extremely significant.

It offers an empathetic and non-judgemental environment where the client can feel safe in revealing feelings or actions that have led to stress or tension in his or her life. It also lends itself to empirical studies and provides a theoretical base support for a number of diagnostic tests (Gladding, 2000, p.194-195).Therefore, the psychoanalysis is a theory that should not be disregarded. Although it was developed a long time ago it is still applicable and an effective method of treating mental disorders such as paranoia, schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive reactions in today’s societies. In addition, a good theory, according to many philosophers of science, is falsifiable, able to be generalized, leads to the development of new psychological theories and hypotheses. Psychoanalysis meets many of these criteria (Klepp, 2008).


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Cognitive Psychology False Memory Essay

Theoretical and Applied/Practical Perspective of False Memory The human memory is subject to a multitude of errors, including source misattributions, distortion and creation of false memories. In order to do justice to this paper one must first determine what is “False memory”? False memory is memory for an event that did not occur or distorted memory of actual events (Gleaves, Smith, Butler, & Spiegel, 2004). This type of memory has been an area of intense research interest for both theoretical and practical reasons and psychologists have long been interested in memory illusions and distortions, as such errors can inform theories of how the memory works (Hunt & Ellis, 2004).

From a theoretical perspective, false memories have been the subject of intense debates about the nature of human memory and a focal point for old and new memory theories. Memories are not simply stored and retrieved, information is encoded and memories are reconstructed using previous knowledge to piece together the situation as one thinks it occurred (Loftus & Ketchan, 1994).

Therefore perception and comprehension of ongoing events always brings related information to mind. For example, an individual mentions that he/she had a great trip to the beach over the weekend. In comprehending what the individual is saying; one may imagine their last visit to Miami Beach. Later one remembers that the said individual mentioned his/her visit to Miami Beach when, in fact, the individual said nothing about which beach he/she visited. This example illustrates how frequently one might remember information related to ones ongoing perception and comprehension, even though the events represented by that information never occurred (Hunt & Ellis, 2004). One of the most common ways that false memories have been studied is through the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) effect. This list learning paradigm provided a traceable means by which false memories can be created and studied in the laboratory.

Gallo, McDermott, Percer & Roediger III (2001) explained that the DRM paradigm was a method of using converging semantic associates to induce false memories. It basically referred to the high confidence false recall or recognition of the critical lure. Within the study subjects were given a list of words for immediate free recall. These words were all associated semantically with a critical lure which itself was not presented. For example, if the critical lure was sleep the list would have consisted of fifteen words most highly associated with sleep such as bed to the least highly associated which would be drowsy on free association norms. Even though the critical lure was not on the list, subjects often falsely reported it and on recognition tests, these individuals often “remember” these words with a high degree of confidence (Surgrue & Hayne, 2006).

False memories arising from phonologically associated lists may indeed be enhanced by phonological encoding in comparison with semantic encoding. False memories therefore can be elicited by presenting lists of phonologically related words in both recognition and recall tasks (Chan, McDermott, Watson & Gallo, 2005). According to the fuzzy traced theory (as cited in Howe, 2008), subjects encode both verbatim information about the experience to gist information about the experience. Applied to the DRM paradigm gist information represents the semantic commonalities among lure’s studied associates, which lead the fuzzy trace theory to propose that lure errors are familiarity based (Arndt, 2010). Memory errors to unstudied items arise from how well they match gist traces and that memory errors are limited by the extent to which unstudied items produce retrieval of verbatim traces. Therefore lure errors increase when they match the gists representation of their studied associates but decrease when retrieval is inspired of the verbatim traces of their studied associates (Howe, 2008).

Once the gist representation is reasonably strong it can produce an illusory subjective experience of its actual presentation, this is known as phantom recollection (Gallo, McDermott, Percer & Roediger III, 2001). When this phenomenon occurs an individual may confuse the gist trace strength with the psychological experience of recollecting, which is normally mediated by retrieving verbatim traces of studied items. As lure items tend to match very strong gist traces in memory individuals believe they can recollect DRM lures. According to Arndt, (2010), “this theory proposes that although these errors are often phenomenologically similar to items that were episodically experienced, lures’ recollection phenomenology is representationally distinct from that of study items” (p.67). There is evidence however that false memory can be based largely on automatic processing and is amenable to only limited conscious control.

For example, Dodd and MacLeod (2004), showed that mere exposure to DRM lists was sufficient to create a false memory: They presented DRM lists as coloured words in a Stroop test. Naming colours reduced accurate memory for list words as compared to reading coloured words, but false memory remained high for critical words. Furthermore, the elimination of false memory is difficult in that certain “encoding manipulations may lead to reductions in false memories through metamemorial processes occurring at retrieval” (Gallo, McDermott, Percer & Roediger III, 2001, p.339). For example slowing presentation rate decreases the probability of false remembering, but may not eliminate it (Gallo, McDermott, Percer & Roediger III, 2001). False memories are remarkably persistent. For example, Toglia, Neuschatz and Goodwin (1999) found that false recall rates remained high over a three-week period, whereas recall of studied words revealed the typical decrement.

In short, the DRM paradigm allows for the easy and reliable elicitation of false memories in the laboratory. From a practical perspective, false memories are a threat to the validity of eyewitness testimony, a misleading source of autobiographical information in psychotherapy, and a biased representation of lessons taught in educational settings. For this assignment the validity of eyewitness testimony only, will be discussed (Hunt & Ellis, 2004). According to Greene (as cited in Loftus, 1995, p.720), “memories do not exist in a vacuum. Rather, they continually disrupt each other through a mechanism that we call “interference”. For instance, memories can be disrupted by things that an individual experienced earlier, this is known as proactive interference or situations that one may experience later, which is known as retroactive interference. Based on the interference theory from a retroactive interference perspective, when new information is received that is misleading in some ways individuals make errors when they report what they saw.

The reason for this is that new information often becomes incorporated into the recollection, supplementing or altering it in a significant way (Porter, Bellhouse, McDougall, Brinke & Wilson, 2010). Elizabeth Loftus (as cited in Hunt & Ellis, 2004), pioneered laboratory research modeled on eyewitness situation demonstrating the intervening events that occur between witnessing an event and subsequent testimony in court. The paradigm for this research was simple, participants witnesses a simulated violent crime of an automobile accident half of the participants received new misleading information about the event and the other half did not received any misinformation. The participants in this experiment were influenced by presuppositions invoked by the verbs smashed and hit based on the question asked, which was “About how fast the car was going when they hit, smashed each other ”. Smashed presupposes a more violent collision a fact that influences both estimates of speed and amount of damage.

Therefore individuals who stated that there was broken glass saw the word “smashed”, but no broken glass was actually depicted in the film. The presupposition dramatically, but subtly influenced memory for the actual event (Loftus, 1995). What was being remembered was the integrated memory of the two events, memory for the original film, plus memory for the additional information that was inherent in the question asked later. As the two memories blended over time the end result would be a single blended memory that is a distortion of the original event (Hunt & Ellis, 2004). Higham (1998), showed that the latency between exposure to misinformation and time recall also influenced the misinformation effect, such that recent exposure to recent information was associated with greater recall of false details. Therefore both the response bias and memory change accounts have important implications for how one might regard the reliability of eyewitness testimony.

According to Loftus & Pickrell (1995), false memories can be implanted as was demonstrated in the “Lost-in-a-shopping-mall” study. It suggested that memory of an entire mildly traumatic event can be created and that further questions may be asked, such as, is it possible to implant a memory of abuse. For example one of the most dramatic cases of false memory of abuse ever to be documented was the case of Paul Ingram from Olympia, Washington (Ofshe, 1992; Watters, 1991). This individual was arrested for child abuse in 1988 at the time he was chair of the county Republican committee. From the outset he denied everything, but after five months of interrogation, suggestions from a psychologist and continuing pressure from detectives and advisors, Ingram began to confess to rapes, assaults, child sexual abuse, and participation in a Satan-worshiping cult alleged to have murdered 25 babies (Loftus, 1993).

Ofshe (1989) noted that this was not the first time that a vulnerable individual had been made to believe that he had committed a crime for which he originally had no memory and which evidence proved he could not have committed. What is crucial about the Ingram case is that some of the same methods that are used in repressed memory cases were used with Ingram. This case also provides further insights into the malleable nature of memory. They suggest that memories for personally traumatic events can be altered by new experiences. Moreover, they reveal that entire events that never happened can be injected into memory. Therefore false memories range from the relatively trivial (e.g., remembering voting) to the bizarre (e.g., remembering forcing one’s daughter and son to have sex) (Loftus, 1993). These false memories, with more or less detail, of course, do not prove that repressed memories of abuse that return are false.

They do demonstrate a mechanism by which false memories can be created, by a small suggestion from a trusted family member, by hearing someone lie, by suggestion from a psychologist, or by incorporation of the experiences of others into one’s own autobiography planted (Loftus, 1993). Although false memories of ones childhood can be implanted, it does not imply that all memories that arise after suggestion are necessarily false, although the experimental work on false memory creation raises doubt about the validity of long buried memories such as repeated trauma, but it in no way disproves them. Even with the most experienced evaluator, it is difficult to differentiate true memories from ones that are suggestively planted (Loftus, 1997).

True memories represent events as they really occurred, whereas false memories shade, distort or entirely misrepresent events as they really happened. Research on memory distortion indicates that memory is not at all like a mechanical recording device. The original experience is not stored as some veridical trace of what was out there but, rather, is the result of interpretive processes of perception and comprehension. The intriguing picture of memory that emerges is one of a powerful, adaptively important and usually reliable psychological process that sometimes is completely wrong (Hunt & Ellis, 2004).


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Who Do I Want to Become a Psychologist Essay

So, I want a PhD in neurocognitive or cognitive psychology because:

1) I was made to be a psychologist.

I may not be as articulate as I want to be here… but here it goes–

As a preteen, for all my science fair projects leaned in the direction of psychology (one year I remember trying to test my classmates’ mood at different times during the year to examine the mood- weather relationship). The first time I seriously became interested in neuroscience/psychology I was 20 years old or so– my cousin had just committed suicide at the time and I was looking for answers (especially because I had been having suicidal thoughts for a couple of years before his death…which is scary because I wasn’t even 21 yet).

It was easier for me to accept the fact that he was ill if I had physical “proof” that his brain (and mine) was different. I also grew up with a schizophrenic aunt. She used to tell me that there were people who were talking to her and that her thoughts were being recorded… I always wanted to know what she saw.

This was about the age when I started feeling guilty for how I had treated her when I was younger (at this point I may have been a bit older … like 25).

I also have another bipolar aunt, who, at the time, kept trying to kill herself every few months (actually when I was around 13, she once told my mom she wanted to speak with me, and then told me that she was going to kill herself… yeah, it’s messed up). All this combined with my own manic and depressive episodes I frequently questioned reality when I was my normal self. The fact that physical changes in the brain could create these differences in the intangible…I believed that I could have all the answers to my questions about my reality, and my illness if I could understand the brain

This lead me to…

2) As a result of experiences during my early adult years I gradually became an spiritual and not claiming a religion, but my first research methods/experimental psychology class was a religious experience. That sounds over the top, but research is the only means by which I can answer the questions I have about my mental life: psychology is my religion. Training to become a better researcher helps me make sense of my meaningless world. So, I want a PhD to become a better researcher.

3) I enjoy debating and creating experimental designs to answer the many, many questions I have about different aspects of human cognition…and I tend to find questions everywhere. I have been known to spend weeks on literature reviews based on something I disagreed with in a random NYT article and then create hypothetical designs based on what I’ve found. I already do it for free– I think it’s high time I get paid for it. A PhD program will pay me for it. I also want the ability to turn my hypothetical designs into actual research… I can’t do that without the independence a TT job will get me or the training I will receive as a doctoral student and a post-doc fellow.

That’s why I want a PhD in psychology. I have a passion for research in psychology and would have little credibility without a PhD. I will not be able to secure the grant money I may want for what ever I want to do in the future and I don’t want to be dependent on other faculty members forever. A PhD and a TT job will give me the freedom to do what I want in terms of research… I guess that’s my real answer.

Now, if only I were allowed to be this truthful in a personal statement…

Also, being called “Dr.” is kind of cool… but it’s not like people in our field call each other doctor… And, to my family, I’ll never be a “real” doctor because I will not have an MD. I’m a felon, it’ll never happen.