The Case of Mrs. C, Essay Example
Several different forms of psychodynamic therapies and humanistic therapies exist that can be utilized to treat patients with various needs. Psychodynamic therapy focuses on determining how the unconscious mind contributes to conscious human behavior (Haggerty, 2006). On the other hand, humanistic therapies are utilized to demonstrate to individuals that they have the power to control their actions. As a consequence, they are able to increase the choices they have in addition to a greater power to understand these choices before they convert them into action.
The main goal of psychodynamic therapy is to increase the patient’s awareness of the actions that he or she is taking in addition to utilizing this awareness to determine the past events that contributed to this behavior. Since this form of treatment evolved from psychoanalysis, it can be utilized to treat a wide variety of psychological issues, provided that the reason for the inappropriate or damaging action is due to a reaction to past emotions and/or events. Because it is based on the concept of human development and interaction, it provides patients with the tools they need to continuously find support through friends and family, which helps with the recovery process.
Usually, the psychodynamic therapy process involves a 2 year treatment period. This need is grounded on the belief that the counselor must assist the client in achieving a higher level of emotional development, which is a time consuming process. Furthermore, repeated sessions are needed to ensure that learning techniques are reinforced into the client so that they begin taking therapeutic steps not just in therapy sessions but in their personal lives as well. While the therapy has long-term goals, there is also a brief therapy component of some treatment processes. During the brief therapy, short-term goals can be achieved by focusing on the main issue that the client has and by working together to form an appropriate treatment plan.
While psychodynamic therapy has several potential variations, they are all closely related and thus broadly referred to using this term. On the other hand, there are many forms of humanistic therapy that vary slightly from one another. All therapy options aim to help patients recognize the greater extent of choices that they have available to them in the decision making process and allow this thought to convert to more responsible actions.
One effective type of humanistic therapy is transactional analysis. The goal of this type of therapy is to help clients gain complete control of their lives. Through this process, the counselor and the client work together to determine how the client’s personality has been shaped from his or her experiences, starting from childhood events. This can be done individually, in pairs, or in groups. It uses communication to demonstrate that everyone can be the people they want to become, which helps eradicate former behaviors by empowering the individual to change.
A second type of humanistic therapy is person-centered therapy. This different significantly from a variety of other therapies because rather than being concerned with the unconscious mind, it utilizes information regarding how the individual physically perceives him or herself. For this technique to be effective, the counselor and client must achieve congruence, conditional positive regard, and empathy. The goal of therapy is to ensure that the client’s perception of him or herself is completely genuine and not replaced by the ideals of others. This is achieved through conversation and can be utilized to treat a variety of mental health problems.
The main difference between psychodynamic therapy and humanistic therapy is that psychodynamic therapy focuses on changing action through the unconscious mind and humanistic therapy helps shape people by utilizing information presented by the conscious mind. Both methods have proven efficacy, although psychodynamic therapy is rooted in Freudian psychology and humanistic therapy is a more modern approach. Critics of humanistic therapy believe that treating conscious behaviors is akin to treating symptoms without treating the root cause of a disease. However, it is necessary to consider that the type of treatment that is considered the most effective varies from individual to individual based on both their ailment and their personality. It is therefore essential for counselors to consider both methods as a potential component of a treatment plan prior to meeting with a client.
The “Case of Mrs. C” indicates that the afflicted individual had difficulties beginning in her childhood that resulted in her current depression and related symptoms. It is apparent that Mrs. C had a troubled childhood. While her troubled youth stemmed primarily from her parent’s care, it was done in a manner that prevented her ability to live a normal live, which impairs her ability to continue doing so as an adult. It appears that the primary reason for her inability to become sexually aroused is due to her father’s tendency to ask her questions after dates to determine whether anything sexual had occurred. It seems that as a child, Mrs. C was afraid to do anything sexual because her father instilled a fear within her that still exists. As a consequence, she was willing to engage in sexual activity with her husband at the beginning of the relationship due to the love that she had for him, but a combination of this past experiences with her other psychoses have prevented her from being able to continue with this. It is likely that whenever Mrs. C’s husband raises the idea of having intercourse, these memories trigger her inability to agree.
Furthermore, a clear cause for Mrs. C’s OCD is that she experienced trauma while attempting to treat her daughter’s pinworms at age 10. This was a very emotionally stressful period for her because she was sick herself. Clearly, the instructions from the doctor manifested itself in the form of OCD. Therefore, when the doctor told her how she could prevent pinworms, she took the advice too obsessively. While the doctor likely wanted her to take care with cleaning the family’s underwear, clothes, and sheets after the incident, Mrs. C decided that this meant that all underwear worn in the house must be new. While Mrs. C had exhibited OCD symptoms prior to this event, it is clear that this event is what triggered the disorder to manifest itself fully.
It is difficult to be certain as to whether Mrs. C recognizes that her childhood or the pinworm events contributed to her current actions. It would therefore be beneficial for her to participate in psychodynamic therapy to be able to recognize these connections. While the case study explains that she had participated in this form of therapy, it is possible that the therapist was unable to make her understand these connections through the techniques utilized. It would therefore be helpful for the clinician to begin Mrs. C’s treatment again, starting with brief psychodynamic therapy. It is important for her to recognize that she does have a problem and that a plan could be implemented in a manner that will help her recover.
Despite the instructions given by the doctor, Mrs. C does very little housework, which is likely due to her depression. This is ironic because this contrasts advice that would have been helpful to follow in order to alleviate the pinworms. This demonstrates that Mrs. C has a difficult time in connection causes to effects, which could be in part due to schizophrenia, as suggested by the case study. Since Mrs. C has many symptoms of a variety of mental disorders and psychodynamic therapy hasn’t been very effective, an additional consideration is that she is being treated for the wrong disorder and focus should be on treating schizophrenia rather than the combinations of OCD and depression that she is manifesting.
If Mrs. C’s counselor continues therapy with her, whether for OCD and depression treatment or schizophrenia, it would be helpful for the counselor to recruit Mrs. C’s husband and children to be a part of the counseling in the form of group therapy. It is important for the family to understand that a major reason for Mrs. C’s suicidal episode is that she believes that her husband thinks that she is crazy and wants her to be committed to a psych ward. It is therefore essential for her family to be present throughout the treatment process so that they will be able to make her understand that they care for her and are willing to help her through these symptoms. Ultimately, since Mrs. C’s family did not treat her well in childhood, it seems that she may feel that her current family is doing the same, when this is not true in reality. Even the pinworm episode arose as a result of her trying to care for her children, so it would be helpful to get her children involved so that she can see that they are thankful for the ways that she has helped them.
Since Mrs. C’s mental state is clearly impacting the people around her, the first efforts in recovery should be allowing the family members to clean up the house, possibly eliciting Mrs. C’s assistance. Doing so will help the house feel normal again, as if it were before the time that these severe symptoms had begun to set the stage for Mrs. C’s recovery. Furthermore, effort should also be placed on allowing Mrs. C return to the activities that she had participated in prior to her psychosis, as this will likely alleviate her depression symptoms. As a consequence, it would be beneficial for her to have an element of humanistic therapy worked into recovery. It is important for her to recognize that she could change her behavior simply by enacting her own willpower. Her family will be an extremely helpful resource throughout this effort, as they will know better than her at this point which activities used to bring her joy. Based on the case study, it appears that one of these activities are simply caring for her children. Allowing her to recognize this again will help begin repairing the family and setting the stage for a fuller recovery.
According to the literature, humanistic therapy could be utilized as a reasonable treatment for OCD (Valderhaug et al., 2004). Furthermore, a large majority of the individuals that have OCD symptoms manifest as adults had suffered from the disorder as children. This indicates that it is likely that Mrs. C’s OCD already existed in her youth, but the traumatic events that occurred in her adulthood multiplied them. As a consequence, humanistic therapy can be utilized to allow her to learn that she can change these behaviors. In addition, psychodynamic therapy can be utilized to treat her depression. Specifically, brief psychodynamic therapy is recommended (Luyten et al., 2012). This specific form of psychotherapy performed better than all of its control therapies and proved even more effective when combined with medication. Therefore, Mrs. C would benefit by this type of therapy to treat her depression symptoms.
In conclusion, it would be beneficial for Mrs. C’s OCD to be treated using humanistic therapy and her depression should be treated using psychodynamic therapy. Furthermore, she should be given medication to improve the efficacy of these therapies. It seems that these steps alone will remove some of the inhibitions that Mrs. C currently has in living a normal life. Even though this will not immediately allow her to recover, it is a good start to resolving her problems. By ending her depression alone, she will begin spending more time with her family which will provide her with good support for other aspects of her recovery.
Haggerty, J. (2006). Psychodynamic Therapy. Psych Central. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/psychodynamic-therapy/000119
Luyten P, Blatt SJ. (2012). Psychodynamic treatment of depression.Psychiatr Clin North Am., 35(1):111-29.
Prochaska, J., & Norcross, J, (2010). Systems of Psychotherapy: A Trans theoretical Analysis (7th Ed). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole; Cengage.
Valderhaug R, Gunnar Götestam K, Larsson B. (2004). Clinicians’ views on management of obsessive-compulsive disorders in children and adolescents.Nord J Psychiatry, 58(2):125-32.
Time is precious
don’t waste it!