To what degree is human behavior governed by rational, conscious processes as opposed to unconscious processes as suggested by William James? Historically, cognitive-behaviorists emphasize rationality, while psychoanalysts emphasize irrational, unconscious determinants. A synthesis of these dialectic polarities is developing as cognitive therapists (e.g., Young, Klosko, & Weishaar, 2003) focus on unconscious schemas, while many analysts now give greater emphasis to conscious processes (e.g., Aron, 2001). Unconscious motives, first described in Joseph Breuer and Sigmund Freud’s (1893–1895/1955) Studies in Hysteria, led to modern ideas about psychopathology. Breuer and Freud proposed that conversion symptoms result from a wish to forget painful memories: e.g., once hypnosis helped their patient, Anna O., remember painful childhood experiences, her symptoms disappeared. Later, Freud found that talking freely about early traumatic memories was more reliable and effective than hypnosis, the first “talking” therapy.
KeywordsFree Association Psychodynamic Therapy Oedipal Complex Pleasure Principle Instinctual Drive
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