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Counseling and Psychotherapy

  • Edward J. Nuffield
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)

Abstract

A psychodynamic approach to the treatment of behavior disorders in the mentally retarded population has had to justify itself over several decades. The history of this topic is replete with claims and counterclaims. Some authors (e. g., Clark, 1933), considering mental retardation as an example of the regression to the fetal stage, view clients as potentially capable of responding to psychoanalytic therapy. Others (e. g., Rogers, 1942) consider counseling only effective for individuals of average or superior intelligence. These are extreme views, however, and over the past few years a consensus appears to be emerging. The essence of this viewpoint is that, although psychodynamic principles can be applied successfully to an individual with virtually any IQ, the applicability of a traditional psychotherapeutic approach is limited by a number of factors. These factors include not only the severity of the mental retardation but also the nature and quality of the severe behavior disorder that the individual may be exhibiting. The second point leads to the necessity of understanding not only psychodynamic factors but also neurophysiological, neurochemical, and sociocultural vectors that underlie the behavior disorder of the mentally retarded individual. A comprehensive diagnostic formulation of the individual under consideration is, therefore, predicated. The comprehensive management of the severely disordered mentally retarded individual will require a composite of approaches by individuals from many disciplines, all working together as a team. Counselors or psychotherapists working within the framework of psychodynamic principles will need to understand the theoretical bases of their co-workers and integrate their approaches with those of others in order to avoid dissonance among the team members and confusion in the structuring of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Keywords

Mental Retardation Group Therapy Music Therapy Group Guidance Dance Therapy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward J. Nuffield
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryWestern Psychiatric Institute and ClinicPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.University of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA

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