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Flashcards in Clinical Psychology Deck (125)
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Structual (Drive) Theory

  1. Id - Devel at Birth, 1st; Pleasure 
  2. Ego - Devel. 6 months, 2nd; Reality Principle
  3. Superego - Devel. age 4-5; Morality

Sexual or agressive instincts/drives are the primary motivators of behavior

Personality is shaped by unconscious conflict related to these drives that occur in the early years of life



  • Animal instinct; Devil
  • Present at Birth & consists of life/death instinct - the source of all psychic energy
  • Operates on basis of pleasure & seeks immediate gratification
  • Basic bio. drives



  • Mediator
  • Devel. 6 Months BC Id unable to gratify all needs
  • Operates on Reality principle
  • Employes Realistic, ratioonal, logical, ordered, thinking & planning
  • Primary task mediate the conflicting demands btwn Id & reality



  • Morality, Angel
  • Devel. 4-5 yrs
  • Conscience
  • Internalization of societal values & standard as conveyed by parental punishment & rewards
  • Attempts to block Id's socially unacceptable impulses
  • Consequence of successful passage thru Oedipal stage



Freud 5 Psychosexual Stages

(Developmental theory)

Id's libido is focused on diff. parts of the body (Orangutangs Always Play w/Little Gorillas).

1. Oral (birth - 1yr.) Focus on Mouth/Breastfeeding (Erogenous Zone); Primary conflict = Weaning

2. Anal (1-3 yrs) Focus on Bowel/Bladder (Elimination); Primary conflict = Potty Training

3. Phallic (3-6 yrs) Focus on genitals; Primary conflict = Resolution of Oedipal/Electra Complex, success Id w/same sex parent & devel superego

4. Latency (6-12 yrs.) Dormant sexual feelings, libidinal energy diffuse rather than focused; Primary conflict = Devel. social skills vs. achieve sexual gratification (Fixation)

5. Genital (12 yrs. +) Libido center on genitals; Primary conflict - Sexual desire blended w/affection to produce mature sexual relationship

He belived the personality is well-established by 5-6 yrs.


Freudian Defense Mechanisms

(Freud) Used when the ego is unable to ward off anxiety (danger) resulting from:

  • Conflict btwn Id impulses  & demands of superego or reality.
  • When unable to ward of anxiety thru rational, realistic means, it may resort to one of its defense mechanisms:
    • Repression
    • Displacement
    • Projection
    • Reaction Formation - involves transforming an ID impulse into its opposite (Ex: sub love for hate)
    • Sublimation - involves channeling and ID impulse into a more acceptable activity.
    • Rationalization
    • Denial
    • Compensation
    • Regression
  • They operate on 2 characterisitics:
    • an unconscious level and
    • serve to deny or distort reality and adaptive Fx.
  • Lead to maladaptive behavior when they become the habitual way of dealing w/conflict



(Most Basic, underlies other defense mechanisms)

Unconscious blocking of unacceptable thoughts, feelings & impulses (reject conscious painful/shameful experiences)
Aim of psychoanalysis is to bring conflicts out of repression



Defense Mechanism

Redirecting unacceptable impulses toward an object to a more acceptable safer object. (Transferring emotion from orignial object to a safer one)

Ex: Bad day at work go home and kick dog



Defense Mechanism (Pass on)

Misattribution of a person's undesired thoughts, feelings or impulses onto another person who does not have those thoughts, feelings or impulses. (placing unacceptable wishes on another)

Ex: you are cheap but claim that your friend is cheap; project onto an external source (includes severe prejudice, hypervigilance to external danger)


Reaction Formation

Defense Mechanism

Act in a manner opposite of one's inclination

involves transforming an undesierable impulse into a desireable one (its opposite)

Ex: Defend against hostility/anger toward a co-worker by being overly kind & nice; Instead of binge drinking go to AA meeting.



Defense Mechanism

Involves channeling of unacceptable impulses (Sexual/aggressive) into a more acceptable activity.

Ex: Channel hostility & agression into art; instead of binge drinking go skiing



Defense Mechanism

Make excuses for behavior

Ex: I didn't make the team bc the coach doesn't like me; excuse for not being good at a sport



Defense Mechanism

Refusal to recognize reality

Ex: My dughter would never use drugs



Defense Mechanism

Cover a weakness by overgratifying oneself in another area

Ex: Sexual Dysfunction so become a great golfer



Defense Mechanism

Using an immature response or reverting to an earlier stage of devel. 

Ex: Baby talk



Defense Mechanism

Satifying frustrated desires through imaginary events.

Ppl seek gratification for desires that are prevented in reality thru imaginary scenarios

Ex: daydreamin about getting revenge on someone



Defense Mechanism

Blame others for own problems or attribute own unacceptable impulses to others

Ex:An abusive indiv. often blames victims by saying "You made me hurt you by what you did."



(aka Compartmentalization)

Defense Mechanism

Separating conflicting attitudes or emotions from hurtful events into individual mental compartments so that they are not thought about at the same time or in relationship to each other to eliminate inner conflict.



Defense Mechanism

Depositing unwanted aspects of self & boost self-worth by identifying self w/another person, grp, or institution, with exemplary status.




Defense Mechanism

Giving a socially-acceptable reason to explain unacceptable behavior/thoughts


Freudian Psychoanalysis - View of Maladaptive Behavior

Psychopathology stems from an unconscious unresolved conflict that occured during childhood. Such as:

  • Phobias - An externalization of a forbidden impulse that resullts in displacement of anxiety onto an object/event symbolic of the object/event in unresloved conflict. Neurotic anxiety aroused by a perception of danger from instincts
  • Depression - Due to an object loss combined w/anger toward object turned inward
  • Mania - Represents a defense against libidinal/agressive urges that threaten to overwhelm ego.


Freudian Psychoanalysis- Therapy Goals & Techniques

Primary Goal: Reduce maladaptive behaviors (Sx's) by bringing unconscious material into conscious awareness & integrating that material into the personality.

Pychic Determinism

Analysis consists of 4 processes:

  1. clarification,
  2. confrontation,
  3. interpretation, and
  4. working through.


  • free associations,
  • dreams,
  • resistances, and
  • transferences


Psychic Determinism


Belief that all behaviors are meaningful & serve a psychological Fx


The 4 processes of Freudian Psychoanalysis

Analysis consists of 4 processes:

  1. Confrontation: Entails making statements/asking questions that help the client see his/her behavior in a new way thru:
    • Free associtions
    • Dreams
    • Resistances
    • Transferences
  2. Clarification: Involves clarifying the CT's feelings & restating the CT's remarks in clearer terms

  3. Interpretation: Used to explicitly connect current behavior to unconscious processes & bring a CT's unconscious material into conscious awareness. Improvment attributed to:

  • ​Catharsis - Emotional release resulting from recall of unconscious material & paves the way for..
  • ​Insight - The CT's insight into the relationship btwn current behavior & unconscious processes

   4. Working Through: (Longest) Involves an                    assimilation of new insights into the personality



Freudian Psychoanalysis - Transferences

As defined by Freud:

  • Transference - An unconscious process in which the CT projects an earlier relationship onto the therapist
    • Contemporary approaches consider it to be not only a repitition of the past but a reflection of the present relationship btwn the therapist & CT
  • Countertransference - The therapist's projections of unconscious feelings onto the CT that reflect the theraists personal Hx & counterproductive in therapy.
    • Contemporary approaches consider it to be a joint product of the therapist & CT & a potential source of info. about the CT & how other ppl may respond to the CT.


Adler's IndividuAl Psychology

Alfred Adler (Neo-Freudian)

  • Personality theory & approach to therapy stress:
    • the unity of the indiv. &
    • the belief that behavior is purposeful & goal-directed.
    • Emphasis on Social Factors (Social Interest)

3 Key concepts are:

  1. Inferiority feelings: Devel during childhood as a result or real/percieved biological, psychological or social weakness
  2. Striving for Superiority: Inherent tendency toward "perfect completion," specific ways and idiv. chooses to compensate for inferiority & achieve superiority determines the style of life.
  3. Style of Life: Unifies the various aspects of an indiv. personality.
  • Affected by early experiences w/in context of family & well-est. by 4-5 yrs old
  • Proposed that social interest is the primary characteristic that differentiates the 2 SOL:
    • Healthy - Marked by goals that reflect optimism, confidence & concern about welfare of others
    • Unhealthy (Mistaken) - Marked by goals that reflect self-centerdness, competitivness & striving for personal power.



Adler's Individual Psychology - View of Maladaptive Behavior

Maladaptive behavior represents a mistaken style of life that reflects inadequate social interest.

Ex: Pampered child doesn't devel. social feelings

Neglected child dominated by need for revenge


Adler's Individual Psychology- Teleological Approach

  • Mental D/O's represent a unhealthy/mistaken SOL, characterized by maladaptive attempts to compensate for feeling of inferiority
  • Regards behavior as being largely motivated by a person's future goals rather than determined by past events


Adler's Individual Psychology - Therapy Goals & Tx

Primary goals: overcoming feelings of inferiority & discouragment

Tx Techniques:

  • Est. collaborative rel. w/CT
  • Help CT ID & understand SOL & irs consequences. To Id a SOL a:
    • "Lifestyle Investigation" - is used to provide info. about:
      • CT's family constellation
      • Fictional (hidden) goals
      • "Basic Mistakes" (Distorted beliefs & attitudes)
  • Re-orient Ct's beliefs & goals to support a more adaptive lifestyle
  • Ppl are motivated primarily by an innate social interest & the goal in life is to act in ways that fulfill social responsibilities.
  • There are 3 major life tasks:
  1. Friendship
  2. Occupation
  3. Love
  • All involve social interactions (Socail factors)


Systematic Training for Effective Teaching (STEP) training based on whose theoretical approach?

Alfred Adler