Psychodynamic and Humanistic Perspectives on DepressionThis essay posits to compare and contrast how the psychodynamic and humanistic perspectives address depression. According to Glassman and Hadad (2013), depression is mainly thought of as an issue that concerns disturbed cognitive processing. Depression is a widespread mental health condition that is typified by unrelenting low motivation, low mood, as well as loss of concern in activities that are typically considered to be pleasing.
Depressive symptoms differ in their intensity and are conditional on the severity of the depressive occurrence. Depression is often perceived to be as a result of chemical imbalances in the brain. In comparing and contrasting how the psychodynamic and humanistic perspectives address depression, it is imperative to discuss the two perspectives’ conceptualisation, as well as treatment of depression. Psychodynamic PerspectiveAccording to Leichsenring and Leibing (2004), psychodynamic theories such as Freud’s psychoanalysis, depression is considered to be a patient’s experience of rejection or loss.
Depression is compared to a type of sorrow for an illusory relationship that never existed. Rather than communicating their frustrations, patients with depression are inclined to absorb their sorrow and resentment inwards. Rather than expressing their moaning they consider of themselves as useless. Depressed persons struggle in perceiving a healthy notion of relationships, and their interaction with other people is usually weighed down with anxiety. These patients hold a sensitive need for encouragement which consequently normally triggers rejection from other persons who feel encroached upon. As a result, this corroborates the depressed person’s conviction that they are unworthy of affection. The psychodynamic perspective lays emphasis on a person’s unconscious thoughts which emanate from experiences during childhood and their impact on their present conduct and thoughts.
The impulses that drive people originate from the unconscious mind, and they also drive the individual’s repeat behavior patterns. Glassman and Hadad (2013) assert that, in treating depression, therapy entails open association, analyzing transference and resistance, analyzing dreams and consequent interpretation of the same. Therapy in the psychodynamic approach is typically long term, and the objective is to awaken the unconscious into a conscious frame of mind, in order for the patient to acquire insight. Humanistic PerspectiveAccording to Churchill et.al, (2010), humanistic approaches lay emphasis on self-determination, personal growth, as well as the realization of human potential. Humanistic perspectives consider depression to be disorder in a person’s capacity to develop to their complete potential. All persons hold the solution to their individual capacity to facilitate change if presented with the appropriate circumstances for development and self-actualization.
in this context, a person with depressed may be assisted in the event that the primary situation of empathy, unrestricted positive regard, as well as congruence are in position. Hen a person with depression experiences such conditions, it follows that healing can commence. Every depressed individual is perceived as an individual with their personal exclusive set of circumstances. If presented with the appropriate interpersonal atmosphere where genuine contact can occur, the patient is capable of overcoming depression as an attitude of self-worth and self-acceptance form. The humanistic perspective lays emphasis on the belief that individuals are born with an inherent capacity for psychological development if external conditions become permissible. Patients become alienated from this self-actualizing predisposition through assimilating the evaluations of other persons, and thus treating these evaluations as though they were theirs.
In addition to being non-directive the therapy relationship is anchored in the core environment of congruence, compassion, and unrestricted positive regard. When patients feel respected and appreciated, they are better placed to understand who they are, and as a result reunite with their true personality.Similarities between the Humanistic and the Psychodynamic PerspectivesIn comparing the similarities involving the humanistic perspective and the Psychodynamic perspective, it is likely to observe a number of parallels linking the concepts of the organismic, self actualizing tendency, as well as the self-concept to Freud’s hypothesis concerning personality formation. The id, as well as the organismic self represents that component of the psyche that is normally overlooked or repressed. The id, according to Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality involves the personality constituent that entails the unconscious psychic drive that endeavours to gratify basic needs, urges, and aspirations.
The self-concept and the super-ego show internalised rules, as well as ethical values that have been instilled upon an individual by other significant external factors including people. The ego resembles the actualizing predisposition in that it involves reconciling the super-ego and the id (Shedler, 2010). Contrasting the Psychodynamic and the Humanistic Perspectives In contrast to the psychodynamic perspective, the humanistic perspective lays emphasis on the conscious mind, as well as its present situation. On the other hand, the humanistic perspective lays emphasis on the subconscious mind, and focuses on early childhood to scrutinize unsettled conflicts that may also be the cause of current depression. In this context, Freud’s theory highlights the need to regulate defences, to decrease the tension from the superego in order that the patient may become less anxious of the superego and as a result build up the ego.
In the treatment of depression, the focus of the humanistic perspective is self-actualisation, while the focus of the psychodynamic perspective is insight. The humanistic perspective lays emphasis on the positive conviction in the human capacity to self-actualise, while the psychodynamic perspective lays emphasis mainly on the negative aspects (Dryden, 2002).Major SimilaritiesIn the treatment of depression, the therapeutic intervention of close relationship that is employed in the humanistic perspective may be compared to the method of transference that is employed in the psychodynamic perspective. Nevertheless, in the humanistic perspective, the focus on the present substitutes the diagnostic perspective that is employed in the psychodynamic perspective (Glassman & Hadad, 2013).
Major DifferencesIn exploring the most important differences between humanistic perspective and the psychodynamic perspective in regard to depression, the humanistic perspective therapist would encourage the patient to seek the resolution to their predicament within themselves. In addition, the therapist would not undertake interpretation which is the most important therapeutic intervention in the psychodynamic perspective. The humanistic perspective does not emphasize in any way to transference. The bond between the patient and the therapist is also different in both perspectives in that, in the humanistic perspective, the essential conditions are a fundamental tool, while in the psychodynamic perspective the therapist may be compared to an empty slate onto which the patient can pour out (Churchill et.al, 2010). According to Shedler (2010), change in the humanistic perspective takes place within the essential conditions of congruence, empathy, and unrestricted positive regard.
This relationship entails all that is required in bringing about change. Without the possibility of being judged, the patient learns perceiving their circumstances from a new standpoint, and acquires the capability for self-actualization with felt senses linking the diverse facets of their core issues. In the psychodynamic perspective, change takes place through divulging the repressed or important occurrences, as well as their related feelings.
Through this process, change should take place, and the patient will be better equipped to comprehend the linkages between past occurrences and present behavior. In the psychodynamic perspective, change takes place for the individual by means of reinforcing the individual’s ego (Dryden, 2002). On the other hand, in the humanistic perspective, the focus is to attain improvement by means of the individual’s tendency towards self-actualizing.
In the humanistic perspective, it is considered to be a personal process for the patient to be in a healthy relationship. On the other hand, in psychodynamic therapy the therapist is a blank slate unto which the patient can pour out feelings. In psychodynamic therapy, transference is critical the process of change, whereby understanding and interpretation is mandatory. On the other hand, in humanistic therapy, the past occurrences in a patient’s life are disregarded unless such occurrences affect the patient’s conditions of significance (Churchill et.al, 2010).
ConclusionIn conclusion, regarding how the psychodynamic and humanistic perspectives address depression, each model has its individual strengths and weaknesses. In this background, individuals may perceive one approach to be more fitting than another, conditional on their individual preference or depending the severity and intensity of their present predicament and state of depression.