Emotional control theory and the concept of defense: A teaching document.
Defensiveness in intrapsychic and interpersonal activities is a generally accepted concept among psychodynamic theorists, but a theoretically grounded classification of emotional control processes is needed. As a result of intensive case-by-case clinical and empirical studies, such a system was assembled. The system is organized by three major categories of processes that can regulate emotions. These are sets of mental operations that control 1) content of thought and communications, 2) form of thought and communications, and 3) person schemas that organize beliefs and interpersonal expressions. Each category of defensive control processes is linked to observable outcomes at intrapsychic and interpersonal levels. This classification system can be used to formulate how patterns of avoidance and distortion are formed.(The Journal of Psychotherapy Practice and Research 1999; 8:213-224) (+info)
Countertransference and limits of therapy in war situation.
Psychotherapy of war traumas and their specific emotional and psychological experiences is a challenge for the therapist. The two partners of the therapeutic dyad may undergo the same difficulties and suffer from the same anxieties, and be affected by the transference and countertransference processes. The conditions of neutrality that should be maintained in the treatment are thus prone to changes. The therapist may protect himself/herself from unconscious guilt, omnipotent fantasies and feelings of being overwhelmed by different modes of defenses. The historical and social context of the trauma have to be taken into account. A chronology to be introduced in the narrative is the first step in the process of reindividuation as the victim's identity has been attacked by the trauma as well as his/her physical integrity. The therapist may find in this intervention a reflection of his/her own needs. The aims of psychotherapy in war situations may be close to those of crisis intervention and at the same time deal with the reactivation of previous infantile traumas. The past plays a significant part in the readaptative process as much as it is relevant to the present. The therapeutic intervention is in essence a message of hope as it implies a potential future to be created. (+info)
Therapists' responses during psychotherapy of holocaust survivors and their second generation.
Human personality contains three layers of identity: the collective, the familial, and the individual, intra-psychic. All three have been directly traumatized and damaged in Holocaust (Shoah) survivors and indirectly through overt and covert transmission in their children. Survivors and the second generation usually contain a few of these identity components in a state of fragmentation, which become central in the therapeutic dialogue between therapists and the patients. When the therapist belongs to the same traumatized population there exists a unique complexity of an a priori countertransference. Sharing the same traumatogenic reality that the patient seeks to alleviate through therapy poses unique difficulties and challenges for the therapist. In working with survivors, pre-war intra-familial traumatizations are of little significance in the face of the massive traumas and death suffered in the Holocaust. In the case of the second generation, "ordinary" developmental impairments and difficulties cannot be fully understood without knowledge of the parents' war experiences and the resultant family atmosphere. Thus, every therapist has to examine both his knowledge and especially his responses not only about the Shoah as a massive trauma but the specific war history of both parents families. Self-knowledge and awareness are necessary to a far greater extent than usual if one is not to be shocked or surprised into acting out. The depth and degree of openness which therapists need when dealing with Holocaust survivors and their children are at least as important as clinical skills. (+info)
Countertransference problems in the treatment of a mixed group of war veterans and female partners of war veterans.
AIM: Analysis of countertransference problems in the treatment of a heterogeneous group of war veterans. METHOD: The method used in this work was psychodynamic clinical observation and analysis of countertransference phenomena in group therapy. RESULTS: In the beginning of our work, we faced with a regressive group, which was behaving as it was re-born. The leading subject in the group was aggression and the need for hospitalization to protect them and their environment from their violence. With the development of group processes, a feeling of helplessness and lack of perspective appeared, together with suicidal ideas, which, because of the development of group cohesion and trust, could be openly discussed. With time, the group became a transitional object for its members, an object that gave them a feeling of safety but also a feeling of dependence. CONCLUSION: The role of the therapist is to support group members in becoming independent. The therapist's function is in controlling, containing, and analyzing of the destructive, regressive part and in encouraging the healthy parts of the patient. With the integration of good therapeutic process, the healthy parts of the patient gain control over his or her regressive parts. (+info)
Complexity of therapist's feelings in the work with war-traumatized patients.
AIM: To present the complexity of therapist's feelings and emotions in the work with war-traumatized persons and the importance of psychological mechanisms taking place in such circumstances. METHODS: The method of psychoanalytical psychotherapy was used, adapted to the work with war-traumatized persons. The therapy sessions were held once a week and lasted for 50 minutes. The patients were given transference interpretations differing from customary transference interpretations. They were modified to provide support, aiming at overcoming of the feelings overwhelming each patient. RESULTS: The diversity of the therapist's feelings amalgamated into countertransference was one of the most important psychological mechanisms in the therapy procedures, and served as an indicator of the patient's feelings in the procedure. It was related to the processes of projective identification as a framework of the complex patient-therapist relationship CONCLUSION: + In the work with a war-traumatized patient, it is inevitable that the patient's feelings are partly shared by the therapist through projective identification. This can lead to the "burnout" syndrome and threaten the boundaries of the therapist's psychological system. The role of the therapist includes not only knowledge but also the personal experience of work on himself. Through the process of therapy and by using interpretations as the powerful tool, the therapist is capable to accept such traumatic feelings and help the patient overcome them, but also to remain within the framework of his role. (+info)
Countertransference and empathic problems in therapists/helpers working with psychotraumatized persons.
Countertransference in therapists working with patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) differs from countertransference in other psychotherapeutical settings. In this article we discuss the specificities of counter- transference in treating PTSD patients and its relation to empathy. The most difficult countertransference problems occur in treating multiply traumatized patients. Countertransference may occur towards an event (e.g., war), patients who have killed people, as well as to colleagues who avoid treating PTSD patients, or towards a supervisor who avoids, either directly or indirectly, supervision of therapists working with PTSD patients. Our recommendation for the prevention of problems in treating PTSD patients include : 1) careful selection of the therapist or helper, both in the personality structure and training; 2) prevention by debriefing and team work and peer supervision; and 3) education - theoretical, practical, and therapeutical. (+info)
Defense reaction induced by a metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist microinjected into the dorsal periaqueductal gray of rats.
The behavioral effects of trans-(+/-)-1-amino-1, 3-cyclopentanedicarboxylic acid (t-ACPD), a metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) agonist, or 0.9% (w/v) saline, injected into the dorsal periaqueductal gray (DPAG), was investigated. Male Wistar rats showed defense reactions characterized by jumps toward the top edges of the cages (saline = 0 vs t-ACPD = 6.0, medians P<0.05) and gallops (saline = 0 vs t-ACPD = 10.0, medians P<0.05) during the 60-s period after the beginning of the injection. In another experiment animals were placed inside an open arena for 5 min immediately after injection. Their behavior was recorded by a video camera and a computer program analyzed the videotapes. Eleven of fifteen rats injected with t-ACPD showed a short-lasting (about 1 min) flight reaction. No saline-treated animal showed this reaction (P<0.0005, chi-square test). The drug induced an increase in turning behavior (P = 0.002, MANOVA) and a decrease in the number of rearings (P<0.001, MANOVA) and grooming episodes (P<0.001, MANOVA). These results suggest that mGluRs play a role in the control of defense reactions in the DPAG. (+info)
Defense by foot adhesion in a beetle (Hemisphaerota cyanea).
The beetle Hemisphaerota cyanea (Chrysomelidae; Cassidinae) responds to disturbance by activating a tarsal adhesion mechanism by which it secures a hold on the substrate. Its tarsi are oversized and collectively bear some 60,000 adhesive bristles, each with two terminal pads. While walking, the beetle commits but a small fraction of the bristles to contact with the substrate. But when assaulted, it presses its tarsi flatly down, thereby touching ground with all or nearly all of the bristles. Once so adhered, it can withstand pulling forces of up to 0.8 g ( approximately 60 times its body mass) for 2 min, and of higher magnitudes, up to >3 g, for shorter periods. Adhesion is secured by a liquid, most probably an oil. By adhering, the beetle is able to thwart attacking ants, given that it is able to cling more persistently than the ant persists in its assault. One predator, the reduviid Arilus cristatus, is able to feed on the beetle, possibly because by injecting venom it prevents the beetle from maintaining its tarsal hold. (+info)