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Cognitive-behavioral theories and mental health

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1. The Classic Theorists. Identify one of the classic theorists, (Freud, Adler or Jung) that most appeals to you and outline the basic concepts of their theory and how it applies to mental health. Why does this theory appeal to you most?

2. Mental Health Theories. Identify one of the experiential theories or one of the cognitive behavioral theories and briefly explain how it applies to mental health. What are the deficits in this theory in the practice of mental health counseling?
Need to know how to debate the stimulate critical thought and help recognize theoretical gaps or flaws in basic assumptions,

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1.Sigmund Freud's psycho-analytic theory of personality:
Sigmund Freud was a pioneer to emphasize the importance of instincts as the determining factor of human behavior. He proposed two instincts namely, Eros, the love instinct and self-preservation and Thanatos, the death instinct, as the ultimate cause of all human activity. According to him, the psychic energy emerges from libido, which denotes sexual energy. The sexual libido is regarded as the source of primary driving force of an individual's personality. He opines that the personality of an individual develops at three different levels: The id, the ego and the super ego.

The id: It is inborn, and its main function is to discharge psychic energy which produces tension when pent up through the personality system. The id operates on an animal level, and cannot differentiate between good and bad, thus operates only on the pleasure principle. The pent-up tensions result in frustration that needs to be released, thus obtaining pleasure. It is unconscious in nature and has no direct contact with reality.

The ego: It distinguishes between subjective reality and objects in the external environment. The ego operates on the principle of reality. It is largely conscious and logical in nature. While the pleasure principle is only concerned about an experience being painful or pleasant; the principle of reality is concerned with whether such an experience is true or false. The ego formulates a plan in order to satisfy a need, and executes it, based on the principle of reality. It often integrates the conflicting demands of id, the super ego and the external world. It is considered as an organized portion of the id that has been modified due to the contact of external reality and experiences. It is meant to compromise with the instinctual urges of the id and the demands of the external environment. The relationship between the ego and the id can be compared to that of a horse (id) and its rider (ego). An individual whose has developed a strong ego will be able to control the id from seeking only pleasure involved in a particular task.

The super ego: It is meant to internalize the parental influences and ideals of society through early childhood experiences. The experiences of what is acceptable and unacceptable or desirable and undesirable regarding human behavior are gained by an individual through the child rearing practices followed by the parents and elders of the society. It represents an ideal situation rather than the real and motivates an individual to attain perfection. The super ego operates according to the moral standards set by a particular society. Less of it is in conscious than in case of ego.

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Solution Summary

(1) Sigmund Freud's psycho-analytic theory of personality:
Sigmund Freud was a pioneer to emphasize the importance of instincts as the determining factor of human behavior.
(2) Kurt Lewin's Field theory:
Field theory has its roots in Gestalt theory.

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