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This paper will examine, on a basic level, the theories of counseling and psychotherapy as
presented by the textbook, Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy, by Gerald Corey. The
theories to be examined are Psychoanalytic Therapy, Adlerian Therapy, Existential Therapy, Person-
Centered Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Reality Theory, Behavior Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.
The key concepts of this theory are the view of human nature, the structure of personality,
consciousness and the unconscious, anxiety, ego-defense mechanisms, and the development of personality.
The Freudian view of human nature is basically deterministic. Our behavior is determined by irrational
forces, unconscious motivations, biological and instinctual drives, as these evolve through key
psychosexual stages in the first six years of life. As the unconscious becomes conscious, blind habit is
replaced by choice. This is an unusually liberal form of determinism. Instincts are central to the Freudian
approach. These instincts serve the purpose of the survival of the individual and the human race. They are
oriented toward growth, development, and creativity. Libido, all of the life instincts, should be understood
as a source of motivation that encompasses sexual energy, but goes beyond it. Freud included all
pleasurable acts in his concept of the life instincts. He s!
aw the goal of much of life as gaining pleasure and avoiding pain. Freud also postulated death instincts,
which account for the aggressive drive. At times, Freud asserted that people manifest, through their
behavior, an unconscious wish to die or to hurt themselves or others. In his view both the sexual and
aggressive drives are powerful determinants of why people act as they do. Although there may be conflicts
between the life instincts, known as Eros, and the death instinct, known as Thanatos, Freud believed
humans are not condemned to be the victims of aggression and self destruction. Freud believed that the
major challenge facing the human race is how to manage the aggressive drive and that the unrest and
anxiety of people are related to the knowledge that the human race can be exterminated.
According to the psychoanalytic view, the personality consist of three systems: the id, the ego, and
the superego. The id is the biological component, the ego is the psychological component, and the
superego is the social component. From the orthodox Freudian perspective, humans are viewed as energy
systems. The dynamics of personality consist of the ways in which psychic energy is distributed to the id,
ego, and superego. Because the amount of energy is limited, one system gains control over available
energy at the expense of the other two systems. Behavior is determined by this psychic energy.
The id is the original system of personality and at birth a person is all id. The id is the primary
source of psychic energy and the seat of all instincts. It lacks organization, and is blind, demanding, and
insistent. The id cannot tolerate tension and its function is to discharge tension immediately and return to a
homeostatic condition. Ruled by the pleasure principle, which is aimed at reducing tension, avoiding pain,
and gaining pleasure, the id is illogical, amoral, and driven by one consideration: to satisfy instinctual
needs. The id never matures, remaining the spoiled brat of personality. It does not think but only wishes or
acts. The id is largely unconscious and out of awareness.
The ego has contact with the extended world of reality. It is the executive that governs, controls,
and regulates the personality. It also acts as a traffic cop mediating between the instincts and the
surrounding environment. The ego controls consciousness and exercises censorship. Ruled by the reality
principle, the ego does realistic and logical thinking and formulates plans of action for satisfying needs.
The ego, as the seat of intelligence and ratio...
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