What is Psychoanalytic Therapy?
In psychoanalytic therapy a primary goal is to make the unconscious conscious. Focusing on the past looking for clues to the presenting problems. The main aim is to help the client gain insight and bring repressed material to the surface so that it can be dealt with in a conscious way. Psychological defence mechanisms are an inevitable and necessary part of the human experience; but when they become too pervasive or deeply entrenched, they may damage our personal relationships, restrict or distort our emotional lives and prevent us from behaving in ways that promote lasting self-esteem. Unconscious feelings of shame and guilt are rooted in the soil of emotional trauma. Experiences during the first few years after birth into a chaotic family life can introduce early exposure to alcoholism, depression, absent fathers, physical and sexual abuse. And so defence mechanisms come into play shaping our lives in unseen ways.
Why Do I Do That? Psychological Defence mechanisms and the hidden way they shape our lives. (Burgo Joseph, 2012)
Is a self-help book for people who don’t usually buy self-help books. Instead of offering cognitive-behavioural techniques for dealing with anger, or affirming strategies to boost self-esteem, this self-help book adapts the basic methods of psychodynamic psychotherapy to a guided course in self-exploration, highlighting the universal role of defence mechanisms in warding off emotional pain. Even the best self-help books tend to stay on the surface, helping readers to modify their conscious thoughts and behaviours. Why Do I Do That? instead probes deeply into the unconscious.
With easy-to-understand explanations, the first part teaches you about the unconscious mind and the role of psychological defences in excluding difficult feelings from awareness. Individual chapters in the longer middle section explore the primary defence mechanisms one by one, with exercises to help you identify your own defences at work. The final part offers guidance for how to “disarm” your defences and cope more effectively with the unconscious feelings behind them.
Why Do I Do That? promotes self-help for readers who want to improve their relationships, manage their emotional lives more effectively and develop authentic self-esteem that will last. If you find that even the best self-help books lack depth and fail to instigate lasting change, this psychodynamic self-help book may be for you.