Final Case Study Person-Centred vs Psychodynamic

Topics: Psychodynamic psychotherapy, Empathy, Emotion Pages: 8 (2048 words) Published: April 9, 2012

DEBBIE ROGERS - 25/05/11


Robert perception of his role as husband and father is that “it’s my job to be the breadwinner and look after my family and its Maeve’s job to look after the kids.” My assumption would be that this response reflects his early childhood experience.

The Psychodynamic Approach recognises that many of our actions and responses reflect the effects of our earliest experiences, which affect our relationships and our perception of the present. Essentially we often, unconsciously, recreate patterns from the past in our current relationships both with other people and towards ourselves. Such thoughts, feelings and behaviour are deep rooted and can be, at times, unhelpful and destructive.

Though we may repress our very early experiences, the theory is that the unconscious never forgets them. The Psychodynamic approach aims to bring information from the past into consciousness so that it can inform, but not drive, the way we live in the present.

1. B)

I feel that there could be barriers to using psychodynamic counselling with Tammy, as her most immediate issue is the loss of her mother with whom she had a very close relationship. A Bereavement counsellor, in the first instance, would support Tammy and help her to accept her loss. Tammy also lost her father at the age of ten, her job, through redundancy and lastly the end to her relationship with Roger. I think that Tammy is still working through the stages of mourning, but has not yet accepted her bereavement. Tammy is still talking things through with her mother, even though she is no longer here and basing some of her decisions on what she knows would be her mother’s feelings or opinion. For example, Tammy said, “I know if mum were still alive she’d have advised me not to have gone down this path. She would probably have reminded me about how hurt she was when she discovered dad had been having affairs.”



I think that the Psychodynamic Approach would be particularly suitable for Robert for two reasons. This Approach has an assumption that everyone has an unconscious mind and that feelings held here are often too painful to be faced. Therefore, if we repress or block out these feelings (repression) this can result in a negative impact on our behaviour and emotional well-being.

Robert talked very little about his feelings and started by saying that he found it “strange how I managed to carry on for so long without worrying about being made redundant.” On some level, he realised that this wasn’t usual and questioned it. This Approach would help Robert to face these feelings, experience and understand them.

Secondly, I feel that Robert’s introjection from his childhood is negatively affecting his life and relationships in the present. For example he said his wife should teach his children “to have a bit of consideration for the man of the house”.


Everyone needs positive Self Regard and in order to gain this positive personal regard even small babies will adapt their behaviour to receive it. Conditions of Worth develop when a child recognises that they only receive positive personal regard when they behave in a certain way. Individuals often cope with this conditional acceptance by others by gradually coming to incorporate these conditions into their own views about themselves. We receive these “Conditions of Worth” from our parents, school, church, society, etc.

These Conditions of Worth then affect our behaviour as adults and can affect an individual’s Self-actualization as they are an External rather than Internal Focus of Evaluation. Because these conditions were created by others and not their own Organismic Valuing System, this could cause conflict because they are not congruent in their own life and it could be harder to maintain any sense of self-esteem. DEBBIE ROGERS


Robert says that, “It’s my job to be...
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