Implications of Freud's ideas for psychoanalytic psychotherapy

After outlining the theoretical underpinnings of Freudian thought, Prof. Mark Solms gives applications and implications for treatment in this talk. He discusses the psychotherapist’s goal and how to achieve it, specifically highlighting how patients suffer from feelings arising from unmet needs. Patients often rely on automated patterns of behaviour developed in early childhood in an attempt to meet emotional needs. When these unconscious patterns do not work in meeting these needs, painful feelings arise, which patients then employ defenses against. Many patients enter psychotherapy because their defenses are not working and feelings and needs press for expression. Prof. Solms highlights how these patterns are illuminated in therapy, and shared with patients in the process of offering an interpretation. He shares practical steps in constructing and offering the interpretation, and then talks about the important process of 'working through', which involves repeated illumination of the patterns until new ones are laid down.

Prof. Solms suggests that his talks offer a map helping therapists to see the wood for the trees in their work. Psychotherapy can be so complex, that to distill its essential elements serves as an essential guide to formulating work with patients. This talk is the third in a three part series but can be watched on its own.

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