My theory on Nikolas is based on Psychoanalytic Theory, founded by Sigmund Freud. Freud believed that events in our childhood have a great influence on our adult lives, shaping our character. Anxiety deriving from stressful occurrences in a person’s past is concealed from consciousness and may be harmful during adulthood. Nikolas is a 33 years old man who suffers from anxiety and after his brother passed away due to alcoholism his anxiety attacks increased.
Nikolas might feel guilty about his brother’s sudden death because of leaving his brother live by himself. After Nikolas’s brother passed away his life changed dramatically, and his anxiety increased. His lack of employment, low self-esteem, and poor social skills are a factor for his anxiety. He’s having thoughts that he’s going to die and feels very unsecured. Nikolas is normally by himself and is afraid to date due to fears of being rejected.
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As Nikolas’s therapist I will utilize some of Freud’s Defense Mechanisms. It’s possible that because of Nikolas’s overwhelming anxiety attacks he is going thru Regression, a defense mechanism used when the ego is threatened, a person may use this mechanism to go back to an earlier stage of development that was less stressful and less mature in order to cope with current anxiety. Denial Defense mechanism by not accepting the reality that his brother died due complications of alcoholism. Repression Defense mechanism by having painful memories from his childhood stored in the unconscious, or Projection Defense mechanism by blaming others and believing God is punishing him.
I will focus in restructuring Nikolas’s personality and not only diminishing symptoms or unscrambling problems. I will apply Freud’s psychoanalytic therapy (with the analyst seeing the client one to three times a week, usually face to face) have two main goals of therapy: to help him bring the unconscious to conscious awareness and to strengthen the ego so that an individual is less influenced by instinctual drives of the id or demanding perfectionistic standards of the superego and freer to act in more realistic ways. (Tan, 2011). During the session I will ask him questions about his childhood; if there are any painful or uncomfortable situations that come to mind at this time, or if he had or has any dreams that he would like to share with me. I will ask Nikolas to keep a record of his dreams and to talk about his dreams openly with me. Advised him that he can feel free to tell me anything that comes to mind and that the wording doesn’t have to be perfect. By doing this we will be able to find situations of his early child hood or previous events that contributed to Nikolas’s health condition. As Nikola’s therapist I will strive to have a good working alliance with my client. I will start by asking my client questions about him. Did anyone hurt you emotionally or physically during your childhood? What do you think caused for you and your brother to begin heavily drinking? Can you describe your relationship with your brother? Were you in a romantic relationship before you started heavily drinking? Can you tell me about your work history? By Nikolas responding this question it will help us gather more evidence about his feelings and emotions.
By Utilizing some of Fraud’s Main Theoretical principles about early childhood we will need to fine evidence of events that might had occurred during his early childhood, such as how was his life with his parents? Was he a happy child? Did he suffer during childhood? We will concentrate in conscious/unconscious mind: Is Nikolas using his unconscious mind and bringing memories from the past to the present, by not accepting the death of his brother? A major theoretical ideal that will be used in my client Nikolas is The Superego, it provides a moral code, it contains the social and parental values and standards to which a person has been exposed.
My goals for Nikolas are to make a change in his life and to let him accept his brother’s death and help him understand that is not his fault. To help him understand that God is not punishing him. To give him assignments and expect them to be complete by the due date. We will have sessions one to three times a week. One of my assignments will be for him to download apps that he can enjoy, read books and if he feels conformable to go to the gym. Some of these activities can help him meet new people. I will also recommend exercising. He can start taking short walks around his block and/or start yoga exercises to help him control his anxiety attacks. I will advise him to attend church and to get closer to God and let him understand that God will always be there for him. God is not here to judge or to punish him. He might consider taking bible studies. After I set up these goals with Nikolas I would meet him again and see if there’s any improvement, if an improvement is met we might be able to reduce the sessions, instead of twice a week session we can meet once a week.
The major therapeutic techniques and interventions in psychoanalytic therapy are: Maintaining the analytic framework, free association, dream analysis, interpretation, analysis of transference, and analysis of resistance. (Tan 2011 pg. 47). Therefore, by maintaining the analytic framework, the therapist must remain as neutral and anonymous as possible. Nikolas must maintain his appointments and attend to all the sessions from beginning to end. He is assuming he is been punished by God because of what has happened with his brother his brother. He is making his own analysis and as a therapist I will help him understand that I’m here for him and will not judge him for what might had happened in the past or his childhood.
I will focus in finding Nikola’s cultural background, morals and religious beliefs. It can also be possible that he may think that he is not able to economically support a partner at this time due to his employment status, he has no job. In some cultures, men are required to work before getting in a relationship. Specifically, relational and intersubjectivity approaches recognize that both counselor and client make sense of the other’s affect, behavior, and expression in terms of their own unconscious cultural organizing. (Gehart, 2016)
I believe Nikolas was not ready to move out and that he was forced to move out due to being exposed to alcoholic drinks. Nikolas might feel that is his fault his brother died because of moving out of the house.
Nikolas biblical faith of God is low, he’s having doubts, he believes he is been punished by God and that all the bad things happening around him are God’s fault. My advice for Nikolas it would be that no one is guilty for what happened with his brother. His brother’s death might had happened for another reason, his brother could had been sick. God will always be there for him in good and bad times. To let Nikolas recognize that God is not here to judge or punish him. God forgives our sins and will always love us. Nikolas narrows focus on aggressive and sexual instincts in the motivation of human behavior is unbalanced. (Tan, 2011).
My client Nikolas’s anxiety condition has improved, now he’s able to visit more less crowed places. He’s starting to accept that he needs to take care of himself and love himself before anything else. He’s having routine visits with his regular doctor to check his heart beat. Nikolas still attending our sessions once a week. He’s doing outstanding on his assignments, never misses a session and he’s always on time. We will prescribe medication as needed.
By applying Defense Mechanisms by Freud’s psychoanalytic as a therapist has helped me become a better listener and I have also learned to never judge my clients.
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