This research examines the psycho-dynamic theories of Sigmund Freud and Melanie Klein, with a view toward identifying strengths and weaknesses of those theories and their implications for clinical psychotherapy practice. The plan of the research will be to set forth the historical and intellectual context in which each theorist operated and then to show how the patterns of their ideas affected and continue to affect the development of clinical practice.
If, as Whitehead says (1978), the whole of Western philosophy can be described as a series of footnotes to Plato, it seems not inappropriate to suggest that a good deal of post-Freudian psychoanalytic theory and practice can be described as footnotes to Freud. For Freud's work very much defined the initial shape of clinical counseling practice, and, despite readily identifiable opposition to Freud's views, it continues to be influential in psychological discourse. To see why that is the case, it is important to recognize that even in its formative stages, Freudian theory was destined to have the imprimatur and structure of the scientific method. His explication of human psychology and behavior, set forth most comprehensively in 1899 (publication date 1900) in his first major text, The Interpretation of Dreams, was completely consistent with that fact. It has been described as the one of the 20th century's "most potent factors of future social change," the other being the automobile (Tuchman 1981, p. 314).
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Category: Philosophy - C
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