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Describe the roles of free association, dream analysis, resistance, and transference in psychoanalytic therapy. How does each element contribute to the course of therapy?
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Psychology


Edition: 1st
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Psychoanalysis is a type of psychodynamic therapy that argues that psychological problems stem from unconscious conflicts. A number of techniques are used to bring these unconscious conflicts to conscious awareness, thereby giving a client insight into her or his condition. Free association is a technique in which a client relaxes her or his mind and reports every image or idea that enters conscious awareness. The rationale for this technique is that patterns or themes will emerge from the person's narration, perhaps pointing the analyst toward the underlying conflict. Dream analysis is used to interpret the symbolic meaning of dreams, again as a road to the unconscious. The analyst would separate the manifest content remembered about the dream from the latent content, or symbolic meaning, of the dream. During the course of psychoanalysis resistance can occur, such that a client attempts to avoid engaging in the therapeutic process, perhaps as a result of revelations that emerge. Transference can also occur; a client's feelings about a significant person in her or his life can instead be directed toward the therapist. Revelations of conflict with one's parent, for example, might produce transference of hostile feelings directed toward the parent now being directed toward the analyst.

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