The
National
College of
Hypnosis and
Psychotherapy

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Hypnotherapy Training UK – Psychotherapy Training UK

Weeks three and four

Weeks three and four

Psychodynamic Theories of the Self

 

For Freud the new born infant is essentially a body driven by instincts in which a conscious mind has yet to grow. The model is one of ‘cupboard love’ – an attachment driven by hunger in which the infant is originally conscious of the body’s demands for nourishment,but not of a self as distinct from the external world. As the infant oscillates between anxious hunger and satiated bliss, Freud theorises that its mental states are best understood as hallucinatory (psychotic). Just as the parched traveller in the desert hallucinates the oasis, so the hungry baby instinctively dreams of the mother and her breast.

 

This is the ‘oral phase’. In their conceptual glossary, the Language of Psychoanalysis, Laplanche and Pontalis define this as

 

‘the first stage of libidinal development: .. pleasure at this period is bound predominantly to that of the

excitation of the oral cavity and lips which accompanies feeding. The activity of nutrition is the

source of the particular meanings through which the object-relationship is expressed and organised;

the love-relationship to the mother, for example, is marked by the feelings ofeating and being eaten’. (287:1973)

 

It is precisely because the infant is oblivious to the distinction between its self and the external world that it can draw comfort from sucking its own thumb in the absence of the mother, and no accident that thumbsucking, spitting and biting are regressive behaviours to which children resort under stress.

 

Melanie Klein’s work builds on this theoretical foundation. She argues that the infant’s early mental life is essentially ‘paranoid-schizoid’. Sometimes the mother responds to the infants cries, sometimes she does not. The infant doesn’t yet recognise the mother as a distinct and separate person. Instead there is simply a ‘part-object’ – or rather two ‘part-objects’ – an idealised ‘good breast’ that responds to its demands, capable of providing unlimited, immediate and everlasting gratification and a ‘bad breast’ that does not, evoking terrifying fears of persecution, of being devoured and destroyed. It is to this primitive mode of mental functioning that people suffering from paranoid schizophrenia regress.

 

Klein contrasts this with the ‘depressive position’. This is marked by the infant’s ability to recognise the mother as a ‘whole object’ – a distinct person, separate from itself, to which it has a bi-polar relationship which vacillates between manic high spirits of love and depressive lows of extreme wretchedness and hate. This is the mode of mental functioning characteristic of bipolar disorder, and which is overcome when the infant develops the mature capacity to tolerate ambivalence.

 

Where Freud’s account centres on the instinctual drives, and Klein’s theorising focuses on emotional states, Lacan’s work draws our attention to perceptions. For him, the ‘mirror stage’ is the critical moment in human development. Between six and sixteen months, the infant begins to imagine itself as a person, apprehending and being to master itself as a thinking body. Although relatively powerless and lacking motor co-ordination, when the infant recognises herself in the mirror, she experiences a ‘specular joiussance’ – a triumphant sense of jubilation in the apprehension of an image of itself which it can control. This image, with which the infant identifies, is a prototype for the ego or conscious self.

 

 

If we now return to Freud’s classical account, as outlined for example in his Three Essays on Sexuality of 1905, we find for him the critical moment in the infant’s development of a sense of self is rather later than that found in his psychoanalytic successors. For Freud the oral stage is the first of four distinct psychosexual phases – it is followed by the anal, the phallic and then, after a period of latency, by the mature adult state – the genital stage.

 

The anal stage is exemplified by the infant’s struggle to gain mastery of control of her bowel movements, and the concrete experience of that which was part of oneself becoming separate which is defecation. It is during this period of toilet training that distinct internal mental agencies are formed – the id, ego and super-ego. The id represents the instincts and the demands of the pleasure principle. It is impulsive and exclusively focussed on gratification, obliviousness both to the practical requirements dictated by reality – which are experienced in consciousnessby the ego – and to the moral demands of society, which are represented by the super-ego as the voice of conscience.

 

Freud argues that two distinct kinds of personality traits are formed during this period – the anally retentive type, who fights the urge to defecate as dirty, and grows up to be orderly, respectful of authority, parsimonious and classically ‘passive-aggressive’ and the anally explosive type who is the opposite: messy, reckless, careless and defiant. It is notable that, for Freud, gender identity remains undeveloped during the anal stage. The infant is oblivious to the distinction between men and women.

 

From the age of about three onwards, the phallic stage begins. At this point the infant begins to become aware of whether or not she or he has a penis, and develops an increasingly aggressive and jealous attachment to the parent of the opposite sex. This is classically designated as the Oedipus Complex in boys, and the Electra Complex in girls. The boy becomes aware that he has a rival for his mother’s affection – his father, while the girl blames her mother for her sense of castration or penis envy, and takes her father as the primary object of her attachments. It’s important to note that Freud’s thinking here is complex, nuanced and, as he is the first to admit, incomplete, but it has nevertheless been extremely influential in 20th century accounts of the development of gender identity and sexual orientation.

 

As the boy reconciles himself to the superior influence of his father and represses his desires for further intimacy with his mother (supposedly fearing the father will castrate him as a punishment) and the girl accepts her subordinate status, especially to her mother, the latency period begins (six or seven onwards). Sexual feelings are inhibited, only to burst forth again during adolescence when they typically mature into adult genitality

ForumHow did Freud contribute to our understanding of sexuality?

 

ForumIs psychoanalysis irredeemably sexist?

 

Forum What did Freud mean by the Oedipus Complex?

 

Bowlby and Attachment Theory

 

John Bowlby began his psychoanalytic career during the Second World War in London. His first study ‘Forty four juvenile thieves’, based on his work at a child guidance clinic with teenage delinquents, was published in 1944. This showed a clear relationship between maternal deprivation and subsequent psychopathology.

 

Until Bowlby, psychoanalytic and behaviourist accounts of ‘mothering’ – what we might now call primary care giver behaviour – were both premised on the idea of cupboard love – that attachment grew out of the satisfaction of the infant’s need for nourishment. Infants were often left alone for long periods, swaddled so as to restrict their movement, and trained to sleep and eat at particular times, especially when they were institutionalised – as in orpanages, hospitals and childen’s homes.

 

The brutalities of World War Two left a legacy of orphans who needed to be taken care of, and the accelerated development of state welfare provision in Britain and mental health care in the United States brought an interest in more humane arrangements for orphans and attention to the prerequisites of successful parenting. As both societies returned to more traditional gender roles after the radicalism of the war years, the qualities of the good enough mother became the object of academic, governmental and media interest.

 

In the early 1950’s Harry Harlow’s experiments with young monkeys demonstrated the inadequacy of cupboard love assumptions, showing that primates had clear instinctual needs for love and affection. Orphaned monkey infants took comfort in their ‘cloth mothers’ just as human babies love teddy bears and other transitional objects. There is a built drive for attachment. Bowlby spent his life researching the nature of attachment, and bringing together insights from both psychoanalysis and animal research, often to the irritation of both communities.

 

In 1950, Mary Ainsworth came to work with Bowlby. A Canadian child development expert, her research complemented Bowlby’s. Modern Attachment Theory is their joint creation. Ainsworth’s ‘strange situtation’ study was critical to its development. In this procedure the child is observed playing for 20 minutes while caregivers and strangers enter and leave the room, recreating the flow of the familiar and unfamiliar presence in most children’s lives. The situation varies in stressfulness and the child’s responses are observed.

 

Ainsworth identified three (and later four) groups of infants with different attachment styles on the basis of these responses. These were

 

secure attachment

anxious avoidant insecure attachment

anxious ambivalent/resistant insecure attachment

and later

disorganised insecure attachment.

 

Attachment theorists argue that these early differences have long lasting effects on the quality and quantity of relationships formed in adult life. Therapists influenced by attachment theory, whether psychodynamic or nor, draw attention to the way in which clients’ early attachment styles are repeated in the transference with their therapists.

 

For further reading see

 

http://www.psychology.sunysb.edu/attachment/online/inge_origins.pdf

Accompanying video material

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoIyrv5GPUc

https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=409644835766678

Forum According to attachment theory, how might early parenting experiences effect a client’s relationship with her therapist?

 

Forum And how might a therapist’s early parenting experiences effect their relationships with clients?

 

Links

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Go to week seven & eight

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23 Reasons to Train with Us

Training professionals for 40 years

We have been training professionals for 40 consecutive years (Longer than any other organisation in the UK). Many of the top therapists and trainers in the UK began their career at the National College.

Genuine, validated post graduate programme

Our complete Diploma Course is a genuine, validated post graduate programme (ADHP recipients are eligible for direct entry to the MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice at Bath Spa University with 90 Credits APL).

100% committed to the highest standards of training

We are 100% committed to the highest standards of training so that you are fully prepared for the challenges of professional practice

We are the UK training organisation which is authorised the offer the European Certificate of Clinical Hypnosis through the European Association for Hypno-Psychotherapy

The National College is the only UK training organisation which is authorised the offer the European Certificate of Clinical Hypnosis through the European Association for Hypno-Psychotherapy. We are also one of only two European Accredited Psychotherapy Training Institutes with the European Association for Psychotherapy We should really be the International College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy as we have graduates all over the world. We are an outward thinking organisation which looks out to the world for opportunities. Our Principal is the International Officer of UKCP and its representative to the Board of the EAP. We will continue to engage to ensure that our graduates have a future in a post-Brexit Europe.

Our philosophy that ensures that all tutors are full-time practitioners

Within the National College we have a philosophy that ensures that all tutors are full-time practitioners in addition to their training. By this we mean that they derive their primary income from seeing clients: this ensures that they "walk the walk" as well as "talk the talk". You will find that we often have examples of current clients to tell you about that illustrate theoretical points. There are some trainers who set up a school because they can't make it as practitioners. Would you want to be trained by them?

We believe it is vitally important that you see demonstrations of techniques and also get to practice

We believe it is vitally important that you see demonstrations of techniques and also get to practice. This gives you the confidence to practice with "real people" as soon as (if not before) you qualify. We say before, because you will be given permission to work with certain issues at certain points in your training. Not all trainers demonstrate, and not all give you a chance to practice and build your confidence.(ALL ours DO!)

On completion of our courss, graduates can join a range of professional bodies

On completion of the certificate course (stage two), graduates can join a range of professional bodies: the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (our regulator), the National Council for Hypnotherapy (a members’ co-operative with high standards, of which both our Principal and Managing Director are former chairs) and our own National Society of Hypnosis, Psychotherapy & Mindfulness. All you need to set up in professional practice with great support!

The National College course leads to registration with the UK Council for Psychotherapy

The National College course leads to registration with the UK Council for Psychotherapy; it is essential that important that your career is protected by being registered with a leading professional association like the UKCP (requirements for registration are laid out here). Our Managing Director is an Honorary Fellow of UKCP (approx. 1% of registrants) and is chair of the UKCP Education, Training and Practice Committee. Through this link you can be sure that we keep at the forefront of all developments in the field.

We believe in creating a friendly learning environment

We believe in creating a friendly learning environment in which students feel safe to express themselves and learn while building supportive peer relationships with fellow students.

All our tutors are experienced teachers

All our tutors are experienced teachers, as well as being, themselves, National College trained and experienced practitioners.

Support from a long established well-staffed organisation

Support from a long established well-staffed organisation throughout not only your training but also your whole career!

We actively enforce all our policies, including equal opportunities

We actively enforce all our policies, including equal opportunities. We will make any reasonable adjustments to ensure that anyone can take our courses, if suitable, and we do not discriminate on any grounds. Any special leaning needs will be catered to if possible. For example, a student with dyslexia would be able to provide portfolio evidence in recorded rather than written form if they wished to do so. The learning environment is safe, confidential and supportive.

We encourage students to ask questions or make comments about the training

We encourage students to ask questions or make comments about the training at any stage and will do our best to meet your needs. There is a student representative on the Academic Board.

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Ethical considerations are all important in a field where one is working with vulnerable people. We cover these in depth. Check with other schools as to which, if any, code of ethics they subscribe. They should be bound by a training code of ethics as well as teaching you one for practice.

The National College embraces modern technology

The National College embraces modern technology; we provide our materials on a Kindle so that you have all that you need at your fingertips. Additionally, we are one of the first institutes in our field to use "online directed learning" as part of our advanced training.

We know that you want to know exactly what you will be learning

We know that you want to know exactly what you will be learning, so we publish all the details of the structure of our courses including detailed learning outcomes. We also publish our external accreditation reports from UKCP, you can read our latest one here We want you to be sure you have made the right choice!

We train small groups of students

We train small groups of students, which we believe is important so that you get individual attention. Some schools have as many as 50 students in a class! We are also not limited to training in one location. We currently run courses in London, Manchester, Oxford and East Midlands (Leicester) in the UK and the Gold Coast (Australia) and Phoenix Arizona (USA)

Past students are welcome to re-attend any stage of their training FREE OF CHARGE

Past students are welcome to re-attend any stage of their training FREE OF CHARGE (subject to available space) in the ten years following their primary training. This is just one of the ways we support our students. We believe that we are the only school of our type to offer this opportunity free of charge.

Our training courses adhere to the National Occupational Standards

National College Hypnosis Training and Hypnotherapy Training courses adhere to the National Occupational Standards for Hypnotherapy (the Principal and Managing Director were members of the working group who wrote these), and incorporate and Professional Occupational Standards produced by UKCP.

We do not take just anyone onto our courses

We do not take just anyone onto our courses. You will be interviewed to ensure that you are suitable for this profession of working with vulnerable people, and, very importantly, to ensure that the National College is right for you. If we feel that another course would be better for you (and this does happen), we will tell you, and advise you of who to approach.

We will encourage you to find your own way to be the best therapist

Therapy is an "individual" process: we will encourage you to find your own way to be the best therapist you can be.

Our course also includes business/practice management

Our course also includes business/practice management. So often hypnotherapists and psychotherapists fall at the first hurdle because, while they may be wonderful at what they do, they don't know how to get the clients. The National College has a great depth of knowledge and experience in this area that you can draw on. All our tutors around the country are willing to share with you what works and what doesn't so that you can learn from our successes, and our mistakes!

Our complete Diploma Course is a genuine

Our complete Diploma Course is a genuine, validated post graduate programme (ADHP recipients are eligible for direct entry to the MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice at Bath Spa University with 90 Credits APL.