Psychodynamic Model’s Developmental Process

Psychodynamic Model, The Model’s Developmental Processes, And Use In Assessment And Treatment Psychodynamic Model

A large proportion of this research relied on historical data. Most of the data originated from institutions that take care of the aged, books, and journal articles. The views of health experts and professionals in mental health also shaped the judgement of this paper. The paper focused on extracting information from the four models under its analysis. Most of the findings originated from the four frameworks. ( The psychodynamic, the cognitive behavior, the stress and coping model, and the family systems model).

Given the demographics of the present age, almost all adult mental shape practice will certainly include older adults. As people grow older, various changes occur, more valuable is the vulnerability to stress and illnesses. The challenges one faces through the years like the death of loved ones, loneliness and others exposes one to the risk of mental illnesses. Furthermore, the body grows weak and pale. This paper analyzes the relationship between mental health and ageing. The paper looks into the unending scientific researches and years of clinical trials of Daniel L. Segal in his book ” Ageing and Mental health.” The aim of this paper is to vitally discuss the issue of aging and mental health amongst the older population. In depth, this paper discusses aspects of mental health and old age and associates them to various models presented by Daniel L. Segal.

The models employed in the discussion of mental health and the ageing process explain what happens to old people. They explain the behavioral and personality disorders associated with the ageing process. Each framework offers a set of assumptions on mental health as well as the development of mental health disorders. They also offer recommendations for assessment and treatment of disorders. The assumptions shape the direction toward specific tenets of the functioning of older adults. For instance, the behavioral model helps explain the origin of memory loss amongst adults. Several other models of mental disorder and mental health feature in the following sections of the paper. In each discussion, the models attempt to reveal the relevance of each approach to older adults. This also includes the problems they face in their lifetime.

The psychodynamic model

The psychodynamic model is one of the most basic comprehensive frameworks of psychological disorder and well-being. However, in terms of mental health, it is amongst the late contributors. The model makes attempts in presenting a rough picture of what takes place in an individual’s mind. The model tries to offer an explanation of the relationships, experiences and perceptions of human beings (Stuart-Hamilton, 2012). The model gives rise to the psychodynamic approach. The psychodynamic framework discusses theories that perceive human functioning in relation to the interaction of drives and forces around the person. Much emphasis is on the unconscious mind, and between the various structures of the personality. The psychic energy is the force that drives the personality. Thus, the psychodynamic model studies the exchanges and transformations of the psychic energy. The model explains behaviors through the interaction of the forces of emotions (Kerry Kelly & Jack, n.d). Precisely, it looks at the interaction between the super-ego, the ego, and the id. Some of the key ideas presented by the psychodynamic model are child/parent relationships, as well as their influence on behaviors and feelings. This also includes the ideas suggesting that major events in one’s life shape the unconscious mind.

The brain is a map maker, constructing neural maps that depict real life experiences. It constitutes the unique trait of each of perspectives and subjective. The brain constantly compares the moment maps against those of the past, in order to arrive at the most accurate prediction over the next action to be taken (Stuart-Hamilton, 2012). As one grows older, the brain functions deteriorate, as well. The brain changes in various ways in the course of the life span. Firstly, it generates energetic growth during the initial stages of life (the first two years). This constitutes approximately 15% of the adult brain capacity. This receives ample pruning before puberty. Thanks to evolution, there is the creation of neural strategy that is able to respond to an extraordinary series of environmental constraints. As they get specified, the unutilized neuronal extensions wither and fade. During puberty, another dendritic growth takes place. A pruning process follows, and that could take years (Stuart-Hamilton, 2012). The neurons reorganize themselves and create faster and efficient connections within the various areas of the brain. This takes place up to the mid twenties. The series of transformations occurs throughout the life of an individual. The brain continues to change in relation to one’s experiences, consequently, as one grows older, the functioning of the brain wears out. This leads to the impairment in personalities associated with old age.

The model employs logical assumptions about human beings. The assumptions are the main constructs that explain human behavior. The basic personality, the inter- personal, and the developmental processes are the key variables in the theory. The model emphasizes the intricate interaction among emotion, motivation, and cognition in the formation of personality. The complexity of the organization of the structures causes the distinction between human beings and animals (Kerry Kelly & Jack, n.d). Nevertheless, the quest to survive, alongside the knowledge of tenuous survival lead to anxiety. Managing anxiety is the main task of the paramount function of the personality. Anxiety represents conflicts between the libido and the superego. The ego’s role is to harmonize the conflict between the two.

The model exposes the level of continuity between the child and adult growth processes. The distinctions are mainly in form and content. The major structures through which processes feature and revoke remain the same. Consequently, adults reach their last stage of their lives highly influenced by childhood events, as well as adaptations and the events of old age. The adult development process features in terms of the tasks which provoke change, for instance marriage and childbirth. Consequently, the culmination of life’s events presents new challenges to the development process. Some of the events include grief over the loss of loved ones, loss of physical energy and the resulting dependability, loss of roles, and the loss of opportunities to change one’s life course. The notion that the loss theme dominates the ageing process forms the view that the ageing process causes high rates of depression (Stuart-Hamilton, 2012).

Proponents of the psychodynamic theory focus assessment on interior personality structures. This includes beliefs, emotional responses, behavioral patterns, values, meanings, and narratives. The developmental history of an individual Lifecycle should form the crucial starting point. This comprises of tasks, developmental stages, and themes. Past childhood experiences are important within the framework (Kerry Kelly & Jack, n.d). This is because early childhood experiences may constrain later developmental forms. The latter emanate from the attachment trauma and critical events within which early experiences took place.

Cognitive behavioral model

The cognitive behavioral model focuses on how a person thinks. It combines aspects of the cognitive approach and behavioral approach. The model centers its analysis on one’s thoughts towards the events in one’s life. The major variables in this framework are beliefs, thoughts, images, and attitudes. All these combine to form one’s cognitive processes. The model extends its efforts in relating a person’s cognitive processes to his actions. One assumption about the framework is that all human behavior originates from the thought process (Zonneveld, Duivenvoorden, Passchier & van’t Spijker, 2010). The framework recommends an assessment and treatment that focuses on changing the thought pattern. This in turn results to a change in a person’s actions, behaviors, and the subsequent difficult situations at hand.

The cognitive behavioral model is an analysis that focuses on the short-term, objective oriented psychotherapy treatment of the old members of the family. It explains how the patterns of thinking result to behaviors and situations in a person’s life. The approach explains the root of anxiety and depression and recommends diagnostic procedures. A crucial advantage of the model is that it offers a short-term analysis of the subject. This includes relating the subject to the immediate situation and/or environment (Stuart-Hamilton, 2012).

The theory insinuates that it is not the events that cause anxiety but the human reaction. A negative thought pattern could hinder the perception and prevent the flow of positive thoughts. The old thought pattern usually prevents the learning process. Thoughts of sickness could result to a person falling ill. Thoughts of weakness prevent people from achieving their goals. This is because the thought pattern results in negative behavior of failure. The negative though the pattern originate from childhood and past experiences. They become relatively fixed and automatic with time. The thought pattern lead to a situation referred as dysfunctional assumption. Dysfunctional functions are the principles for living, usually expressed in terms of “should” statements or “if…then.” They originate from the deep well of core beliefs. Automatic thoughts are thus, localized areas of commotion in the lake formed. The commotions represent the behaviors and they come and go. The behaviors result in the formation of the personality, and the personality takes years to form.

Blaikie (2009) states that the cognitive behavioral model facilitates the understanding of the personality. It classifies situations based on the degrees of control. Through this, an individual is aware of the quantity of control over their circumstances. The model recommends an analysis of other real life situations in depression cases. The depressed make a comparison of their situation to that of others in similar situations. The ideas in the model recommend a changing on one’s perspectives in order to change the situation. Before making any choices, an individual should pause for the levels of anxiety to lower. This clears the mind and offers a positive perception of the situation. The model identifies that negative situations are present. However, in a disturbed state of mind, an individual could base predictions and interpretations on a biased view of the circumstance, which worsens the difficulty (Zonneveld et al., 2010).

The model focuses its assessment on identifying the key events in a person’s life (Blaikie, 2009). The diagnoses of mental illness disorders focus on the past events of the patient. The treatment reaches into the deeper levels of meaning that a certain event might hold for an individual. The mode of treatment entails questions that flow along the line of collaborative exploration. The mentally ill adult should reflect a level of resilience and greater tolerance skills. The model recommends treatment known as cognitive behavioral therapy. The therapy is different from other forms of treatment because its sessions have a structure. This is different from other sessions whereby the patient talks based on random thoughts. The therapist and the mentally ill patient meet to describe the actual problem in the first meeting. Goal setting, as well as a work plan follows. During the session, both the subjects also agree on the topics for discussion. The other sessions follow the pace set by the first one.

The stress and coping model

Stuart-Hamilton (2012) maintains that the model’s main variables are stressors. Stressors are demands that originate from the internal and external surroundings that disrupt the balance. This consequently tamper with the psychological and physical well-being and calls for intervention that restores balance. During the late 60s and early 70s, stress presented itself as a transaction occurrence. It was greatly dependent on the meaning of the stimuli to the perceiver. The model is a framework for studying the process of handling stressful events. The points of stress construe as individual-environment transactions. These transactions are dependent on the effect of the external stressor. The individual’s appraisal, as well as the cultural and social resources at their disposal mediates this.

The model provides that the psychological aspects of a circumstance affect the consequences and behaviors of health behaviors. It emphasizes the importance of managing levels of anxiety in handling stressful situations. Models with central paradigms of events feature differently by various personalities as opposed to the objective stressors. They are the main determinants of behavior and mental health (Blaikie, 2009).

The model describes an assessment procedure that focuses on all aspects of a person’s life. This includes the family, hobby, occupation, spiritual, and other aspects of an individual’s life. The coping resources fall into a skill dimension and a relationship dimension. The skill dimension comprises of communication and problem solving skills. The interaction focuses on the concepts of cohesion and flexibility. The resources count in all the four levels. The key hypothesis for the model maintains that the higher the amount of copying resource an individual has developed, the better the individual when it comes to stress management. This consequently leads to life satisfaction.

The model favors treatment that focuses on disease prevention and health promotion. Therapeutic techniques, as well as techniques for visual imagery, relaxation, and biofeedback. The biofeedback aid in developing awareness and determine the responses to stressors. In addition, it reduces tension and stress brought by daily situations. Relaxation procedures employ a constant passive attitude, mental stimulus, and a quiet environment. The techniques employed are yoga, hypnosis, and relaxation training. The visual imagery aids in improving the mood of an individual, as well as their coping skills (Blaikie, 2009).

The family systems model

The family approach conceptualizes mental health of older adults and their families. The notion that older adults suffer from isolation is an abandoned myth. The elderly are always in constant, frequent contact with their families. The model focuses more on family support and its positive impact on the mental health of the elderly. The framework provides that, in cases of family dysfunction, the old adults could suffer serious mental health complications.

The nuclear family forms a valuable platform for an individual’s development. However, various studies suggest otherwise. The extended family features greatly in the development process. Grandparents take care of children with enhanced frequency. Childhood relationships become stronger in adulthood; parenting does not end when the children move out to form their own families. Precisely, a model of family development cannot assume that parenting ends when children get into adulthood, it is more of a life-cycle phenomenon. Consequently, the importance of the nuclear family relations is certain (Morse, 1996).

Marriage is a critical aspect of the family life. It features as a family contact practiced by the majority of older men and a few of the older women (72% and 42% respectively). Despite the fact that half of older adults have spouses, the rates have relatively decreased with the advancement of age. This has resulted in lower rates of marriage in older women. Recent studies have revealed that 14% of women past the age of 85 have partners as compared to 56% of men. This is another cause of anxiety for the older women. This is because marriage brings satisfaction, and a lack of it could cause immeasurable anxiety (Blaikie, 2009).

The family model explores the pre-disposing factors, which are likely to expose older adults with mental illness. Various studies have suggested that old age comes with fragility. The level of anxiety amongst the old is also high. Henceforth, any slight discomfort of peace in old age usually disrupts the brain process. What occurs within the family greatly determines the mental health of the old in the family. Childish behavior influences greatly on the mental health of his old parents. On the other hand, the model has it that the parenting style impacts greatly on the behavior of the child. The model demonstrates how the mental well-being and health of the family members connect to the mental well-being of the old member in the family unit. Constant fights and other form of stressors could destabilize the mental performance of the old adults in the family.

The model acknowledges that there are stressors, risks and vulnerability factors likely to expose the old members of the family to mental complications. It also identifies the strengths that maintain healthy relationships in the family. The best way to prevent mental illnesses amongst the elderly is to uphold the well-being of the family (Blaikie, 2009). The model also highlights the need for family therapies and family interventions. Such methods work to control levels of anxiety in the family. Mental health professionals come in handy in cases of families with mentally ill old members. The experts act as anti-stress agents and train family members on handling the mentally ill.

The family model comprises of family, developmental, and mental health domains. The assessment of the family model focuses on facilitating an exploration of the situations in family life. The model unravels the circumstances under which an old adult could contract mental illness. The model discusses the importance of the parent-child interaction in the diagnosis of mental illness among the elderly (Blaikie, 2009).

The mental health of the older generation is highly dependent on the well-being of their mental capacities. Circumstances that build anxiety dispose the old to the risk of mental complications. The models discussed in past sections have revealed the importance of maintaining anxiety amongst the old. All the models point out anxiety as a major cause of mental health amongst the old. To achieve greater heights of mental health, levels of anxiety should be low.

ReferencesTop of For

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Blaikie, A. (2009). Ageing And Popular Culture. Cambridge U.A.: Cambridge Univ. Press.

Kerry Kelly, N., & Jack, N. (n.d). A New Model of Techniques for Concurrent Psychodynamic

Work with Parents of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Patients. Child And

Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics Of North America, doi:10.1016/j.chc.2012.12.005

Morse, D.S. (1996). A family-oriented interview with George L. Engel, M.D. Families, Systems, & Health, 14(4), 413-424. doi:10.1037/h0089971

Stuart-Hamilton, I. (2012). Psychology Of Ageing: An Introduction. London: Jessica Kingsley


Zonneveld, L.L., Duivenvoorden, H.J., Passchier, J., & van’t Spijker, A. (2010). Tailoring a cognitive behavioural model for unexplained physical symptoms to patient’s perspective:

a bottom-up approach. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 17(6), 528-535.


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