Thursday, September 14, 2006

Theories and Methods - Neo-Freudians

The neo-Freudians are more apt to emphasize the role of interpersonal and social environmental factors in the development of personality. While the theorists disagree on the appropriate time to apply this emphasis they would admit that social factors are the primary determinants of personality.

Karen Horney viewed maladaptive behavior as the result of anxiety directly resulting from a child’s interpersonal relationships. Sullivan proposed that cognitive factors played a role in development. He proposed that maladaptive behavior stems from parataxic distortions which involve the client’s inability to perceive a person in the present, instead they are conceived of as a significant person from the past.

Sullivan also thought of the therapist as a participant/observer and expert in interpersonal relationships. His thoughts were that the more people were aware of their interpersonal relationships, the more healthy they became.

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