maxim_goncharov (maxim_goncharov) wrote,

Image of man in modern psychotherapy

At present, much is said about crises, which directly or indirectly will affect and compromise nearly all sectors of human activity. A crisis in psychotherapy could not fail to occur as a result of this global crisis.
The world of psychotherapy is undergoing a stage of accumulation of new methods, the formation of schools, concepts, and technologies. And each new method, new school, proclaiming by appearance in psychotherapy is included in this large "piggy bank" of methods. In recent years, it is reported that in the world now more than 700 of different modalities and they all claim to be effective. Thus, according to Wagner, E. (1999) empirical psychotherapy research has shown that different therapeutic approaches lead to the same results [2].
The majority of modern problems of psychiatry and psychotherapy reflect the challenges of the global crisis of humanity and can be expressed in the absence of unanimity of views and approaches to human beings (lack of unity, nationalism, and strife, the growth of prejudice, etc.) [4]. In clinical psychology this crisis appears in the flow of new forms of psychotherapy, so called “psychoboom” (Bach u. Molter 1976), in main questions about the view on diseases, participation and importance of the diagnosis and also the influence of psychotherapeutic manipulations.
Some time ago Buhler emphasizing this situation said: “So many psychologies as today, so many approaches with their own point of view never existed at the same time before”.
Using Kuhn’s terminology Keupp (Keupp 1974) trying to describe this situation talks about “crisis of paradigm” in different spheres of psychotherapy. So, if there is no single, universally accepted theory of personality exist and no common understanding of the laws of its operation, violations and restore the functioning of modern medicine, there may be different concepts of psychotherapy [6].
From psychological point of view in this regard, the issue of image of man (menschenbild) is of particular importance and, based on its impact on interpersonal relationships, may be designated as the question number 1 of today's psychotherapy and psychiatry - as all the other problems arise of this one (Hagehuelsman H., 1987). Quite often the techniques and theories on the principle "good technique is better than bad science" are considered more important than the underlying approach to the person in this method [9].
The most important variable of psychotherapeutic process is not a technique but a person who applies this technique, that is, the therapist (Strupp HH, 1960). And the most important factor here is the therapist's worldview or image of man. The therapists see the client through the spectacles of their theoretical constructions [2], and the aims and objectives of therapy for various diseases are determined by the author's theoretical orientation concerning the nature and mechanisms of these disorders [6].
The fundamental property of human nature is that human actions and motives of these actions are not determined by the reality itself, but perceptions of this reality that has given by the person. Therefore, despite the objective truth of the fact that each person has an internal, intrinsic value, those people who do not accept this fact deep enough, act as if they did not have this value [12].
The dedication to a particular therapeutic system is an important component in the mental picture of the therapist [17]. In 1975 H.A.Gomes de Araujo stated: "Whatever the direction of therapy we would not give, no matter what school or method we have adhered to, the structure of therapeutic relationship directly or indirectly, or just supposed to be based on a system attached to its values." In any treatment of neurosis or psychotic reactions must present a value system, even if the patient and therapist do not realize it [15]. At the same time, theoretical concepts of psychotherapy do not serve as not unambiguous and detailed definition of medical therapy, and serve more as heuristics - for solving problems and finding solutions [2]. Makarov (2001) also calls the therapist's most important and expensive "of what is in therapy," stressing that this therapist - someone who, along with a mastery of the technique reached meta-view to therapy and psychology. Those who still have not achieved a generalized and philosophical understanding yet cannot be called as true psychotherapist [7]. The therapist indeed here becomes the junction of the image of man in psychological theory and the theory of psychotherapy. It can be found in therapist’s personal attitude as a person, competence as a practicing researcher, and in one’s professional handling of customers [16].
Image of man is almost not met in the modern researches of psychotherapies. At best, it’s given certain symptoms or groups of people united by a method that "then say as well to be able to eliminate certain symptoms or to promote getting rid of stigmatic symptoms of certain groups of persons» (Pauls u. Walter 1980). Also, the term "image of man" is not uniquely understood in different countries. In Germany alone, there is a very specific word «Menschenbild» - denoting the image of man.
So, not just only from the viewpoint of humanistic psychology, there is a danger that "through psychotherapy accumulate more and more generalized, pulled out of the individual semantic context" data - if - then "- and pointless use - in practice lead to uncertain risk." Some of the practical and theoretical concepts of different schools of psychotherapy are based on the elements of knowledge, which quality is at least questionable and they are therefore more a matter of myth than real achievements» (Herzog 1982) [16]. In general terms the psychological danger of distorting the image of man Jaspers pointed out: "... distortion of the image of man leads to a distortion of the man itself. For the image of man, which we believe to be true itself becomes a factor in our lives. It prejudges the nature of our treatment of ourselves and other people, life choices and the choice of tasks "[13]. According to the Swiss Charter Psychotherapy "... any psychotherapeutic school must hold as an anthropological theory (the image of man), and the theory of the technique" [1]. In response to such views was postulated by the following requirement: "Given, by common consent a fundamental influence on the influence of image of man onto psychological theories, it is desirable that such a human model of the scientist and/or scientific society was represented, at least in the major publications or clarified in the relevant literature references "(cited by Buechler Ch., Allen M., 1973) [14].
The traditional psychiatry and psychotherapy base their view of humans on psychopathology. The subjects of this vision are the diseases or disorders. The goal of treatment is to eliminate the disease, which is comparable with surgical removal of the affected organ [10]. However, preventive medicine and psychotherapy in need of methods that take into account not only violations but also the human abilities and its potential for development [8]. The first step in this direction could be the consideration, what type of theory is useful for psychotherapy [11]. In agreement with the G.L. Isurina (1993) "revolutionary change" in psychotherapy took place after the emergence of new psychological theories, concepts and individuals which being based on certain philosophical approaches were able to influence not only just psychotherapy practice, but also to other types of human activities (in particular, literature and art), because they are based on a new view of human nature and new ways of understanding it [5]. Basically we may assume that the "theory of personality should encourage, rather than narrow the efforts of man to understand him/herself» (Bischoff LJ, 1983).
No integration of schools, or devaluation or exclusion of different methods can lead to a fruitful development of psychotherapy. Only the exchange of knowledge, which it receives in accordance with relevant methods and theories about the image of man (anthropological theories), their ways of treatment and medical intervention, if there is respect for difference, other approaches, can move us forward [1]. According to this hypothesis, until the contrary is proved, all the different areas of psychotherapy should be seen as valuable. So far they offer a well-articulated theory of the method, which leads to a theory of therapeutic intervention, the study of disease and anthropological theory (Image of man, the theory of man) in a well-formulated line, and so far their statements regarding the effectiveness of the method can be confirmed by the arguments on the basis of documented cases, they will meet the views that go beyond the narrow confines of directions (Buchmann R., Schlegel M., Vetter I., 1999) [1]. Psychotherapy research, which tries to comprehend the man in it’s subjective perception and unique experience, one must look for its starting point where a person is really self-evident in nature, where it belongs so itself [3]. Karl Jaspers emphasized that psychotherapy can not become a "doctrine of world concepts." But in its structure it needs in the standards, which are so general as much as possible [15]. Therefore, the basic idea of psychotherapy phenomenological research is to offer psychotherapists such perspective that give them an opportunity to see a man without a frameworks which in advance determine what this man would have to suffer to eventually apply appropriate technology [3].
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15. Gomes de Araujo H.A. What is Psychotherapy//What is Psychotherapy? S.Karger-Basel-Munchen-Paris-London-New York-Sidney 1975, p. 449-454
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Tags: image of man, psychotherapy, worldview
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