Sigmund Freud is often hailed as the father of psychoanalytical theory. His theory was the first to point to the influence of early childhood experiences. However, psychoanalytical theory has received a lot of criticism. Although theories are supposed to be objective and value-free, they are developed within a sociocultural and political context. For example, with historical perspective, it is possible to see that values within the Western Victorian era influenced Freud as he developed his theory. Another criticism is that many psychoanalytical concepts cannot be measured. For example, how do you measure the id, ego, and superego or the notion of unconscious conflicts? As a result, it is difficult to test the accuracy of these concepts using social science research methods.
It is important to critically evaluate theories for their practical use. For example, is it appropriate to use a theory when working with diverse populations or with populations different from those with whom the theory was normed (e.g., women, racial and ethnic minority groups, those who are economically disadvantaged)? Finally, are the assumptions of theories consistent with the values underlying the field? In this Discussion, you respond to some of these concerns.
To prepare, read the following from the Learning Resources:
Turner, F. J. (Ed.). (2017). Social work treatment: Interlocking theoretical approaches (6th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Chapter 1: Attachment Theory and Social Work Treatment (pp. 1–22)
Chapter 25: The Psychoanalytic System of Ideas (pp. 398–410)
Foley, M., Nash, M., & Munford, R. (2009). Bringing practice into theory: Reflective practice and attachment theory. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work Review, 21(1/2), p39–47. http://dx.doi.org/10.11157/anzswj-vol21iss1-2id318
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
Auld, F., Hyman, M., & Rudzinski, D. (2005). How is therapy with women different? In Resolution and inner conflict: An introduction to psychoanalytic therapy (pp. 217–236). Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
Note: You will access this book chapter excerpt from the Walden Library databases.
National Association of Social Workers. (2008). Code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Retrieved from https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics/Code-of-Ethics-English
Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2014). Counseling and psychotherapy theories in context and practice [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.psychotherapy.net.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/stream/waldenu/video?vid=277
This week, watch the “Psychoanalytic Approaches” segment by clicking the applicable link under the “Chapters” tab.
Note: You will access this video from the Walden Library databases.
Blakely, T. J., & Dziadosz, G. M. (2015). Application of attachment theory in clinical social work. Health & Social Work, 40(4), 283–289. https://doi.org/10.1093/hsw/hlv059
Fleischer, L., & Lee, E. (2016). The analytic principle and attitude: Mobilizing psychoanalytic knowledge to maximize social work students’ practice competence. Psychoanalytic Social Work, 23(2), 99–118. doi:10.1080/15228878.2016.1149776