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In Treatment - Alex: Analysis of the Patient

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Sydkysten Gymnasium

                                                                                                                                                    Vejlebrovej 2635 Ishøj

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Amitai Paz Iversen








Birgitte Thomassen

Undersøgelse titel

Does the psychoanalisis work?


NEXT – Sydkysten Gymnasium


In this fieldwork we will deal with the psychological method known as psychoanalysis and at the same time we will talk about defense mechanisms. Both theories were raised by the Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. The objective of this work is to determine how psychoanalysis works. For this we will develop the questions raised in "redegørende". In the theoretical part we will talk about the concepts of psychoanalysis and defense mechanisms, which will help us to understand in a better way what is proposed in the analysis and in the discussion. In the analysis we will go into the series called "in treatment", in which we will concentrate on the case of Alex. To conclude, we will discuss whether psychoanalysis is a method that works.

Problemformulering: How does the psychoanalysis work?


  • What is forsvarsmekanismer? (redegørelse)
  • What is the psychoanalysis?(redegørelse)
  • Which kind of forsvarsmekanismer uses Alex? (analysis)
  • Does the psychoanalysis work? (discussion)


As indicated by the same word, defense mechanisms are methods that we humans use in an unconscious way to block or prevent any negative or traumatic experience from affecting us on a day-to-day basis. Although many times we do not realize that we make these types of "blockages", according to the psychologist Sigmund Freud, this is something normal in the human being. The purpose of these defense mechanisms is to protect oneself from anxiety or emotional sanctions or to provide a refuge from a situation one may or may not face at the moment.

The problem with these defense mechanisms is that those experiences never really go away, but they remain repressed in the subconscious and we continue to be affected in the day to day despite not having done this in a conscious or intentional way.

One of the first people to introduce the concept of these defense mechanisms was Sigmund Freud. In 1936, he introduced the concept of "displacement" for the first time, being one of the most important. Sigmund came to suggest the existence of up to 10 different types of defense mechanisms, the "displacement" being the most common and important of them. Among the most important are: fortrængning, projektion, Identifikation, forskydning, fornægtelse, rationalisering, regression, reaktionsdannelse og sublimering.


Having already discussed the concept of defense mechanisms, we can continue with what is known as psychoanalysis. This is a therapeutic practice founded by the neurologist Sigmund Freud in the late 1800s, which he found while he was in search of a clinical treatment for neurotic or hysterical patients. Psychoanalysis allows that, through free association, the affected person or that is going to be analyzed freely say everything that comes to mind, even what seems useless, inadequate and even trivial. The only thing that is required of them is not to omit any thought, even if it is shameful or painful.

The idea of ​​all this is that the psychologist manages to reconstruct the history of the subject through their repressed memories, which would result in the disappearance of the symptoms suffered by the person. To do this the psychologist uses the methods known as "free association" and "interpretation of dreams". The problem with psychoanalysis is that the conclusions or diagnoses depend totally on the way in which the psychologist perceives things, since there is no procedure that can be followed step by step to achieve an improvement. In addition to this, it is not a method that can give results in the short term, since many sessions are needed for the psychologist to reach a diagnosis.



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