The Therapeutic Alliance as the Foundation for Psychological Treatments

What is the role of free association in psychoanalysis?

Free association is a therapeutic technique employed to create a free interaction between a counselor and the client to facilitate the expression of the unconscious motives of the client. It is strongly believed that the unconscious part of the mind contains repressed desires whose failure to be fulfilled disturbs mental actions. According to Baron & Kalsher (2008), free association acts as an agent of stimulating the urge of a patient to express his/her ideas freely so that the counselor can understand the underlying causes of the problem observed to the patient.

According to humanistic therapies, what is the cause of mental disorders?

As revealed by Barber (2008), the malfunctioning of the neurons and bio-chemicals in the brain resulting from personal perception may trigger the development of mental disorders. Notably, the disturbance of brain neurotransmitters as a result of excessive release of aldosterone hormone exhausts mental neurons which results in a state of mental instability. With reference to Wendel et al (2000), humanistic therapy focuses on social groups as the ultimate causes of mental disturbances. On this basis, a counselor dealing with a patient suffering from a mental disorder should provide an environment that places the patient from perceiving him/herself from being judged or criticized.

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What is the major goal of Gestalt therapy?

Gestalt therapy focuses on the underlying behaviors resulting from the psychoanalytic stages with regard to the environment in which an individual is brought up into. In this regard, the main goal of Gestalt therapy is to establish a wider base for the identified behavior in terms of the various contexts with which an individual has been interacting. It is strongly believed that the social environment in which an individual is brought up plays a very significant role in modifying his/her behavior. On this basis, Gestalt therapy seeks to establish a deeper understanding of the context in which an individual has grown up, and link the trend with the current behavior observed (Baron & Kalsher 2008).

What is modeling, and how can it be used to treat mental disorders?

Modeling is a behavioral-based procedure in psychotherapy involving the usage of living or symbolic models to demonstrate a particular behavior that may be attractive or desirable to the client. According to Wendel et al (2000), modeling emphasizes the elimination of unwanted behavior and triggers the urge to acquire new desirable behavior resulting in a positive appraisal of an individual. Since modeling can be used to either strengthen or weaken a previously acquired behavior, it acts as a stimulator for effective learning of new desirable behaviors; which will subsequently lead to healing of the previous mental disorders as a result of the previous persistent behavior.

According to cognitive therapies, what is the primary cause of mental disorders?

According to cognitive therapies, the main cause of mental disorders is the perception of being inferior in social contexts. Particularly, the ultimate cause of mental disorders falls mainly on social phobia, where individuals feel insecure in social situations. If an individual perceives him/herself as being inferior compared to other people, he/she develops negative thoughts about him/herself which may result in committing suicide (Gazzaniga & Heatherton, 2006).

What is the major goal of rational-emotive therapy?

According to Gazzaniga & Heatherton (2006), the main goal of rational-emotive therapy is to help patients overcome their irrational needs and desires by helping them change their initial views. Mainly, rational-emotive therapy enhances the acceptance of oneself and subsequently enjoys his/her relationship with other people. Particularly, rational-emotive therapy seeks to establish the understanding of unrealistic demands among individuals and subsequently help them perceive social relationships positively.

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What has expressed emotion and what role does it play in family therapy?

Expressed emotion is a critical and emotionally over-involved feeling that individuals have towards an affiliate of their family with a particular disorder. As revealed by Baron & Kalsher, (2008), individuals having high expressed emotion causes a decline in psychological disorders like depression among others. On the other hand, the high degree of pity expressed by his/her family members becomes a heavy encumber to the individual with the disorder. On this basis, family therapists should ultimately consider directing each family member to understand the needs of each family member, and then help his/her to keep away from a relapse.


Barber, C. (2008). The brain: a Mindless Obsession? The Wilson Quarterly. Web.

Baron, R. & Kalsher, J. (2008). PSY105: Introduction to psychology: Third Custom Edition (2nd Ed). Boston: Allyn & Bacon Publishers.

Gazzaniga, M. & Heatherton, T. (2006). Psychological Science. New York: Norton & The company, Inc.

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Wendel, J. et al. (2000). Expressed Emotion and Attributions in the Relatives of Bipolar Patients: an Analysis of Problem-solving Interaction. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 109, 792-796.

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