How does knowledge of the foundations and history of nursing provide a context in which to understand current practice? Identify at least three trends in nursing practice from the “Nursing Timeline of Historical Events” media piece. How have these trends influenced your perspective of nursing practice?
Is Traditional Psychoanalysis Effective? The development of newer, more streamlined dynamic therapies is in part due to questions about whether traditional psychoanalysis “works.” In a classic criticism, Hans Eysenck (1994) suggested that
psychoanalysis simply takes so long that patients experience a spontaneous remission of symptoms (improvement due to the mere passage of time).
How seriously should the possibility of spontaneous remission be taken? It’s true that problems ranging from hyperactivity to anxiety do improve with the passage of time. Regardless, researchers have confirmed that psychoanalysis does, in fact, produce improvement in a majority of patients (Doidge, 1997).
The real value of Eysenck’s critique is that it encouraged psy- chologists to try new ideas and techniques. Researchers began to ask, “When psychoanalysis works, why does it work? Which parts of it are essential and which are unnecessary?” Modern therapists have given surprisingly varied answers to these questions. Let’s move on to survey some of the ways modern therapies differ. Later, we will acquaint you with some of the therapies currently in use.
Dimensions of Therapy— Let Me Count the Ways
Gateway Question 15.3: How do psychotherapies differ? In contrast to medical therapies, which are physical in nature, psychotherapy refers to any psychological technique that can bring about positive changes in personality, behavior, or personal adjustment. Psychotherapy is usually based on a dialogue between therapists and their clients, although some therapists also use learning principles to directly alter troublesome behaviors (Corsini & Wedding, 2011).