Schizoid Character and Psychological Counseling
Published on Friday, June 22nd, 2012 at 1:55 pm and is filed under Psychology Tips
Schizoid character ‘s attitude towards psychotherapy
It can be assumed that according with propensity to care, schizoid character avoid such an intimate intervention as psychotherapy, psychoanalysis or even single psychological counseling. In fact, if counseling is carried out with understanding and respect, they are in the process of psychotherapy quite understanding and cooperating.
Discipline of therapist which is created by the psychologist inherent limits (time limit, free associations, ethical prohibitions against social or sexual relationship with a client, etc.) seems to reduce the schizoid patient’s fear of being swallowed and decrease the stress.
Schizoid patient becomes close to psychological counseling with the same mix of sensitivity, honesty and fear of absorption that marks his other relationships. He can seek the help of a psychologist because of his loneliness, isolation from the rest of the human community. This becomes too painful, because he has limited objectives associated with this isolation (eg. the desire to overcome the ban on the relationship), or because he tends to other social behavior.
Sometimes an unfavorable schizoid personality is not obvious to himself: he wants to get rid of depression, nightmares, anxiety, stress, phobias, or from other types of symptomatic neurosis. In some cases, the schizoid person may seek treatment for neurosis because of his fear of it.
For schizoid character, in early phases of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis is characteristic feeling of emptiness and confusion. We have to make long periods of silence, until the patient internalizes the security framework of psychoanalysis and psychological counseling. However, over time, unless the patient is painfully “non-verbal” or has a psychotic disorder, many psychotherapists and psychoanalysts enjoy working with schizoid patients. They are often very sensitive to their internal reactions and are grateful for the opportunity to be where the expression of their personality does not cause anxiety, neglect and does not ridicule.
The initial transfer difficulty for the therapist is to find the way to the inner world of the patient without causing too much anxiety because of the invasion. Because people prefer schizoid fragmented relationships, it is easy to examine the patients more as an interesting sample than human beings.
Their natural transfer “test” includes efforts to clarify the circumstances, the therapist is interested enough in them to make complex messages and confusing to maintain the intention to understand and help their patients in the course of counseling. Naturally, they are afraid that the therapist disengages from them and carry them into the category of bad hermit or amusing eccentrics.
The history of attempts to understand the schizoid condition is replete with examples of “experts” examining individual patients that are schizoid, but observing a safe distance from the emotional pain that they make. These “experts” believe that verbalization of schizoid people as senseless, trivial or cryptic to strain and unravel them. Taking place in the enthusiasm of a psychiatric psychological explanations of schizoid states is a well-known version if this predisposition which consists to not take seriously the subjectivity of schizoid character.
As the psychologist – psychotherapist Sass designed the attempts to understand the contribution of biochemical and neurological mechanisms in schizoid and schizophrenic condition does not negate the need to understand the meaning of schizoid experience for the patient. In his paper “The divided Self” the psychologist Lang once again provides an example of a schizophrenic woman, examined by a psychiatrist Kraepelin. The words of the patient are incomprehensible for him. They get any sense if the next is Lang. Psychologists Caron and Vandenbos are one behind the other cases with patients who can be helped and who are easy to reject the doctors who are not trained or to not want to understand them.
Schizoid people without the risk of disruption in psychosis (most schizoid people) must less provoke misunderstanding and protective exclusion from their physicians than hospitalized schizophrenics who devoted most of the major psychoanalytic descriptions of the pathological care. At the same time therapeutic recommendations also are applicable to less serious cases and the practice of psychological counseling.
These patients should be treated in such a way as if their inner experiences were recognizable and could make a non-threatening basis for intimacy with another individual. The therapist should keep in mind that the psychology of the schizoid patient is a recognizable defense, but not an insurmountable barrier to the relationship. If the psychologist can avoid the temptations of abreaction, pushing the patient to a premature closure if he can not resort to objections or distance himself from him, is formed a strong working alliance (we note that this description of the classical recommendations that Freud gave to analysts).
Once the therapeutic relationship is formed, is followed by the emotional difficulties. The subjective fragility of schizoid personality is reflected in the feeling of weakness and helplessness of the therapist. The images of dreams and fantasies of destructive, devouring the outside world that captured both sides of the therapeutic process. There are also conflicting images of omnipotence and superiority of the divided origin (“We form the universe”). The accrued perception of patient as an exceptional unique, misunderstood genius or sage may appear unachievable in the domestic response to the therapist, perhaps with the ratio of the worrying parent who believes in his own greatness with his own child”).
The therapist working with schizoid character should be ready for that level of awareness of emotions and perceptions that patients would be able to work after several years. Because many physicians have different degrees of depression ( do not confuse with clinical depression) – in the sense that their fear of leaving the stronger absorption of fear – they try to get closer to the man who tries to help.
Therefore, it is difficult to achieve empathy with respect to the emotional needs of patients in free space. The psychoanalyst E. Hammer, speaking about the Freud’s psychoanalytic technique, said that effectiveness of even a simple chair move from the patient gives a non-verbal confirmation of the fact that the therapist does not want to impose on, hurry up, replace or suppress.
In the early phases of therapy we should avoid the interpretation because the patient experiences fear of being invaded. The comments and random effects can be accepted, but attempts to obtain from the schizoid patient more than what it is, it will lead to confusion and will cause resistance and tendency to care.
The psychologist – psychoanalyst S. Dari marked the importance of the fact that the therapeutic remarks should be made with the use of words and images of the patient to strengthen his sense of reality and inner integrity. Hammer warned against the study with test questions or treatment with the patient in such a way that would make him feel “a case from practice”.
An important part of effective psychotherapy is the normalization of schizoid people. This recommendation would have been useful for schizoid patients of any disorder, because it is difficult to believe that their hyperacute reactions are understood and accepted. Even if they appear to function at a high level, the majority of schizoid people are worried that they are different, inaccessible to the understanding of others. They want people who care about them, to learn their psychology as much as possible, but are afraid that if their inner life is completely open, they appear to be eccentric or even monsters.
Even schizoid personalities, who are confident in the reliability of perception, are not indifferent to the effect they have on people’s diverging. Behaving in such a way that the schizoid personality understands that her inner world is available, the therapist helps her to internalize the experience of subordination without making demands of another person. Over time is accumulated a sufficient self-esteem. So that the patient was able to experience: difficulties may reflect the limitations of others. The overriding wealth of imagination and talent is deeply refreshing for a schizoid person whose emotional reactions remain unconfirmed.
One way to confirm schizoid patient and to not be perceived as an absorbent personality, is the use of literary images to communicate his understanding of the patient’s problems. The psychologist – psychoanalyst Robbins described the early period of his own psychoanalysis as follows:
“When there were long pauses, during which I did not know what to say or how to communicate my feelings experienced on the history of my life, my therapist did not leave me. Sometimes he offered me a “bedtime story” (when Robbins was a child nobody read for him) in shape of plays, literary works and films that were related to the directions and images submitted by me in the course of treatment. My curiosity was intensified and I made a rule to record the material. Particularly Ibsen, Dostoevsky and Kafka have become important source of symbolic material, somewhat like a mirror and clarified my inner feelings. Literature and paintings gave me a symbolic form to what I was trying to express. Most important, this material made it possible for the most important emotional empathy with my analyst”.
Robbins and his colleagues have made a huge contribution to the work of therapy and art therapy and the development of the aesthetic dimension of psychoanalytic work with clients that are aspects of psychotherapy.
Perhaps the most common obstacle to therapeutic progress with schizoid patients – provided that there are strong therapeutic relationship and work is continued “to understanding
- is shared by the therapist and the patient’s tendency to form a sort of emotional cocoon, where they understand each other and expects therapeutic sessions as a respite from the demanding outside world. Schizoid people have a tendency that the empathic therapist may accept involuntary. He tries to make the therapeutic relationships rather change the supporting his life outside the therapeutic office. It may take considerable time before the therapist will note that although the patient develops a lot of insight on almost every session he does not go to social functions is not married, had sexual relations do not improve or if it did not develop any creative projects.
A significant achievement of psychotherapy cab be spread on the external world schizoid patient reached a safe psychological intimacy with the therapist. The therapist is faced with a dilemma: to work to maintain a better functioning of the social and personal lives, while recognizing that the patient is a reminder that he achieves these goals may be perceived as an intrusion, control and lack of need for distance.
Over time, this stress can be analyzed which will deepen the understanding of the schizoid personality of the fact how strong conflict between the desire for intimacy and fear. Here, as in most all aspects of care, timeliness is most important.
Robbins confirmed the importance for the schizoid patient’s will to value the therapist to act and look a “real man” and not simply as a transference object. In recent years the role of the “real” relationship, coexisting with by transfer reactions, rediscovered and emphasized by many practitioners to oriented psychotherapists. This is true for schizoid patients who already have plenty of “how to” attitude and feel the need for active participation of the therapist as a human being which supports some risk in the relationship, capable of playing and humor and the corresponding with patient because of his tendency to hide or avoid the formation of emotional attachment to others. We can assume that when working with schizoid people over the feedback, responsive style of therapy not only obscures the transfer reactions of the patient, but may even make them more accessible to interpretation.