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As a professional psychologist who would evaluate, observe and analyze the mental and behavioral processes of others in an attempt to diagnose the problem, I would have to be equally conversant with most of the renowned work of previous scholar in the field in terms of the concept, theories, observation and diagnosis made (Corey, 2008). I come from a neighborhood that from my own observation has a high rate of divorce and children are highly affected. For this reason I would like to deal with troubled teens who are between 13-18 years, so that I can assist them in coping with the physical changes they are experiencing in their body and the changes they face from their environment.
According to Freud, the human unconscious aspect is divided into three parts; the Id, ego and superego (Henderson & Thompson, 2010). The Id seeks to have instant gratification and should be controlled by the superego which is nurtured by proper guidance from parents and guardians. Conversely when teenagers lack the proper guidance from parents as a result of a divorce then the Id supersedes the superego and they are likely to be involved in early pregnancies, crimes and juvenile behavior. This has in turn made the teenagers to view their future as bleak and they do not wish to be better than what they see all around them; a state of near normlessness.
According to Carl Jung, in his theory of analytical psychology he asserts that the unconscious part of the human mind is the most potent one in their decisions and day to day life (Nevid, 2011). Accordingly, dreams are not just ambiguous and unintended, but are ideas, beliefs and feeling that individuals have and have not readily shared with the conscious self or with others (Henderson & Thompson, 2010). In this case, in order to understand an individual it is important to also consider their dreams. In application, most teenagers are given a dream diary, where they are expected to write down their dreams and they can be analyzed to get to understand the unconscious part of the person. Additionally dreams can reveal one’s fears, hopes, faith and mostly convictions.
With this in mind, after graduating I seek to partner with a nearby health facility and offer my services in combating the aforementioned disaster. Teenager are known to be rowdy and seldom get anyone to give them an understanding ear, they are always assumed to be at the rebellious stage and not that they have a problem at home that is making them not to be able to fully adapt to the changes they are experiencing. Furthermore, young adults need the proper guidance to become responsible adults; being a responsible adult does not just come automatically, it is a product of deliberate actions taken by all who are responsible.
In order to be able to understand the teenager and their emotional challenges, it would be eminent to involve the parents and guardians. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, in order to be able to fully understand the emotionally related issues, the basic ones have to be solved (Shaffer & Kipp, 2010). In this case, parents should be urged to provide their children with the necessary basic needs as much as possible these include food, shelter and clothing. Then they should offer security in terms of safety and in terms of longevity of their relationship (Nevid, 2011). Once the teenagers feel secure they can easily be able to communicate their emotions and the cognitive challenges can be dealt with accordingly. After this has been established then we can easily move on to the next stage where Piaget’s theory of cognitive development will be used to analyze the behaviors of the teenage in relation to their immediate environment.
Piaget asserts that cognitive development forms the core of any human development as it allows for understanding of knowledge in terms of internal and external environment (Corey, 2008). The theory is based on the fact that children construct an understanding of the world around them through analyzing the discrepancies that exist between what they are taught by teachers and parents and what they experience firsthand in their immediate environment. In this case, the teachers and parents require teaching by not only words but by actions and in instances where there is a clash between the two; they should take the step of explaining to the children why it is so. This is to ensure that the children do not believe that it is okay to deviate from what has been taught (Nevid, 2011). For instance, if a parent teaches their children never to be involved in violence, then the child sees the parent getting into a fight with someone who wanted to steal their wallet, then they should explain that they were just protecting themselves and would never mean to hurt anyone.
Piaget believed that intelligence has a nature that is well adapted to transformational and static aspects of life and the way in which we approach these aspects has immense effects on the children (Newman & Newman, 2012). An operative aspect can be manipulated to adapt to transformations and changes in the lives of children. These changes could involve a divorce or separation of the parents, a death in the family or even change from one school to another (Henderson & Thompson, 2010). Cognitively children will grow up understanding how to be able to adapt to changes in their lives without acting out or feeling under too much pressure without any outlet. Additionally, children will learn to evaluate what matters in their lives and what they would rather have and what they would rather change consequently becoming responsible young adults.
Behavioral analysis of the teenager can also aid in conditioning them by use of both negative and positive incentives and stimuli. According to Pavlov’s classical conditioning theory, conditioning takes time and deliberate effort in order for one to associate a behavior with a consequent. The use of counterconditioning especially in teenagers has had immense success and can be used to aid them from seeking instant gratification especially once they feel they have been provoked (Henderson & Thompson, 2010). At times teenagers, may have differences in opinions especially with their parents and need to rebel may lead them into engaging in risky sexual and socially aggressive actions. Counterconditioning is meant to condition them to react calmly in such instances and later on communicate their feelings soberly without jumping to conclusions about their parents.
As for my personal life, I would like to be a parent one day, have a family of my own and the Erikson Psychosocial theory would come in handy while bringing up a family (Sigelman & Rider, 2011). The eight stages of development articulated by Erikson span from the time that one is an infant to old age and outline the virtues, the psychosocial crisis experienced, the significant relationships to be ensured and the existential question at each and every stage (Newman & Newman, 2012). It makes it easy for a parent to be able to understand their children and the challenges that they may be going through. The fact that the theory gives both outcomes when different parenting styles are applied is eye opening for instance in the infant stage if the caregiver does not maintain a close attachment to the baby there is bound to be mistrust while if the opposite is ensured there is bound to be trust from the child (Shaffer & Kipp, 2010).
The Erikson psychosocial stages can be used to analyze a young adult and diagnose the core root of a psychological problem that is usually expressed in the form of physical ailments. For instance insomnia, anxiety attacks and loss of the ability to speak can be as a result of psychological issues that have not been solved. Once resolved by understanding an individual, they can be able to function properly and mend their relationships.
With all this knowledge in mind, I do believe that I have enough tools to assist the people in my neighborhood to a brighter and better future. The knowledge will also come in handy when I have my own family and will help me in dealing with different developmental issues and stages that the children will be going through. I also believe that I have a better understanding of myself as the stages in life that am going through.
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