Mental Health Reflection Essay

Mental health is refered to as the term for the description of the level of emotional or cognitive well-being. It can also be defined from the opposite as the absence of the mental disorder. It can include the capability of the human being to enjoy life, as well as find the balance between life activities and attempts to reach psychological resilience. It is accepted, and World Health Organization admits that there is no official definition of mental health, because many cultural differences, subjectivity and competing professional theories influence that very definition.

Mental health counseling is defined by Spruill and Fong as an aggregate of the unique scientific, educational, and professional contributions of the scholarly disciplines, advice, and psychology. Mental health counseling can be formal and informal. Precise involves seeing the clinician, while casual can include home sessions, the help of relatives in coping with problems. Another vital issue to mention is multicultural counseling, which stands for the greater awareness of the counselor on regard of the clients’ cultures, differences, values, and diversities. In this case, knowledge of the culture assists in understanding the client better and therefore finding the best way to help him or her.

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Speaking about mental health, three parts of the psychic apparatus should be mentioned in the first row- Id, Ego, and Super-ego. All three notions were defined in the structural model of psycho, introduced by Sigmund Freud, and are theoretical constructs using which mental life in general and psychiatric health, in particular, are described. The Id includes the unorganized side of the personality structure that contains the necessary drives. The Id is said to be unconscious by its definition. This is what Freud wrote in this regard in 1933: ”It is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality, what little we know of it we have learnt from our study of the dream-work and of the construction of neurotic symptoms, and most of this is of a negative character and can be described only as a contrast to the ego. We approach the id with analogies: we call it a chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitations … It is filled with energy reaching it from the instincts, but it has no organization, produces no collective will, but only a striving to bring about the satisfaction of the instinctual needs subject to the observance of the pleasure principle”. The notion of id is opposite to super-ego and is the precedent to the ego. It is responsible for such primary drives as sex, food and aggressive impulses; it is ruled by pleasure and pain principles, it doesn’t have the sense of time, it is egocentric and amoral, illogical, sexual and infantile. The Ego includes that organized part of the personality structure which contains perceptual, defensive, executive and intellectual-cognitive, functions. Conscious awareness is situated in the ego, even though not all of the ego operations are conscious. Freud in “The Ego and the Id” in 1923 wrote that “…the ego is that part of the id which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world … The ego represents what may be called reason and common sense, in contrast to the id, which contains the passions … in its relation to the id it is like a man on horseback, who has to hold in check the superior strength of the horse; with this difference, that the rider tries to do so with his strength, while the ego uses borrowed forces”. According to the Freud’s theory, the ego goes between the super-ego, the id and the external world. Its fundamental goal is to identify the balance between mentioned primitive drives and surrounding reality, but still satisfying the super-ego and id. Safety of the individual is its primary concern. There are ego’s defense mechanisms, which are usually used by ego when the behavior of id is in conflict with reality, society morals, taboos, etc. The Super-ego contains that organized part of the personality structure, predominantly but not entirely unconscious, which comprises the individual’s spiritual goals, ego ideals, and the psychic agency or conscience, which criticizes and prohibits human’s fantasies, drives, feelings, and actions. According to Freud, super-ego is the symbolic internalization of cultural regulation and the figure of father. Super-ego apparently stands on the opposite side of the id desires and acts as the conscience, which keeps individual’s morality. It is formed during the time of dissolution of Oedipus complex by the identification with the father figure. Super-ego keeps the father’s character.

Adler and Jung, as classical theorists on regard of the mental health, should also be mentioned. Adler in 1912 in his book “The Neurotic Character” argued that the idea of the human personality can be easily explained teleologically, distinct threads that are dominated by the principal goal of the human being’s unconscious self-ideal to transform such feelings as inferiority to superiority or completeness of self. He argues that ethical and social demands encounter self-ideal desires. Jung disagreed with Freud upon the basis of the definition of the unconscious. Jung considered Freud’s theory in this regard incomplete and too negatively directed.

Cognitive-behavioral theories are best modeled as a general category of methods, or a series of related theories that have evolved from the clinical experiences, theoretical writings, and empirical studies of cognitively oriented and behavioral psychologists. There is no universal definition of cognitive-behavioral approach. The individual methods are combined with standard techniques, assumptions, and research strategies, but keep views diversity regarding the role cognitions play in the change of behavior. The hyphenated notion “cognitive-behavioral” depicts the importance of both cognitive and behavioral approaches to understanding and assisting individuals. The hyphen brings together behavioral and cognitive theoretical points of view, each with its intervention strategies and unsubstantiated assumptions.

V Axes diagnostic system is implemented throughout the mental health system to provide objective, accurate overview of the evaluation completed by a clinician. The V Axes diagnosis introduces a total picture of the patient. As with all mental health issues, a culturally specific overview of the V Axes diagnostic system is critical.

The DSM-IV involves a multi-axial approach on regard diagnosis of mental disorders because different factors such as general medical conditions, personality/mental retardation disorders, clinical syndromes, psycho-social and environmental problems along with other factors as social relationships, personal hygiene, occupational success, and risk of doing harm to self or others in the life of the human being will have an effect on mental health.

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