School for Social Work
Anxiety, Anxiety-Treatment, Psychodynamic psychotherapy, Relationism, Psychodynamic theory, Relational theory, Theoretical
This theoretical study explores the phenomenon of anxiety and how it has been understood, articulated and treated over time in psychoanalysis. Formulations of anxiety in classical theory, object relations, attachment, interpersonal, relational and trauma theory will be explored, offering a counterpoint to the current medical model in which anxiety is primarily understood as a symptom to be eradicated through medication and "evidence based" treatments. The study argues that anxiety only exists within a relational and systemic context, and that reducing anxiety to a set of discrete disorders requiring prescriptive treatment protocols often overlooks the complexity of individual experience and need as well as discounting psychodynamic treatment options that are also effective. Finally the study will end with a composite case study that further illustrates the theories discussed, and that also demonstrates the functions and meanings of anxiety within a relational context.
Weinbaum, Daniel E., "Theorizing anxiety : psychodynamic exploration beyond the medical model" (2014). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.