Ego Psychology: The Role Of Stress In Social Work

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As helping professionals, social workers are constantly faced challenging cases and resistant clients. Historically, resistance was defined as a state of unconsciousness; however, this perception has changed and the term has been redefined as a disagreement between the forces of the personality such as the id, ego, and superego (Teitelbaum, 1991). The shift towards personality is referred as Ego Psychology introduced by Freud in 1923 (Goldstein, 1995). The ego enforces the reality-principle and helps individuals adapt to the external world (Goldstein, 1995). The ego mediates between the id and the superego, and it causes the delays in pleasure, drives, and impulses of the id until the situation (reality) changes or is a socially acceptable.…show more content…
In the case of Ms. Casper, her life stressor refers to the family’s involvement with CPS, which caused her internal stress as a result of dealing with such a traumatic experience. As emphasized by Gitterman and Germain (2008), the stress that results from life stressors can affect people psychologically and emotionally. Furthermore, the stress caused by traumatic life experiences can stimulate a person to feel angry, anxious and hopeless (Gitterman & Germain, 2008). Indeed, it can be stated that Ms. Casper’s expressions of anger towards me originated from the life stressor she was…show more content…
Casper had over her life stressor (her family’s involvement with CPS), was another factor that contributed to her resistant behavior. As noted by Gitterman and Germain (2008), “Lack of control over stressor has a profound effect” (p. 66). The lack of control experienced by Ms. Casper could have triggered negative feelings associated with her past. An example of an event when Ms. Casper did not have control over the situation was when her partner, Shanna’s father, abandoned her for another family. This life stressor, abandonment, could have affected Ms. Casper’s ability to process and cope with the fact of raising her daughter as a single mother in poverty. As indicated by Gitterman and Germain (2008), coping with this kind of life stressor may require additional time and effort. Moreover, coping in these cases, involves using personal and environmental resources (Gitterman & Germain, 2008). Personal resources “include motivation, management of feelings, problem solving, relationship skills, a hopeful outlook, optimal levels of self-esteem and self-direction” (Gitterman & Germain, 2008, p. 67). As for environmental resources, coping involves the use of external resources such as social service institutions, community, relatives, friends, coworkers, and neighbors (Gitterman & Germain, 2008, p. 67). (conclusion sentence connecting with Ms.

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