Interpersonal Skills, Psychodynamic Approach, And Solutions For A Case Study

Interpersonal skills needed for working with Patrick


Save Time On Research and Writing
Hire a Pro to Write You a 100% Plagiarism-Free Paper.
Get My Paper

Interpersonal skills needed for working with Patrick

Working with children is much more difficult than working with adults. Thus, there are few interpersonal skills, which are necessary to dealing with children like Patrick. The first skill in the list is Patience, because it is the most important skill needed when dealing with children who are as abusive and aggressive as Patrick is. These children have different understanding than adults for which it is frustrating while dealing with them (Koprowska 2014). The next is the capability to hide annoyance. Children can easily understand even slight change in the adult’s attitude thus, it is important to hide tiredness as well as annoyance else they might feel demotivated. Keeping calm at emergencies is another most needed interpersonal skill needed to deal with Patrick. Working with children like Patrick in large groups needs a calm presence because these children will look at the adult for their further reactions. The next in the list is Communication because it is important so that the children can related to situations when they are learning new skills or understanding new concepts or ideas. Lastly, Enthusiasm, because these children must also understand that adults who are working with them are comfortable being their there company (Merrell and Gimpel 2014). Most adults usually reject children like Patrick so if they find that someone is happy and likes spending time with them then definitely they will open up more.

Assumptions and theories of the psychodynamic approach

Psychoanalysis by Freud was the actual psychodynamic theory but as a whole, this approach involves the theories of Jung (1964), Adler (1927) and Erikson (1950) (Nemiroff and Colarusso 2013). The basic assumptions of psychodynamic approach are as follows-

Save Time On Research and Writing
Hire a Pro to Write You a 100% Plagiarism-Free Paper.
Get My Paper
  • The very first assumption is that the important causes of behavior according to this theory have their emergence in the unconscious
  • Second assumption says that all the adult behavior as well as feelings are the reflection of their childhood experiences
  • According to the third assumption states that the different parts of unconscious mind that is the id, ego and superego are in a continuous struggle
  • Lastly, this approach assumes that all human behavior including the slip of tongue are previously determined behaviors. This means that every behavior has a cause or a reason (Colarusso and Nemiroff 2013).

Freud through his structural model has explains the three parts of individual’s personality which mainly comprises of id, ego and superego (Rennison 2015). Jung, who was a supporter of Freud, came up with concepts likepsychic energy, personal, collective unconscious, and archetypes. However, Adler believed that all humans are born with a sense of inferiority which is proves how helpless a just born is. Along with this, Adler has also emphasized on birth order, which he considers as a major factors in development. Lastly, Erickson considers that an individual stage has certain barriers, which they need to cross so that they can become successful in later stages of life (Shardlow et al. 2015).

Analysis of the case study in context to the psychodynamic approach

Assumptions and theories of the psychodynamic approach

According to psychodynamic perspectives, the condition of Patrick can be said to be not the actual reflection of his real personality structure rather it represents the signs of intrapsychic tensions in him. The nature of the conflicts as well as the causes of motivation that is the reason for the anxieties, which guides Patrick towards his inappropriate behaviors, can be widely varied (Gabbard 2014). Thus, it can be that he is in an unconscious need for punishment or there might be a hidden desire to punish his parents or his effort to manifest his masculinity. Whatever the actual need is for Patrick, the purpose behind his symptoms like aggression and misconduct is to please these needs. Thus, from the psychodynamic perspective it can be said for Patrick’s condition the main reason is that the procedure through which ego, ego ideal and superego emerges, has gone awry. Therefore, Patrick is having difficulty in balancing these three mental structures of his and so he is unable to bring them at equilibrium (Siegel 2015).

Solutions for the problems identified in the case

The main problem identified in Patrick is his aggressive and inappropriate behavior. For these the main solution is the love and support from his parental figures, teachers as well as peers. Apart from that,psychotherapy and behavioral therapies can also guide Patrick to manage his issues. Through the therapies the family of Patrick should also brought into the loop where it will become an opportunity for the family members to learn the best ways to communicate with the child (Reynolds et al. 2012). Moreover, in addition to these pharmacotherapycan also be beneficial for Patrick. Though there is no particular pharmacotherapy for Patrick but for specific symptoms, there are certain beneficial drugs (Gorman et al. 2015). Therefore, medicines can improve Patrick’s attention as well as enhance his inhibitory activity; moreover, medicines can further improve his capacity so that he is benefited from other psychosocial interventions.

Ethical considerations important for working with Patrick

The social workers has several set rules or guiding principles which can help them in making perfect decisions by doing justice to the profession they are in. These decisions are considered best for client like Patrick, which might contradict with what might have done in personal lives of the social workers. The first ethical consideration that social workers should take care of is to maintain a healthy and appropriate boundary and from the very beginning, the relationship must be very much professional (Banks 2012). Confidentiality is another ethical consideration, which is essential when working with children like Patrick because violating confidentiality can destroy the rapport established with the child. Trust factoris also necessary with the children, their families as well as with the overall community (Reamer 2013). Trust is important because if though the client is a child but it is important to support their self-determination and breaking their confidentiality can actually have an impact on their trust. Social workers should also be honest as well as responsible towards their clients and overall to their work. Children today are fast learner of technologies so while dealing with them one has to be a competent user of technology, because sharing the personal information and activities on social media with the child can be unethical (Parrott 2014).

Analysis of the case study in context to the psychodynamic approach

Usefulness of psychodynamic approach for understanding human behavior

The psychodynamic approach mainly pays attention on how the internal processes encourage human behavior. It has been observed that in the early childhood experiences the emotions, unconscious as well as conscious mental activities of individuals play a vital role.  Therefore, based on the perspective it has been found that emotions have an important part to play in the human behavior (Gabbard 2014). Thus, it can be said that how a person will react or behave in a particular situation are shaped by his or her feelings. According to the topographical theory of mind, it states that human behavior is motivated by conscious, unconscious and preconscious mind. Moreover, the childhood experience one had in his or her early days will have a necessary role to play in building human experience. Abuse experience or observing such acts can inbuilt an emotional issue within the child which will be reflected in adulthood.  Thus, as per the psychodynamic theory humans act as per their unconscious processes as well as impulses. Apart from all these psychodynamic approaches also helps with psychological treatments related to human behavior that are still in use, for instance Rorschach inkblot test and assessment of dreams.

Learning about myself

Psychodynamic approach has taught me that the human functioning I acquire like every other human being is because of the association of drives and the forces within me.  I understood that the main interaction is between the unconscious and the various structures of personality that I have.  I further came to know that what my personality is today as an adult is actually the outcome of my childhood experiences. Thus, psychodynamic approach actually made me realize that my childhood experiences had a very important role to play in shaping up my personality. Reading through this approach has also enlightened me with the fact that the way I behave is determined by unconscious activity. Therefore, unconscious mind also has a powerful impact. Moreover, like every other human being I too possess certain inborn drives that in a way activate my mind to encourage my behavior as I am developing throughout my life. Thus, my psyche or the unconscious mind, which comprises my personality, is divided into three parts- Id, which works as per the pleasure principle, Ego that works as per the reality principle and lastly, superego which works as per the morality principle.  Therefore, whenever I am anxious this means that my unconscious mind is in a conflict with the conscious part of my mind.

Solutions for the problems identified in the case

Comment of my suitability for social care work

I personally feel after dealing with a case like Patrick, that studying psychology has been beneficial for me as I am working in a social care.  Psychology taught me the science of human behavior as well as mind, which is actually helping me in providing practical as well as emotional support to those people who are unable to manage it on their own due to their disability, illness or ageing. Having studied psychology it becomes easier for me to understand a child’s developmental as well as identity needs, their methodological understanding, about their family or caring environment. I can further find it comfortable for suggesting about their strategies related to their interventions. Therefore, I feel psychology as well as my practical case handlings will guide me in the end to have a positive impact on other’s lives. Moreover, I feel I can better identify the various ways to improvise the therapeutic relationships, identify the factors affecting the chronic illnesses and the demands of the daily life and thus, guide the people better to cope with their difficulties in a much confident way.


Thus, to conclude that in this report it can be said that Patrick whose case has been identified with aggressive and inappropriate behavior since childhood is at the residential care home currently. The interpersonal skills a social worker will need to work with children like Patrick are mainly patience, capability to hide frustration or annoyance, being calm at emergencies, communication and enthusiasm. However, the psychodynamic approach has been discussed here which helps in understanding the human behavior involving the theories of Jung (1964), Adler (1927) and Erikson (1950). Patrick’s case can be easily analyzed with the help of psychodynamic perspective because this approach highlights the importance of childhood experience, which plays a huge role in shaping one’s personality. Lastly, studying the psychodynamic approach I learnt that the functioning I poses as a human is due to the association between my drives and forces within me. Moreover, studying psychology and dealing cases like Patrick can help in my future social care works because I feel it can guide me more in having a positive impact on other’s life by understanding their behavior and mind.

The case study provided is about a 14years old boy name Patrick martin. This child was there in the care at the age of six months because his father was in prison and his mother was having postnatal depression. However, he returned home but again came back to the care within 5 months. At very early age, he started to beg as well as steal because he got the encouragement from his mother. He uses to stay out late playing with older boys who made him harm others. Thus, he started taking cigarettes and alcohol as a reward from his friends in small amounts. Moreover, his behavior in school was also inappropriate which mainly reflects in the playground where he showed aggressive behavior to his classmate. At present, he is under the Child residential care where neither his mother nor his siblings want to meet him because of this abusive and aggressive behavior. Patrick is having difficulty with his fine and gross motor skills and often complains about headache.

The aim of this report is to explain the interpersonal skills needed to deal with Patrick, the case related assumptions and theories, suggested solutions, ethical considerations followed by a reflection of this case study.

Banks, S., 2012. Ethics and values in social work. Palgrave Macmillan.

Colarusso, C.A. and Nemiroff, R.A., 2013. Adult development: A new dimension in psychodynamic theory and practice. Springer Science & Business Media.

Gabbard, G.O., 2014. Psychodynamic psychiatry in clinical practice. American Psychiatric Pub.

Gorman, D.A., Gardner, D.M., Murphy, A.L., Feldman, M., Bélanger, S.A., Steele, M.M., Boylan, K., Cochrane-Brink, K., Goldade, R., Soper, P.R. and Ustina, J., 2015. Canadian guidelines on pharmacotherapy for disruptive and aggressive behaviour in children and adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, or conduct disorder. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 60(2), pp.62-76.

Jung, C.G., 2014. The structure and dynamics of the psyche(Vol. 8). Routledge.

Koprowska, J., 2014. Communication and interpersonal skills in social work. Learning Matters.

Merrell, K.W. and Gimpel, G., 2014. Social skills of children and adolescents: Conceptualization, assessment, treatment. Psychology Press.

Nemiroff, R.A. and Colarusso, C.A., 2013. The race against time: Psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in the second half of life. Springer Science & Business Media.

Parrott, L., 2014. Values and ethics in social work practice. Learning Matters.

Ramachandran, V.S., 2012. Encyclopedia of human behavior(Vol. 3). Academic Press.

Reamer, F.G., 2013. Social work values and ethics. Columbia University Press.

Rennison, N., 2015. Freud And Psychoanalysis: Everything You Need To Know About Id, Ego, Super-Ego and More. Oldcastle Books.

Reynolds, S., Wilson, C., Austin, J. and Hooper, L., 2012. Effects of psychotherapy for anxiety in children and adolescents: A meta-analytic review. Clinical psychology review, 32(4), pp.251-262.

Shardlow, S., Aldgate, J., Gibson, A., Brearley, J., Daniel, B., Statham, D., Sheppard, M., Macdonald, G., Marsh, P., Walker, S. and Doel, M., 2015. Handbook for practice learning in social work and social care: knowledge and theory. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Siegel, D.J., 2015. The developing mind: How relationships and the brain interact to shape who we are. Guilford Publications.