Mental Health Essay Sample

Posted: November 20th, 2022

Mental Health Essay Sample

Mental health

Like any other medical and science specialty, mental health relies on theories to explain concepts and ideas. This is based on the awareness that theories introduce structure and conformity to mental health (Scharff, 2014). The present essay compares and contrasts two mental health theories, with the intention of expressing their value to nursing practice. The two theories under review are Erikson’s psychodynamic theory and Rogers’ humanistic theory. Mental Health Essay Sample

Psychodynamic theory was first presented by Erik Erikson in 1968. The theory explains that human develop in stages. At birth, an individual has a superego that was developed at the phallic stage. As the child grows, he or she learns how to internalize values from the environment (such as parents and siblings) in learning the difference between right and wrong. In addition, the child develops an ego that mediates between the superego and id to reduce the conflict between superego’s moralistic perspective and id’s selfish perspective in pursuing instant gratification and pleasure. Besides that, the theory holds that the development of an individual is dependent on cultural influences (ethos), mind (psychological influences), and body (genetic biological programming). It further adds that each individual goes through eight stages of development between birth and death. The first stage is infancy that occurs between birth and eighteen months of age when the child learns to trust. The second stage is early childhood that begins at eighteen months and ends at three years during which time the child learns the difference between shame and autonomy(Cautin&Lilienfeld, 2015). The third is the play age that starts at three years to five years of age when the child learns the difference between guilt and initiative. The fourth stage is school age that starts at six years and ends at twelve years when the child learns about inferiority and industry. The fifth stage is adolescence that starts at twelve years and ends at eighteen years of age when the individual learns about role confusion and identity. The sixth stage is young/early adulthood that starts at eighteen years and ends at thirty-five years when the individual learns about isolation, solidarity and intimacy. The seventh stage is middle adulthood that starts at thirty-five years and ends at fifty-five years when the individual learns about self-absorption and generativity. The final stage is late adulthood that starts at fifty-five years of age when the individual learns about despair and integrity. While the psychodynamic theory seeks to explain human developmentand the problems that are likely to occur at each stage, there are contentions that it is unscientific and falsifiable. For instance, theory explains that thoughts of intimacy begin in early adulthood and yet intimacy problems have been reported among adolescents (Cautin&Lilienfeld, 2015). Mental Health Essay Sample


In comparison is the humanistic theory that was first presented by Carl Rogers in 1959. The theory holds that every living thing, whether human or animal, undergoes positive growth that begins from within and that there are no distinctions with regards to development. It further adds that persons seeking psychiatric help are not patients. Rather, they are clients who seek assistance to help them grow and accept their present situation instead of focusing on past problems. The theory is based on the awareness that humans have a high growth and development potential. The suppression of this potential means that the individual is suffering from a psychiatric issue, and the therapist intervenes by helping the client to actualize the potential through growth and development. At the core of this theory is the concepts of self, specifically ideal self, organismic self and self-concept. Ideal self is created in response to desires. Organismic self is the internal objective that drives growth and is achieved through maturity. Self-concept is based on experiences that influence growth. Unlike psychodynamic theory, humanistic theory is more realistic in acknowledging the importance of self-esteem and positive reinforcement for growth, particularly in childhood when an individual is yet to fulfil his/her potential(Wheeler, 2014).Mental Health Essay Sample

One must accept that there are a range of theories to explain mental health concepts. In the present case, psychodynamic theory has been compared to humanistic theory to explain human development program and its implications for mental health. The analysis shows that humanistic theory would be preferable for application in nursing since it is realistic in acknowledging that growth is a continuous process with no distinct stages. This is useful for nursing personnel since it affirms the view that self-estimate and positive reinforcement are important in ensuring good development and growth while addressing mental health issues.Mental Health Essay Sample


Cautin, R. &Lilienfeld, S. (2015). The encyclopedia of clinical psychology, volume II Cli-E. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Scharff, J. (2014). Clinical supervision of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. London: Karnac Books Ltd.

Wheeler, K. (Eds.). (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: a how-to guide for evidence-based practice (2nded.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company. Mental Health Essay Sample

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