Harry Stack Sullivan: Energy and Interpersonal Relationships
Sullivan’s theory can be used in clinical settings with clients who have:
Anxiety disorders: Anxiety disorders comprise of the anxiety component which is associated with cautious and avoidant behaviours to anticipated threats; by exploring Sullivan’s “not-me” self concept which is associated with intense anxiety, therapist will be able to understand the related thoughts and beliefs.
Depressive disorders: The distinguishing factors of depressive disorders are the presence of the constant sad, empty, irritable mood; Sullivan’s concept of the “need for satisfaction” which includes the physical, emotional and physiological factors which are necessary and important for an individual’s general wellbeing helps to understand the causes of depressive disorders well.
Eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders: This has detrimental effects on the psycho-social and physical elements of an individual. Obsessive compulsive disorders are distinguished by the intrusive preoccupation and repeated behaviours; it can be said that both types of disorders consist of a compulsive element in which they are impelled to complete certain tasks or sets of behaviours. Sullivan’s “Bad-Me” and “Good-Me” concepts are helpful to understand this in which individuals try to avoid the disciplinary outcomes through controlling aspects of their lives, and in the other in which the goal for the individuals is to gain approval.
Personality disorders: Personality disorders associate with pervasive maladaptive inner experience and behaviours that diverge from the conventional cultural norms. Sullivan’s “me-you” concept consists of conjuring a fictional image of self and correlative image of others can be used to understand the paranoia and emotional features of Cluster A and Cluster B personality disorders. In which an individual’s inner experience and behaviours may be tendentious by the inaccurate intentional of patterns of interaction.