17 Jun 2008

Free association of a stressed out mind

*Click it to Big It*

Ever heard of Free association?
Free association belongs to the psychodynamic family of thinking, thought up by that funny bearded bloke, Freud I think his name was.

I am so glad that I am training to be a counsellor and not a psychologists or even worse a psychiatrist. If I had chosen one of the other disciplines, that would mean learning so much more theory than my over ripe ready to pop brain could take. That is my excuse for just briefly explaining the reason/theory behind the doodle.

Free association is encouraging you to say or write whatever is on your mind at the time.
Its one of the basic techniques of classic psychoanalysis in which the client says everything that comes to mind without editing or censoring. Then its the therapist job to interpret something from this or not. It might just be a load of old random rubbish, it might be something really obvious or there might be something in there that totally surprises you. This is I suppose why it is also called the talking cure.
If I was to use Free Association in a counselling session it would be to encourage a client to talk about/recollect past experiences that may have been painful for them. As the counsellor there wouldn't be much input from me at all, just listening carefully and being aware of the clients body language.
It can have many creative uses as well, from simple brain storming, dream work to revision. In my case I doodled myself and then went with the first word that described how I was feeling at the time. This happened to be 'Tired' and I just went with that till I worked my round to 'Random'. Click on the doodle if you want to see what I wrote more clearly, if you can read my writing that is.

Feel free to ask me about my free associations and maybe try it yourself :)

Another example of free association
A rather cool example of how free association works in the written form.

Free Association the wikipedia definition
This has links to other areas of psychology, but be warned its wikipedia not a well respected scholarly resource.

Well that was my brief introduction into Free Association, it is by no means comprehensive, I just hope I haven't confused anyone.

I am going to be doing a lot more counselling posts once I have finished up with my coursework. It will give me the chance to digest what I have learnt and hopefully you will enjoy reading them.


  1. The first thing that comes to my mind is.... people suck.

    Does this mean I need psychiatric help?? (and to think I almost went to school to be a shrink. they would have locked me up so fast my head would STILL be spinning!)

  2. I'm actually looking forward to more of your counseling posts. :)

  3. Balderdash! Oh, sorry....I was watching the news.
    I've done a little free association; I've also seen a psychologist. I'd love to do counseling. Don't shrinks have the highest suicide rate of professionals? (Psychiatrists)
    My mind is still like swiss cheese.
    Keep up the great work, girl...

  4. @petra, go with that thought and see where you end up :)

    No it does not mean that,life is shit and people do suck sometimes. Unless you think all people are vacuum cleaners? Then we may need to have a rethink.

    I think you would be great in the counselling field, a sense of humour is a great quality :)

    @chica, that means a lot! I know I have still not finished that post from ages ago about confidentiality but its there nearly finished. I just need to do my coursework before I can concentrate on posts here. If you have anything in particular you would like info on let me know, as I will be revisiting these posts :)

    @gracie, balderdash and piffle to you :)

    What did you think of free association?

    By counselling, do you mean be a counsellor? If so I think you would be excellent at it, especially in expressive therapy where you could tap into your creative side.

    Not sure about the suicide rate for shrinks, I will have a look into that.

    Thanks :)

  5. The first thing that comes to my mind is: breasts.

    It is the same every day, mind.

  6. @Lord Likely, what comes next?

  7. I have no knowledge of free association as a therapy tool, but I do think it would be a good warm-up exercise when sitting down to write. Maybe that's what I need to do.

  8. @Hayley, I don't have much knowledge about it as a therapy tool either, its a steep steep learning curve for me :)

    Its a great tool for writing skills, give it a whirl :)

  9. Are you supposed to match up the words? Cuz that's what I'm doing, and it's a fun game.

    sweaty bed
    overwhelmed towel
    disco college
    throbbing doodling
    naked photographs

  10. @.45, That would be word association and not free association.

    You can work with these:


    Explain overwhelmed towel to me?

  11. Isn't word association more like you give me a word, and I give you one back (the first that comes to mind)?

    An overwhelmed towel could either be saturated, or too small for coverage (like you forgot to bring a bath towel in for a shower and have to dry off with a hand-towel—I guess that fits both definitions).

  12. I meant:

    Cherry -think of word--->

    then the next one.

    Okay :)

    Thanks for explaining overwhelmed towel, I thought it was going to be something seedy like a cum sock :)

  13. Now who's mind's in the gutter? I like it.

    It's funny to have a smiley emoticon next to "cum sock"

  14. .45 ---------> gutter

    I felt naughty writing it, so added the smiley to feel less rude :)

  15. Feel free to release your inner naughty anytime. I won't tell anyone, honest.

    I meant to comment on doodling yourself nude in the moth post, but that's usually about when my connection drops. The landlords' kids spend way too much time gaming online. Either that, or looking for porn (I found a large shared porn drive on the network.) ;)

  16. @.45, Its normally your comments that provoke such a reaction.

    Your were the only person to comment on my doodle nudity, your connection dropped or it was too much for you?

    Give the kids a sock a each.

  17. It wasn't too much, there was just nothing I could do about it cuz I was chained under the bed.

    The kids weren't fooling me by naming that folder "pr0n".

  18. @.45 Gosh, who would do such a thing to you?

    Lmao at the kids creativity, well distinct lack of it. They should of used 'algebra homework' nobody would of touched it then.

  19. Not doing any serious travel this year. I'll see about requesting 2 weeks off at the same time next year.

  20. keep at with the course work it will be worth it in the long run.

    just wanted to make a comment about the differences of studying to be a psychologist a psychiatrist and a counsellor.

    a psychologist will earn about 10,000 to 20,000 a year more than a counsellor, and a psychiatrist will earn about 80,000 to 100,000 more a year than a counsellor, now, thats a lot of money. nad if you are young enough and clever enough it is well worth the extra 5 years studying for your medical degree.

    blog still looking good depsite your implodingness