Abnormality - Psychodynamic Approach.

Basis of Psychodynamic approach and Psychoanalysis.

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  • Psycho-dynamic approach
    • Psychoanalysis
      • Limitations
        • Ethical issues: stress of insight
        • Loftus: Repressed memories may be false.
        • Based on Freud's theory of personality, if that is flawed then so is Psychoanalysis,
        • Freud failed to appreciate individual differences
      • Strengths
        • Bergin: Analysed 10,000 patient histories, 80% benefited from psychoanalysis, more effective than eclectic therapies
        • Tschuschke: Investigated long-term psychodynamic treatment. 450+ patients showed the longer the treatments took, the better the outcomes.
      • Techniques
        • Free Association: Patient expresses thoughts as they occur - Freud believed they're determined by unconscious factors which analysis tries to uncover.
        • Therapist Interpretation: Therapists draws tentative conclusions from  free association about possible cause(s) of abnormality. Patients may resist interpretations and display transference.
        • Working Through: 4-5 sessions per week over a matter of years.
    • Basis:
      • Based on the mine and the existence of the UNCONSCIOUS. This model pays great attention to childhood experience.
      • Id, Ego & Superego.
        • Id: Present from birth, the pleasure drive.
        • Ego: Present from age of two and deals with reality by balancing Id and Superego.
        • Superego develops between the ages of three and six, and embodies our sense of right & wrong.
      • Defence mechanisms
      • Psychosexual stages of development.
      • Defence Mechanisms
        • Repression, projection, denial, regression and intellectualisation are all unconscious defences and key dynamic of personality.
      • intended to help patients become aware of long-repressed unconicious feelings and issues by using such techniques as free association.
    • Causes of abnormality:
      • When Ego can't balance Id and Superego then abnormality will occur.
      • E.G childhood trauma repressed - causes imbalance of the adult personality.
        • Ego not developed enough to deal with traumas - so they're repressed. Repression of associated feelings will be re-experienced in later life which can lead to abnormality.
          • E.G. Previously unexpressed anger about the loss is directed inwards towards the self causing depression.
      • Ego defences exert pressure through unconsciously motivated behaviour. Unconscious consists of memories than are almost impossible to bring into concious awareness. Unconscious exerts powerful effect on behaviour or explain its cause.
        • Underlying problem = uncontrollable until brought to conciousness.


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