AS Psychology Psychodynamic approach

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  • The Psychodynamic approach
    • Basic assumptions
      • Unconscious processes, of which we are unaware, determine our behaviour
      • Instincts motivate our behaviour and energise the mind
      • Childhood experiences determine adult personality
      • Personality has three parts
        • ID
        • Ego
        • Superego
    • Freud's pychosexual stages of development
      • Oral
        • Infants pleasure centres around the mouth
      • anal
        • The child gains pleasure from retention and expulsion of faeces
      • phallic
        • The sexual instinct is focused on the genital area
      • latent
        • The sexual drive is present, albeit dormant. Freud stated that the sexual energy is focused on peer friendships, school
      • genital
        • Sexual interests mature and are directed to gaining heterosexual pleasure through intercourse
    • Defence mechanisms
      • Denial
        • Reducing anxiety by refusing to see the unpleasant aspects of reality
      • Displacement
        • The mind redirects emotions from a dangerous object to a safe object, that is redirecting emotions to a safer outlet
      • Rationalisation
        • constructing a logical justification for a decision that was originally arrived at through a different mental process
      • Sublimation
        • The refocusing or channelling of impulses to socially accepted behaviours
    • Evaluation
      • Strength
        • Freud acknowledged the importance of childhood experiences in determining adult personality
        • Freud's theories offer casual explanations for underlying atypical psychological conditions
        • Freud's methods of psychoanalysis are still used in psychiatry today
      • Weakness
        • Freud's theories are considered to be unfalsifiable and therefore unscientific
        • Use of the case study method lacks generalisability
        • Freud's controversial idea that infants display a sexual urge has received enormous criticism
        • The effectiveness of psychoanalysis as a therapy is questioned in comparison to the proportion of patients who recover spontaneously from atypical disorders


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