Psychodynamic Approach

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  • Psychodynamic Approach
    • Freud.
      • Said that abnormal behaviour comes from the unconscious mind.
      • He said there were four key assumptions.
        • 1. Childhood is a critical period in development.
        • 2. All abnormal behaviour is driven by unconscious forces and motives.
        • 3. Abnormal behaviour is started in  unresolved, unconscious conflicts in the mind from childhood.
        • 4. Conflicts could only be resolved by coming to terms with it and assessing each behaviour.
      • He also said there were 3 key elements to the theory.
        • 1. Structure of personality (ID, Superego, Ego)
          • 1. The ID. This is present at birth. The consequences of a strong ID is that it can become selfish, out of control and become a psychopath.
          • 2. The Ego. This develops by the age of 3 (a child becomes more aware that other people have feelings and can't always get their own way. Consequences of a weak ego is that it allows the ID and Superego to dominate.
          • 3. The Superego. This appears around age 5 (a sense of morality passed on by parents - child internalises this). Consequences of a strong Superego is that it could be strict, anxious and obsessive. This may equate to depression, anxiety or OCD.
        • 2. The defence mechanisms in place.
          • Displacement - You redirect your feelings to another target.
          • Regression - you revert back to old usually immature ways.
          • Reaction formation - You turn the feeling into the opposite.
        • 3. Psychosexual stages of development.
          • 1. THE ORAL STAGE. Pleasure gained from oral activites such as sucking and eating. Weaning must be completed to allow the next stage to happen. BIRTH TO 18 MONTHS
          • 2. THE ANAL STAGE. Pleasure gained from passing of faeces. To move on the next stage, they must be potty trained. 18 MONTHS TO 3 YEARS
          • 3. THE OEDIDUS COMPLEX.  Rivalry between child and same sex parent for attention of opposite sex parent. To move on, they must resolves issues and identify with parent. 3 YEARS TO 5 YEARS.
          • 4. THE LATENCY STAGE. Social relationships - no psychosexual focus. No requirements for completion. 6 YEARS TO PUBERTY.
          • 5. THE GENTIAL STAGE. Genitals but not such a degree as phallic stage. All other stages must be completed for this to be completed. PUBERY TO ADULTHOOD.
    • The model attempts to explain the motivating forces determining our behaviour.
    • The Psychodynamic approach tells us that experiences in our early years can affect our emotions, attitudes and behaviour in later life, but without us knowing it is happening. Freud suggested that abnormal behaviour is caused by unresolved conflicts in the unconscious mind. These conflicts create anxiety and we use defence mechanisms such as displacement and denial as protection.


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