The Psychodynamic Approach + Dream Analysis

  • Created by: chlopayne
  • Created on: 16-04-19 15:00
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  • The Psycho-dynamic Approach
    • Key assumptions
      • The influence of childhood experiences
        • Events in our childhood influence our adult lives.
          • Importance of relationships. Our childhood relationships are a template or adult relationships.
            • Psychosexual development. Five stages are oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital. The id, ego and superego develop during these stages.
              • Oral stage: 0-18 months. Libido is focused on the mouth - breastfeeding. The child's ego begins to form.
              • Anal stage: 18 months - 3. Focused on the anus - toilet training. Ego develops as they learn to delay their gratification. ID has to wait to be satisfied.
              • Phallic stage: 3-5. Focus on the genitals, on the opposite sex parent. Ego has formed, superego isn't present. Oedipus complex for boys / Electra complex for girls. Internalistion of their same sex parent which becomes the superego.
              • Latency stage: 5-puberty. Not particularly important. Focus on knowledge and understanding the world.
              • Genital stage: onwards. Focused on the genitals, but gratification is received from opposite sex, not parents. Adult personality is set, issues in the first stages will be revisited - repressed into unconscious.
      • The unconscious mind
        • Our conscious mind is unaware or what thoughts and emotions occur in the unconscious.
          • These thoughts and feelings can have an effect on our conscious mind.
        • Conscious =  what we are currently thinking and feeling - aware of. Preconscious = not currently thinking about but are aware about them. Unconscious = irrational, ruled by pleasure seeing. Unaware of them and how they're affecting us.
        • Ego defence mechanisms - repression, displacement + projection. Ego protects itself from unconscious thoughts and feelings.
      • Tripartite personality
        • Our personality is not one united whole, split into three parts - id, ego and superego.
        • Freud argued that conflict between these three parts can lead of problems and mental disorders.
    • Dream Analysis
      • The aim of psychodynamic therapy is to help bring conflicts into the conscious mind to be dealt with.
        • Freud claimed  one way the mind expresses it's unconscious thoughts is through dreams.
      • Main components
        • Dreams as wish fulfilment
          • Freud believed that all dreams were the unconscious fulfilment of wishes that could not be satisfied in the conscious mind.
          • Dreams therefore protect the sleeper (primary-process thought), but also allow some expression to these buried urges (wish fulfi lment)
        • The symbolic nature of dreams
          • Dreams allow us to fulfil our unconscious wishes and desires, the actual content of a dream is often expressed symbolically.
            • Dreams are filtered through layers of symbolism, allowing to fulfil our wishes, but still protecting our conscious from harmful content of the unconscious.
        • Dreamwork
          • The latent content of a dream is transformed into manifest content through the process of dreamwork.
            • These are methods used by the conscious to transform  wishes and desires of unconscious into symbols so they can be expressed in dreams without causing problems to the conscious mind.
        • Role of the therapist
          • Interpretation of the dream is a tool used to access the unconscious.
            • A patients talks the therapist through the actual content of their dream, and the therapist guides the patient in uncovering the unconscious content.
      • Evaluation
        • Effectiveness
          • Based his theories on interactions with his patients.
          • Methodological issues: research into dreaming is conducted in laboratories. It can be questioned whether the sleep/dream state is as authentic as when under normal conditions,
            • Ecological validity is questioned.
          • Subjectivity: Interpreting the manifest content and coming up with its underlying meaning (latent content) relies on the subjective interpretation of the therapist
        • Ethical issues
          • Time consuming - takes many months to get to the root of the problem.
          • The therapy is also very expensive, not available on the NHS.
            • Due to the cost, it's not accessibly for everyone.
          • The therapist takes the expert role, off ering the patient insight into their unconscious,  the patient is reliant on the therapist in making progress through the therapy.
          • False memory syndrome - a condition in which a person’s identity and relationships are affected by believed but false memories of traumatic experiences.
          • Emotional harm - a therapist may guide a client towards an insight or interpretation that proves to be emotionally distressing.
            • Although this insight may be necessary for recovery, the distress caused may be greater than the distress that the client is experiencing as a result of current problems.
    • Sigmund Freud 19th century. Challenge the view that mental disorders were caused by physical illness.
      • He proposed that psychological factors could cause mental illnesses.
    • Evaluation of the approach
      • Useful?
        • Wide variety of therapies - dream analysis, psychodrama and free association.
        • More effective than other forms of therapy, not concerned with current symptoms, but background of a patient.
        • Lindgren (2010) followed 134 young adults who had psychotherapy for depression, anxiety or low self-esteem. 18 months later, patients had a reduced level of symptoms.
        • An issue is that they are long term and expensive.
      • Scientific?
        • Doesn't use scientific methods.
        • Evidence that childhood experiences affect behaviour but doesn't take into account other factors.
          • Freud theory was his ideas.
        • Subjective because each psychologic may carry out different research or interpretation.
        • Similar research can be carried out but unlikely to find the same results - not reliable.
      • It cannot be proven right but also cannot be proven wrong - non-falsifiable.

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