Approaches - Psychodynamic Approach - Assumptions and Psychoanalysis

assumptions and psychoanalysis of the psychodynamic approach

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  • Created on: 18-06-12 11:40
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Psychodynamic Approach ­ assumptions
1. Mental processes occur at the conscious and unconscious level. Various techniques can be
used to investigate the unconscious:
a. Free association ­ patients are encouraged to lie comfortably on a couch and speak
aloud every word that comes into their head
b. Slips of the tongue ­ Freudian slip
c. Dream analysis ­ Freud considered dreams to be the `royal road to the unconscious'
d. Access repressed memories
e. The actual content (manifest content) is a symbolic representation of the underlying
true content (latent content)
f. The ego disguises the true content as a protective mechanism ­ the dream doesn't
appear to be wish fulfilling, but it is!
2. Instincts: behaviour is motivated by the life (Eros) and death (Thanatos) instincts
3. The importance of early childhood experiences: - the case of Little Hans
4. Psychodynamic techniques can be used to treat mental disorders: - psychoanalysis ­ this is a
type of therapy derived from psychodynamic theory
Traumatic events and unacceptable impulses are repressed ­ this prevents expression
This leads to conversion neurosis (anxiety, obsessive behaviours, phobias)
Also results in conversion hysteria (e.g. paralysis and blindness)
Psychoanalysis aims to bring back repressed memories to conscious awareness and to come
to terms with it in a safe environment


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