Psychodynamic Approach overview

a overview of the Psychodynamic approach. I am in my first year of A levels and created this to ensure i knew everything i needed to about this approach. My peers also found this useful and this is my reason for sharing this.

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  • Created by: Kasey
  • Created on: 09-02-15 13:51
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Exam questions that will be asked for this approach:
Question Available marks
Outline two assumptions of the psychodynamic approach 4 marks
Describe Freud's theory of personal development 8 marks
Describe how the psychodynamic approach has been applied in either dream analysis or free 12 marks
Evaluate two strengths of the psychodynamic approach 6 marks
Evaluate two weaknesses of the psychodynamic approach 6 marks
Explain and evaluate the methodology used by the psychodynamic approach 12 marks
The unconscious mind:
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) put forward the…read more

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These three parts set up our personality, which he called our `psyche'.
The psychosexual stages:
Freud suggested that our personality develops throughout our childhood in different stages which
he called the psychosexual stages.
He said that it is the libido (sexual desire) that drives us through the five stages.
He also said that if a person becomes fixated in a psychosexual stage then personality traits will
develop.…read more

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Genital stage (adolescence)
At this stage the child's pleasure seeking is again focused on the genitals. Freud argued that
fixation should occur in this stage for the individual to develop into a well-balanced, heterosexual
individual (Freud was both sexist and homophobic) in this stage individuals develop strong sexual
interests in the opposite sex and begin to form relationships.
Freud also said that in childhood, any experiences we have can determine how we will behave in
later life.…read more

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Therapy formed from the psychodynamic approach
The psychodynamic approach assumes that our behaviour is shaped by our unconscious mind.
Freud believed that various techniques in therapy can give us an insight into the unconscious
mind. Here are several examples of these:
Dream analysis
Free association
Rorschach test
Free association
In free association, the therapist will read a list of words and the client will say the first word that
comes into their head, and the therapist will record this.…read more

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Dream analysis
Freud called dreams `the royal road to a knowledge of the activities of the unconscious mind'
By analysing dreams, he felt that we could make links between the conscious and unconscious
Dreams were separated into two sections:
Manifest content ­ story of the dream
Latent content ­ the hidden message of the dream.…read more

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Case studies
Dora's dream (1905)
When 16 years old, a friend of Dora's father had made sexual advances towards her, and her
father refused to believe her. She began having a recurring dream that her father would wake her
up due to a fire in the house and that they had to get out. Her mother wanted to pick up her jewel
case on her way out but the father refused.…read more

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The Wolf man's dream (1918)
Between 1910 and 1914, Freud treated Sergei Pankejeff for depression and various other issues. In
therapy, he reported that he had a memorable dream at the age of four where he awoke and saw
white wolves with fluffy tails in a tree outside his window. As a toddler, he reported that he had
awoken at around 5pm and look out of the bars of his cot and saw his parents having intercourse.…read more

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He had no symptoms of illnesses such as depression, anxiety or psychosis
and had no involvement in illegal activities.
After his examination, it was reported that Mr A did not have split personality disorder and the
fact he was adopted could have contributed to his status as an adult baby. Dr Pate rang Mr A but
he did not want treatment as he had apparently changed his mind and felt comfortable as he was.…read more


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