Psychodynamnic Approach to Abnormality - Unit 2 (AQA)

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Psychodynamic Approach to Abnormality
Abnormal behaviour is caused by unconscious, underlying psychological factors
Suggests conflict and anxiety may occur during childhood because a person's ego is
not yet developed enough to deal with the ID's desires ­ They also cannot cope with
the superego's moral demands (Knowing right from wrong)
Anxiety from conflicts is repressed into the unconscious mind ­ Stress or trauma in
adulthood may `trigger' these repressed conflicts = Psychological Disorder
Structure of Personality:
Ego = Conscious, Rational part of personality ­ Decides between demand of ID and
Superego = Last part of personality to develop ­ Concerned with right & wrong
(mortality driven) ­ Develops through socialisation (Learn moral standards &
expectations of culture) ­ Can punish with guilt
ID = Unconscious, instincts which people are born with ­ It is pleasure orientated &
Structure of the mind:
Conscious Mind ­ What we are aware of at any one moment
Pre-Conscious Mind ­ Material that can easily be brought into conscious awareness
Unconscious Mind ­ Repressed memories ; material kept away from conscious
awareness as it may result in psychological distress
Treatment = Psychoanalysis:
Aim = Allow patient to access repressed thoughts and unconscious conflicts ­ Freud
called this `insight'
Patients then encouraged to deal with conflicts
Freud recognised that this process would be painful and cause anxiety ­ people
would resist at first
Patients encouraged to focus on the feelings that repressed thoughts brought about
Three Psychoanalytic Techniques:
This is an `altered mental state' ­ involving deep relaxation
Feud ­ People can access repressed thoughts when in this state
Lost interest in it ­ Difficult to hypnotise people & people become very suggestible
when hypnotised

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Free Association:
Patient given a cue word ­ Asked to say any ideas or memories that come into their
Freud ­ In doing this, repressed thoughts would emerge ­ Give insight into
unconscious problems causing abnormal behaviour
Dream Analysis:
Thought that certain part of mind keeps repressed thoughts in unconscious ­ this
part is less active during sleep
Freud ­ Repressed thoughts are likely to appear in dreams
Evaluation of Model:
Influential ­ First model to establish talking therapy as a form of…read more


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