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The essence of the psychodynamic approach is too
explain behaviour in terms of it's dynamics i.e. the
forces that drive it. the best known example of this
approach is Freud's psychoanalytic theory of
personality, although there are many other
psychodynamic theories based on Freud's ideas.
Sigmund Freud was first to challenge the view that
mental disorders were caused by physical illness.
Instead he proposed that psychological factors were
responsible.…read more

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Assumption 1: Behaviour is influenced by the three
parts of the mind (i.e. tripartite personality)
Freud believed that the adult personality is structured into three parts
that develop in different stages of our lives.
1. Id This is the impulsive (and unconscious) part of the personality
and is present at birth. It demands immediate satisfaction which
can be referred to as the pleasure principle. The main purpose of
the Id is to gain pleasure and gratification at any cost.
2. Ego This is the conscious, rational part of the mind that develops
around the age of two years. It's purpose is to find realistic ways
of coping with the demands of the Id in a socially acceptable
manner. It is governed by the reality principle.
3. Super Ego This is the last part of our personality to develop.
Forming at around four years , it embodies the child's sense of
right and wrong as well as his or her ideal self. The superego seeks
to perfect and civilise our behaviour. It is learned through
identification with ones parents and others. It is based on the
morality principle.…read more

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Assumption 2: Behaviour is influenced by different
levels of consciousness and ego defences
Freud proposed that the mind is like an iceberg- much of what goes on inside
the mind is underneath the surface. This is the preconscious and unconscious
mind. The conscious mind is logical whereas the unconscious mind is not and is
ruled by the pleasure seeking. The unconscious mind cannot be directly
accessed but expresses itself indirectly through, for example, dreams.
The unconscious is also related to ego defence mechanisms. Conflicts between
the id, ego and super ego create anxiety. The ego protects itself with various
ego defences. These defences can be the cause of disturbed behaviour if
overused. For example, a boy who cannot deal with what he perceives as
maternal rejection when a new baby brother is born may regress to an earlier
developmental stage, soiling his clothes and becoming more dependant.
Other examples of mechanisms include:
· Displacement- transfer of impulses from one person or object to another
· Projection- undesirable thoughts are attributed to someone else
· Repression- pushing painful memories down into our unconscious mind so
they are effectively forgotten.…read more

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The mind is like an iceberg?…read more

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Assumption 3: Behaviour is influenced by early
childhood experiences
In childhood, the ego is not developed enough to deal
with traumas, which are therefore repressed. For
example, a child may experience the death of a parent
early in life and repress associated feelings. Later in life,
other losses may cause the individual to re-experience
the earlier loss and can lead to depression. Previously,
unexpressed anger about the loss is directed inwards
towards the self, causing depression.
There are key developmental stages in early childhood.
Fixation on any one of these stages (through frustration
or overindulgence) may have a lasting effect on the
individuals personality.…read more

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