Psychodynamic Approach

Just the assumptions 

  • Created by: Bham369
  • Created on: 07-11-17 11:52

Influence of Childhood Experiences

Oral            Old 
Anal           Age
Phallic        Pensioners 
Latency      Like 
Genital       Guiness 

Can become fixated (by being over or under indulged) at any point during deevelopment. Unless they develop "healthily" fixation will have consequences. 

1 of 17

Oral Stage

  • 0-18 months
  • Focus of the libido is the mouth
  • Child is being breastfed/weaned
  • Children are passive, receptive and dependent
  • Explore the world with mouths


2 of 17

Oral Stage Fixation

Healthy Development 

  • Able to food enjoy as an adult 
  • Not over or under dependent on others 

Under Indulged

  • Envious 
  • Pessamistic 
  • Sarcastic 
  • Smoke
  • May have drinking and/or eating problem 

Over Indulged

  • Optimistic
  • Admiring 
  • Gullible
  • Overly enthusiastic 
3 of 17

Anal Stage

  • 1-3 years

  • Focus of the libido is on the anus

  • Being potty trained

  • Ego develops as parents begin to impose restrictions

  • The first time a child will experience control (expulsion and retention of faeces)

4 of 17

Anal Stage Fixation


  • Able to deal with authority 
  • Can balence mess and order 

Anally Retentive 

  • Precise 
  • Stubborn 
  • Stingy
  • Careful
  • Quiet
  • Scared of being told off 

Anally Expulsive

  • Reckless 
  • Disorgenised 
  • Opinionated 
5 of 17

Phallic Stage

  • 3-6 years

  • Focus on genitals Curious about genitals

  • Superego develops through the resolution of Oedipus (for boys) or
    Electra (for girls) complex

  • By identifying with the same sex parent it leads to the formation of
    the child's gender identity

6 of 17

Oedipus Complex

  • Boy sexually interested in his mother 
  • Sees father as rival and wants to kill him 
  • Fears castration from dad so keeps feelings hidden 
  • Boy in a state of conflict
  • Thinks that his mum will love him more if he is like his dad
  • Identifies with father 
  • Superego develops 
  • Substitutes desire for mother, for other women 
7 of 17

Electra Complex

  • Girl sexually interested in father 
  • Develops penis envy 
  • Blames mother for not having a penis (thinks that mother removed penis) 
  • Sees mother as a sexual rival for her father 
  • Identifies with mother so she can keep mothers love but still harbour feelings towards father
  • Superego develops 
  • Replaces penis envy with desire for baby 
8 of 17

Phallic Stage Fixation


  • Well rounded adult 
  • Would internalies their same sex parent which become thier superego 


  • Reckless 
  • Selfish 
  • Ambitious
  • Vain/Proud 
  • Self-assured
  • Uncapable of loving others 
  • Over/under sexually confident 
9 of 17

Latency and Genital Stages

Latency Stage

  • 7 years - Puberty

  • Focus is on same sex friendships

  • Events from previous stages are
    repressed into the unconscious

Genital Stage

  • Puberty - Adolescence

  • Adult personality is formed Interested in the opposite sex

  • Repressed issues from previous stages may begin to cause a problem

10 of 17

The unconscious (Iceberg Theory)

The Consious 
The small amount of mental activity we know about e.g. thoughts, perceptions etc. 

The Pre-Conscious
Things we could be aware of if we wanted or tried e.g. memories, stored knowlage etc. 

The Unconscious
Things we are entirley unaware of and can't become aware of e.g. instincts, deeply buried memories 

11 of 17

Ego Defence Mechanisms

The unconsciuos is related to ego defence mechanisms. Conflicts btween the ego and superego create anxiety. The ego will use defence mechanisms to prevent it being ovewhelmed with anxiety. The four main defence mechanisms are: 

  • Regression
  • Displacement 
  • Projection
  • Repression 
12 of 17


To go back to a previous to an earlier developmental stage 

Being "babyish" instead of "grown-up"/ acting as society says a person of that age should behave 

13 of 17


Transfering impulses from one person/object to another e.g. boxing 

14 of 17


Attributing undesirable thoughts to someone else 

15 of 17


Pushing painful memories to the back of your mind/into the unconscious 

16 of 17

Tripartite Personality


  • Impulsive and demanding
  • Seeks immediate gratification
  • Present at birth 


  • Conscious and rational 
  • Develops at around age 2 
  • Works out how to balence Id and Superego 


  • Develops at around age 4
  • Sense of right and wrong
  • Seeks to perfect and civilise our behaviour 
17 of 17


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Approaches resources »