Psychodynamic approach

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  • Created by: gracepxx
  • Created on: 14-04-16 16:53

Assumption 1

Behaviour is influenced by 3 parts of the mind 

Triparte personality created by innate, biological factors 

Id is present from birth - immediate satisfaction driven by pleasure principle 

Ego appears aged 2 - consious, rational part of mind, governed by reality principle, balances conflicting demands of id, ego and superego

Superego appears aged 4 - embodies since of right and wrong and the ideal self, it develops through identification with adults 

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Assumption 2

Behaviour influenced by childhood experiences 

Children pass through stages of psuchosexual stages (oral, anal, phallic)

Fixation at any stage through frustation or over indulgence may have lasting impact on indivudals' personality 

Children have immature ego - isn't developed enough to deal with traumas so they are more likely to be repressed than in later life 

If child loses parent early in life, a later loss may result in feelings resurfacting, causing depression

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Theory - Personality develop - P1

Freud proposed adult personality develops from interaction between innate drives and early life experiences 
Children go through psychosexual stages - at each stage there is an interaction between body part and life experience 

Oral - 0-11/2 - libido focuses on mouth - pleasure from eating and suckling 
Anal -11/2-3 - anus - pleasure from expelling/withholding faeces 
Phallic -3-6 - genitls - boys resolve opedius complex (father seen as rival for mothers attention, resolved by identifying with father), girls resolve penis envy (jealous of father's power as represented by penis and resent mother for not providing one) 
Latency - 6-12 - nothing happens in terms of psychosexual development 
Genital - 12-16 - genitals - development of independence

Normal experiences at stages - psychologically healthy outcomes 
Frustration or over indulgence at stage can lead to fixation 

E.g healthy out come at anal - ability to deal with authority
      frustration at anal - anal retentive character - orderly, stingy
      overindulgence at anal - anal expulsive character - messy, generous 

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Theory - Personality develop - P2

Conflicts between id, ego and super ego create anxiety

Ego protects itself by defelcting anxiety using ego defence mechanisms

"Normal" defences don't have long-lasting affects on adult personality - e.g. supression - pushing uncomfortable thoughts to preconsious to deal with later

"Abnorman" defences likely to be associated with mental disorder - e.g denial - refusal to accept reality 

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Therapy - Dream analysis - P1

Links to assumption that mentally disordered behaviour is caused by unconsious thoughts and wishes 

Thoughts been represed from consious mind because they caused anxiety 

However, continue to affect behaviour from unconsious 

Aim of DA - recover unconsious thoughts and emotions that are expressed in dreams - unconsious can be made consious and conflicts can be dealt with 

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Therapy - Dream analysis - P2

Dreams are expression of wishes/fantasies held by id

Id-like thinking is referred to as primary-process thought - thinking unorganised, concrete, emotion-driven and irrational

Form of thought not accepted by ego so repressed into unconsious 

Can only act out out unconsious wishes in dreams

Freud believed if we didn't dream, energy invested in desired would build to intolerable levels and threaten our sanity

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Therapy - Dream analysis - P3

Real meaning of dream - latent content 

Transformed into manifest content to be allowed past censor into dream without causing anxiety

Manifest content of dream is that which dreamer is aware of 

Latent transformed to manifest through dreamwork

Condension - detail turned into brief images - stand for sevel associations

Displacement - emotional significant of dream object seperated from real meaing & attatched to different one so dream content is not "censored" 

Representation - thought translated to visual images 

Secondary elaboration - unconsious collects images & ties them together to form logical story - further disguising latent content

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Therapy - Dream analysis - P3

Process of DA consists of reversing processes that create manifest content 

Process of free association used to uncover latent content

Psychoanalyst doesn't offer one interpretation of dream - suggests various based on patient's free associations and knowledge of their life experiences

Allows patient to select interpretation that makes sense

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Evaluation - Strengths - P1

Psychodynamic approach considers both sides of nature/nurture debate 

Explains how both interact to form adult personality

Freud suggested innate (nature) personality structures - id, ego, sugerego

Throughout life, conflict between elements creates anxiety (nurture)

Anxiety repressed into inconsious but has lasting effect of adult personality 

We know both nature & nurtyre contribute to behaviour and theory provides framework for putting two elements together - contributes to debate

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Evaluation - Strengths - P2

Reflects complexity of human behaviour 

Rich account of life experiences by weaving together different strands of development 

Psychoanalusis (dream analysis) seeks to uncover deep meanings & acknowledges understanding behaviour is a lengthy process 

Alternative methods of explaining behaviour uses simpler explanations 

Behaviourist - recover from mental disorder by re-learning - however, original symptoms may reappear because actual cause has been ignored 

Psychodynamic appraoch avoids this by examining root causes of behaviour

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Evaluation - Weakness - P1

Appraoch is determinist 

Infant behaviour determined by innate forces & adult behaviour determined by childhood experiences

During oral stage of development, libido attatched to infants mouth - both the psychosexual stage and libido are innate forces

Overindulgence or frustration at stage can cause different personality types

Implies we have no free will about who we become or how we behave 

May misrepresent human behaviour because we are able to change how we act if we want to 

Determinist view point may give plausible excuse for behaving unreasonably or excuse for criminal behaviour 

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Evaluation - Weakness - P2

Theory is difficult to falsify 

In dream analysis, therapist might argue client who denied having homosexual tendencies is repressing them 

If you either admit to them or deny them, it can't be proven if they exist or not 

Statement a person doesn't have homosexual tendencies cannot be falsified 

Good theory would have one that can be tested to see if it is right/wrong

Popper (1935) - argued falsification is only way to be cetain 
However, whilst difficult to generate testable hypothesis from Freud's theory - not impossible

Freud predicted inverse relationship between guilt and wrongdoing which was supported in study by Mackinnon (1938) 

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Methodology - P1

Case studies - approach assumed individual case histories can tell us a lot about human behaviour - idiographic approach 
Case of Little Hans supported Freud's ideas about mental disorders being caused by repressed feelings

Case demonstrated opedius complex - important part of phallic stage

+ Rich picture - qualitative data - involve studying one person in great detail - testing, interviewing, observing - wealth of data important to understand reasons behind behaviour - valid conclusions
+ True to life - insight into behaviour obtained - spending time with person rather than "snap shot" gained by lab experiment 
+ Values uniqueness of each individual - idiographic research addresses wholeness and uniqueness of individual 

- Generalisability - relate to single instances - can't generalise to other people
- Subjectivity - rely on qualitative data - interpreted how researcher wants - decide what to recall so easy to be biased to info that supports theory
- Representation - Freud's sample - largely middle class Viennese women - raises issue of gender, culture and historial bias

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Methodology - P2

Appraoch uses clinical interviews 

Assumes anxiety provoking thoughts are repressed into unconsious mind 
Therapist may begin with preterermined questions but further q's arise in response to what patient says 
Free to talk about anything they wish but therapist guides interview

+ Facilitates communication - unstructured nature of questionning means client is more likely to open up about emotions 
+ Rich, qualitative data - more likely to facilitate understanding of reasons behind person's behaviour 

- Analysis - qualitative data difficult to summerise and detect trends - hard to produce generalisations 
- Subjectivity - therapist may be keen to guide interview as they "see fit" & interpret clients' answers to support their hypothesis

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