Psychodynamic approach - Assumptions
- Id (pleasure principle), ego (reality principle), superego (conscience and ideal self).
Levels of consciousness
- Conscious, preconscious and unconscious mind. Unconscious is related to ego defences, e.g. repression, displacement.
- Young children greatly affected by anxiety, therefore ego defence act. Psychosexual stages have great influence.
Psychodynamic approach - Personality development
Core of personality
- Id, ego, superego managed by strength of ego.
- Oral, anal, phallic (oedipus conflict or penis envy), latent, genital stages.
- Oral aggressive or recepetive, anal retentive or expulsive, phallic and genital characters.
- May lead to mental disorders
Psychodynamic approach - Dream analysis
- Dreams are expression of id thoghts (irrational, instinct-driven) that are unacceptable to the conscious mind.
- Dreams are unconscious fulfilment of wishes denied by the conscious mind.
- Latent content transformed to manifest through condensation, displacement, representation, symbolism and secondary elaboration.
Psychodynamic approach - Strengths and weaknesses
- Nature and nurture - an interactionist approach.
- Usefulness - importance placed on childhood, value as a therapy and explanations of behaviour.
- Reflects complexity of human behaviour - reductionism prevents true understanding.
- Reductionist approach - behaviour simplified to mechanics of id, ego, superego and importance of childhood.
- Determinist approach - behaviour determined innate forces and childhood.
- Cannot be proved wrong - a 'good' theory should be falsifiable.
Psychodynamic approach - Methodology
An idiographic approach observing one case in detail
- Strengths: true insight because reater time spent with participant, rich qualitative data, emphasises uniquesness of individuals.
- Weaknesses: lacks generalisability, subjective nterpretations, unrepresentative sample.
Interviewer starts with fixed questions and then adapts to responses from patient.
- Strengths: facilitates patient/interviewer relationship, therapist can acknowldge non-verbal bahviour, qualitative data.
- Weaknesses: lacks generalisability because qualitative data is hard to summarise, interviewer bias leads to subjective findings