The Psychodynamic approach to psychopathology :)

When used in the context of abnormal behaviour , the term psychodynamic refers to any approach that emphasises the dynamics of behaviour , i.e what drives us t behave in a particular way :)

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The Psychodynamic approach

If you know very little about psychology, and you have heard of just one psychologist, the chances are that this is Sigmund Freud, the founder of the psychodynamic approach to psychology, or psychoanalysis.



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Sigmund Freud

Psychodynamic Approach Assumptions

* Our behaviour and feelings are powerfully affected by unconscious motives. * Our behaviour and feelings as adults (including psychological problems) are rooted in our childhood experiences. * All behaviour has a cause (usually unconscious), even slips of the tongue. Therefore all behaviour is determined. * Behaviour is motivated by two instinctual drives: Eros (the sex drive & life instinct) and Thanatos (the aggressive drive & death instinct). Both these drives come from the “id”.

* Parts of the unconscious mind (the id and superego) are in constant conflict with the conscious part of the mind (the ego).

* Personality is shaped as the drives are modified by different conflicts at different times in childhood (during psychosexual development).

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Iceberg Metaphor - Frueds view of the human psyche

  • ID- this is the irrational , primitive part of the personality , its present at birth, it's the innate drive to seek immediate satisfaction
  • EGO - this is the concious rational part of the personality.
  • it develops by the infants first year.
  • SUPEREGO- this develops between the ages of 3 and 6 - and embodies our conscience and sense of right and wrong.
  • EGO DEFENCES - Unconscious methods , such as repression and displacement, which helps the ego deal with feelings of anxiety and thus 'defend' the ego :)
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Meanings ...


REPRESSION = In Freudian psychology, a mechanism by which people protect themselves from threatening thoughts by blocking them out of the conscious mind
DISPLACEMENT = the movement of something from its usual or correct place
(e.g moving thoughts to other places to again 'defend' the ego )

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