Psychodynamic Key Assumptions & Concepts


The general assumptions of the psychodynamic approach relate to:

  • the link between experiences during childhood and our adult feelings and behaviour. Early relationships, especially with our parents, are especially important.
  • the effect of our unconscious mind on our behaviour, feelings and motivation. We are unaware of these mental processes, which may include instincts (motives that we are born with), fears and memories. They may relate to sex, aggression or our relationships with others.

The research methods commonly used within the psychodynamic approach are case studies, clinical interviews and analysis of symbols. 

Studies of individual clients in therapy involve listening to their past and current psychological problems, considering these in depth and offering interpretations of the links between early relationships and trauma and current symptoms, helping us to understand how problems can relate to family dynamics and trauma. However, the findings are limited as they are based on single individuals so may not generalise to everyone's development…


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