The Psychodynamic Approach to Abnormality

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Explanations of Abnormality- The Psychodynamic Approach

  • The approach suggests that abnormality is caused by one of three factors: unresolved conflicts, unconcious motivations, and early experiences.
  • Freud suggested that our personality is split into three parts; the id, the ego and the superego. The id being the thoughts that are activated solely on the pleasure priniciple, the superego being the completely moral thought process, and the ego being the concious, rattional part of the personality that tries to determine a suitable balance between the id and the superego.
  • The approach suggests that anxiety is caused through conflicts between the id, ego and superego. The ego protects itself with various defence mechanisms. Disturbed behaviour may occur if these are overused.
  • It suggests that ego defences unconciously motivate us and lead to distress because a person may not understand why they are acting in a particular way because we do not have access to our


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