Psychodynamic approach to psychopathology Miss Norris
Psychodynamic Approach • The key assumption of the psychodynamic approach is that all human behaviour can be explained in terms of inner conflict of the mind.
3 Key features of the approach • Main psychologist in this approach is Sigmund Freud • Psychopathology is psychological in origin • Approach places emphasise on the significance of unconscious processes
Theory of personality • Freud believed that within the mind there are 3 aspects of your personality that determine how you behave id ego Superego
Personality Development Freud believed that the id, ego and super ego were separate and conflicting forces, They need to be balanced for good mental health and normal behaviour
Thoughts Perceptions Memories Stored knowledge Fears Unacceptable desires Violent motives Irrational wishes Immoral urges Selfish needs Shameful experiences Traumatic experiences The conscious. The small amount of mental activity we know about. The preconscious. Things we could be aware of if we wanted or tried. Bad Worse Really Bad The unconscious. Things we are unaware of and can not become aware of. The Mind
Basic Principles 2) Unresolved Conflicts If conflicts arise within these stages then psychological problems may occur later on in life Both frustration and overindulgence may lead to fixation at a particular psychosexual stage. Such as Regression as a copying strategy. Children 1) Mental Disorders are results of past events rather than psychical causes.
Ego defence mechanisms • In order to balance the demands of the id and superego the ego employs ‘defence mechanisms’ to protect itself • To reduce anxiety we use defence mechanisms such as; • Repression • Denial • Displacement • Projection • Regression • Mechanisms useful for protecting ego but don’t offer long-term solutions
Psychosexual development (Apply this to Little Hans in your books page 186) • Freud believed children go through stages of psychosexual development • Oral stage (0-18 months) • Anal stage (18-36 months) • Phallic stage (3-6 years) • Latency stage (6 years to puberty)
Basic Principles continued 3) 4) Unconscious motivations cause mental disorders The unconscious mind has a powerful effect on behaviour and its very difficult to make the patient aware of there repression, or regression. This can lead to distress. Underlying the problem of bringing unconscious behaviour into the conscious. Early Experiences cause Mental Disorders • REPRESSION not regression. • Repression is where we try to forget things that have happened to us. Such as trauma, which if left can manifest into abnormality's like aggressions, depression.
Strengths • One strength of the Psychodynamic Model is that it reminds us that experiences in childhood can affect us throughout our lives. It accepts that everybody can suffer mental conflicts and neuroses through no fault of their own. • The model also suggests there is no need for medical intervention such as drugs, ECT or psychotherapy, and that the patient, with the help of a psychoanalyst, can find a cure through his own resources. (which empowers the individual & discourages helplessness)
Weaknesses Abstract concepts. • The main limitation of the Psychodynamic Model is that it cannot be scientifically observed or tested. Lack of Research Evidence. • Any evidence recovered from a patient must be analysed and interpreted by a therapist. This leaves open the possibility of serious misinterpretation or bias because two therapists, as they may interpret the same evidence in entirely different ways. Psychoanalysis is time-consuming and expensive. It may not even work. Furthermore, when research has been done, if it is not in support of Freud and the approach you can say its there defence mechanisms not allowing the therapist to access their unconscious. That’s why there not acting like the model. Sexist • Freud admitted being sexually unbalanced, himself. His concepts are harder to apply to woman and are more centred around the male sex. The Electra Complex for example not thorough / vague in detail. Reflective of Cultural bias of the time Freud worked (women were not considered as equal to men)