The Psychodynamic Approach

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  • Topic: Sigmund Freud, Penis envy, Freudian psychology
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Psychodynamic approach
Assumes the importance of;
- childhood experiences have a great influence on our adult lives, shaping our personalities. childhood events can remain in the unconscious + cause problems as adults Freud – all children go through 5 x psychosexual stages of development; - relationships Particularly family members and especially parent and child, used as a template for adult relationships. -the unconscious mind influences our behaviour. Often the conscious mind is unaware of thoughts and emotions that occur in the unconscious, -that can have an effect on our conscious mind.

-small amount of activity that we know about

-things we could be aware of if we wanted to be

-unaware of and can’t become aware of

ID- Infantile pre-socialised.EGO- executive part of personality, logic+ decision.SUPEREGO-moral, punishment/reward parent. Born with it, inheritedBased on upbringingBased on morals
Instincts; sexuality and aggressionEnables distinguish between wished + ID impulseRepresents internalised parental morals Excitation and builds up pressureModified by external world, environmentOperates according to morals Demands immediate gratificationto bear upon the IDObserves, orders, judges and threatens EGO-Guilt-bad, Ego rewards-good. Governed-pleasureReality principleLike parents

Aim; reduce excitationDefer gratification and postpone satisfaction.Corresponds to rewarding or punishing parent. -An overdeveloped section= abnormality.
Defence Mechanisms
-ID, ego and super ego are always in conflict,
-ego uses defence mechanisms to reduce anxiety
Repression-keeping threatening thoughts out of conscious, suppressing them. “a woman doesn’t remember being raped” Displacement- moving impulses away from a threatening object “blaming the wife at home for a drink driving crash” Projection – putting own beliefs/behaviours onto someone else “talking about how stupid something is to someone assuming the other person feels the same way, without any indication” Denial – not accepting the reality “rejecting HIV diagnosis, mistake or lousy doctor” Psychosexual stages of development

Oral,
ID
(0-18m)Pleasure centres on the mouth
Sucking, biting, chewing
Anal
Ego
(18-36m)Pleasure centres on bladder elimination
coping with demands for control
Phallic
Superego
Oedipus/ Electra complex (3-6yrs)Pleasure centres on genitals Coping with incestuous feelings
Latency
(6yrs-puberty)Dormant sexual feelings
Genital
(Puberty-onwards)Maturation of sexual interests
Oedipus complex
-boys love for mother, becomes increasingly passionate
-jealous of father, wants him out of the way
-castration anxiety
-observes females have no penis
-makes desire for mother unconscious
-represses hostile feelings for father and identifies with him, comes to act like him -superego develops and the male sex role (gender)
Electra complex
-believes already been castrated
-blames mother for penis envy
-substitutes penis envy for wish for a baby
-turns to father as a love object
-identifies with the mother, anaclictic identification, the good girl that a mother would want -no fear of castration = weaker superego
-sequence of psychosexual stage, determined by motivation.
-how a child is treated at each stage is crucial
-excessive gratification + extreme frustration = fixation at a stage -physical and sexual maturation complete = complete personality development

Application to anorexia
Anorexia may be a response to early childhood experiences
Carter et al - 48% anorexics reported childhood sexual abuse (small sample) Freud – problems during oral stage substitute for sexual expression -Fear of adult sexuality, eating symbolic of sexual penetration -Not eating symbolic of repressing sexual impulses,

- Unconscious, avoid growing up and becoming independent.
-Amenorrhoea, periods stopping, returning the body to prepubescent state. Evaluation
-significant and influential as its led to...
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