Outline the key features of the psychodynamic approach to psychopathology (6 marks)
The first key feature is the balance (or imbalance) of the ID and the superego. The ID is instincts that people are born with, and is completely based around pleasure and is completely selfish. The superego is concerned with what is right and what is wrong. It is morally driven and through socialisation people learn the moral standards of society. A healthy personality is developed when there is a balance of the ID and the superego to form an ego. This is where a person is completely rational and balances between the needs of the ID and the superego.
The second key feature is unresolved conflicts caused in life. This is when we have bad experiences in life and we repress them. Psychological disturbances in adulthood are assumed to be the result of unconscious, unresolved psychological conflicts and experiences that date back to childhood. In order bring these experiences from an unconscious stage to a conscious state. This is done by getting specialist help from a psychologist to talk about what happened how you were feeling ect to bring these memories back making them very real, making it easier to deal with them.
The final key feature is Freud’s view of the psychosexual stages of development. He says humans pass through a series of discrete psychosexual stages of development. These stages are the oral stage, the anal stage, the phallic stage, the latency stage and the genital stage. At each of these stages, pleasure is focussed on a particular part of the body. Too much or too little of any stage can result in fixation and lead to various psychological disorders.