Presentation Psychodynamic Theory

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Psychodynamic Approach
What is it?
The psychodynamic approach includes all the theories in psychology that see human functioning based upon the interaction of drives and forces within the person, particularly unconscious, and between the different structures of the personality.

The Psychodynamic Approach Assumptions
Our behaviour and feelings are powerfully affected by unconscious problems The causes of these emotional problems can usually be traced back to early childhood. All behaviour has a cause (usually unconscious), even slips of the tongue. Therefore all behaviour is determined.

Humanistic nature is basically deterministic.
Our behaviour is determined by irrational forces, unconscious motivations, and biological instinctual drives. Instinct
Life instincts: purpose of the survival of the individual and the human race (i.e. eat, drink, sexual desire)

Death instinct: account for the aggressive drive (i.e. to hit, to hurt, defeat) Structure of Personality

The seat of our impulses
Largely unconscious
Ruled by the pleasure principle

This controls and regulates personality.
Negotiates with the Id, pleases the superego.
Ruled by the reality principle


The judicial branch of personality
Functions to inhibit the Id impulses, to persuade the ego to substitue moralistic goals for realistic ones, and to strive for perefction. Keeps us on the straight and narrow
Conscious and Unconscious
Unconscious includes
Dreams, which are symbolic representations of unconscious needs, wishes and conflicts. Stores all experiences, memories and repressed material.

Consciousness is a thin slice of the total mind.

Parts of the unconscious mind (the id and superego) are in constant conflict with the conscious part of the mind (the ego). Five Stages of Development
Freud believed that children pass through five stages of development, known as the psychosexual stages because of Freud’s emphasis on sexuality as the basic drive in...
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