Psychodynamic and Psychoanalytic Perspective

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Maria James Group 3

Essay on the Psychodynamic Perspective

Outline Freud's Psychoanalytic approach in Psychology.

Sigmund Freud was born in 1856. His interest in the problems of neurosis started when he was working under the neurologist Charcot. It was Charcots' teaching of hysteria that Freud became most interested in. Freud came to the belief that the human psyche was made up of three psychodynamic structures. These were called the Id, the Ego and the Superego. The Id was present from birth and consisted of the basic animal instincts. The drive and motivation of the personality. The Ego, Freud believed to be developing from birth and operates on the reality principle. The Ego tries to strike a balance between the irrational demands of the Id and the constraints of the social world. The third structure was the Superego. This developed at about 6 years of age. The Superego operates on the morality principle and it's demands are unrealistic and requires absolute perfection. The Superego is also know as the conscience.

According to Freud the Ego was the mediator to the Id and the Superego. The Ego would use defence mechanisms such as displacement, projection or repression to balance out any conflicts between the Id and the Superego. Freud also researched the area of psychosexual development and he believed that everyone went through the same stages of development. Each of these stages had one main driving force known as the libido (said by many to mean the sex drive but more likely to in Freud's meaning to be 'life force'). The oral stage was from the age of 0 to approximately 2 years of age. At this stage the libido focused on the mouth and the child obtains pleasure from oral stimulation. The conflict here was to obtain a balanced amount of stimulation. If this was not achieved the individual was fixated at this stage. Examples of fixation in the oral stage are smoking, constant chewing on pens or pencils, nail biting and over...
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