Psychodynamic Theory

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Psychoanalysis, Penis envy Pages: 6 (1509 words) Published: December 9, 2012

JULY 05, 2011

Psychodynamics is the theory and systematic study of the psychological forces that underlie human behavior, especially the dynamic relations between conscious motivation and unconscious motivation. Psychodynamics also describe the processes of the mind as flows of psychological energy (Libido) in an organically complex brain. The words ‘psychodynamic’ and ‘psychoanalytic’ are often confused. Sigmund Freud’s theories were psychoanalytic, whereas the term ‘psychodynamic’ refers to both his theories and those of his followers. Freud’s psychoanalysis is both a theory and a therapy. His theory had the main focus that: * Children pass thru a series of age-dependent stages during development * Each stage has a designated “pleasure zone” and “primary activity” ,human motivation is guided by the drive to seek pleasure * Each stage requires resolution of a particular conflict/task * Failure to successfully navigate a stage’s particular conflict/ task is known as Fixation * Leaving some energy in a stage

* Specific problems result from Fixation, depending on which stage is involved * Fixation may result from environmental disruption
Important to note that other contributors to the psychodynamic theory include Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Harry Stack Sullivan, Theodore Reik, Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, Karen Horney and Eric Fromm. Allyn & Bacon 2004”

Basic Tenets
* Id, Ego and Superego: The three parts of the personality. * Unconscious, Conscious ,Preconscious
* Stages of Development (Psychosexual stages) Oral, anal, phallic, latency period and genital. * Defense mechanisms: Repression, projection, reaction formation, fixation, regression. Allyn & Bacon 2004”

According to Freud, the three parts of the personality (id, ego, and superego) are established during our five staged of development * Oral (0–18 months)
* Pleasure Zone: Mouth
* Primary Activity: Nursing
* Fixation results in difficulties with trust, attachment, commitment * Fixation may also manifest as eating disorders, smoking, drinking problems

* Anal (18 months–3 years)
* Pleasure Zone: Anus
* Primary Activity: Toilet training
* Failure to produce on schedule arouses parental disappointment

* Phallic (3–6 years)
* Pleasure Zone: Genitals
* Primary Activity: Genital fondling
* Must successfully navigate the Oedipal Conflict
* Boys want to marry mom and kill father, aka Oedipal Complex, but fear retaliation from father (castration anxiety); ultimately resolved thru identification with father * Girls have penis envy, want to marry dad, aka “Electra Complex”; identify with mom to try to win dad’s love

* Latent (6 yrs–puberty)
* Pleasure Zone: Sex drive is rerouted into socialization and skills development * Primary Activity: Same sex play; identification of sex role * Don’t like opposite sex (has “cooties”)

* Fixation results in lack of initiative, low self esteem; environmental incompetence

* Genital (puberty onwards).
* Pleasure Zone: Genitals
* Primary Activity: Adult sexual relationships
* Fixation results in regression to an earlier stage, lack of sense of self The three state of the Mind
* Unconscious holds ideas, thoughts, and memories that we cannot access or bring into conscious awareness. We are unaware they exist.
* Preconscious holds ideas, thoughts, and memories that we are not currently thinking, but with effort we can bring these to our awareness (consciousness) * Conscious is the aware part of the mind.

The theory is based on these variations of how Freud sees people as such; * There is the belief that behaviours are determined by our external interaction with reality and our internal drives so people have no...
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