Psychodynamics

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Emily Ard
Psychodynamics
WarrenTech Health Sciences Technology 2 AM
September 5th, 2012

Psychodynamics, also called dynamic psychology, is the study and theory of the psychological forces that highlight human behavior, especially the active relationship between unconscious and conscious drive. It focuses on the interactions of things like desires, impulses, anxieties, and defenses within the mind. Sigmund Freud created the foundation of psychodynamics; his key concept is the depth psychology hypothesis, the idea that nearly all mental activity takes place unconsciously. Freud divided the mind into two levels, the perceptual conscious and the unconscious, those consist of the preconscious (normally unconscious but retrievable) and the unconscious proper, which contains things that are being and has been actively forgotten or repressed. Freud believed that free association would eventually let a patient retrieve memories from the unconscious, memories that are not ordinarily available, this kind of therapy can be useful for relieving internal conflict that is preventing a person to live life fully. Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a less intensive, 1-2 session per week, the classical Freudian psychoanalysis treatment is slightly more intense with 3 to 5 sessions per week. Freud developed psychodynamics to explain the processes of the mind and how psychological energy flows in a brain. The main theories within psychodynamics are psychosexual which describes our mental development and the id, ego, and superego which explains how we make decisions and why we feel certain feelings. Freud is the father of psychodynamics, through the late 1800s and early 1900s he formed it combining most of his theories and from his clinical experience. Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist, started collaborating with Freud, Jung was crucial in helping define libido and incest. He also contributed core tendency toward wholeness and balance within oneself and the core characteristics of the self are the ego, the personal unconscious, the collective unconscious, and archetypes.

Psychodynamics is the study of the motives, energy, and forces, spawned by the greatest of individual needs. Psychodynamics is generally the research of the interactions of "psychic energy" inside the personality. Freud later introduced this structural hypothesis to add to the depth of psychology hypothesis, it divides the mind into three forces; the id, ego, and superego; they are always interacting and often conflicting. The id is present at birth and operates entirely on the unconscious level, it is made up of primitive biological urges, including the libido, or sexual drive, which is the most important one; it establishes the basis of the psychic structure. The id functions on the pleasure principle and uses primary process thinking, it ignores reason, reality, and morality. If these needs are not met immediately it results in a state of anxiety or tension. The id is very important in early life because it ensures that a babies needs are met, if the baby is thirsty he or she will cry until the id’s demands are met. The ego develops a little bit later and referees between the id and the real world, it strives to satisfy the id’s wants in socially appropriate ways. It operates on the reality principle with concern for safety and it uses secondary process thinking which applies reasoning and logic to situations. The ego is the director of personality; it makes decisions about pursuing pleasure meeting safety needs, id's demand, and the morals of the superego. When the ego cannot deal with the demands of our desires we get anxiety. There are 3 types of anxiety; Neurotic (danger from id’s impulses), Reality (threat from the outside world), and Moral anxiety (guilt or shame caused by the superego). To deal with this anxiety we have defense mechanisms; repression, reaction formation, projection, displacement, regression, sublimation, denial, compensation, intellectualization,...
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