Schools of psychology

Topics: Psychology, Classical conditioning, Behaviorism Pages: 5 (1926 words) Published: January 23, 2014
The Psychodynamic Approach
The psychodynamic approach was developed by Sigmund Freud around 1890. Freud was a neurologist at the university of Vienna, by 1885 Freud was a given a scholarship to work alongside Charcot who specialised in treating patients with unsolved physical symptoms (McLeod, 2007). Freud was influenced by Charcot’s work on traumatic hysteria which looked at how traumatic experiences affected the unconscious mind (Cherry, 2013). Freud also found a lot of interest in Breuer’s case study on Anne'O, 1880. Anne'O was a 21 year old woman who suffered from headaches, hallucinations, paralyses, and inability to drink after her father died who she looked after for years. Breuer diagnosed Anne'O as a case of hysteria and developed a form of therapy where he would put her under a type of hypnosis which influenced Freud’s development of talk therapy (Kendra, 2013). Freud came up with a series of theories which developed the psychodynamic approach, his theories are based on the responses from his patients suffering from depression or anxiety related disorders during therapy. The psychodynamic approach looks at how our behaviour and feelings are strongly affected by unconscious motives. The theory also involves how our childhood experiences effect the behaviour and feelings in adulthood and that personality is shaped by different conflicts at different times in childhood (McLeod, 2007). The case study of little Hans by Freud supported the theory of child development, Little Hans had a fear of horses so his father wrote to Freud explaining Hans’s phobia. Freud concluded that Hans had sexual feelings for his mother after finding out Hans had fantasies of marrying his mother, Freud also concluded that horses symbolised Hans father as the black marks on the horses face symbolised his father’s moustache and the blinkers on the horse represented his father’s glasses and his father would castrate Hans if he found out about Hans secret. In conclusion Hans placed his fear onto horses that reminded him of his father (Freud, 1909). The psychodynamic approach looks at 3 parts of the personality, the id, ego, and superego that develop at different times in life. The id demands satisfaction and when it gets what it wants, that is when we experience pleasure but if it doesn’t we experience pain, the ego is developed to referee between the unrealistic id and external reality, the superego is developed to implant values and norms of society learned from the parents (McLeod, 2013). A strength of the psychodynamic approach is that it looks at how important early childhood experiences are on the development of adult personality, with the case of little Hans to support this. Another strength of the psychodynamic approach is that it looks at the nature and nurture, with Freud’s theory on childhood development as nature and the Id, ego, and superego as nurture to support. A weakness of the psychodynamic approach has been criticised as it is untestable so it can’t be scientifically measured or proven wrong. Another weakness of the psychodynamic approach is that it is deterministic where behaviour is predictable and that everyone goes through the same stages (Trip, 2013). The Behaviourist Approach

The behaviourist approach was born in the early 20th century which focused on behaviour rather than the conscience and unconscious (McLeod, 2007). Ivan Pavlov done the earliest research on the salivation in dogs in response to being fed. Pavlov came up with the classical conditioning process where behaviours could be learned through conditioned association. In Pavlov’s experiment he measured how much the dog would salivate when presented food which is a natural response from the dog, this reflex is hard-wired into the dog, Pavlov labelled this as an unconditioned response. He noticed the dog would salivate when his assistant would enter the room which the dog learnt to associate with food this is when he realised he made a scientific discovery....
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