February 8, 2013
This paper will compare the Psychodynamic Theory and the Humanistic Theory. A description of each theory and its leading theorist will help in pointing out both their differences and similarities.
Psychodynamic Theory, developed by Sigmund Freud in the 1900s, believes that most human behavior stems from their unconscious. That personality comes from beliefs, memories, feelings, and instincts of which the individual is not aware of (Feldman, 2010). According, to Freud the personality is made up of three major components; the Id, Ego, and Superego. The Id is the raw inborn part with sole purpose is to reduce tension caused by aggression and irrational impulse, operating according to the pleasure principle (Feldman, 2010). Ego acting as a buffer between the Id and the outside world, the Ego is developed soon after birth and strives to balance the desires of the Id. The Ego operates according to the reality principle, making decisions permitting problem solving at a higher level than the Id is capable of (Feldman, 2010). While the Superego is part of the conscience representing right from wrong in society, thus being handed down by one’s parents, and teachers, the Superego keeps one from improper behavior by causing one to feel guilty. Freud suggest that personality development has several distinct stages; Oral (birth – 18 months), Anal (18 months – 3 years), Phallic (3-6 years), Latency (6 years to adolescence), and Genital (adolescence to adulthood) (Feldman, 2010). Another huge part of Freud’s theory is the defense mechanisms which include: Repression, Regression, Displacement, Rationalization, Denial, Projection, Sublimation, and Reaction formation. These defense mechanisms are used to cope with life’s anxieties.
Humanistic Theory believes that it is at the conscience level that all people have the drive and tendency to move forward. Both Maslow and Rogers is