Psychoanalytic Approach vs. Humanistic Approach

Topics: Psychology, Sigmund Freud, Abraham Maslow Pages: 3 (955 words) Published: April 28, 2005
Mental disorders are dismissed by people today because they are internal. When a person has a cold they cough, when a person has sunburn they turn red or peel, but when a person has a mental disorder they… and that's where the debate begins. Do mental disorders truly exist? What are the causes? As a result of mental disorders some people exhibit a change in behavior or do things outside of what is status quo. That leads me to my topic - the psychoanalytic approach vs. the humanistic approach. One supports and provides reasoning for mental disorders and specific behavior, while the other states that behavior is based off of personal decisions. Although both the psychoanalytic and the humanistic approaches are well developed theories it is conclusive that the psychoanalytic approach is more useful and instrumental in treating mental disorders. Both approaches defined:

The psychoanalytic approach, proposed by Sigmund Freud, is based on the idea that childhood experiences significantly influence the development of later personality traits and psychological problems. In addition, psychoanalysis emphasizes the influence of unconscious fears, desires and motivations on thoughts and behaviors. The humanistic approach, presented by Abraham Maslow, emphasizes self actualization and free-will. It is based on the belief that each person has freedom in directing his or her future. The theorists:

Sigmund Freud was an Austrian psychoanalyst in the twentieth century whose studies and interests were focused on psychosexual behavior, psychosocial behavior, and the unconscious. He blames incestual desires and acts on neurosis and believes neurotics were victimized and molested in their youth. Congruently, this is his explanation for sexual urges in children. He watched psychiatrists fail at inventions of electrical and chemical treatments for mental disorders, only for them to turn to treatments that followed concepts of psychoanalysis. Even though drugs diminish...

References: Boneau, C. A., Kimble, G. A., and Wertheimer, M. (1996) Portraits of Pioneers in Psychology, Volume II. Washington D.C. and Mahwah, NJ: American Psychological Association & Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Chapman, A. J., Conroy, W., and Sheehy, N. (1997) Biographical Dictionary of Psychology: London & New York: Routledge.
Keil, F. C. and Wilson, R. A. (1999) The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences. Cambridge, Massachusetts & London, England: The MIT Press
Kimble, G. A., Wertheimer, M., and White, C. L. (1991) Portraits of Pioneers in Psychology, Volume I. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Zusne, Leonard. (1984) Biographical Dictionary of Psychology. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.
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