Psychology Theories & Self Reflection

Topics: Psychology, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Behaviorism Pages: 7 (2586 words) Published: December 9, 2010
Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and mental processes. It is a broad discipline which seeks to analyze the human mind and study why people behave, think, and feel the way they do. There are many different ways to approach psychology, from examining biology's role in mental health to the role of the environment on behavior. Some psychologists focus only on how the mind develops, while others counsel patients to help improve their daily lives.

There are seven (7) major perspectives in modern psychology which include psychoanalytic/psychodynamic, behaviourist, humanist, cognitive, biopsychological, evolutionary and sociocultural.
This assignment is an integration of knowledge; three dominant theories of psychology will be examined to see how each has influenced my behaviours through self-reflection and the use of personal examples. Having an understanding of oneself is important as it helps it to perceive things positively and assists in determining the things that one enjoys doing. It also helps in the way one faces challenges and the make decisions in life.

Psychodynamic theory was the dominant school of thought within psychiatry and much of clinical psychology during the first part of the 20th century. Early psychodynamic approaches focused on the interrelationship of the mind (psyche) and mental, emotional or motivational forces within the mind that interact to shape a personality. Dr. Sigmund Freud, who is credited with inventing psychodynamic theory and psychoanalysis, influentially suggested that the unconscious mind is divided into multiple parts, including the irrational and impulsive Id (a representation of primal animal desires), the judgmental Super-ego (a representation of the rules and norms of society inside the mind), and the rational Ego (which serves as an attempt to bridge the other two parts). (Alexander, 2010) According to Freud, the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind can come into conflict with one another, producing a phenomenon called repression (a state where you are unaware of having certain troubling motives, wishes or desires but they influence you negatively just the same). In general, psychodynamic theories suggest that a person must successfully resolve early developmental conflicts (e.g. gaining trust, affection, successful interpersonal relationships, mastering body functions, etc.) in order to overcome repression and achieve mental health. As part of this theory, he believed that humans have two basic drives: Eros and Thanatos, or the Life and Death drives.  According to Psychoanalytic theory, everything we do, every thought we have, and every emotion we experience has one of two goals: to help us survive or to prevent our destruction.  Freud believed that the vast majority of our knowledge about these drives is buried in the unconscious part of the mind. This would suggest that we go to school because it will help assure our survival in terms of improved finances, more money for healthcare, or even an improved ability to find a spouse.  We demand safety in our cars and in our homes.  We want criminal locked away and we want to be protected against anything else that could lead to our destruction.  According to this theory, everything we do, everything we are can be traced back to the two basic drives. I have always felt that this theory offered unique, controversial insights into how the human mind worked. We as humans do tend to internalize, repress and suppress memories and emotions that we find painful or shameful. I also believe that experiences that we have as a child do shape our actions as an adult. As a child I never had a good relationship with my father and I think this has carried over into my relationship with men on a whole. I find it hard to trust, to forgive and to love. I think this has something to do with the fact that there was never any trust between my father and I, nor was there any...
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