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Outline and evaluate the psychodynamic approach to psychopathology

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Outline and evaluate the psychodynamic approach to psychopathology The psychodynamic approach focuses on the dynamics of mind. Sigmund Freud developed an approach on abnormality, that highlighted how human personality and psychosexual development in childhood can cause abnormality. Freud proposed that the human personality is made up of three interacting elements: the id, the ego and the super ego. The id is our unconscious it releases natural pleasure seeking instincts and operates to satisfy these instincts through pleasurable activities. The ego represents our conscious self, it tries to balance the id with moral rules proposed by the superego. The superego is our moral authority this developed through identification of our parents moral rules and the social norms of society. ...read more.


This made Freud focus on early years as the source of adult disorders. However, this makes Freud's approach deterministic as it overemphasises childhood experiences in relation to an adults psychological disorder. It should also be said that Freud's theory of the id and the defence mechanism cannot be proved. This does not mean that it is wrong but it does leave room for speculation and differing opinions. Freud saw that anxiety in childhood is a result of the ego not being able to cope with the id's demands and the rules of the superego. In order to protect the intra-psychic the ego defence mechanisms help to balance the id and the superego. It could do this through repression this when an individual represses conflict into the unconscious. ...read more.


As an infant would be completely dependent at this stage, the fixated adult may show overdependence in relationships. This approach focuses far to much on the sexual factor of development it makes little suggestion that social factors may also be involved in a child's development. This can be treated through free association this is when the client is asked to talk about anything that comes into there mind. This will then hopefully access the unconscious and conflict may be revealed. A second treatment is dream analysis this is when a client is asked to talk about their dreams in hope that this will reveal repressed ideas. However, these treatments are unfalsifiable as it is not possible to prove them right or wrong. This treatment is also rather unethical as talking about repressed content may bring further distress to the client. ...read more.

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