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Outline and Evaluate the Psychodynamic Approach to Psychopathology

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Outline and Evaluate the psychodynamic approach to psychopathy The psychodynamic approach believes that mental disorders have psychological, not physical causes and underlying psychological conflicts of which they are unaware. Freud's psychodynamic approach states that mental illnesses are the result of unresolved childhood conflicts. These conflicts occur between the id which is present at birth and seeks immediate gratification by operating with the "pleasure" principle, the ego, which develops after around one year as a consequence of experiencing reality and is therefore rational. Lastly, the superego develops after around 3-6 years and is the sense of right and wrong and strives for the idea behaviour. ...read more.


are used. However, if overused, these defences can cause disturbed behaviour. Early experiences can also cause mental disorders because in childhood, the ego is not developed enough to be able to deal with traumas, such as the death of a parent, leading to a repression of the associated emotions. Later in life, further losses may cause the individual to re-experience this loss which can lead to depression. Unconscious motives may also cause mental disorders because the unconscious mind exerts a powerful effect on behaviour through the influence of previously repressed emotions or trauma. ...read more.


There is also a validity issue with the research because theorists have had to rely largely on case studies. Although they give an in-depth look into a study, they only focus on one person and therefore can not be generalised to others. Gender also needs to be taken into consideration. Freud's theories are undoubtedly sexually unbalanced and even he himself has accepted that his theories are less developed for women. However, his research was conducted in Victorian times when women were not seen as equal to men. Therefore, although at the time of research woman were not seen as important, the results can not be generalised to women. ...read more.

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