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The Psychodynamic Approach

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The Psychodynamic Approach The first Psychologist to start this approach was called Sigmund Freud, and is probably the most famous Psychologist to date. Although, many others have followed the approach, they believe Freud has exaggerated some assumptions. These Psychologists are called neo-Freudian and Erikson is probably the most well known from this category. Sigmund Freud's theory believes that there's a close connection between childhood experiences and adult personality characteristics. He believes that many aspects of adult thinking and behaviour can be linked to particular childhood experiences. Sigmund Freud developed a theory of how our personality starts from a very young age and develops through various stages throughout our childhood. The focal objects for the development of the child's personality has five main stages of psychological development. Firstly, the oral stage, which happens between birth and eighteen months old. The phsyical focus point is the mouth. Sucking is the primary source of pleasure for a newborn baby. The psychological theme is dependency. A baby is very dependent and can do little for itself. If a baby becomes fixated at this stage, Freud felt that he or she would grow to be an oral character. ...read more.


He then represses his desire and defensively identifies with his father. Girls suffer a penis envy, where the daughter is initially attached to her mother, but then a shift of attachment occurs when she realizes she lacks a penis. She desires her father whom she sees as a means to obtain a penis substitute (a child). She then represses her desire for her father and incorporates the values of her mother and accepts her inherent 'inferiority' in society. The latency stage happens between six years old, until the child starts his puberty. According to Freud, the child didn't develop much here, and nothing really takes place. The latency stage is the period of relative calm. The sexual and aggressive drives are less active and there is little in the way of psychosexual conflict. The genital stage takes place post puberty and the physical focus are the genitals. The attention is again on the libido, but this time, it's in a grown up way. The psychological theme at this stage is maturity, creation and enhancement of life. So this is not just about creating a new life, but also about intellectual and artistic creativity. ...read more.


Freud saw the adult personality structured into three parts - the id, the ego and the super-ego all developing different stages in our lives. These are systems, not part of the brain or in any way physical. The id consists of all the inherited components of personality. The id is the part of our personality which responds directly and immediately to the instincts. The ego ideally works by reason whereas the id is chaotic and totally unreasonable. Like the id, ego seeks pleasure and avoids pain, but unlike the id, the ego is concerned with devising a reality strategy to obtain pleasure. The super-ego's function is to control the id's impulses, especially those with society forbids, such as sex and aggression One of the major influences in the urges we are born with is our instincts which are mainly sexual or aggressive in nature. Freud believes that people have two drives - Eros and Thanatos. Eros is a life instinct whilst Thonatos, which means death, is a destructive drive. Eros is a positive drive, which includes emotions such as love, and socializing. Freud later called this the libido. Thonatos is a drive towards death. It co-works with negative emotions such as hatred and feeling scared and it can determine someone to be anti-social, from bullying to even murder. ...read more.

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