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Describe and Evaluate features of one approach to Psychopathology

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Introduction

Describe and Evaluate features of one approach to Psychopathology Psychopathology is the study of psychological disorders, their natures and causes. One approach to psychopathology is the psychodynamic approach; literally an approach that explains the dynamics of behaviour-what motivates a person. Freud suggested that unconscious forces and early experience are the prime motivators. There are some key features to this methodology, the first being that when you repress memories for too long and do not deal with them you can develop psychological disorders known as neurosis. These can manifest as panic attacks, hysterical behaviour, phobias, compulsive or obsessive behaviour. ...read more.

Middle

. Freud believed that the mind was made up of an id- unconscious mind, ego-conscious mind and the superego- imposes a moral standard to our thoughts. The id contains Eros and Thenatos. This is the life and death wish. Abnormal behaviour was seen as being caused by these underlying psychological forces, sometimes originating from childhood experiences or an underlying conflict between id and superego. If this is not managed then the person might develop a psychological disorder. The psychodynamic model of abnormality aims to treat mental illness by making the unconscious conscious, through the use of psychoanalytic therapy. ...read more.

Conclusion

The interpretations of what is wrong are bases on the therapist's opinions, these could change between each therapist and there is no distinct plan to follow. It is also very difficult to test childhood memories because the parents are not reliable and the patient's memories could be influenced by the therapist. Therefore their memories cannot be accurate to suggest fact. It also criticises parents for their child's ill mental health. The only research method for this approach is to study cases from past therapists. Some other limitations where that Freud's approach was considered sexists as he only concentrated on males as women were not seen as equals in Victorian times. However Freud himself accepted that his theory was less well developed for women. ...read more.

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Response to the question

This is a question to describe AND evaluate. The question therefore carries more marks than a question with only one command word. To score highly, the candidate must demonstrate a profound knowledge of one approach to psychopathology through detailed exploration ...

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Response to the question

This is a question to describe AND evaluate. The question therefore carries more marks than a question with only one command word. To score highly, the candidate must demonstrate a profound knowledge of one approach to psychopathology through detailed exploration of techniques and contextual background information; they must also show an ability to successfully evaluate the approach with at least two strengths and two limitations. This candidate has done very well to include all of the above and has completed the required question objectives to a high standard.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is entirely indicative of a very able Psychology student. Not only have they chosen one of the hardest psychopatholocial approaches the describe and, they have balanced a very effective evaluation of both practical issues with using Freudian Theory. It may have served the candidate in good stead to have presented both a practical and an ethical issue when discussing the approach's limitation's, rather than two practical issues (not regarded as hugely scientific; hugely unreliable anecdotal evidence in the form of childhood memories), but nonetheless, the evaluation earns top marks for discussing valid reasons as to why Freudian Theory might raise issues in Psychopathology. The description is extremely well-detailed, with plenty of background into how Sigmund Freud imagined the human mind and it's division (Id, Ego, Superego), though there could've been more emphasis on the roles of these parts of the psyche and when, during development, they come into play (the Ego for, instance, isn't developed until a child is of about 7-8 years of age, and the Superego doesn't present itself until the very early teens). There could've also been a bit more description of how these three sections of the human mind interact with each other, with a real life example given to illustrate the innate desires of the Id, the control of the Ego, and the moral high ground the Superego observes from. However, a candidate may not be expected to cover this much in description alone as it would press time to evaluate the approach. As a final note, a few more specialist terminology like retrospective, memory reconstruction, operationalisation, researcher bias and leading questions, for example.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is fine. There is little diversion from the standards of GCSE punctuation (full stops, commas) so a lot more variety and confidence with punctuation wouldn't go amiss. The spelling of what specialist terminology there is is consistently accurate and there are no grammatical errors made.


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