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Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using psychodynamic concepts of repression and resistance in understanding and treating psychological disorders.

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Introduction

FP/E3/1 Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using psychodynamic concepts of repression and resistance in understanding and treating psychological disorders. The term "psychodynamic" suggests any explanation that emphasises the process of change or transformation and development, i.e., the dynamics (changeability) of behaviour or the forces that drive an individual to behave the way he or she does. "Dynamics" are the things that drive us or a machine to behave in particular ways.(Eyesenck & Flanagan, 2000. p 172)i. Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytical theory is probably the best-known example of the psychodynamic model. His view was that psychological disorders did not have a physical origin but instead arose out of unresolved, unconscious conflicts, which formed essentially in early childhood. All psychodynamic concepts arose from Freud's theory of personality development in which he essentially argued that the mind is divided into three parts. First, there is the id, which consists of mainly unconscious sexual and aggressive, essentially selfish, instincts. The motivating force is the innate sexual drive found in every human i.e. the libido. Second, there is the ego, which is the rational and conscious part of the mind. Third, there is the superego or the conscience. These three parts of the mind are frequently at conflict with one another. ...read more.

Middle

There are essentially three times when memory can be affected: when it is stored, while it is being stored and when it is retrieved, which basically covers all the time. Therefore, at any of these times something could be misunderstood, associated or implanted in our memories. Psychologists are not the only influences our memories may be affected by. Everyday memories like recollections of horror movies, comic books, nightmares, anything on TV etc. are very capable of becoming embedded in our memory and then muddled up with other memories. Memories of these things can come out in the hypnosis therapy and if they are in line with the therapists own interpretations, he or she will think it to be true and valid information. Remembering detailed accounts of events that never took place is known as the False Memory Syndrome (FMS). Thus, not only is it up to the reliability of the technique being used to resurrect a repressed memory but it is also depends on the mind of the patient to distinguish these other influences and recall only the true event. One would think why people would want to dredge up memories if they are not real. The reasons can be plentiful, it can simply be fraud, or as the FMS suggests, since the persons mind has been all jumbled up with the therapist's suggestions and other influences, he or she himself/herself believes the memory to be true. ...read more.

Conclusion

At last he admits that he really cannot say anything, he is ashamed to... So goes on, with untold variations." In all fairness, there is quite a bit of evidence to support the concepts of repression and resistance. But one seems to wonder if a person cannot recall a certain memory, was it ever really a memory? Did it ever really happen? Due to the breadth of recorded cases of repression, no one can deny its existence, all we can conclude is that until psychologists can drag our unconsciousness completely into the light, the reliability of retrieval of repressed memories will be left in the dark. End Notes i Eyesenck, M.W. & Flanagan, C. Psychology for AS Level. Psychology Press Ltd. 2000. p.173 ii Cardwell, M. The Complete A-Z Psychology Handbook. Second Edition. Hodder & Stoughton. 1996, 2000. iii Eyesenck, M.W. & Flanagan, C. Psychology for AS Level. Psychology Press Ltd. 2000. p 173. iv Eyesenck, M.W. & Flanagan, C. Psychology for AS Level. Psychology Press Ltd. 2000. p 174. v Eyesenck, M.W. & Flanagan, C. Psychology for AS Level. Psychology Press Ltd. 2000. p 174. vi Eyesenck, M.W. & Flanagan, C. Psychology for AS Level. Psychology Press Ltd. 2000. p 174. vii Freud, S. Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis. In J.Starchey (Ed.), The Complete Psychological Works, Vol. 16. New York: Norton. 1917. p. 289. ...read more.

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