• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline and evaluate The Psychodynamic model as a way of explaining abnormal behaviour

Extracts from this document...


MOS CRESSIDA Q. OUTLINE AND EVALUATE THE PSYCHODYNAMIC MODEL AS A WAY OF EXPLAINING ABNORMAL BEHAVIOUR. (18 marks) The Psychodynamic model was developed by Freud in the late 1970s. The model regards the origin of mental disorders as psychological rather than physical. He believed that these disorders were caused internally. The main principle is that mental illness arises from unresolved, unconscious conflicts, originating in childhood, which are now repressed. Freud first made his claim as a way of explaining hysteria, a disorder in which physical symptoms (such as deafness) are experienced, but with no underlying physical cause. He astonished his medical colleagues by proposing that hysteria's origins lay in unresolved and unconscious sexual conflicts originating in childhood. He believed that personality has three components and that all behavior is a product of their interaction (the 'structural model'): The Id is present at birth and is the impulsive, pleasurable seeking part of the personality. The Id operates on the pleasure principal, seeking immediate gratification. The Ego develops from the Id to help us cope with the external world, and is necessary for survival. ...read more.


All these unconsciously operating mechanisms serve to protect us by distorting reality. Some include repression (forcing a dangerous/ threatening memory/ idea/ feeling out of the consciousness and making it unconscious), displacement (redirecting an emotional response from a dangerous object to a safe one e.g. anger towards one's boss redirects towards family dog) and denial (refusing to acknowledge certain aspects of reality - refusing to perceive something because it is painful/distressing/threatening). Mental disorders stem from the demands of the Id and/or superego or ego. If the ego is too weak to cope with such conflicts, it defends itself by repressing them into the unconscious. However, these conflicts do not disappear, but find expression through behaviour, and this is the disorder the person experiences, the abnormal behaviour. So, according to the Psychodynamic model, abnormality is caused by conflict between the Id Ego and Superego, fixation at psychosexual phases due to conflict, and defence mechanisms that help control conflict. There are treatments for this. Since the Psychodynamic model assumes mental illness/ abnormal behaviour is the result of unresolved unconscious conflict the treatments are aimed at first identifying the nature of the conflict then resolving it. ...read more.


The analyst then uncovers these disguised meanings of the dream and thereby provides the patient with insight into the motives and feelings that are causing anxiety. As the therapy progresses the patient redirects the attitudes and ways of behaving towards important people in their past towards the analyst. This is transference. The evaluation about the treatment based on the Psychodynamic model is that it is generally very time consuming and very expensive. Also, psychoanalysis depends heavily on the analyst's interpretations of what the client says, and different analysts may have different theories and explanations. A positive evaluation is that the patient would usually feel no blame for the disorder. Therefore in conclusion the Psychodynamic model states that the main principle of abnormal behaviour is due to unresolved, unconscious conflicts originating in childhood. A positive criticism of this model is that empirical evidence confirms that many patients with mental illnesses did indeed have a history of trauma in childhood. A negative criticism of this model is that is can be seen as deterministic as our behaviour is said to be innate and we have little conscious involvement in it. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Psychology essays

  1. Anti-social Behaviour Coursework

    define it as: 'a process whereby people lose their sense of socialised identity and engage in unsocialised, often anti social behaviours.' > One explanation offered for unruly mob behaviour is that the loss of identity that occurs when you are part of a crowd means that individuals feel less constrained

  2. Different Theories and theorists in Human behaviour

    Burrhus Federic Skinner was born March 20th, 1904 in a small tow of Pennsylvania town of Susquehanna. His father was a lawyer and mother was a strong and intelligent housewife. Skinner received his BA in English from Hamilton College in upstate New York.

  1. Uncovering the Defense Mechanisms in the Maya Epigraphy

    mind that, " The kind of information and results an investigator obtains from his observations will to a large extend, depend on the questions he sets out to answer." ( Koppitz, 1968, p.3). Koppitz feels that as a result of an individual's( or the Maya in this study)

  2. Outline and evaluate the psychodynamic model of abnormality.

    It is believed that a psychologically healthy person is able to develop a capability to balance the id and the superego without encountering any psychological problems. There are six recognised defence mechanisms: repression, denial, projection, regression, displacement, and sublimation. There are many advantages to using the psychodynamic model to help us to define abnormality.

  1. In what way is the technique of 'Free Association' valuable for the practice of ...

    state of mind and they are prepared to do what they can to help him. The father is a lorry driver and the mother is described as a proud house wife. The relationship with the parents according to P. is quite distant with not much communication, regardless of their dedication.

  2. How can Freud's Psychodynamic model help me to understand and change my life?

    The Superego is largely unconscious though we do become aware of certain thing when they move into the preconscious. * Mastering Psychology. P243 Through psychodynamic therapy I discovered that I had repressed many memories. I believe these were being stored in my unconscious.

  1. media influences on behaviour

    Television is a focal component of American life. American children spend less time in school than watching TV (Sege 32).Yale graduate, Dr. Robert Sege is a physician and researcher studying the development of a medical response or eventual cure to violence involving children and adolescents.

  2. What is hypnosis?

    that this art of psychic manipulation is in fact of demonic origin. Though these roots of hypnosis are now obscured by an undergrowth of scientific jargon, it remains a dangerous activity to anyone involved.' (Dr A. D. Bambridge, Nucleus, 1987)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work