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

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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.

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