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The psychodynamic model of abnormality was initiated by Sigmund Freud

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Title The psychodynamic model pf abnormality is useful to an extent. However it has many weaknesses. The psychodynamic model of abnormality was initiated by Sigmund Freud. Sigmund Freud was very interested in hysteria. This is the manifestation of physical causes. He became convinced that unconscious mental causes were responsible not just abnormality but also normality. Freud developed Psychoanalysis. This is a set of techniques for treating the unconscious causes of mental disorders and built up a psychoanalytic theory of how human personality and abnormality develop from childhood. His psychoanalytic approach had a great impact on psychology and psychiatry and was developed by other psychodynamic theorists. Psychoanalysis had a very fixed set of assumptions. One of these is the unconscious processes where many important influences on behaviour come from a part of the mind we have no awareness of called the unconscious. Another assumption is psychodynamic conflict. Different parts of the mind are in constant struggle with each other and the consequences of this are important in understanding behaviour. Freud also believed that behaviour is motivated by sexual and aggressive drives. ...read more.


When Freud carried out his investigations, he used the case study method when treating his clients. He used to see his clients individually and probed their past and questioned their behaviour. He analysed and interpreted the symbolism in everything they said and did. These methods are still used today. Freud used two particular techniques. The first being free association where the thoughts of the client are analysed by Freud and then interpreted. The second technique he used is dream analysis where the analyst looks at the dreams of a client and tries to decode the symbols to unravel the hidden meaning of the dream. Freud also used his theory to explain more topics such as personality development and moral gender development. He had the idea that childhood experiences had an effect on the person's personality. Such as the phallic stage, in which the male child is sexually attracted to his mother and the female child is sexually attracted to her father. If there is no father in the daughter's life, of if there is no mother in the son's life then the child may grow to be abnormal. ...read more.


He bases a lot of his theories on childhood experiences but only ever did one case study involving a child. There are a few positive views to the psychodynamic model. It flourished between 1920s and 1960s, and is still used today. Many psychiatrists favour the model and have adopted it into their practise. Psychoanalysis has been the most influential psychological theory of the 20th century. It has had a significant effect on a wide range of disciplines such as anthropology, women's studies and theology. Also, the sharp distinction between abnormality and normality of the biological model is ignored. Doing this, it has created more sympathy for people with psychological disorders. Psychoanalysis is more humane with its focus on talking as opposed to drugs, shock therapy or brain surgery. It also has the power to enhance our understanding of ourselves and from the number of people who testify how it has helped them in their own lives. In conclusion, the psychodynamic model is useful as it is still being used today by professional psychiatrists and works with many people. However, there are a lot of weaknesses to outweigh the positives, which means that the model can be seriously questioned. Lee Kirby Psychology Essay - 1 - ...read more.

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