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Theories from the psychodynamic approach have helped to explain how mental health issues may be dealt with. Discuss how mental health issues are tackled by the psychodynamic approach

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Introduction

Theories from the psychodynamic approach have helped to explain how mental health issues may be dealt with. Discuss how mental health issues are tackled by the psychodynamic approach The psychodynamic approach highlights the importance of the unconscious mind and early childhood experiences, therefore practitioners of this approach will attempt to deal with the mental health issues of their patients by incorporating these ideas and creating 'therapies' using these bases. The basic concept behind psychoanalysis is that a patient that suffers from mental health problems such as depression can address any regressed feelings thus, the patient gains insight of and can learn to work through their emotional 'baggage'. It is a generalised notion that if the cause of the symptoms were tackled it would only be logical that the symptoms would desist. ...read more.

Middle

Defence mechanisms may be used to reduce the anxiety caused by such unresolved conflicts, but they act more as sticking plaster than as a way of 'sorting out' an individuals problems. Psychodynamic therapy is based on psychoanalysis, and was introduced by sigmund Freud at the start of the twentieth century. Freud and other psychoanalysts used various methods to uncover repressed ideas, and to permit the client to gain insight into his or her unresolved problems. As a form of therapy the approach uses hypnosis, Freud and Breuer treated a twenty one-year-old women called Anna O, who suffered from several neurotic symptoms such as nervous coughs and paralysis. Hypnosis uncovered a repressed memory of Anna O hearing the sound of dance music coming from a nearby house as she was nursing her dying father, and her guilty feeling that she would rather be dancing than looking after her father. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although it can be argued that at least with the psychodynamics' therapeutic approach, nevertheless the psychodynamic approach has encountered serious problems, with the numerous recent cases of false memory syndrome. In these cases, patients undergoing psychotherapy have made allegations about childhood physical or sexual abuse that have turned out to have no basis in fact. However, the psychodynamic approach though positive in many ways is limited because it tends to ignore genetic factors unlike the medical approach and cultural and subcultural differences between societies in diagnosing and giving therapy to those with mental disorders. In its original form, the patients current concerns and interpersonal relationships were de-emphasised and there was undue focus on childhood experiences and sexual problems. ...read more.

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Response to the question

Response to Question
This question requires candidates to discuss what methods the psychodynamic approach suggests to resolve mental health problems, and in doing so, link the application of the approach to the theories behind it. The candidate does this well, ...

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Response to the question

Response to Question
This question requires candidates to discuss what methods the psychodynamic approach suggests to resolve mental health problems, and in doing so, link the application of the approach to the theories behind it. The candidate does this well, giving a brief outline of the psychodynamic approach before going on to write about the methods, but the fact that they only discuss hypnosis in any depth is a flaw. They could include clinical interview techniques in which Freud analysed the patient's speech and came to a conclusion about the issues lying in their unconscious mind. The evaluation of psychodynamic therapies is a good way of going beyond the question and showing advanced knowledge of the approach, but it would be better to concentrate on developing the section on the therapies, as this is explicitly asked for in the question.

Level of analysis

Level of Analysis
Overall, the level of analysis is very good in this essay. The use of a case study (Anna O) to provide an example of psychoanalysis and explain the method in more detail is an excellent technique used by the candidate. Drawing on the evidence a case study provides shows that a candidate has a good knowledge of the topic, and can make points clearer, or help to support arguments. The candidate's evaluation of psychodynamic therapies is good, but as explained above, may not be wholly relevant to the question.

Quality of writing

Quality of Communication
The quality of written communication in this essay is very good. The candidate makes a few small mistakes (forgetting to capitalise the 'S' in "sigmund Freud" and referring to Anna O in the plural "women"), but these could easily be typos, and would not detract from the very high standard of spelling and grammar elsewhere in the essay. Still, it remains important for candidates to proofread their work before submitting it - remember that spellcheckers do not always pick up everything! The introduction is clear and concise, and gives a good 'snapshot' of the essay, which is something a good introduction should strive to do. The conclusion is sufficient, but is a little disappointing compared to the rest of the essay, as it feels rushed. A better way to structure a conclusion is to answer the question concisely, drawing on the arguments made in the essay, and then giving a personal judgement (this is best at GCCSE level, and not necessarily the case beyond!)


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