Evaluate the Extent to Which Freud’s Theory of Psychosexual Development Can Help Us to Understand a Client’s Presenting Issues

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Evaluate the extent to which Freud’s theory of psychosexual development can help us to understand a client’s presenting issues A psychodynamic approach is one which tries to explain what drives or motivates development. Many psychological explanations aim to identify what causes behaviour, but this approach looks at the dynamics of the cause. The best known psychodynamic approach is Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory. He suggested that we are driven to satisfy biological urges and these motives cause us to interact with our environment in certain ways. This means early experiences play a critical role in our lives. Freud believed the human mind has both unconscious and conscious areas. The unconscious part is seen as being dominated by the id, a primitive part of the human personality that seeks only gratification and pleasure. It isn’t concerned with social rules, only with self-gratification and it is driven by the ‘pleasure principle.’ It is said psychopaths are ID led. The disregard for our consequences of behaviour is referred to as ‘primary process thinking’. The second area Freud called the ‘ego’ and he claimed that this dominates the human mind. It is the part in contact with the outside world and it considers the consequences of an action and carries out ‘secondary process thinking.’ Ego led individuals are said to be well balanced. The third part of the mind Freud called the ‘superego’. It is said this develops as behaviour is motivated by trying to balance the needs of the id (pleasure, comfort and food.) (First steps in counselling. pg. 21.) According to Freud, the person suffering neuroses were led by their super-ego. The fact of the existence of sexual needs in human beings and animals is shown through biology, by the assumption of a ‘sexual instinct’. This is generally seen as developing when a child begins to go through puberty, however Freud
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