2294 Words10 Pages
There are several major approaches in psychology and each approach assumes different ideas about the human mind and behaviour. According to Rycroft the term ‘psychodynamic’ means the “study of mental processes from a dynamic point of view” (Rycroft, 1995 p144), in other words the active, conflicting forces within our mind that motivate our behaviour. This essay will look at the key features of Psychodynamic Approach in psychology, which include the unconscious mind, the tripartite personality and psychosexual stages followed by a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses and finally a conclusion of the findings. According to Eysenck (2005) Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was the creator of the principles of psychoanalysis which in turn started the psychodynamic approach. From an early age, Freud was a gifted student and originally trained in medicine and physiology of the nervous system. He undertook some study in 1885 with Jean Charcot in Paris, one of the most prominent neurologists at the time, and learnt the technique of hypnosis when dealing with hysterical patients and owing to this, his interest first turned to psychology (Hjelle and Ziegler, 1981). Freud believed that human nature is basically deterministic. He argued that people’s behaviour is determined by biological and instinctual drives, irrational forces and trauma derives from childhood experiences. In addition, humans are not consciously aware of the reasons behind their behaviour (Gross, 2007). Freud believed the human mind was like a ‘mental iceberg’. What is more, what individuals are aware of ‘consciously’ represents the tip of the iceberg and the rest of mental life is hidden away, in the unconscious and preconscious. In the conscious, everything a human being is aware of, all sensations and experiences exist. In Freud’s view, a thin slice of mental life, thoughts, feelings, desires, perceptions
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