Outline and Evaluate the Psychodynamic Approach to Abnormality

875 Words4 Pages
The psychodynamic perspective is based on the work of Sigmund Freud. He created both a theory to explain personality and mental disorders and the form of therapy known as psychoanalysis. The psychodynamic approach assumes that all behaviour and mental processes reflect constant and unconscious struggles within person. These usually involve conflicts between our need to satisfy basic biological instincts, for example, for food, sex or aggression, and the restrictions imposed by society. Not all those who take a Psychodynamic approach accept all of Freud's original ideas, but most would view normal or problematic behavior as the result of a failure to resolve conflicts adequately. This attempts to distinguish itself in trying to not only understand the theory that Freud pioneered but determine the extent of its usefulness in explaining and treating abnormal behavior. It was Freud who developed the concept of the psychodynamic approach. The idea behind this was to bring past memories from the unconscious to the conscious. The unconscious mind is when you are doing or thinking something without being alert or aware that you are doing it. Along the idea of the unconscious mind Freud also developed the concept of the ‘ID’, the ‘Ego’ and the ‘Superego’. The id is described as an impulsive, selfish side to our personality which is ruled by a pleasure principle, the superego is the moral part of our personality which recognises right from wrong; and our ego is the part of our mind which tries to rationalise and arbitrate both sides of our thoughts. Freud believed that there were two main causes of abnormality in general. One of these was childhood traumas and the idea that a bad memory from our childhood is so traumatic that it buries itself in our subconscious. This is what is believed to cause problems later on in our adult life. The second cause was the concept
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