Psychological Approaches to Abnormality

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There are three main psychological approaches to abnormal behaviour, the cognitive approach, the behavioural approach and the psychodynamic approach. Firstly, the psychodynamic approach. The psychodynamic approach explains the forces that influence our behaviour. Sigmund Freud proposed a controversial approach and made key assumptions. His first assumption was that mental illnesses are psychological in origin, the psychodynamic approach, unlike the biological approach, explains behaviour as a result of psychological issues rather than physical issues. Secondly, he explained the importance of the unconscious. He explained that the unconscious mind would determine a lot about behaviour. ‘Dynamic unconsciousness’ is used to explain behaviour when the cause is unknown. He assumed that if the unconscious behaviour was brought to awareness the abnormal behaviour would disappear. Thirdly, that there are three component to personality, the ego, the id and the superego. The id is present at birth and represents a persons instincts and basic drives related to sex and aggression. Later in life we develop a superego, which consists of morals and culture, this is our conscience. These two conflicting components are controlled by the ego. When the id and superego are imbalanced, abnormal behaviour may occur. Freud also expresses the importance of childhood experiences, he stated that our experiences as a child play a major part in adult development. Distressing memories may become unconscious and may be the cause of abnormal behaviour. Fifthly, he expressed the importance of psychosexual development. He used this to explain abnormal behaviour later in life, he stated that humans go through five main stages of development during our childhood. If any conflicts occur during these stages, Freud explained that you might suffer abnormal behaviour. The first stage running
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