There are three main approaches to counselling and psychotherapy. These are cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), person-centred therapy (PCT) and psychodynamic or psychoanalytic therapy (PDT). Each incorporates a variety of techniques and is distinct from each other in terms of their interventions and assumptions about the nature and sources of psychopathology. The Psychodynamic Approach (Originator: Sigmund Freud 1856 – 1939) PDT focuses on ways in which the unconscious impacts upon how people function (Freud, 1933). Freud believed that the unconscious is a component of the mind that the individual is unaware of, but which manifests through behaviour: “infantile wishes, desires, demands and needs that are hidden from consciousness awareness because of the conflicts and pain they would cause if they were part of everyday life” (Feldman, 1993, p. 381).
He also linked some childhood desires with the development of ones personality. The psychoanalytic theory is founded on the basis that there are inner forces that influence ones behavior unconsciously. This theory was developed after a thorough observation of people’s behavior where Sigmund conducted case studies. Feud argued that human mind can be divided three parts; the conscious mind, the preconscious mind and the unconscious mind. According to Asch M (2004), the conscious mind includes the things that we are aware of.
The ego controls behavior and does this to avoid negative consequences. The superego develops through interactions with individuals who wants the child to conform to societal norms. The superego restricts the desires of the Id by morals and societal values. Freud believed that conflicts existed between Id and the superego. These conflicts influence the of development personality.
I will present what I think to be the most valid theory, Graham’s concept. His view of Addiction is that of a mental disorder, which is brought about by brute a-rational mechanical forces and the conscious phenomenology of the person. This disorder harms individuals’ ability to function in society as well as harmful consequences to the self and the people around them. As a nicotine addict, I will attempt to present a theory of Addiction, using my personal phenomenology as an exemplar, to entail a multidisciplinary view. This view is to adapt the three factors of biological, social and psychological into a framework that defines Addiction as a mental disorder.
There is a connection between identity and core identity and the social context. A lifelong development is suggested, however, a clear focus on adolescence maybe leads to ignoring crucial changes in later life. Structures of social power are not specially emphasized, regard personal and social as separate systems. Psychoanalyst Erik Erikson 1902-1994, pioneer in the field of child development and ‘identity crisis’, has influenced research until today. For Erikson, identity development of the individual depends on society; personality grows under the influence of parental and social attitudes – affected by the historical period.
How would you react if someone told you that all of your behaviors are motivated by unconscious thoughts, which you can not control? Would you accept it as truth, or try to prove them wrong, even if partially? Well, you would be taking this argument to Sigmond Freud himself. He proposed a psychological view that states, “behavior is motivated by unconscious, inner forces over which the individual has little control,” the psychodynamic perspective (Feldman). The psychodynamic perspective is one of the five major perspectives in psychology.
However, by looking at the psychodynamic approach to personality, it is evident that not only are abnormal and normal personalities apparent, but a correlation can be seen between Freud’s psychosexual stages and an adult’s behaviour and personality as an outcome. Through this theory Freud demonstrates evidence supporting the abnormal personality, as early traumatic childhood experiences buried in the psyche, eventually serve as foundations for “abnormal” behaviour. Martin (1952) believes we can define the notion of normality, in terms of behaviour, as what has been socially approved. Thus, Weiten’s (2007) argument that “abnormal behaviour usually involves a deviation from social norms rather than an illness” supports this definition. However, realistically, it can more than often be difficult to distinguish between the fine line that separates normality from abnormality (Weiten).
A variety of theories have sought to explain schizophrenia at the psychological level. One being the psychodynamic approach which follows a fixed set of assumptions such as the role of unconscious processes and the psychodynamic conflict in which different parts of the mind are in constant dynamic struggle with each other and the consequences of this struggle are important in understanding behaviour. Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of schizophrenia involves two related processes, regression to a pre-ego stage and attempts to establish ego control. Freud believed that schizophrenia is caused when trauma from unresolved conflict between the id, ego, and superego is repressed into the unconscious and this causes regression to an earlier stage of psychosexual development. Fixation and regression means that the ego is not fully developed and so the individual may be dominated by the id or the superego, and because the ego is weak the individual will lack a sound basis in reality.
The psychodynamic approach to counselling is based on the psychoanalytic theories and practice of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), (McLeod, 2008a). Freud believed that psychosexual development led to sexual wishes and memories which would be at the root of the patient’s problems. However since then psychodynamic approaches have strayed from this and developed an approach which is more psychosocial, though they still believe that the client’s problems have origins in childhood experiences (McLeod, 2008a). A main focus of psychodynamic counselling is the belief that the majority of our mental functioning is unconscious; our unconscious contains memories, thoughts and feelings which can be irrational or the imprints and demands of our parents, the unconscious is constantly battling with the conscious, but we are unaware of it as this would be deeply uncomfortable to live with; so we deal with it by using defense mechanisms such as repression or denial. The purpose of psychodynamic counselling is to bring the unconscious into conscious awareness; this is to allow the individual to gain insight and understanding into the reasoning behind their behaviours (McLeod, 2008a).
Sexual feelings become normal around age five, but remerge during the beginning of puberty. Psychological problems may develop if fixation occurs at a prime stage. Modern psychological analysis have progressed from these ideas. The basis of this observation is derived from the idea that most emotional problems are caused by childhood experiences which could be negative or positive.. Psychoanalysis seeks to help an individual overcome past negative experiences( Kindersley 2007). Freud suggested that energy is generated by libido which is influenced by cathexis and anti cathexis.