Definition of Psychodynamic Theory


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Psychodynamic Theory

In psychology, a psychodynamic theory is a view that explains personality in terms of conscious and unconscious forces, such as unconscious desires and beliefs. In the early 20th century, Sigmund Freud proposed a psychodynamic theory according to which personality consists of the id (responsible for instincts and pleasure-seeking), the superego (which attempts to obey the rules of parents and society), and the ego (which mediates between them according to the demands of reality). Psychodynamic theories commonly hold that childhood experiences shape personality. Such theories are associated with psychoanalysis, a type of therapy that attempts to reveal unconscious thoughts and desires. Not all psychologists accept psychodynamic theories, and critics claim the theories lack supporting scientific data. Other theories of personality include behavioral and humanist theories.


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hi guys my name is Michelle I’m a tutor for chegg tutors and a usually tutor in English math and psychology today we’re going to be talking about the psychodynamic theory so the psychodynamic psychology ignores the trappings of science and instead focuses on trying to get inside of the head of individuals and so we try and make sense of their relationships of their drives and experiences and how they see the world the approach looks at human function is based on interactions of unconscious drives and forces between the different structures of the personality so Freud’s psychoanalysis which is the most famous introduction to psychodynamic theory was the original I was the start to this theory but the psychodynamic approach as a whole includes all theories that were based on his ideas and this includes the famous psychologist Adler Zhang and erickson the word psychodynamic and psychoanalytic are actually very frequently confused remember that freud’s theories were a psychoanalytic while the term psychodynamic refers to both his theories and those of his followers Freud’s psychoanalysis is both a theory and a therapy so some psychodynamic approach assumptions were or are our behaviors are powerfully in affected by our unconscious desires of motives and these behaviors as adults come from childhood experiences and personality is made up of three parts that aid the ego and the super-ego so the it in the ego are part of the unconscious mind and are always in conflict with the super-ego which is part of the conscious mind and lastly personality is made up of drives modified by conflicts people face at different times in their childhood so there are a lot of criticisms to this psychodynamic theory I’ll give you a few the greatest criticism of the psychodynamic approach is that it very unscientific it’s almost impossible to test scientifically and it is unscientific in its analysis of the human behavior another criticism is that when freud was studying his patients it was mainly based on a lot of research into one patient versus research among different patients and so it didn’t give us enough information on the therapy another criticism is that the psychodynamic perspective is to deterministic it leaves very little room for the idea of personal agency or for example free will free will um and lastly the psychodynamic approach can be criticized for being sexist against women so Freud believed that females penis envy made them inferior to males and thought that females tended to develop weaker super egos and therefore would be more prone to anxiety than males so that’s a little bit about the psychodynamic approach I hope you learned something have a great day

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