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Psychodynamic Approach

• Freud’s psychoanalysis was the original psychodynamic theory, but the psychodynamic approach as a whole includes all theories that were based on his ideas.

• The words psychodynamic and psychoanalytic are often confused. Remember that Freud’s theories were psychoanalytic, whereas the term ‘psychodynamic’ refers to both his theories and those of his followers. Freud’s psychoanalysis is both a theory and a therapy.

• Sigmund Freud (writing between the 1890s and the 1930s) developed a collection of theories which have formed the basis of the psychodynamic approach to psychology. His theories are clinically derived - i.e. based on what his patients told him during therapy. The psychodynamic therapist would usually be treating the patient for depression or anxiety related disorders.

Psychodynamic Approach Assumptions

* Our behavior and feelings are powerfully affected by unconscious motives.
* Our behavior and feelings as adults are rooted in our childhood experiences.
* All behavior has cause even slips of the tongue. Therefore all behavior is determined.

* Personality is made up of three parts: the id, ego and super-ego.
* Behavior is motivated by two instinctual drives: Eros (the sex drive & life instinct) and Thanatos (the aggressive drive & death instinct).
* Parts of the unconscious mind are in constant conflict with the conscious part of the mind. This conflict creates anxiety, which could be dealt with by the ego’s use of defense mechanisms.
* Personality is shaped as the drives are modified by different conflicts at different times in childhood (during psychosexual development).

History of the Psychodynamic Approach
* Anna O a patient of Dr. Joseph Breuer (Freud's mentor and friend) from 1800 to 1882 suffered from hysteria.
* In 1895 Breuer and his assistant, Sigmund Freud, wrote a book, Studies on...

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