The Psychodynamic Approach proves

The superego which develops from eighteen months and onwards is governed by the morality principle, this is our conscience. Freud believed that our personality fully developed by the age of six. The approach suggests that if the Id is dominant and the superego is weak, psychopathy is likely to develop in adulthood, whereas if the superego is dominant, an individual is likely to develop a neurotic illness such as depression or anxiety.

Sometimes the ego experiences anxiety and may use defence mechanisms to protect itself. These defence mechanisms are; Repression, where a memory is forced out of consciousness and is made unconscious. Displacement, where an emotional response is taken from its original source and used against someone else, for example; anger towards a partner being directed towards a pet. Denial when an individual refuses to accept something in reality because it is painful or distressing. Rationalisation, when one justifies their own or others actions to themselves and believes it. Identification is where an individual incorporates another person into their own personality, and starts to think/act/feel as if they were that person. Regression, one begins to behave in a way that is similar to the behaviour they engaged in as a child.

Freud believed that people suffering from mental disorders were quite often unaware of the root cause of their disorder, and he argued that the causes were often repressed from our conscious awareness and then hidden deep in our unconscious mind, therefore causing abnormalities. Psychoanalysis, a form of therapy could be used where a sufferer would gain an insight into a specific mental disorder. Therefore the goal of Psychoanalysis was to make the unconscious conscious.

Two types of therapy are used in Psychoanalysis, the first being Free association and the second, Dream analysis. Free association involved the client speaking openly and freely about whatever came to mind, therefore allowing the unconscious to become conscious without the client even realising. Dream analysis is where Freud believed that dreams were ‘the royal road to the unconscious’. He believed that there are two contents of dreams, which were the manifest content and the latent content. The manifest content is regarded as the storyline and the latent content is the dreams hidden meaning.

A criticism of the Behaviourist Approach is that when classical conditioning is used it can cause Traumatic Mental Imprinting where an individual may have a fear but then they may also link it to something else that was there at the time, therefore in the future the may have developed more fears of what was present at the time of the treatment. The treatments used in this approach are affective in treating certain mental disorders, and the approach has provided many practical applications such as The Token Economy Programme. However it is argued that Behaviourism is reductionist, meaning that it ignores the mind and other factors, as it only concentrates on one factor. A lot of the research was conducted on animals therefore it cannot be generalised with humans. It is argued that operant conditioning doesn’t produce long-lasting effects and change if reinforcements are not maintained. The approach also raises concerns of ethical issues about choice and freewill.

The Psychodynamic Approach proves in some ways successful as Freudian concepts are still being used in literature and films. There is also plenty of support for defence mechanisms and many people tend to use them on a regular basis such as denial, when one is in an abusive relationship and chooses not to leave the relationship. Freud was the first to introduce psychological factors as being a cause of mental disorders, however he ignored cultural and social factors in terms of the role they contributed to someone’s development. He also used case studies therefore the findings obtained from his research cannot be generalised to the population as a whole.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder contradicts the concept of repression; it proves that not everything traumatic is repressed. Freud only used one child in his study of ‘Little Hans’ yet he developed a theory of how children develop through childhood. The Biological Approach proves that some mental disorders are caused by faulty genes, using family studies of Mz and Dz twins. Treatments include drugs, Electro Convulsive Therapy and Psychosurgery. These treatments take place all over the world to date and anti-depressants such as Prosac are very popular when treating depression. The Psychodynamic Approach and Behaviourist Approach are contradicted by the Biological Approach as studies have proved that drugs and physical treatment are extremely effective and most popular rather than unlearning a disorder or bringing a memory from the unconscious to the conscious also known as Flooding and Psychoanalysis.

The Cognitive Approach is similar to that of the Behaviourist and Psychodynamic Approach as it all takes place in the mind and blames the individual. The Biological Approach is the only approach that does not blame the individual. In conclusion to my essay I feel that The Behaviourist Approach and The Psychodynamic Approach both explain the causes of mental disorders differently yet realistically. Both have successful treatments and therapies and each have their own strengths and limitations.

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