Evaluate Psychoanalytic Theory

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Evaluate the psychodynamic perspective to human behavior

The psychodynamic perspective is a theory in psychology deriving from the work of Sigmund Freud. It focuses heavily on the unconscious mind and the fears, wishes and fantasies that are stored there. Sigmund Freud’s version also states that virtually all human behavior is motivated by sexual and aggressive urges and that the experiences we have as a child are what form our personality as adults. According to this perspective mental disorders arise from repressed conflicts that are stored in the unconscious and they can be treated by psychoanalysis. The goal of psychoanalysis is essentially that the patients become aware of their unconscious conflicts through free association and interpretation
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Before his revolutionary principles the treatment of mentally sick patients were outright scary and the thought of unconscious thoughts and wishes was ridiculous. Freud introduced a new kind of treatment for mentally sick patients, namely psychoanalysis or “the talking cure”. When studying his patients, Freud became convinced that emotional experiences in early childhood could create impulses that became trapped in the unconscious and were the reasons for mental disorders. He was treating his patients by trying to make them aware of these memories by, for example, letting them talk completely freely about whatever they wanted, something he called free association. This form of treatment has been one of the cornerstones for the development of psychotherapy and has improved the lives of many. One example of psychoanalysis is the case of Anna O. She was one of Freud’s first and most important patients involved in the development of psychoanalysis. Anna O suffered from a range of unexplainable symptoms such as disturbances in hearing, sight and speech, paralysis of the arms and legs and aquaphobia (fear of water). After numerous sessions she was able to trace back each of the symptoms to a traumatic experience in her childhood. Once she had done that and discussed the memory the symptoms curiously…show more content…
It can be likened to an iceberg, with the largest part, the unconscious, rooted deep in the depths of the sea. In the unconscious the ‘Id’ resides. The ‘Id’ is the primitive, biological part of the mind where our deepest fears and wishes, along with hidden memories etc., are lodged. It is also the source of psychic energy, which is created by the aggressive and sexual drives that motivate all of our behavior, according to Freud. Because it hasn’t been influenced by the outside world, it can create impulses without any regards to what social situations we are
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