Sigmund Freud And The Psychodynamic Approach To Psychology

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When comparing and contrasting the psychodynamic and behaviourist approach to psychology similarities can be noted in early learning experiences and how this effects adult personalities. The differences can be seen in their views on mental process and in testing each theory.
“The psychodynamic perspective searches for the causes of behaviour within the inner workings of our personality emphasizing the role of unconscious process”. (Passer, 2009 p11) Whereas, “The Behaviourist perspective focuses on the role of the external environment in governing our actions” (Passer, 2009, p13)
Sigmund Freud developed the extremely influential and controversial theory of psychoanalysis. Despite the controversy, he had a huge impact on the field of psychology as it is today. His theory was concerned with free association, defence mechanisms, Freud’s psychosexual theory, dream interpretation and how early experiences effect later life. According to Freud certain behaviours should be seen as mental illness and his work led to mental illness being included in the field of psychology where it was never before. One method of analysing the unconscious mind was through ‘free association’. This involved allowing the patient sit and talk, the aim being that they eventually say what the issue is. He proposed that people use psychological techniques called defence mechanisms to help us cope with certain situations. For example, the ego will defend itself against anxiety using defence mechanisms to
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