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Psychodynamics

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Jeremy Axelrad

on 11 September 2013

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Transcript of Psychodynamics

Psychodynamic Psychology:
Freud's Metapsychology

Psychodynamics
- An approach to psychology that emphasizes systematic study of the psychological forces that underlie human behavior, feelings, and emotions and how they might relate to one another as well as to past experiences, especially those from early childhood.

-Especially interested in the dynamic and often conflictual relations between conscious experience and unconscious motivation.
The Drive Model

-In his second model, the drive, or instinct, model, Freud hypothesized that humans are motivated by drives, or instincts, like other animals, proposing two basic drives: sex (eros/libido) and aggression (thanatos/mortido).

-Based on the principle that organisms are born with certain psychological needs and that a negative state of tension is created when these needs are not satisfied. When a need is satisfied, drive is reduced and the organism returns to a state of homeostasis and relaxation. According to the theory, drive tends to increase over time and operates on a feedback control system, much like a thermostat.

-We sublimate our instinctual drives in "compromise formations," which are psychic products- symptom, symbol, or dream- that expresses simultaneously and partially satisfies both the unconscious impulse and the defense against it .
Freud's Topographic Model
-Freud’s first model, the topographic model, used a spatial metaphor (the mind as split into sectors) that divided mental processes into three types: conscious, preconscious, and unconscious.

-Conscious mental processes are rational, goal-directed thoughts at the center of awareness.

-Preconscious mental processes are not conscious but could become conscious at any point,

-Unconscious mental processes are irrational, organized along associative lines rather than by logic. They are inaccessible to consciousness because they have been repressed to avoid emotional distress.

-Freud also used the topographic model to understand dreams and symptoms, distinguishing between their storyline—the manifest content—and their underlying message—the latent content.



The Psychosexual/Developmental Model
-Stages reflect the child’s evolving quest for pleasure and growing realization of the social limitations on this quest. At each stage, libido is focused on a particular part of the body, or erogenous zone (region of the body that can generate sexual pleasure).

FREUD’S PSYCHOSEXUAL STAGES
Oral 0–18 months: Dependency
Anal 2–3 years: Orderliness, cleanliness, control, compliance
Phallic 4–6 years: Identification with parents (especially same sex)
and others, Oedipus complex, establishment of conscience
Latency 7–11 years: Sublimation of sexual and aggressive impulses
Genital 12+ years: Mature sexuality and relationships
The Structural Model
-Described conflict in terms of desires on the one hand and the dictates of conscience or the constraints of reality on the other.

-The structural model posits three sets of mental forces, or
structures: the id, ego, and superego.

The Id
-The reservoir of sexual and aggressive energy, driven by impulses,
"a seething cauldron of excitations".

-Earliest part of personality to develop, "infantile" and present at birth. Provides all of the energy necessary to drive personality.

-Acts according to the pleasure principle, which seeks to avoid displeasure and maximize pleasure as immediately as possible.

-When we are unable to immediately satisfy a need, tension results. The id relies on "primary process thinking" to temporarily relieve the tension. The primary process involves creating a mental image either through daydreaming, fantasizing, or hallucinating.
The Superego
-Serves to counterbalance the “untamed passions” of the id, acts as a conscience and source of ideals. The superego is the parental voice within the person, established through identification.

-Internalized sense of right and wrong from parents and society, strives for moral and personal perfection in the eyes of others

-Last part of personality to develop, around age five.

-Operates through feelings of guilt, shame, and pride.
The Ego

-The ego is the structure that must somehow balance desire, reality, and morality.

-Freud described the ego as serving three masters: the id, the external world, and the superego.

-Unlike the id, the ego is capable of secondary process thinking, which is rational, logical, and goal directed, and develops around age three.

-The ego is responsible for cognition, problem solving, managing emotions, and finding compromises among competing demands.
Defense Mechanisms
-Unconscious mental processes aimed at protecting a person from
experiencing unacceptable desires or unpleasant emotions, especially anxiety.

Examples:
-Repression
-Regression
-Denial
-Projection
-Reaction formation
-Sublimation
-Rationalization
-Passive Aggression
-Etc...
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