The Psychodynamic Approach


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The Psychodynamic Approach

  1. 1. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia The Royal Commission at Yanbu Yanbu University College Yanbu Al-Sinaiyah x The Psychodynamic Approach EDU 301 EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY Dr. Hala Fawzi
  2. 2. The Psychodynamic Approach Sigmund Freud —1856-1939 • An Austrian Neurologist • Freud based his thinking on clinical observation, research and reflections to form his famous and controversial theory. • The psychodynamic approach as a whole includes all theories that were based on Sigmund's ideas.
  3. 3. Key features of the Psychodynamic Approach The emphasis is on the role of the unconscious mind, the structure of personality and the influence that childhood experiences have on later life.
  4. 4. Key Feature (1): The unconscious, preconscious and conscious Freud proposed that the the mind is subdivided into different levels of conscious awareness. (1) Conscious: thoughts and perceptions (2) Preconscious: available to consciousness, e.g. memories and stored knowledge (3) Unconscious: wishes and desires formed in childhood determines most behavior
  5. 5. Levels of Consciousness: Iceberg theory Contains information that we are aware of and have easy access to. (10%), Holds on to information easily retrievable 10-15% Holds all the information that the conscious cannot deal with. 75-80%. Freud‘s ‗mental iceberg‘ view of the mind.
  6. 6. Key Feature (2): The personality
  7. 7. Key Feature (2): The personality 1. Id – unconscious impulses that want to be gratified, without regard to potential punishment. ID is the primitive psyche – encompassing all the basic needs, feelings and motivation.
  8. 8. Key Feature (2): The personality 3. Superego – the ―moral‖ center of our personality which tells us right from wrong (somewhat conscious). It holds all of our internalized moral standards and ideals that we acquire from both parents and society--our sense of right and wrong. The superego acts to civilize our behavior. It works to suppress all unacceptable urges of the id.
  9. 9. Key Feature (2): The personality 2. Ego (primarily conscious) –This is the most challenging and conflicting part of the mind as it focuses on maintaining balance among two opposite forces. --Ego mediates conflict between id and superego
  10. 10. Let’s watch a very short video Watch the other video on the Moodle
  11. 11. Personality Development Freud used the term ego strength to refer to the ego's ability to function despite these fighting forces. A person with good ego strength is able to effectively manage these pressures, while those with too much or too little ego strength can become too disrupting. According to Freud, the key to a healthy personality is a balance between the id, the ego, and the superego.
  12. 12. Personality Development-Educational Setting • Teachers to be aware of personality development.(e.g., stealing, lying). • Teachers pay attention to the behavior that could cause students to behave in a certain way.
  13. 13. Before we move on... Key features of the psychodynamic approach : • Mind has three parts: – conscious: thoughts and perceptions – preconscious: available to consciousness, e.g. memories and stored knowledge – unconscious: wishes and desires formed in childhood, biological urges; determines most behaviour. • Personality has three components: – id: unconscious; urges needing instant gratification – ego: develops in childhood; rational; chooses between id and external demands – superego: conscience, places restrictions on behaviour.
  14. 14. Personality Development Anxiety • What happens when the ego cannot deal with the demands of our desires? • According to Freud, anxiety is an unpleasant inner state that people seek to avoid. • Anxiety acts as a signal to the ego that “things are not going right!”
  15. 15. Types of anxiety 1. Neurotic (phobic) anxiety is the unconscious worry that we will lose control of the id's urges. 2. Reality anxiety is fear of real-world events. The cause of this anxiety is usually easily identified. The most common way of reducing this anxiety is to avoid the threatening object. What do you do when you fear receiving a dog bite from a dog nearby? 3. Moral anxiety involves a fear of violating our own moral principles.
  16. 16. Personality Development Handling Anxiety • Freud argued that we need to reduce the anxiety/nervousness/unease associated with unpleasant thoughts. • To do this, we reject unpleasant thoughts from the conscious mind & force them into the unconscious mind. • The ―ego‖ employs ―defense mechanisms‖ to regulate anxiety
  17. 17. Key Feature (3): The Basic Constituents of Psychodynamic Approach: Defence Mechanism There are a number of defence mechanisms that have been described by researchers. Anna Freud described (10). Click on the link to the quiz on the Moodle to go over the rest of the defence mechanisms.
  18. 18. Defence Mechanism 1: Repression 1. Repression: the suppression of unpleasant thoughts. We push unpleasant thoughts into unconscious so that we can‘t access them. E.g., a child who is molested, may suppress the traumatic event so that he/she has no memory for the event.
  19. 19. Defence Mechanism 2: Denial 2. Denial- refusing to believe something unpleasant has occurred. We refuse to accept horrible news, even with evidence to the contrary. • E.g., you hear a friend has died & can‘t believe it‘s true.
  20. 20. Defence Mechanism 3:Rationalization 3. Rationalization – we justify the actions or events that have happened. • E.g., A student who decides to forgo studying for an exam the night before & sleeps on the coach until her parents wake her up.
  21. 21. Defence Mechanism 4: Displacement 4. Displacement- you take out your anger & frustration on a person or object not the actual target of your anger. E.g. After being questioned by your boss (teacher), you go home & yell at your siblings or your maid. Follow the links below to read more about each type of defence mechanism as well as other defence mechanisms described by psychologists. You should take the quiz at the end! 
  22. 22. Criticism of Freud‘s Psychodynamic Approach •Unscientific •Methodologically poor •Untestable (e.g. concept of denial) •Limited impact on scientific psychology.
  23. 23. Pros of Freud‘s theory Significant impact: on the theories of personality, motivation, and development.. Freud was the first to challenge the view that mental disorders were caused by physical illness. • Freud proposed that psychological factors were responsible, thus this how we can treat the origins of abnormal behaviour. • Childhood experiences are important in personality development.
  24. 24. Pros of Freud‘s theory • Information outside of awareness does influence us. • Unconscious thoughts & emotions are brought into awareness to be dealt with. • Defense mechanisms—good descriptions of some of our behaviors. •Cure neuroses by bringing material from unconscious to conscious: dream analysis
  25. 25. Take Away Terms 1. 4. 7. 2. 5. 8. 3. 6. 9.