1 key assumption: all human behaviour can be
explained in terms of inner conflict of the mind
2 Freud believed that within the mind there are 3 aspects of your
personality that determine how you behave
2.1 ID: pleasure principle
2.2 Ego - reality principle
2.3 superego: Morality principle
2.4 Personality development: Freud believed these were all separate and conflicting forces
2.4.1 they needed to be balanced for good mental heath and normal behaviour
3 Principles/assumptions of the psychodynamic approach
3.1 1) mental disorder results from psychological rather than physical causes: -
Freud believed the origins of mental disorder lie in the unresoved conflicts of
childhood - are unconcious. Mental illnesses are not the outcome of physical
disorder but of the psychological conflicts
3.1.1 2) unresolved confilcts cause mental disorder - conflicts between id,
ego and superego create anxiety. The ego - protects itself with
various defence mechanisms (ego defences). These defences can
be the cause of disturbed behviour if they are overused.
184.108.40.206 3) early experiences cause mental disorder - in childhood the ego is not developed enough to deal
with traumas and therefore they are repressed. e.g. if a child loses a parent early in life they repress
associated feelings. Later in life, other losses may cause the individual to re-experience the earlier
loss and can lead to depression. Previously, unexpressed anger about the loss is directed inwards
towards the self, causing depression
220.127.116.11.1 4) unconcious motivations cause mental disorder: ego defenses, such as
repression and regression, exert pressure through unconiously motivated behaviour.
Freud proposed that the unconcious consists of memories and other information
that are either very hard or almost impossible to bring into concious awareness..
Despite this, the unconcious mind exerts a powerful effect on behaviour. This
leads to distress, as the person doesnt understand why they are acting in that way.
The underlying problem cannot be controlled until brought into concious
4 Little Hans 1909 - had a fear of horses - symboloises his fear of his father