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Introduction To Psychodynamic Therapies Essay

4136 words - 17 pages

Zeynep Yildirim Fricker

The unexamined life is not worth living.

This is an introductory work to Psychodynamic Approaches. It aims to develop some understanding of the dynamics of the object relations, by presenting elements of both Klein and Winnicot’s approaches. Considering the size and the complexity of the subject, this essay should be considered as a summary of the summary.
Every theory is born from assumptions and these assumptions became core principles of that theory.
I therefore found it useful to explain the core assumptions of Psychodynamic/Psychoanalytic Theories in ...view middle of the document...

As a result of evolution in the Applications of Psychoanalytic Theory, different schools and techniques were established.
The emphasis has shifted from instinctual drive theory, to more relational drive theories and the understanding of the mind became less static and more dynamic as the phenomena of psychodynamic approaches emerged following WW2.These approaches have gained popularity in the last 40 years.

According to Noy (1977), there are seven assumptions in the root of Psychoanalytic/Psychodynamic Theories:
1st Assumption: Psychological determinism; this explains that our behaviours, thoughts and feelings are not random; they have a cause (usually unconscious). Every formation in the mind is determined by the previous formations. Our dreams, slips of the tongue, jokes, choice of occupation-partner, important life decisions, and in some circumstances even accidents, are symptoms of neurosis and were pre-determined. (Ardali and Erten 1999).
2nd Assumption: Our behaviour and feelings are powerfully affected by unconscious motives.
This term was introduced for the first time by Freud. Being aware of what we are currently feeling and thinking is described as consciousness, some mental material which is not conscious but can easily and readily be triggered and recalled to the conscious is called preconscious.
The Unconscious is called Instinctual representatives by Freud and is not present in the field of consciousness at a given moment. (Laplanche and Pontalis, 1988).
We do not fully know our hearts and minds, and important things take place outside of our awareness, staying hidden unknowingly.
In particular, data that triggers anxiety and disturbs the balance is kept in this ‘unknowing’ area. It can however be understood by a person’s expressions (transferences), affections and dreams, in relation to the other. It is a useful concept for conceptualising the structure of the mind and its dynamics. (Jacobs, 2010) A Therapeutic aim could be to bring unconscious material to the conscious.

3rd Assumption: Behaviour is motivated by instinctual drives: Eros (the sex drive & life instinct) and Thanatos (the aggressive drive & death instinct). These drives come from the “id”, seeking satisfaction and avoiding suffering.
Object relations emphasise the drive of seeking a relationship in addition to other drives. Fairbairn says that Libido is an object seeking impulse, rather than pleasure seeking (Grant and Crawley, 1999).

4th Assumption Epigenetic Development, in this the emphasis is on developmental stages, from womb to adolescence. In ageing human growth follows stages of development; experiences are accumulated in a particular order and each contributing to the structuring of personality. Every stage of development has its own duties to complete, hesitations and conflicts in the completion of these duties can cause fixations and stoppage, in the development of the personality.
Psychodynamic therapy aims to start the...

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