Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Theories

Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic
Freud’s notion of an objective psychology
Wednesday Psychological Society
Psycho-Analysis Group
mechanistic, deterministic thinker
who developed a system of
psychology with biological/hydraulic
elements: a system of stresses and
strains, conflicts and tensions, with
dynamic interaction between
biological instinctive drives and social
How is behavior determined?
Hard Determinism: The universe is like
clocks, what occurs in the world or in
behavior is precisely what must have
Encompasses the idea that psychological
events are causally related to each other
and to the individual’s past.
Soft Determinism: A belief that things
could have gone otherwise than they
– In Freud, there is lack of psychic
freedom in the unconscious mind,
but with conscious insight, we can
correct our (propensity toward)
undesired behavior.
The concept of Dynamics
The interplay of the forces in the
mind, forces acting in unison or in
opposition and finding expression in a
form representing a compromise of
the participating elements.
 Concerns
the relation of individual
psychic elements to consciousness, a
sort of layering of mental contents
according to the criterion of
accessibility to awareness.
– Consciousness
– Pre-consciousness
– Unconsciousness
Genetic principle
 Recognizes
the prevailing and
enduring influences of the past upon
current mental activity.
 It
recognizes the extent to which the
past is embedded in the present and
shapes current thoughts, behavior,
and feelings.
The Structure of Personality
– The biological component. The primary source
of psychic energy, the seat of the
instincts…The pleasure principle.
– The traffic cop…governs, controls, regulates
the personality. Ruled by the reality principle.
– The judicial branch…a person’s moral code,
concerned with whether an action is good,
bad, right, wrong…striving for “perfection.”
Features of Freud’s Psychoanalysis
1. Objective
2. Physiological substratum for theory.
3. Emphasized causality
4. Reductionistic. The individual was divided into
“parts” that were antagonistic toward each other:
e.g., id-ego-superego. Eros vs. Thanatos.
Conscious vs. unconscious.
5. The study of the individual centers about the
intrapersonal, the intrapsychic.
6. The establishment of intrapsychic harmony
constitutes the ideal goal of psychotherapy.
“Where id was, there shall ego be.”
Features of Freud’s Psychoanalysis
7. People are basically “bad.” Civilization attempts to
domesticate them, for which they pay a heavy price.
Through therapy the instinctual demands may be
sublimated but not eliminated.
8. People are victims of both instinctual life and civilization.
9. Description of child development was postdictive and not
based upon direct observation of children but upon the free
associations of adults.
10. Emphasis on the Oedipus situation and its resolution.
11. People are enemies. Others are our competitors, and
we must protect ourselves from them.
12. Women feel inferior because they envy men their
penises. Women are inferior. Anatomy is destiny.
13. Neurosis has a sexual etiology.
14. Neurosis is the price we pay for civilization.
Freudian Psychology
Psychodynamic Theory
Object Relations
Attachment Theory
Horney, Fromm, Sullivan
Unconsciousness in
Interpersonal Relationships