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The Psychodynamic approach views an individual’spersonality as unconscious through many psychological processes that startsfrom birth.

Freud’s psychoanalysis explores the individuals unconscious mindand focuses on emotions and thoughts to gain a better understanding of one’sself. Freud’s theory is clinically based on what individuals told him duringtherapy sessions. This therapy is used to treat mental health disorders likedepression and anxiety. This approach views the unconscious mind as the main foundationof human behaviour and all behaviour as a cause, and becomes determined. Freudexplains this by using an iceberg representing the mind. The most vital part ofthe mind we cannot view, is our motives, feelings and decisions which areinfluenced by our past experiences and stored in the unconscious.

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Our childhoodexperiences have a great influence on our adult life, shaping personality.Events that happened in our childhood can remain in the unconscious and causeproblems in our adult years. Freud’s psychodynamic theory suggested that ourpersonality is made up in three parts, id, ego and super-ego. The id plays animportant part of our personality as newborns, and based on our pleasure principle.When a child is hungry, the id wants food, so the baby cries. If a child is inpain or discomfort or wants attention, the id speaks up until the needs aremet.

The id does not care about reality, only it’s needs and satisfaction. Theego understands that individuals have needs and desires. This part of thepersonality is responsible for meeting the needs of the id, while consideringthe reality of the situation. Like the id, the ego seeks pleasure and avoidspain on the basis of devising a realistic plan to get pleasure. The super-egois the moral part of our personality developing values, social rules and moralsof society learnt from parents and others. The super-ego’s function is tocontrol the id’s impulses such as social behaviour, aggression and sex.  

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