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The Psychodynamic approach views an individual’s
personality as unconscious through many psychological processes that starts
from birth. Freud’s psychoanalysis explores the individuals unconscious mind
and focuses on emotions and thoughts to gain a better understanding of one’s
self. Freud’s theory is clinically based on what individuals told him during
therapy sessions. This therapy is used to treat mental health disorders like
depression and anxiety. This approach views the unconscious mind as the main foundation
of human behaviour and all behaviour as a cause, and becomes determined. Freud
explains this by using an iceberg representing the mind. The most vital part of
the mind we cannot view, is our motives, feelings and decisions which are
influenced by our past experiences and stored in the unconscious. Our childhood
experiences have a great influence on our adult life, shaping personality.
Events that happened in our childhood can remain in the unconscious and cause
problems in our adult years. Freud’s psychodynamic theory suggested that our
personality is made up in three parts, id, ego and super-ego. The id plays an
important 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 in
pain or discomfort or wants attention, the id speaks up until the needs are
met. The id does not care about reality, only it’s needs and satisfaction. The
ego understands that individuals have needs and desires. This part of the
personality is responsible for meeting the needs of the id, while considering
the reality of the situation. Like the id, the ego seeks pleasure and avoids
pain on the basis of devising a realistic plan to get pleasure. The super-ego
is the moral part of our personality developing values, social rules and morals
of society learnt from parents and others. The super-ego’s function is to
control the id’s impulses such as social behaviour, aggression and sex.


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