Evaluate the Psychodynamic Approach to Abnormality.

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Evaluate the psychodynamic approach to abnormality. (6)

The psychodynamic model was created by Freud (1856-1939). The core assumption of this approach is that the roots of mental disorders are psychological. They lie in the unconscious mind and are the result the failure of defence mechanisms to protect the self (or ego) from anxiety. If the superego, ego and id are out of balance then the individual is considered to be abnormal.
For example, a patient who has symptoms of anxiety would be encouraged to explore his past in order to discover problems occurring during one of the psychosexual stages (oral, anal, phallic and genital). In order to deal with this problem the patient has used ego-defence mechanisms, such as repression or denial.
The psychodynamic model has a number of strengths. One of these strengths are that many people with psychological disturbances do recollect childhood traumas which therefore can be resolved by this method. Also, by developing a method of treatment, Freud encouraged a more optimistic view regarding psychological distress. Mental illness could, in some cases at least, be treated. Also, this is the only approach to focus on the underlying causes of the disorders rather than the symptoms they create. This approach believes abnormality is the result of hidden things in the unconscious, and tries to uncover what is hidden. By attempting to deal with the cause, longer-lasting recovery is more possible.
The weaknesses of the psychoanalytic model are that there is a lack of scientific evidence concerning major theoretical assumptions. This approach heavily focuses on abstract concepts such as the superego, ego and id and therefore making them difficult to define. Because actions motivated by them are at the unconscious it is not certain that they are occurring. In addition, as the source of many of the conflicts are often parents,…...

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