Psychodynamic Theory In Psychology

Published: 2021-07-02 05:30:32
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Category: Metaphysics, Personality, Psychotherapy, Psychodynamic Theory

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Psychodynamic theory is a view that explains personality in the terms of unconscious and conscious forces, such as beliefs and unconscious desires. Sigmund Freud in the early 20th century proposed a psychodynamic theory according to which personality consists of the ID. The ID is responsible for instincts and pleasure-seeking. He also proposed the idea of the superego which attempts to obey the rules of society and parents.
The superego is split into two parts, conscience and the ego ideal. The conscience tells what is right and wrong, it forces the ego to control the id and it directs the individual into morally acceptable and responsible behaviors, which could not be pleasureable. Lastly the Ego which mediates between the id and the superego according to the demands of reality. What psychodynamic theories do are they commonly hold that experiences shape one’s personality. Such theories are associated with psychoanalysis which is a type of therapy that attempts to reveal unconscious desires and thoughts.
Not all psychologists use or accept psychodynamic theories, critics claim that the theories lack scientific data that supports the theories. Other theories of personality include humanist and behavioral theories (Siegel, 2013). Psychodynamic theorists believe that offenders have id-dominated personalities. They can lose control the ego and the id’s need for instant gratification will then take over. This will then cause impulse control problems and increased pleasure-seeking drives. Other problems that are associated with a damaged ego are poor social skills, immaturity, and excessive dependence on other people. The idea with this is that negative experiences in an offenders childhood will damage the ego, therefore, the offender is then unable to cope with conventional society (Siegel, 2013).



This theory can be attached to Bowbly’s theory of Attachment. Bowlby had proposed that the ability to form meaningful social relationships in adulthood was merely dependent on a close, warm and continuous relationship with the mother in the first few years of life. Since this relationship serves as a prototype for all future relationships, disruption to this could impair a person’s ability to relate to others therefore causing roots of criminality, and lead to “affection less psychopathology”. So therefore, this explains crime by the root causes of crime because it depends on relationships with your mother when you are young (1-5 years old). The key subjects are juveniles. As talked about previously, this theory correlated with Bowlby’s Attachment theory (Maxwell, Spielmann, Joel & MacDonald, 2013).
At early stages the key subjects are juveniles, because they’re out lashing due to the lack of emotional attachment at the early stages in life, and then adults because they never got to experience an emotional attachment throughout the early and then later years of life.
There are various ways that psychodynamic theory and attachment theory have been tested throughout the years. After much research, one study that was found was a Relationship Attachment Syle Text. The main basis of this tests background is how from the beginning years of life, we develop an attachment to our primary caregivers that tends to remain constant if it is present. It has a profound effect that is not only on our emotional development, but is also upon the health of our relationships.
In this test attachment styles that are conveyed are Secure, Dismissive-Avoidant, Fearful-Avoidant, Codependent, Dependent, and Anxious Ambivalent. This will assess your relationship style and it will show how it affects your relationships in your personal life all just by taking this test. It asks you a serious of questions that you rate 1 being the most true and 5 being the most false about you (Haggerty, 2010). This has been used as a basis for public programs, and also private programs. It can be assessed simply in a classroom setting when learning about the psychodynamic/ attachment theory, and it can be used in a clinical setting where the therapist is trying to see where the client is relationship wise in their life.
This test is important, and it is widely used, and it is grounded in a valid and well-established theory. There was evidence that this is a valid test. With research by (Brennan et al., 1998; Fraley & Waller, 1998) that the greatest weight of the results that were found were deriving from multi-item dimensional measures because they have demonstrated greatly the best precision and validity. They strongly encourage more researchers that are interested in peer relationships to continue to use and explore the old measures that are used and determine the advantages and their limitations. They also encourage them to continue to concern themselves with measurement issues in this certain domain, seeing there are still gaps that are waiting to be filled and improvements to be made while assessing attachment (Brennanet al., 1998; Fraley & Waller, 1998).
This test has found to have a wide range of uses, especially for the environment that it is used in (personal, clinical, educational etc). It is not necessarily used for all crimes, but it can be used with juveniles in crime because it can help determine their psychosis and what environmental factors could be associated with their behavior.
After extensive research of the psychodynamic/attachment theory and the culture conflict theory, these theories do not belong in the same class of theories. Though they do look at crime and can help explain the root causes or explain why crimes have happened, they are different theories that do not belong in the same class. The psychodynamic theory is an evolutionary theory and attachment theory is a psychological theory. Culture conflict theory is an environmental-based theory. The similarities that these theories share are the fact that bonding has a very important lasting psychological implications. Also another similarity that these theories share is showing how in an overall setting, society creates these bonds and they stick completely together.
Culture conflict occurs when rules are expressed in the criminal law clashes with the demands of group conduct norms, therefore this theory is an outcome of an event. Psychodynamic theories focus on the time of the event, on their instinctive drive and forces (from their id, superego, ego), so this in objective, and also can be an outcome. That goes for attachment theory as well, because attachment theory is the ability to bond to other people has important lasting psychological implications across someones life p, so this is the outcome of previous behaviors and attachments with people in ones life.
A typology of crime that is believed to to explain psychodynamic theory in some sort of way that is also integrated with Bowlby’s theory of attachment is underage drinking. This kind of crime could be well-explained with this theory because of the reaction people have to the lack of control over their id, ego and superego as well as lack of attachment which leads them to leaning onto something else to get the pain away. Through a study to begin research has indicated that peer and maternal bonds play important but sometimes competing roles in the outcomes of kids. This study hypothesized that secure parental attachment predicted anti-alcohol attitudes and behavioral control. Norms, alcohol attitudes and behavioral control are each uniquely explained variance in intentions, which has forecasted a significant increase in alcohol behavior a month later.
Peer and parental attachment were each indirectly predicted future behavior. The results obtained from the longitudinal research were theoretically and practically informative for recognizing the contrasting interpersonal forces of peers and parents on the high risk beliefs of young adults. After research, the protective benefits that arose from attachment bonds to parents extended even into early adulthood. The findings support recommendations for interventions designed to curtail the risky levels of underage drinking based on the tenets of attachment theory (Lac, 2012). A scenario that fits this type of crime is the parents that influence the child are heavy drinkers.
The environment of the child growing up around excessive alcohol drinking will lead to the influx of the child thinking it’s okay to drink, and want to drink because it’s ‘cool’ and their parent’s do it as well. The influence of this could potentially lead to children starting to drink as early as possibly age 13. This can lead into possibly getting into drugs as well. Getting caught with underage possession of alcohol can be a slap on the wrist at first, however if they get into a vehicle and they are driving and get in an accident the consequences arise drastically. You could potentially get jail time if you kill someone, get your license revoked, points on your license and quite a big fine.
The theory could be challenged in the fact that underage drinking could be because of the influence of other teens, and not completely the parents influence. It could be argued in the psychodynamic theory that the id is taking over and telling the person that it will be fun, and there will be no consequences or it could be considered a normal thing, so when it comes to the ego (the reality principle) nothing will seem wrong to them, when actually, it is a morally wrong act with consequences because the legal drinking age is 21 years old.
Psychodynamic theory overall, is an insight-oriented therapy that focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behavior. Goals of this therapy are a client’s self-awareness and the understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior. The goal of psychodynamic therapy are a client’s self-awareness and the understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior. The approach of this theory will enable the client in a therapy setting to examine unresolved conflicts and symptoms that arise from dysfunctional relationships and manifest themselves in the need and the desire to abuse substances and other criminal behaviors. It is by far one of the oldest modern therapies/theories.
It is extremely developed and multi-faced theory of human development and interaction (Haggerty, 2010). Because of the extensive research there is on this theory, how old this theory is, and the validity of this theory/therapy, this theory is a more useful/valuable to preventing, approaching and evaluating crime. Having Bowlby’s work correlating with this theory shows how much more extensive it can get because of how close attachment theory correlates. Basically, attachment theory as stated previously is the emotional bond to another person. Attachment as Bowlby stated is a “lasting psychological connectedness between human beings” (Lac, 2012).
Developing a bond in your early years of life with your caregivers (especially your mother) has a huge impact that will follow someone throughout their life. Bowlby stated that attachment serves to keep the infant close to their mother, thus improving the child’s chances of survival (Schaffer & Emerson, 1964). One social problems that this theory could help try to solve or possibly prevent is substance or alcohol abuse. When children have a lack of emotional stability in their lives, they turn to something that they will feel connected with, and will replace the hole that the lack of parental involvement in their lives. Then once they become addicted to the substance they use or alcohol they feel a sense of fulfillment which helps cope with their lack of relationships with people.
This theory can help prevent or transition their lives and fill the hole of abandonment and help create a healthy emotional stance in their lives which will help prevent the addictions.

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