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Discuss the Psychodynamic Approach to Psychopathology.

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Discuss the psychodynamic approach to psychopathology. (12 marks)

Psychopathology is the study of abnormality. Abnormality is a psychological behaviour that deviates from the norm or is harmful and distressing to those around them. The psychodynamic approach to psychopathology looks at what drives us to behave in a particular way. Freud believed that a mental disorder is caused by unresolved conflicts of childhood which are unconscious. According to Freud the human mind or psyche consists of the id, ego and superego and conflict between these cause anxiety. The id is the irrational part of our personality which uses the pleasure principle: it seeks to have fun. The ego is the conscious rational part of personality, it uses the reality principle. The superego is the moral sense of right and wrong. Conflict between the id, ego and superego create anxiety. The id demands gratification which causes conflict with the superego’s sense of right and wrong. The ego then must step in between the two to restore them to reality and then proceeds to defend itself against the anxiety caused by using ego defence mechanisms.examples of ego defence mechanisms are: repression, denial, projection etc. These are all part of the unconscious mind, here memories and information that are hard to bring into the conscious mind exist. This has a powerful effect on behaviour which frequently leads to distress because the person does not understand why they are acting a particular way. The unconscious motivations cause mental disorder. In early childhood the ego is not developed properly and therefore represses traumas instead of dealing with them. For example, the emotions produced by the death of a parent at an early age will be repressed and if in later life other losses happen it can lead to depression. This is due to the emotions being re-experienced from…...

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