Your research paper could include the following: Psychodynamic therapy is similar to traditional psychoanalysis, in that a therapist will work with a patient in order to explore the patient’s psyche in an attempt to understand and treat psychological problems. Modern proponents of psychodynamic therapy maintain that the individual is affected by an unconscious maladaptation, frequently stemming from childhood, and that this maladaptation is the source of current psychological dissonance. Freud, Jung and Adler, among others, were early adopters of psychodynamics.
The Basic Assumptions of Psychodynamic Therapy
Psychodynamic therapy places a strong emphasis on the importance of early childhood experiences and their role in psychological development of adults. The following are the basic assumptions of psychodynamic therapy:
- Behaviors and feelings affect unconscious motives
- Adult behaviors and feelings are rooted in childhood
- Personality is made up of the id, ego and super-ego
- Two drives motivate humans instinctually: eros and thanatos
- The conscious and unconscious mind are in conflict with each other
- Drives shape personality, as developed in childhood
Abusive or neglect-filled childhoods can and will have significant ramifications on normal development in adulthood. Often, these individuals have a difficult time overcoming early trauma and its manifestations in adulthood. Defense mechanisms, for example, are developed as way for the individual to avoid painful associations, and the therapist works with the patient on developing techniques to overcome these negative personality disorders.
Under psychodynamic therapy, the therapist will work with the patient in order to first alleviate the immediate problems being cause by psychological dissonance before intensively seeking out the underlying root causes of the malformation of the psyche. Therapists will use any number of different techniques including free association, sorting through difficult childhood memories and recognition of psychological structures that resist efforts to change behavior.