What are psychodynamic theories?

Psychodynamic theories explain the set ofrules, principles and knowledge related to psychology, which focus their attention on the importance of impulses in human behavior, especially the unconscious impulses of the individual.

In this sense, all these theories share a common denominator, is that they all come from apsychodynamic modeland approach, derived from the principles ofpsychoanalysis.

To highlight: Psychodynamic theories hold thathuman behavior is the consequence of psychological forcesof the individual, which occur in the processes of theunconscious.

What are the psychodynamic theories of personality?

Below, we give you a brief explanation of the 8 main psychodynamic theories of personality:

1. Freud’s psychoanalytic theory

states in his psychoanalytic theory that

In this context, psychoanalytic theory presumed that behavior and personality derive from the constant interaction of conflicts, which operate at three different levels of consciousness called: the preconscious , the conscious , and the unconscious.

Note: Psychoanalytic theory focuses on studying the psychological contents that remain in the unconscious and that can affect the behavior and personality of the individual. (two)

2. Jung’s Theory of Analytical Psychology

This psychological theory continues the theoretical line of psychoanalysis but adds new contributions and objects of study, based on the fact that it uses “analysis as a method” and proceeds according to the analytical model of the natural sciences by “decomposition”, that is, by the investigation of the partsand the search for the elements and the partial structures”.

You should know: The object of analytical psychology (whose precursor was the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung is to study the psyche, understood as the conscious and the unconscious, that is, the totality of psychic processes.

3. Adler’s theory of individual psychology

The theory of individual psychology focused on studying the personality of the human being as a single unit and that it is directed towards a purpose and that is how it emphasizes the conscious struggle of individuals to improve their lives.

To highlight: This theory had as its precursor the Austrian doctor and psychotherapist Alfred Adler  , and is based on the human effort to overcome the feeling of inferiority , considered this a situation of insecurity and motivating human beings.

4. Horney’s theory of neurosis

This theory carries out an approach, in which it rejected the emphasis of orthodox psychoanalysis on sexuality and aggressive behavior, as factors that influence the development of the human being’s personality and that of neuroses.

On the other hand, he also argued that this disorder had its origin in the basic anxiety caused by interpersonal relationships.

Note: Karen Horney  , a German physician and psychologist, in her proposal for the theory of neurosis, states that anguish in human beings stems from the affective tensions that occur between the child and indifferent or severe parents.

5. Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development

According to Erik Erikson , an American psychoanalyst and precursor of this theory, he proposes that the human personality develops through eight ages or stages that mark the bases of his evolutionary psychology.

This theory argues that from birth to old age the human being must go through eight conflicts that allow psychosocial and personal development and only when the individual resolves each one satisfactorily does he grow mentally.

You should know: The first four stages of this theory are focused on childhood and the last four cover from adolescence to old age.

6. Sullivan’s interpersonal theory

Harry Sullivan was an American psychiatrist who was a postulant of the interpersonal theory, who was interested in learning about the behavior of individuals from early childhood to adulthood.

To highlight: This theory is focused on the fact that the patterns of relationships between people are highly influenced by childhood experiences and the ways of relating and communicating, that is, that the individual forms his personality through interpersonal relationships. , moving from the intrapersonal to the interpersonal level.

7. Kernberg transference theory

This theory, whose main precursor was the Austrian-born American psychiatrist and psychoanalystOtto Kernberg, states that the psychotherapeutic treatment for patients with severe personality disordersis psychoanalytic psychotherapy, with a systematic interpretation of transference.

Note: Unlike classical psychoanalysis, the main focus of his work is the patient’s transfer of his conflicts to the therapist. (eleven)

8. Bateman and Fonagy’s theory of mentalization

( when understanding and addressing the pathology

subjective mental states, such as desires, thoughts or feelings.

You should know: This theory states that when a dysfunction occurs in the patient’s mentalization, therapy should focus on trying to optimize and favor the use of said capacity.

Key Findings

  • Psychodynamic theories arise from the line drawn by psychoanalysis with a psychodynamic approach .
  • Psychodynamic theories comprise a set of Principles on Human Behavior from different perspectives.
  • Psychodynamic theories focus their attention on the importance of drives in human behavior.
  • The purpose of these theories is to keep the mental health of the patientin balance .

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