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Mental Health Issues and the Psychodynamic Approach Essay

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Mental Health Issues and the Psychodynamic Approach


The psychodynamic approach highlights the importance of the
unconscious mind and early childhood experiences, therefore
practitioners of this approach will attempt to deal with the mental
health issues of their patients by incorporating these ideas and
creating ‘therapies’ using these bases. The basic concept behind
psychoanalysis is that a patient that suffers from mental health
problems such as depression can address any regressed feelings thus,
the patient gains insight of and can learn to work through their
emotional ‘baggage’. It is a generalised notion that if the cause of
the symptoms were tackled it would only be logical that the symptoms
would desist.

The psychodynamic approach is mainly comprised of ideas and notions
suggested by Sigmund Freud, based partly on his psychosexual
development theory. In essence, the child passes through stages such
as oral and the anal. Major conflicts or excessive gratification at
any of these stages can lead to fixation, therefore if an adult
experiences great personal problems, he or she will tend to show
regression (going back through the stages of the psychosexual
development) to the stage at which he or she had previously been
fixated. Thus because conflicts cause anxiety, and the ego defends
itself against anxiety by using several defence mechanisms to prevent
traumatic thoughts and feelings reaching consciousness, mental
disorders can arise when an individual has unresolved conflicts and
traumas from childhood. Defence mechanisms may be used to reduce the
anxiety caused by such unresolved conflicts, but they act more as
st...


... middle of paper ...


... Although it can be argued that at least
with the psychodynamics’ therapeutic approach, nevertheless the
psychodynamic approach has encountered serious problems, with the
numerous recent cases of false memory syndrome. In these cases,
patients undergoing psychotherapy have made allegations about
childhood physical or sexual abuse that have turned out to have no
basis in fact.

However, the psychodynamic approach though positive in many ways is
limited because it tends to ignore genetic factors unlike the medical
approach and cultural and subcultural differences between societies in
diagnosing and giving therapy to those with mental disorders. In its
original form, the patients current concerns and interpersonal
relationships were de-emphasised and there was undue focus on
childhood experiences and sexual problems.


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