Essay Features of the Psychoanalytic and Humanistic Perspectives

Essay Features of the Psychoanalytic and Humanistic Perspectives

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Features of the Psychoanalytic and Humanistic Perspectives

Outline the key features of the psychoanalytic and humanistic
perspectives, and briefly compare and contrast their views on
conscious experience, a person as an integrated whole, and the role of
therapists in arriving at changes.


In explaining and predicting animal behaviour, different schools of
psychology are of different perspectives; e.g. cognitive approach
focuses on the mental processes, behaviourism is based on external
stimuli and reinforcement, biological approach is concerned with the
relationship between the mind and body and the influence of heredity.
However, they are only cope with a specific part of people, but
neglect human as a whole. To supplement such deficient, both
psychoanalytic and humanistic psychologies have provided their
perspectives on it.

Psychoanalytic Perspective

Psychoanalytic approach was advocated by Sigmund Freud, a private
practitioner who construct his theory through therapy and
self-experience. In his theory, there are three major ideas; they are
consciousness, psychosexual stages of development and psychodynamics
as well.

Freud split the consciousness into three levels; they are conscious,
preconscious and unconscious respectively. The conscious level
contains information of which we are aware, alert and awake at the
moment, e.g. you can easily answer the question of “What is your
name?”. The preconscious level contains the memories and thoughts
that are easily remember through a little effort, e.g. in respond to a
question of “Where are you last night?”. The unconsciou...

... middle of paper ...

...ents are equal and fair. They only encourage
their clients to express their feelings and believe that they could
solve their problems by themselves.

Even though the psychoanalytic approach was criticized as unobservable
and the humanism is over emphasis the ability of individual, but
neglect the external factors, e.g. environmental and cultural
influences; they indeed made contributions to help people to tackle
their psychic/psychological problems.

(1,616 words)


The Open University of HK (OUHK) (2003).

SS101. Hong Kong : OUHK

Miell, D., Phoenix, A., and Thomas, K. (2002).

Mapping Psychology 2. Milton Keynes : The Open University Press

Davis, S.F. and Palladino, J.J. (1995)

Psychology. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice Hall

Website :

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