Psychodynamic Theory Essays

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Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Does Not Go Down Easily Essay

Words: 1496 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 85397091

Psychodynamic and Humanistic Theory

Psychodynamic & Humanistic Theory

A seminal study on the personality trait differences of therapists practicing with different theoretical orientations is an interesting place to begin this compare and contrast discussion. Tremblay, et al. (1986) administered the Personality Orientation Inventory to 90 male and 90 female psychotherapists who self-designated and were equally distributed in groups designated as behavioral (BEH), psychodynamic (PSY), and humanistic (HUM). Interestingly, the study suggested that a core therapist personality exists and that further distinction can be achieved through consideration of the patterns of personality that were associated with theoretical orientation. The caveat was that the patterns associated with theoretical orientations were characterized more by overlapping traits than unique traits. Of the three theoretical categories, the HUM group exhibited the most unique traits: they were more flexible, more accepting of personal aggression and expressing feelings in action, and differed in their development of intimate relationships. Therapists in the HUM, were more affirming of the values of self-actualization, more inner-directed and sensitive to their own feelings. Therapists in the BEH group resembled the therapists in the PSY group, more than those in the HUM group. And the therapists in the PSY group were most like the therapists in the HUM group. Interestingly, the therapists in the BEH group showed personality traits of limited flexibility and limited acceptance of their own feelings. From this, the question arises as to the effect of the personality and theoretical orientation on the therapeutic relationship between the psychotherapist or counselor and the client. This brings us to the conceptualization of personality across the two practice orientations of humanism and psychodynamics. But first, what is personality?

Personality can be defined as: "An individual's unique pattern of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that persist over time and across situations" (Boreman, 2010). When the general public discusses personality, they tend to think in general terms associated with the popularized trait theory, the basis of which is not necessarily psychodynamic or humanistic. But trait theory does…… [Read More]

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Psychodynamic and Humanistic Approaches to Personality Psychodynamic Essay

Words: 1656 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 20697898

Psychodynamic and Humanistic Approaches to Personality

Psychodynamic and Humanistic Approaches

Personality can be defined as the unique characteristics that various individuals possess. These characteristics differentiate individuals from others. In other words, personality can also be defined as a unique system of feelings, thoughts and behaviors that prevail over time and that is evident in various situations. Different psychologists have determined different approaches to study personality. Some psychologists try to examine various aspects of personality that an individual possesses, whereas, others try to understand why there are differences in the personalities of various individuals. (Morris et al., 2010)

Listed below are the two different approaches to personality;

Psychodynamic Approach

Psychodynamic theories establish the thought that our personality is an outcome of inner psychological forces which are not under the control of our conscious mind. Psychodynamic approach basically studies the energy of our unconscious mind and it also explores how this energy transforms into the behavior that various individuals portray at different situations. (Morris et al., 2013) This perspective focuses on how different internal processes such as, needs, desires, emotions and drives lead towards motivating individual behavior. This perspective evolved over time and its emphasis has shifted from innate or unconscious processes to the learning capabilities of human beings and their interaction with their surroundings. (Unknown, 2008)

The historical work in relation to this perspective was done by famous psychologist, Sigmund Freud. Other eminent psychologists that contributed a lot to this approach include, Carl Jung, Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, Margaret Mahler, Karen Horney, Heinz Hartmann, Robert W.White, Donald Winnicott, Otto Kernberg, Heinz Kohut, and Erik Erikson. (Unknown, 2008)

In order to understand the evolution of the psychodynamic approach it is necessary to analyze the work of Simund Freud. Freud analyzed personality from different points-of-view and all of these points-of-view or perspectives were interrelated to each other. Summarized below are some of the important theories that Freud proposed in order to understand the personality development and behavioral patterns in various individuals (Unknown, 2008).

Drive or Instinct Theory: This theory states that human behavior is motivated by two powerful drives namely, 'thanatos' or the instinct of aggression or deterioration and 'eros', which can be defined as the drive for life or the instinct for survival. Modern psychologists have included two more drives in this approach that have been observed to motivate human behavior. These drives include, the drive for power or mastery over others…… [Read More]

Morris, C. And Maisto, A. (2010). Understanding Psychology . Oxford: Orford University Press. pp.45-65. [Accessed: 11 Jun 2013].

Unknown. (2008). Theoretical Perspectives on Human Behavior. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishers. pp.53-65. [Accessed: 11 Jun 2013].
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Psychodynamic Approach to Intervention-Reflect on Essay

Words: 2008 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 29868639

On the other hand, I believe it is a more adequate approach because they are more imaginative and engage more readily in the roles they have to enact. And also children and adolescents are more suggestible and ready for role-play or fantasy enactment. However, even adults find it easier to adopt certain roles in order to express their intrapsychic conflicts.

Psychodrama is the perfect representative of a therapeutic situation, in which conditions can be manipulated and conflicts allegorically expressed and interpreted. The advantage is that it offers the opportunity to bring into discussion (and enactment) not only past conflicts, but also present or even future ones. Moreover, it provides the advantage of group work and group interpretation.

An important fact to be stated is that psychotherapeutic approach depends very much on the school in which the analyst is formed. All in all, the theory supporting psychodynamic therapy originated in and is informed by psychoanalytic theory. There are four major schools of psychoanalytic theory, each of which has influenced psychodynamic therapy. The four schools are: Freudian, Ego Psychology, Object Relations, and Self-Psychology. Contemporary object relations theory distinguishes between psychoanalytic theories that emphasize biological drives such as sexuality and aggression, on the one hand, and theories that emphasize human relationships, on the other. The former were referred to as drive theories, and the latter were termed relational theories. I tend to agree with the latter approach, represented by Mitchell S. Mitchell and Greenberg argued that drive theories and relational theories are conceptually incompatible, and psychoanalysis must therefore choose between them. In conclusion, Mitchell's later work consisted mainly of elaborations of the relational perspective in psychoanalysis, exploring the influence of relationships on psychopathology and psychoanalytic treatment (his last book deals with the relational perspective applied to love relationships). I tend to give a greater appreciation to Mitchell because he defines his position…… [Read More]

Fonagy, P.(1999) Relation of Theory and Practice in Psychodynamic Therapy,

Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, Vol. 28, No. 4, Pages 513-520
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Psychodynamic Paradigm Essay

Words: 532 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 30045694

Psychodynamic Approach or Paradigm

The Psychodynamic Approach incorporates theories and methods originating with Freud and expanded by his followers. Freud's original approach was referred to as Psychoanalysis; which can be considered both a theory as well as a therapy method. The Psychodynamic Approach is founded upon the influence that internal processes and past experience have in determining a person's personality. These theorists believe that behavior is driven by individual's unconscious urges not necessarily rational thought. One intuitive illustration of this can be found in the contemporary field of marketing. Advertisements rarely appeal to the rational side of consumers by offering information about products; instead they target to the emotional needs and wants of individuals (Samuel, 2010).

Freud's theories developed from interactions what his patients during treatment sessions. These interactions led Freud to believe that adult behavior is driven by instinctual impulses and desires that originated in their childhood. Most of these impulses stem from sexual desires and but also represent behaviors that are generally prohibited by society. Therefore such impulses are kept hidden by using defense mechanisms such as repression or suppression (Boag, 2010).

Furthermore, in order to uncover these repressed unconscious wishes and desires, which for Freud were the underlying cause of adult neuroses, the use psychoanalysis was the only way to identify such hidden aspects of personality and behaviors. The aim of this approach was to let repressed emotions surface into the realm of conscious where in order to be properly addressed. There are various approaches that can be used to try to uncover what goes on in the unconscious; for example, dream analysis,…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
Boag, S. (2010). Repression, suppression, and conscious awareness. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 164-181.

Samuel, L. (2010). Freud on Madison Avenue: Motivation Research and Subliminal Advertising in America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
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Psychodynamic Model the Model's Developmental Processes and Essay

Words: 2966 Length: 8 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 1938969

Psychodynamic Model, The Model's Developmental Processes, And Use In Assessment And Treatment Psychodynamic Model

A large proportion of this research relied on historical data. Most of the data originated from institutions that take care of the aged, books, and journal articles. The views of health experts and professionals in mental health also shaped the judgement of this paper. The paper focused on extracting information from the four models under its analysis. Most of the findings originated from the four frameworks. ( The psychodynamic, the cognitive behavior, the stress and coping model, and the family systems model).

Given the demographics of the present age, almost all adult mental shape practice will certainly include older adults. As people grow older, various changes occur, more valuable is the vulnerability to stress and illnesses. The challenges one faces through the years like the death of loved ones, loneliness and others exposes one to the risk of mental illnesses. Furthermore, the body grows weak and pale. This paper analyzes the relationship between mental health and ageing. The paper looks into the unending scientific researches and years of clinical trials of Daniel L. Segal in his book " Ageing and Mental health." The aim of this paper is to vitally discuss the issue of aging and mental health amongst the older population. In depth, this paper discusses aspects of mental health and old age and associates them to various models presented by Daniel L. Segal.

The models employed in the discussion of mental health and the ageing process explain what happens to old people. They explain the behavioral and personality disorders associated with the ageing process. Each framework offers a set of assumptions on mental health as well as the development of mental health disorders. They also offer recommendations for assessment and treatment of disorders. The assumptions shape the direction toward specific tenets of the functioning of older adults. For instance, the behavioral model helps explain the origin of memory loss amongst adults. Several other models of mental disorder and mental health feature in the following sections of the paper. In each discussion, the models attempt to reveal the relevance of each…… [Read More]

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Blaikie, A. (2009). Ageing And Popular Culture. Cambridge U.A.: Cambridge Univ. Press.
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Psychodynamic Counselors Facilitate Change In Order to Essay

Words: 2851 Length: 11 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 3925431

psychodynamic counselors facilitate change?

In order to understand how psychodynamic counselors facilitate change through a therapeutic relationship with their client, it is worth discussing what psychodynamic therapy is, how it is used, how it originated, and who some of its most notable founders were. Towards the end of this document, in the description of how psychodynamic therapy is used, descriptions of recent psychodynamic therapy sessions that the author undertook in a triad setting will be described.

The mind, personality, and psyche are terms that refer to the interrelationships of a person's mental, emotional, or what could be termed psychological characteristics. Another way to think of this is that the psyche, mind, and personality are the forces that drive a person to think what they do, to act out how they choose, the way a person relates to themselves and how they relate to the world around them particularly the role their unconscious plays in this. Psychodynamic theory categorizes the analysis of a person's character by analyzing emotional and inner forces such as the relationship between emotional states and a person's motivation, on a subconscious level and how this plays out with regards to a person's behavioral and mental state of mind (Hall 1954).

The German physicist and physiologist Ernst Wilhelm von Brucke first proposed psychodynamic theory in 1874 (Gay 1989). Interestingly, psychodynamic theory is greatly influenced by a field of physics called thermodynamics, which states that all living organisms are made of energy. Brucke was a notable influence on Sigmund Freud. Freud further applied the laws of dynamics to personality that Brucke proposed, and developed, psychodynamic psychology as a method to describe the complex processes of the mind (Bowlby 1999). He theorized that every person carried a psychological energy that was in constant change such that emotional changes occurred in displacements, that it tended to rest through emotional cleansing, or catharsis. In other words, psychological energy represents the changes of energy within…… [Read More]

"Psychodynamics," Psychology Wikia [online] viewed March 23, 2011, ).

Snowden, R 2006, Teach Yourself Freud. McGraw Hill, San Francisco.

Taylor, RB, De Soto, CB & Lieb, R 1979, 'Sharing Secrets: Disclosure and Discretion in Dyads and Triads', Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 37, no. 7, pp. 1196-1203.
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Psychodynamic Coaching in the Workplace Essay

Words: 1632 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 63326967

Systemic Psychodynamic Coaching in the Workplace:

Workplace coaching is a term that refers to the process of equipping people in the working environment with necessary tools, opportunities, and knowledge for total development in order to enhance their effectiveness from an individual, organizational, and work perspective. Workplace coaching has emerged as a major concept in modern organizations since leaders, researchers, and organizations have identified it as a crucial competency in leadership and management (Cacioppe, n.d.). The increase in this practice has also been attributed to the fact that employees continue to request for coaching. As an important competency in leadership and management, workplace coaching has assumed different perspectives and approaches because of the existence of various coaching models such as Systemic Psychodynamic Coaching model.

The Concept of Workplace Coaching:

As previously mentioned, the concept of workplace coaching can be defined as the knowledge, skills, and processes through which people engage themselves in making the maximum impact and continually developing themselves and organizations in light of constant change. While this coaching process utilizes similar communication processes with therapy or counseling, it is not the same as counseling or therapy. The difference between the two is attributed to the fact that therapy focuses on resolution and healing of the past while workplace coaching focuses on creativity, action, and performance. Organizations are increasingly using workplace coaching because it is a lever for unlocking potential, an approach to change, and a means to enhance performance ("Effective Coaching in the Workplace," n.d.). In light of ongoing changes in the corporate world, workplace coaching helps in enhancing performance in individuals, groups, and the entire organization. This has in turn resulted in increased focus and interest on the workplace coaching as individuals and organizations recognizing its benefits.

Psychodynamic Coaching in the Workplace:

Psychodynamic coaching is one of the approaches used in workplace coaching to enhance individual and organizational performance. Actually, psychodynamic coaching is considered as an offer to organizational leaders and employees who are in difficulties (Beck, 2011). When this process is used in the working environment, it is usually in relation to various situations in the workplace or linked to private issues. Psychodynamic coaching is used in both cases because of strong link between private problems and situations linked to the workplace. However,…… [Read More]

Azmatullah, S. (2013). The coach's mind manual: enhancing coaching practice with neuroscience, psychology and mindfulness. New York, NY: Routledge

Beck, U.C. (2011). Psychodynamic coaching: focus and depth. Great Britain: The Studio
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Theories of Personality and How They Affect Human Behavior Essay

Words: 634 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 8462817

psychology, theories of personality abound. Two of the most significant theories of personality include psychodynamic and humanistic/existential theories. Although these two theories share some features in common, they are based on widely different assumptions about human nature and human behavior. Each describes the way personality impacts human behavior under certain situations. However, psychodynamic theory presumes that human personality is static and less likely to change. Humanistic and existential theories are built on the assumption that human personality is dynamic. The differences between psychodynamic and humanistic theories of personality also have an impact on their approaches to treatment interventions and therapy.

Psychodynamic theories of personality are based on the theories of Sigmund Freud, who believed that human personality is determined by subconscious factors and the person's psycho-sexual nature. The personality is divided into three main and immutable components according to the psychodynamic worldview. Those three components include the id, ego, and superego. The id is the part of the personality that is childlike, needy, and interested in instant gratification. The ego is the part of the personality that is constructed in the social world, and in which the individual becomes heavily invested. The superego operates like a general conscience of moral behavior and internalized social norms. In many ways, the superego attempts to mediate between the desires of the ego and id. Psychodynamic theory does not place any emphasis on the achievement of balance or happiness, but rather on simply understanding the subconscious forces that comprise the personality. Mainly the personality is believed to be driven by impulses including sexual urges and the "death wish," (McLeod, 2007).

Humanistic theories of personality including existential theories are not deterministic like psychodynamic theories. However, some humanistic theories also offer a tripartite division of the human personality just like psychodynamic theory. Humanist Carl Rogers, for instance, divided the human personality into three distinct forces interacting with one another: the real…… [Read More]

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Psychology Theories of Personality Focus on Inner Essay

Words: 884 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 37863305


Theories of personality focus on inner traits of individuals, which may or may not be viewed as static. The most important schools of personality psychology include Psychodynamic Theory, Freud's Theory of Personality, Humanistic Theory, B.F. Skinner's Theory of Personality, Social Learning Theory, and Evolutionary Personality Theory. While all these theories share in common their goal to explain, analyze, and understand human behavior in terms of personality explanations, there are important differences in these main approaches. The differences will affect theory but also practice of psychology.

Behaviorism was one of the earliest expressions of psychological inquiry. Therefore, it makes sense to begin with an understanding of behavioral theories of personality. Behaviorism suggests that individual behavior is the key to understanding personality. Because of its emphasis on behavior rather than emotion or cognition, behavioral theories of personality are relatively weak and limited in scope. However, it is still worth understanding the contributions of B.F. Skinner and John B. Watson to the study of personality.

Psychodynamic theories of personality are highly relevant to the study of psychology because they have become pervasive in the understanding of human nature. Sigmund Freud's theory of personality falls under the rubric of Psychodynamic theories of personality. However, other famous psychologists such as Erik Erikson and Alfred Adler also have developed personality theories that remain extant in the study of personality psychology ("Psychodynamic Theories of Personality," n.d.). According to Sigmund Freud, the person is a structure that comprises of three different dimensions or levels. Those dimensions include the id, or the childhood impulses that people need to keep under control; the ego, or the core identity of the individual and face a person shows the world; and the superego, or the conscience that tells a person right from wrong or good from bad. The way these three personality structures interact determines the gamut of the personality. There are dysfunctional and healthy dynamics between these…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
Cherry, K. (n.d.). Theories of Personality. Retrieved online:

McLeod, S. (2007). Psychodynamic approach. Simply Psychology. Retrieved online: 
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Behavioral and Cognitive Behavioral Theories Essay

Words: 2290 Length: 8 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 71659198

Behavioral and Cognitive Behavioral Theories

Psychodynamic and Cognitive Behavioral Theories

In this paper, there is going to an examination of Cognitive Behavioral and Psychodynamic theories. This is accomplished by focusing on: the two theories, their theoretical concepts, micro skills / techniques and a summary of these ideas. These elements will show how each one can address issues impacting the patient and the long-term effects upon them.

In the world of psychology, there are different theories which are used to explain how someone reacts to various stimuli. The result is that there has been contrasting ideas about the best way to understand human behavior. Two schools of thought which are very popular are the psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral approaches. (Okun, 2008)

To fully understand them requires examining each one. This will be accomplished by focusing on the two theories, their theoretical concepts, micro skills / techniques and a summary of these ideas. Together, these elements will provide specific insights about how they focus on understanding human behavior and those factors which are influencing it. (Okun, 2008) (Larson, 2012)

Discussion of two preferred theories: a discussion of two preferred theories covered in the textbook, demonstrating your critical thinking about the theories.

Psycho dynamics is focused on comprehending the various factors that will influence someone's feelings, emotions, behavior and how they relate to early experiences in life. This is achieved through the person's conscious and unconscious motivations. Conscious motivations are when an individual will react to the external object based upon subjective variables such as: emotions, feelings and what they want out of their lives. (Okun, 2008) (Larson, 2012)

These insights are from the ideas of Sigmund Freud. He believed that human psychological development will occur because of biological instincts and previous experiences. This is taking place through using looking at different areas. The most notable…… [Read More]

Larson, P. (2012). How Important is an Understanding of the Clients Early Attachments. Counseling Psychology Review, 27 (1), 10 -- 18.

Lucia, M. (2012). Therapeutic Activities and Psychological Interventions. Counseling and Psychotherapy Research, 12 (2), 118 -- 127.
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Individual Theories of Delinquency Essay

Words: 687 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 88316847

Crime Theories and Juvenile Delinquency

There are many theories of crime that aim at determining or explaining why individuals resort to criminal and/or violent behavior. Among the different types of offenders are juvenile delinquents who are driven to deviancy for a number of reasons. By examining two theories of crime, behavioral and psychodynamic, one can gain a better understanding of the motivating factors behind juvenile delinquency.

One of the most relevant behavioral theories in criminology is the social learning theory. Albert Bandura posited that "people learn by what they see" (Arrigo, 2006, p. 87). He believed that violent tendencies were not inherited, but rather that they were modeled on three distinct principles: reinforcement from family members, the media, and the environment (Isom, 1998). Thus, people behave in ways that are "consistent with what we are exposed to and thus familiar with as a byproduct of our environment" (Arrigo, 2006, p. 87). Atkinson, Atkinson, Smith, and Bem (1990) expand on Bandura's claims and state, "When children observe and subsequently imitate their parents, they learn how adults are reward or punished in specific situations, and these experiences influence their own sense of morality" (Arrigo, 2006, p. 169). However, when there is a lack of parental direction, the model for proper moral behavior is missing and thus, a child is left without guidance, which can, in turn, contribute to deviancy. It is also important to keep in mind that "maladjusted behavior is learned in the same manner as adjusted behavior," thus a lack of guidance cannot be the sole source of learned criminal behavior (Phares, 1991, p. 371; Arrigo, 2006, p. 87).

As parents are role models in the psychosocial development of children, a disruption in the family dynamic -- such as divorce or violence -- may also contribute to juvenile delinquency. Rossman, Hughes, and Rosenberg (2000) contend "children's behavioral problems [are] mostly a function of violence in the child's immediate family, with violence against the child exerting the most powerful impact but witnessing…… [Read More]

Arrigo, B. (2006). Criminal behavior: a systems approach. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Isom, MD (1998, Nov 30). Albert Bandura. The Florida State University College of Criminology
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Bowenian Therapist to That of the Psychodynamic Essay

Words: 998 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 88896282

Bowenian Therapist to that of the Psychodynamic Therapist

Bowenian Therapist vs. Psychodynamic Therapist: Roles Comparison

In this text, I seek to compare the role of psychodynamic therapists with that of Bowenian therapists. However, in seeking to compare the said roles, it would be prudent to first offer a brief definition of the two theories. Regarded one of the most comprehensive and perhaps earliest family systems functioning theories, "Bowen family systems theory is a theory of human behavior that views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to describe the complex interactions in the unit" (Brok and Saks 2008, p.135). Psychodynamic therapy in the words of Haggerty (2006) "focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person's present behavior."

To begin with, while many psychodynamic therapists as the National Center for Biotechnological Information - U.S. National Library of Medicine (2013) observes work with clients having substance-abuse related problems, most Bowenian therapists work with family units and marital couples. A Bowenian therapist recognizes the need for members of the family to identify themselves as individuals. For this reason, therapy founded on this particular theory attempts to be not only neutral but also "de-triangled from the client and his/her emotional entanglements within his/her family" (Titelman 1998, p.33). The role of the Bowenian therapist in this particular case is therefore largely observatory. It should however be noted that although the therapist must maintain objectivity in his or her interactions with the client, he or she must show some level of concern towards the family (Galica. 2013). According to the author, this the therapist could do by amongst other things convincing the family that he or she has the best interests of the family at heart. The said therapist must however ensure that he or she is not ensnared in emotions and triangles. If for some reason a Bowen-oriented therapist feels that he or she cannot be neutral in absolute terms, he ors she should…… [Read More]

Brok, M.G. & Saks, S. (2008). Contemporary Issues in Family Law and Mental Health. Illinois: Charles C. Thomas Publisher.

Galica, J. (2013). Bowenian Family Systems Theory and Therapy. Retrieved July 2, 2013, from: 
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Object Relations Theory Essay

Words: 2900 Length: 10 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 95159815

Object Relations Theory

What exactly is 'Object Relations Theory'? What does it deal with? What is it about? The Theory as such is based on the belief and conviction that every single person has within themselves a completely world of relations and relationships that may well be quite different and at times even infinitely more compelling and forceful and convincing than what actually is happening in their real world filled with real people. The Theory as such lays primary emphasis and focuses on all the various interactions and also on all the various processes that an individual would naturally use to internalize those processes and, on the large and enormous role that such processes play on the psychological development of an individual. Therefore, it can be stated that the very term 'Object Relations' would mean the so called 'real relationships' that a person would have with others, but also to all the various internal mental representations of others, and to those internal images of one's own self also. However, one must remember that when uses the term 'object relations theory', the word need not be always synonymous with what one generally refers to as a 'relationship', rather, it refers to the complexity of the relationship that one would share with other people around him. Therefore, it must be noted that one's internal world generally means the mental representations of the self and of the other as well. (Flanagan, Object Relations Theory)

Object Relations Theory is an offshoot of psychoanalytic theory that explains the issues of in depth inter-personal relationships in great detail. These inter-personal relationships, although they may concern relationships in general, are mostly however, concerned with the relationship that exists between a mother and her child. 'Object', therefore, in this theory, refers to a 'person' and most especially, to the significant person who is the object of another individual's intentions or feelings. Object also refers to much more than the individual or the person, whether internalized or real, with all his contributions to that interaction. (Flanagan, Object Relations Theory)…… [Read More]

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Personality Theories and Assessments Though Essay

Words: 596 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 53496899

Personal interviews -- especially what the respondent actually says in them -- can be extremely useful to humanist practitioners. They also share a reliance on objective tests -- where the respondent attempts, in a guided way, to assess their own behavior and/or personality, with the two remaining branches of personality assessment.

Trait-based and social-learning psychology have vastly different approaches to assessing personality, but there are also some commonalities insofar as how they assess personality. Trait-based theorists believe that people exhibit specific behavioral traits, and that these can be analyzed to determine personality. Tests like the Big Five indicator are trait-based assessors. Social-learning theorists, on the other hand, believe that certain cognitive patterns are set early on, and that behavior (and personality) is determined by these unique cognitive processes working with the sum experience as well as the current environment and interactions. For this reason, social-learning theorists do not see behavior as consistent, but rather see the underlying cognitive rules that determine an individual's behavior in a given situation as consistent. Both use objective tests to asses personality, however, with social-learning theorists also using simple observation as a measure.

The Jungian word test at appears to be a mostly objective test, though I suspect it of some projective applications as well (especially given the repetition of certain words in the context of different surrounding words). In general, I tend to trust objective test more when it comes to me, but less when it comes to other people -- the arrogance of being an Architect (INTP) I guess. I think this test was very accurate; it matches up with the other Jungian-type indicator tests I've taken, and the description is spot-on.… [Read More]

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Personal Theory of Psychological Development Essay

Words: 2119 Length: 8 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 40027294

It may even be impossible to retroactively identify every influence on the development of personality. However, contemporary psychologists already understand the general patterns in which major areas of psychological influence exert themselves on the individual.

More often than not, more than one avenue of psychological inquiry is helpful. Personality development in the typical patient may have been primarily influenced by Freudian issues in infancy and subsequent specific experiences in middle childhood, and secondarily by a particular negative experience or period of conflict in the nuclear family. Therefore, in the practical sense, measuring personality development means retroactively identifying the conceptually recognized potential influences along the full spectrum of psychological approaches. By matching behavioral (and other outwardly observable) manifestations of personality formation to the identifiable potential influences, it is often possible to pinpoint the most likely route of origin for major observable elements of personality.

Toward a Cross-Culturally Appropriate Theory of Personality Development

The simultaneity of multiple psychological influences on personality development greatly complicates the prospect of drawing definitive conclusions about the exact origin of psychological outcomes expressed as elements of personality. Similarly, the influence of the human socialization process and social culture adds another tremendously complicated factor.

Classic experiments by Skinner (Gerrig & Zimbardo, 2008) documented how much more important external influences in relation to maternal messages and behavior can be, even in comparison to biological predisposition (such as to confidence or shyness as a personality trait of infants). The human socialization process and the susceptibility of the developing individual to cultural messages and values transmitted in this manner are tremendously powerful factors in shaping personality development. Notwithstanding differences between individuals not determined by the constant variable of external culture, major aspects of personality are shaped by the experiences of being socialized into every specific human culture (Pinker, 2002; Bradshaw, 2002; Branden, 2001).

It may be that the best approach to understanding the simultaneous influences of major psychological theories…… [Read More]

Bradshaw J. (2002). Bradshaw on: The Family. Deerfield Beach, FL: HCI.

Branden N. (2001). The Psychology of Self-Esteem. New York: Basic Books.
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Forrest Gump Analysis of Jenny Theories Essay

Words: 2150 Length: 8 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 75289089

Mustanski et al. (2007) have conducted research on genetics and disposition and have found genetics can influence personality, sensation seeking, impulsivity, and social deviance. Since her father was clearly abusive and appeared to be a drinker as well, his impulsiveness and social deviance was evident. In looking at internal psychological states things like goals and self-efficacy beliefs are main determinants of behavior (Vancouver, More, & Yoder, 2008)

External factors influencing Jenny's personality, were her interactions socially within the environment in which she lived. Also contributing to her self-schema and how she viewed the environment was the development of knowledge structures. The different social and interpersonal experiences Jenny faced developed a self-schema that was different from those around her. Since Forrest was the only person she had that was positive in her life, her experiences drove her toward a negative self-schema. This would be the only way she might be able to understand the abuse she received throughout her lifetime.

Another external factor Jenny had to deal with was the stigma of being an abused child. She did her best to hide what was happening to her but it did not help her self-esteem. Pachankis (2007) proposes individuals with a concealable stigma may have a lower self-esteem, will not seek out groups who have a similar stigma, and may prevent them from disclosing and attaining support from others.


In conclusion, Jenny started in a negative environment that fostered her low self-esteem. By continuing to stay in these negative environments, she was reinforcing the negative self-schema she led herself to believe. Jenny had an ideal self that included being a good person and this is what she strived for in her life. Erikson (2007) suggests self-schemas are important to our formulation of possible selves and what we expect about the future is dependent on how we see ourselves.

As Jenny could no further…… [Read More]

Tamir, M., John, O.P., Srivastava, S., & Gross, J.J. (2007).Implicit theories of emotion: Affective and social outcomes across a major life transition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 92[4], 731-744.

Vancouver, J.B., More, K.M., & Yoder, R.J. (2008). Self-efficacy and resource allocation:

Support for a nonmonotonic, discontinuous model. Journal of Applied Psychology. 93[1], 35-47.
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Comparison of Theories Essay

Words: 1984 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 66317121


It is difficult to summarize psychodynamic theory without a brief discussion of Freud. Sigmund Freud is the father of psychoanalysis, the father of psychodynamic theory, and in effect the father of modern psychotherapy. Freud's notions retain quite a bit of popularity, especially his ideas that things are not what they seem on the surface. Because of his understanding of the mind and behavior, Freud considered that overt behaviors were not always self-explanatory (or perhaps "not often explanatory" would be the better term). Instead, these overt or manifest behaviors represent some hidden motive. Sigmund Freud was trained as a neurologist and specialized in the treatment of nervous disorders. His early training involved using hypnosis with the French neurologist Jean Charcot in the treatment of hysteria, the presentation of baffling physical symptoms (mostly in young women) that appeared to have no physical origin (Hall, Lindzey, & Campbell, 1998). Freud also partnered with the Viennese physician Josef Breuer who practiced a revolutionary "talking cure" to reduce patients' symptoms by talking with them about how they felt as well as using hypnosis to remove emotional barriers to their feelings. He eventually abandoned the use of hypnosis in favor of a process he termed "free association" in which he had patients talk about what was on their minds without censoring their train of thought. This led Freud to develop his theory of the human mind as a complex system that is comprised of three basic components and that much of the significant activity occurring in the mind is not conscious. Freud's three-component model of the mind (ego, superego and id) reflects that notion a vast portion of the mind functions below the level of awareness of the individual (Hall, Lindzey, & Campbell, 1998).

Many of Freud's basic premises are still retained to some extent by most psychodynamic theorists who followed in his footsteps. The basic tenets of psychodynamic theories are (Hall, Lindzey, & Campbell, 1998; Shedler, 2010):

1. Human behavior and human emotions are strongly affected by unconscious motives.

2. Adult human behavior and feelings originate from experiences in childhood.

3. Every behavior has a cause (this cause is usually unconscious) no matter how benign we believe it to be this includes such behaviors as slips…… [Read More]

Barry, P. (2002). Mental health and mental illness. (7th ed.) New York: Lippincott.

Hall, C.S., Lindzey, G., & Campbell, J.B. (1998). Theories of personality. New York: John
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Comparison of Humanistic Theory With Other Similar Theories Essay

Words: 2182 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 1658723

Humanistic Theory and Its Position Among Other Counseling Theories

Humanistic Theory

The obvious limitations associated with the Psychodynamic theories led to the adoption of the humanistic approach as a response to these limitations, especially in Psychoanalysis. People like Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers felt that the psychodynamic theories that were still in existence were unable to address certain important issues such as the nature of healthy growth and the meaning of behavior adequately. Nevertheless, the outcome was not just a new variation in the theory of psychodynamic, but rather, a new approach.

The Founders of the Accepted Theories

Carl Rogers

Carl Rogers wasn't just one of the several theorists who founded the Humanistic Approach, but possibly the most important therapist that lived in the 20th century. Several surveys, which include a number of surveys carried out after the death of Carl Rogers, discovered that several other therapists named Rogers as one of the most powerful therapists that influenced their way of thinking as well as their clinical practice more than any other human that has ever lived, including the famous Sigmund Freud. To have a good understanding of this, you must first understand something about Rogers as a person, and his hypotheses.

Abraham Maslow

Abraham Maslow, just like Carl Rogers is widely seen as one of the most influential founders of the Humanistic Approach theory. While he is far less influential than Rogers, Maslow enjoys far more popularity among the citizens than Maslow, most of his popularity came mostly from his application of the principles of psychology to important areas such as people's behavior in business settings. Subsequently, the order of his needs remain an important theory in organizational behavior and human resources for decades. The term, The Third Force originated from Maslow, and is used to make a clear description of the Humanistic Approach and a way of emphasizing its difference from the Behaviorists and Psychodynamic Approaches, which has dominated psychology (in North America) in the 50's (Glassman & Hadad, 2015).

Standard intervention for the…… [Read More]