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A Brief Introduction to the Psychodynamic Approach


The psychodynamic approach focuses on persons who behave in a particular way because of the deep emotion in the unconscious mind. The use of psychodynamic approaches in social care and health care helps understand and assist people experiencing the commonly used psychodynamic processes around the world. This approach assumes that human personality disturbances and development are based on the dynamics and interplay of psychological forces that drive the needs, instincts, and determinations between the individual and society.

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History of the Psychodynamic Approach


The psychodynamic approach was founded by Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurologist who developed his theory of how the mind could help him develop the theory of personality. In addition, Freud's theory of mind included the ideas divided into three parts, namely unconscious mind, conscious mind, and preconscious mind. The conscious holds all the information that an individual pays attention to at a particular period, while the preconscious includes all the information out of focus but is easily available when required. Then again, the unconscious includes the feelings, thoughts, memories, and aspirations that people are unaware of but affect each aspect of their daily lives.

Strength of the Psychodynamic Approach

The major strength of the psychodynamic approach is that Freud acknowledges the significance of childhood experience in defining adult personality. Also, his ideas provide a casual description of the basic atypical psychological conditions. The unconscious causes of disorders are recognized through dream interpretation, and remedies could be issued by controlling and discussing aspirations. This is the part where individuals follow the rules and do their work. This criticizes people, judges them, and makes them feel guilty when making mistakes. This makes people feel ashamed and guilty, and this is the internal judge. Also, it is a part of the personality that embodies all the necessary ideals of individuals from society and parents (a person's sense of wrong and right). Freud believed that when individuals explain their behavior to themselves or others, they rarely give a true account of their inspiration. However, this is not because people are deliberately trying to lie. Freud proposed that many people's behavior is influenced by things they do not know and that their 'deep' motivations are not visible but hidden. Freud referred to the part of the mind that people know and understand: the "conscious" part and the unknown part, which is the "unconscious".


Freud implied a method for human progression and change based on biological instincts. He sees instinct as a source of psychological stimulation that is biologically a necessity and psychologically a desire. The ego, I.D., and superego contain the building blocks of personality. In addition, I.D. is a source of instinctual energy and works according to happiness. The ego tries to find instinctual pleasure by changing the demand of I.D. based on reality.

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The superego is the moral arm of society and controls the satisfaction of instinctual needs as per social norms. The superego, ID, and ego work on an unconscious, conscious, and preconscious level. Freud further explains that a person's personality is formed in the first five years of life. Also, the manifestation of instinctual energy poses anxiety among people. People manage anxiety using the immune system to manage the anxiety that arises from meeting the instinctual needs identified by their psychosocial coordination level. Thus, the therapy aims to help arrogant people understand their concerns. The approaches for helping people gain insights are transference, resistance, ego deface mechanisms and countertransference.


The superego gives guidance for judging. Freud said that the superego began to appear at the age of five. The Super Eagle has two parts. Ego ideals include standards and rules for good behavior. These behaviors include those approved by parents and other authorities following such rules that lead to feelings of achievement, pride, and value. The conscience includes a description of things considered bad by society and parents. This behavior is not routinely tolerated and can lead to bad consequences, punishment, or the feeling of regret and guilt.


Regarding the I.D., it wants to be happy but done in a practical and meaningful way that helps people benefit not only in the short term but also in the long term. This function is to get people their happiness but to consider negative factors. For example, purchasing a pair of favorite shoes that are expensive enough gives a person a brief sense of excitement but doesn't want to see what the person can afford. It is driven by ego and lets individuals think more than to think randomly.

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The superego aims to work with and enhance the behavior of people. It works to reduce irrelevant emotions from I.D. and tries to make the ego follow the idealistic standard ​​instead of the reality principle. Also, the superego exists in a preconscious, conscious, and unconscious state. It reflects personal rules and cultural differences. The guidance can be made it from parents or society. In the superego, people have emotions which include their ego and conscious perception. Also, it acts as a critic who drives people and forbids wrongdoing using consciousness. This can be thought of as a conscious that punishes evil deeds with guilt.




The psychodynamic approach uses the basic statement that every person has an unconscious mind. Those who feel in the unconscious mind are often faced with pain. Therefore, individuals create the defense to defend themselves from becoming aware of their painful feelings. Denial is an example of such a defense. The psychodynamic approach undertakes that such defense is wrong and does more harm than good, so the people need assistance. It is trying to unravel them again, assuming that if one knows what is going on in his mind, his feelings will not be so painful.

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