The Comparison Between Psychodynamic and Humanistic Theory

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The Comparison between Psychodynamic and Humanistic Theory There are very distinct differences between Psychodynamic and Humanistic Counselling but both ultimately offer the help and guidance to discover why we act the way we do and why we make certain choices in our lives. Throughout this essay, I will endeavour to explain those major differences and you will see that despite these completely different methods of therapy, depending on what the problem maybe, they can both work very effectively in their own way. Carl Rogers, born in 1902, was the originator of the Person Centred Approach or Humanistic Theory.

His work was influenced by his experience of being a client and a counsellor (Casemore, 2006) and he believed a trusting relationship was essential in helping the client to grow and develop in order that they could cope with difficulties in a more effective manner and to function more effectively. There is a strong emphasis of the need for counsellors to think of their clients as people rather than impersonal bodies. Characteristics important for effectiveness in the counsellor/client relationship are congruence, where the counsellor must be genuinely themselves, a complete and whole person.

Empathic, which is the ability to understand and appreciate the clients perspective. To ‘live’ in their world and accept who they are unconditionally and unconditional positive regard which involves accepting the client completely and in a non-judgemental way. Rogers believed that all humans have a natural desire for personal growth and potential so that they can take responsibility for their own actions and the way they live their lives. This view is called the Actualising Tendency. He believed that everybody had an inner need to wholeness.

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The self-concept is also important in Person Centred Counselling. This relates to the individuals perception or the way in which they see themselves based on life experiences and attitudes from those important people around them when they were young. Abraham Maslow is another theorist whose contribution to the Person Centred Approach is very significant. He proposed a hierarchy of needs which he believed were responsible for human motivation and drive. They are as follows: Physiological Needs - These are biological needs.

They consist of needs for oxygen, food, and water. They are the strongest needs because if a person were deprived of all needs, the physiological ones would come first in the person's search for satisfaction. Safety Needs - When all physiological needs are satisfied and are no longer controlling thoughts and behaviors, the needs for security can become active. Needs of Love, Affection and Belongingness – When the needs for safety and for physiological well-being are satisfied, the next class of needs for love, affection and belongingness can emerge.

Needs for Esteem - When the first three classes of needs are satisfied, the needs for esteem can become dominant. These involve needs for both self-esteem and for the esteem a person gets from others. Needs for Self-Actualization - When all of the foregoing needs are satisfied, then and only then are the needs for self-actualization activated. Maslow describes self-actualization as a person's need to be and do that which the person was "born to do. " According to Maslow it is possible for people to work towards self-actualisation by practising behaviours which encourage the development of confidence and openness.

These include; trying new experiences and to challenge oneself, to assume responsibility, strive to be honest and to develop a capacity to trust onself, Both Maslow and Rogers had very similar views. Maslow believed that the most basic drive was to become the person that one is capable of becoming and Rogers believed that the basic drive was to become the person that one truly is. Gestalt Therapy is a psychotherapy, based on the experiential ideal of "here and now", and relationships with others and the world, and was co-founded by Fritz Perls, Laura Perls and Paul Goodman in the 1940s-1950s (Wikipidia 2004).

Perls did not belive in a single particular theory. He thought you should always just go with the flow and work with what you have and what is happening in the now. He placed great importance on the client becoming self aware and thus developed the Gestalt theory. This therapy focuses more on process (what is happening) than content (what is being discussed). The emphasis is on what is being done, thought and felt at the moment rather than on what was, might be, could be, or should be.

Perls believed in minipulating the client, bringing them out of their comfort zone and challenging them. To own what you say and do and to be aware of unconscious actions/words. In the 1950's Eric Berne began to develop his theories of Transactional Analysis. He said that verbal communication, particularly face to face, is at the centre of human social relationships and psychoanalysis. His starting-point was that when two people encounter each other, one of them will speak to the other. This he called the Transaction Stimulus.

The reaction from the other person he called the Transaction Response. The person sending the Stimulus is called the Agent. The person who responds is called the Respondent. Transactional Analysis became the method of examining the transaction wherein: 'I do something to you, and you do something back'. Berne also said that each person is made up of three alter ego states: Parent - This is our ingrained voice of authority, absorbed conditioning, learning and attitudes from when we were young. Child - Our internal reaction and feelings to external events form the 'Child'.

This is the seeing, hearing, feeling, and emotional body of data within each of us. When anger or despair dominates reason, the Child is in control. Adult - Our 'Adult' is our ability to think and determine action for ourselves, based on received data. The adult in us begins to form at around ten months old, and is the means by which we keep our Parent and Child under control. If we are to change our Parent or Child we must do so through our adult. Transactional Analysis is effectively a language within a language; a language of true meaning, feeling and motive.

It can help you in every situation, firstly through being able to understand more clearly what is going on, and secondly, by virtue of this knowledge, we give ourselves choices of what ego states to adopt, which signals to send, and where to send them. This enables us to make the most of all our communications and therefore create, develop and maintain better relationships (Businessballs. com) Looking at the Psychodynamic side, Freud took the view that human beings are never free from their behaviours, thoughts and feelings.

That we are governed by past events and reinact them in our present. Sigmund Freud is the father of the Psychodynamic Theory. This focuses on the unconscious aspects of personality. According to Freud the human mind is like an iceberg. It is mostly hidden in the unconscious. He believed that the conscious level of the mind was similar to the tip of the iceberg which could be seen, but the unconscious was mysterious and was hidden. The unconscious also consists of aspects of personality of which a person is unaware. The conscious on the other hand is that which is within our awareness.

The preconscious consists of that which is not in immediate awareness but is easily accessible (Himmat Rana 1997) Freud believed the personality is made up of three parts. They are: Id – the oldest part and present from birth and necessary for survival. The Ego – realistic awareness of self and of the world. Has evolved through contact with the external world and is determined by the individuals own experiences. Acts as mediator between the id and the superego and the Superego – parental and social influences. Moral judgement and conscience.

Main function is to curb he demands of the id. When anxiety occurs, the mind first responds by an increase in problem-solving thinking, seeking rational ways of escaping the situation. If this is not fruitful, a range of defence mechanisms may be triggered. In Freud's language, these are tactics which the Ego develops to help deal with the Id and the Super Ego. Freud's Defence Mechanisms include: ·Denial: claiming/believing that what is true to be actually false. ·Displacement: redirecting emotions to a substitute target. Intellectualization: taking an objective viewpoint. ·Projection: attributing uncomfortable feelings to others. ·Rationalization: creating false but credible justifications. ·Reaction Formation: overacting in the opposite way to the fear. ·Regression: going back to acting as a child. ·Repression: pushing uncomfortable thoughts into the subconscious. ·Sublimation: redirecting 'wrong' urges into socially acceptable actions. Carl Jung was an associate of Freud who disagreed on a number of issues and finally broke away from Freud with his own ideas.

He developed Analytical Psychology and it consists of the following; The collective unconscious – This is the deepest part of the psyche which contains all experiences that are inherited. The Personal Unconscious – This is material that was once conscious but has become forgotton or suppressed. Jung referred to the universal ideas and images of the collective unconscious as archetypes. These are original forms which all human beings in all societies recognise. Archetypes can also appear in shared emotional experience and these unconscious ideas and patterns of thought are likely to surface during momentous events such as birth and death.

This shared psychological experience was regarded by Jung as evidence of a collective unconscious. There are four major archetypes of the collective unconscious: The word “persona” means a mask and refers to the outward appearance which people use in everyday life. The word “anima” refers to the unconscious female quality in the male and the word “animus” refers to the unconscious male quality in the female. The shadow is the inferior being within us which is primitive and animal. It is also the personal unconscious is similar to Freuds concept of the id.

The term “self” describes a state of complete integration of all the separate elements of personality (Hough 1994) Alfred Adler broke away from Freuds school and set up his own called individual psychology. He believed that personality developed through sibling order and placed emphasis on the social development of man. He viewed people as mostly conscious rather than unconscious. For Adler, it was useless to focus on drives and impulses without giving attention to how the person creatively directs the drives. Adler believed that inferiority feelings are the source of all human striving.

All individual progress, growth and development result from the attempt to compensate for one's inferiorities. Feeling unattractive, or don't belong somewhere. Not strong enough or smart enough. So everyone is trying to overcome something that is hampering them from becoming what they want to become. The meaning of superiority is like self-realization. The striving for perfections is innate in the sense that it is a part of life. Throughout a person's life, Adler believed, he or she is motivated by the need to overcome the sense of inferiority and strive for ever higher levels of development.

Everything Adler says ties into the lifestyle. For Adler, meanings are not determined by situation, but we are self-determined by the meaning we attribute to a situation. Melanie Klein had a significant impact on child psychology and contemporary psychoanalysis. She was a leading innovator in theorizing object relations theory. According to Klein, the infant's world was threatened from the beginning by intolerable anxieties, whose source she believed to be the infant's own death instinct.

These "persecutory" anxieties, which were felt in the infant's own bodily needs as well as from the external frustrations to those needs, were overwhelming to the infant, and in order to combat them the infant resorted to defenses whose aim was to isolate her from them. Through these primitive defenses—projection, denial, splitting, withdrawal, and "omnipotent control" of these objects—the infant put threatening, "bad" objects, outside herself and into the external world; simultaneously, she preserved the "good" objects, both within herself and externally, by splitting them off from their malevolent counterparts.

Perhaps the most fundamental of these processes were projection and introjection, which described the infant's first, primitive attempts to differentiate himself from the world, inside from outside, self from other, based on the prototype of oral incorporation (and spitting out) and the infant's relation to his first, nurturing/frustrating object, the mother's breast. In Bowlby's approach, the child is considered to have a need for a secure relationship with adult caregivers, without which normal social and emotional development will not occur.

However, different relationship experiences can lead to different developmental outcomes. A number of attachment styles in infants with distinct characteristics have been identified known as secure attachment, avoidant attachment, anxious attachment and disorganized attachment. These can be measured in both infants and adults Attachment is an affectional tie that one person forms between him/herself and another specific one (usually the parent) — a tie that binds them together in space and endures over time.

Attachment theory states that attachment is a developmental process based on the evolved adaptive tendency for young children to maintain proximity to a familiar person, called the attachment figure. Four different attachment styles have been identified in children: secure, anxious-ambivalent, anxious-avoidant, and disorganized. Secure Attachment - The child protests the mother's departure and quiets promptly on the mother's return, accepting comfort from her and returning to exploration.

Avoidant Attachment - The child shows little to no signs of distress at the mother's departure, a willingness to explore the toys, and little to no visible response to the mother's return. Ambivalent Attachment - The child shows sadness on the mother's departure, ability to be picked up by the stranger and even 'warm' to the stranger, and on the mother's return, some ambivalence, signs of anger, reluctance to 'warm' to her and return to play. Disorganized Attachment - The child presents stereotypes upon the mother's return after separation, such as freezing for several seconds or rocking.

This appears to indicate the child's lack of coherent coping strategy. Children who are classified as disorganized are also given a classification as secure, ambivalent or avoidant based on their overall reunion behavior. “The main differences between the two therapies are that the Psychodynamic Theory centres on the past experiences of the client. By using dream interpretation, free association and others, it concentrates on looking at childhood experiences and normal or abnormal development. Humanistic is based on the clients interpretation of what is happening in the here and now.

It allows the client to express himself without having to look in the past”. (Wiki. answers. com) Rogers believed that the counselling relationship was based on mutuality, in which both the client and the counsellor are of equal importance whereas in Psychodynamic Counselling the Counsellor is regarded as the expert. Bibliography Person Centred Counselling by Roger Casemore, 2006, Sage Publications A Practical Approach to Counselling by Margaret Hough, 1994, Pittman Publishing Sigmund Freud by Himmat Rana 1997 www. Wikipedia/Fritz_Perls Businessballs. com

Related Questions

on The Comparison Between Psychodynamic and Humanistic Theory

What are the similarities between humanistic and psychoanalytic theories?
Both humanistic and psychoanalytic theories focus on understanding the inner workings of the human mind and behavior. Both theories also emphasize the importance of understanding the individual's unique experiences and how they shape their behavior. Additionally, both theories emphasize the importance of understanding the unconscious mind and its influence on behavior.
How do humanistic and psychodynamic compare?
Humanistic and psychodynamic approaches to psychology are both focused on understanding the inner workings of the human mind. However, they differ in their approaches. Humanistic psychology focuses on the individual's subjective experience and emphasizes the importance of self-actualization, while psychodynamic psychology focuses on the unconscious mind and the influence of past experiences on current behavior.
What are the similarities between psychodynamic and humanistic therapy?
Psychodynamic and humanistic therapy both focus on the individual's inner thoughts and feelings, and both emphasize the importance of the therapeutic relationship between the therapist and the client. Both approaches also emphasize the importance of self-awareness and personal growth.
What is the difference between psychoanalytic theory and humanistic theory?
Psychoanalytic theory is a form of therapy that focuses on unconscious processes and the exploration of the patient's past experiences, while humanistic theory is a form of therapy that emphasizes the individual's potential for self-growth and self-actualization. Humanistic theory focuses on the present moment and the individual's subjective experience, while psychoanalytic theory focuses on the unconscious and the exploration of the patient's past.

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