Traditional and Contemporary Psychodynamics Theories Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Tenets of Traditional and Contemporary Psychodynamics

Traditional Psychodynamics

One of the founders of traditional psychodynamics is Sigmund Freud with his approach of psychoanalytic theory with which he attempted to explain the behavior of human beings by looking at the mind and the inner thinking process of individuals, right from the time of birth. Due to his work, Freud influenced several other scholars in the line of psychology who later on came up with various arguments around the mind and the aspects that influence human behavior. Firstly and significant here, the traditional psychodynamic theory argues that there are psychological energy within the individual that are related to the attachments, continuous conflict and the motivations that the individual has. The theory further indicates that the behavior of an individual at the adulthood is widely influenced by the early childhood experiences.

The traditional psychodynamics also gave an indication that the psychological development took place in five stages that were fixed depending on the age of the individual. It is worth noting that the traditional psychodynamics borrowed a lot from the unconscious fantasies and the symbols which they argue were the main factors that were responsible for the shaping of personality. The theory indicates that the unconscious forces have significantly higher influences and power to control human behavior than the conscious thoughts. These unconscious thoughts were argued be revealing themselves through the slips of the tongue and the free association that the individuals may find themselves in. This traditional theory further portends that the structure of personality is such that there is the id (controls the pleasure principle and sexual instincts), ego (obeys the principles of the society) and the superego (controls morality and consciences) (Sage Publications, 2008).

Having been the first psychodynamic approach that was properly researched and documented, the positives of the traditional psychodynamic theory are that it was the first study that strived to delve into the mind of the individual and dissect the inner being as a means to explaining the outward actions, a fact that helped explain some of the behaviors like madness that were hitherto hard to explain. The Freud approach alongside the other researchers also acted as a pioneer to the possibility of studying human mind and behavior, a fact that led to many more scholars getting into the study of human behavior.

However, the theories under the traditional psychodynamic approach face several challenges in the application of the approach in general, one such challenge…

Sources Used in Document:


Cherry K., (2015).Trait Theory of Personality. Retrieved July 11, 2015 from

Mullen W., (1996). Study Challenges Freud's Theory of Subconscious. Chicago Tribune.

Sage Publications, (2008).Psychoanalysis in Theory and Practice. Retrieved July 11, 2015 from

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