Compare And Contrast The Humanistic And Psychodynamic Model Of Counselling Theories

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Compare and Contrast the Humanistic and Psychodynamic Model of Counselling Theories


Psychology is a discipline that involves monitoring mental processes and behaviour scientifically. Psychologists try to delve into the basic functions of a person and animals cerebral activity. This usually involves studying relationships, emotions, personality and many more areas of a person or animals day to day life. Psychology tends to steer towards finding reasons for a person or animals actions in an attempt to resolve them.

The Purpose of this article is to compare and contrast two of the more popular theories and one that is still prevalent but no longer as widely accepted. The two popular theories that will be discussed are Psychodynamic Perspective and Humanist Psychology. In order for us to understand there similarities we must first determine there differences, the first half of this article will attempt to do just that.

There are many different sub - fields of psychology, however it is possible to draw similarities and differences to all aspects of these fields. The main fields deal with the different approaches used by various psychologists throughout history. Whilst there are no 100% correct theories in Psychology to help to understand a person, we do need to compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of each theory in order to work out which is more beneficial for the subject. In this instance, it is possible for me to discuss Psychodynamic and Humanistic approaches.

Psychodynamic Model

Psychodynamic models mean that the behaviours are driven or motivated by powerful inner forces. In this view, human actions stem from inherited instincts, biological drives, and attempts to resolve conflicts between personal needs and society's demands. And the main purpose of it is to reduce tension.

Psychodynamic Perspective is defined as a “Psychological approach that emphasizes unconscious dynamics within the individual such as inner forces, conflict, or the movement of instinctual energy”. Psychodynamic perspective is mostly centred on inner conflicts and how such conflicts affect human development. Sigmund Freud originated the general basis of this belief by saying that “inner conflicts normally arise from childhood and often can lead to mental illness”. This is done by impeding the balanced development of the three systems that constitute the human Psyche. These three systems are the ID, which is innate sexual and aggressive drives; the ego, which is the conscious part of the brain that mediates between reality and unconscious, and finally the super ego, this controls the primitive impulses of the Id and often represents moral ideals (Satterfield, 1726).

The Psychodynamic approach is a stark contrast. This approach was developed by Freud (1856 - 1939) in the 1890s in Vienna and looks at the internal conflicts within a subject's unconscious mind to create theories on the subject's personality development. It also allows treatment for psychological disorders based on these theories. In effect, Behaviourism and Psychodynamic approaches are polar opposites of each other in the techniques that they use to draw their conclusions. However, they do have one main similarity in the fact that they both draw on past ...
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