Comparing Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Person-Centered Psychology
The counseling profession has a broad spectrum of possibilities when it comes to choosing which psychological approach to take. The field of counseling takes many forms and offers many career options, from school counseling to marriage and family therapy. As there are numerous styles in existence, it is important to be aware of the many approaches available to take. For my research two psychological approaches, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Person-Centered Psychology, will be critically analyzed and discussed in depth in order to compare the techniques as well as effectiveness of each.
Foundation of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy was developed by Sigmund Freud during the Victorian Era in Vienna, Austria. Sigmund Freud’s psychological works set the base for the profession of psychology as well as the practice of modern psychotherapy. Freud believed human behavior was motivated by “intrapsychic conflict” stemming from the three areas of the subconscious: id, ego, and superego (Murdock, 2009).
Freud’s psychoanalytic approach to therapy had more of a negative view of human nature that Carl Rogers’ view. Freud thought human dysfunction developed as a result of poor genetic make-up, as well as deficits (fixations) caused by missed psychosexual developmental stages. In short, human conflict came about as a result of struggles between the id (primal, instinctual urges), ego (role of self in reality) and superego (conscience/critic), manifested in the person’s ego.
As part of Freud’s psychoanalytic approach, he believed the human subconscious was the main driving force behind human change and growth. Freud believed the human personality was determined by the time they turned six years old, and was deterministic of the ways in which the individual would change and grow over the course of the life. The psychosexual stages of development played an important role in human development also. Freud believed it was vital for every human to experience each stage fully; otherwise the consequences of the missed stage(s) would manifest later in the life cycle—a defense mechanism called “fixation.” Fixation occurs when there is conflict at a certain stage in psychosexual development.
There are five psychosexual stages of development: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital. The first psychosexual stage of development, the oral stage, begins in infancy and lasts throughout the first year. During this stage, infants are performing oral exercises such as sucking and learning to create noise with their mouths and will be expected to wean themselves from their mother’s breasts/bottles. If fixation occurs at this psychosexual stage, the individual is likely to have difficulty forming healthy relationships, as well as regulating their optimism and pessimism.
The second stage, the anal stage, occurs from the first year to year and a half until age 3. The child is...