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Features Of The Psychoanalytic And Humanistic Perspectives

2211 words - 9 pages

Features of the Psychoanalytic and Humanistic Perspectives

Outline the key features of the psychoanalytic and humanistic
perspectives, and briefly compare and contrast their views on
conscious experience, a person as an integrated whole, and the role of
therapists in arriving at changes.


In explaining and predicting animal behaviour, different schools of
psychology are of different perspectives; e.g. cognitive approach
focuses on the mental processes, behaviourism is based on external
stimuli and reinforcement, biological approach is concerned with the
relationship between the mind and body and the influence of heredity.
However, they are only cope with a specific part of people, but
neglect human as a whole. To supplement such deficient, both
psychoanalytic and humanistic psychologies have provided their
perspectives on it.

Psychoanalytic Perspective

Psychoanalytic approach was advocated by Sigmund Freud, a private
practitioner who construct his theory through therapy and
self-experience. In his theory, there are three major ideas; they are
consciousness, psychosexual stages of development and psychodynamics
as well.

Freud split the consciousness into three levels; they are conscious,
preconscious and unconscious respectively. The conscious level
contains information of which we are aware, alert and awake at the
moment, e.g. you can easily answer the question of “What is your
name?”. The preconscious level contains the memories and thoughts
that are easily remember through a little effort, e.g. in respond to a
question of “Where are you last night?”. The unconscious level is the
most controversial one amongst the consciousness, it contains the
information, including the past unpleasant emotion and experiences
which were repressed and we are not aware. We can only access them
with great effort; yet, some of them are entirely inaccessible. (Davis
& Palladino, 1995).

Freud argued that most of our behaviour is motivated by our
unconscious, but how could we know the existence of it. Freud
suggested that there are several ways to access the unconscious
level. The first one is free association, patients are encouraged to
give free rein to their thoughts and feelings, expressing whatever
comes into the mind without monitoring its content, it assumed that
repressed material would be emerged ultimately. The second one is by
dream analysis, he opined that unconscious wishes are often manifested
in dreams, sometimes in their true forms, sometimes in symbolic form
(Website : Webref), e.g. children’s wish of candies or toys would be
reflected in the content of their dreams. The last one is named as
Freudian slip; he argued that an accidental action would be expressed
as the unconscious motivations (Miell, Phoenix &...

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