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Psychodynamic Personality Theories Analysis

1410 words - 6 pages

There are a number of diverse scientific personality theories. All theories are a reflection of their author's personal backgrounds, childhood experiences, philosophy of life, interpersonal relationships, and unique manner of looking at the world (Feist & Feist, 2006). Personality differences among theorists account for fundamental disagreements between those who lean toward the quantitative side of psychology; behaviorists, social learning theorists, and trait theorists; and those inclined toward the clinical and qualitative side of psychology: psychoanalysts, humanists, and existentialists (Feist & Feist, 2006).Individual Psychological TheoryIndividual Psychological theory is defined as, a modified system of psychoanalysis, developed by Alfred Adler, that views maladaptive behavior and personality disorders as resulting from a conflict between the desire to dominate and feelings of inferiority (Agnes, 2004, p. 751). Individual Psychology affects individual personalities in many ways. According to Boeree, (2006), Freud's defenses provide protection of the Ego against instinctual demands, whereas Adler's safeguards protect the self esteem from threats by outside demands and problems of life. It is not against instinctual demands that people have to safeguard themselves, it is that their self esteem is suffering, because they have a feeling that they cannot meet the demands of life that come from the outside.Defenses are used both to provide protection of the Ego against instinctual demands [the Freudian idea is that the Id doesn't want to feel pain so it motivates the Ego to use defense mechanisms to defend it from anxiety], and as a safeguard to protect the self esteem from threats by outside demands and the many problems of life. Defense mechanisms are ways in which the Ego deals with conflicts within the psyche. Adler believed that feelings of inferiority, mostly subconscious, combined with compensatory defense mechanisms played the largest role in determining behavior, particularly behavior of the pathological sort. Adler's theory of individual psychology stressed the need to discover the root cause of feelings of inferiority, to assist the development of a strong Ego and thereby help the individual eliminate neurotic defense mechanisms.Individual Psychological Influence on Interpersonal RelationshipsSocial problems of adulthood are the realities of friendship, comradeship and social contact; those of one's occupation or profession; and those of love and marriage. It is failure to face and meet them directly which results in neurosis and perhaps in mental ill-health [which has been defined in simple terms as: madness, badness and sadness]. "It has been well said that the neurotic turns half-away from life, while the insane person turns his back on it; it may be added that those possessed of sufficient social courage face it!" (Boeree, 2006).There is only one reason for a person to side-step to the useless side: the fear of defeat on...

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