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Compare and contrast psychoanalytical and humanistic explanations of personality - Essay Example

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While the 20th century witnessed the advent of a broad range of personality theories the vast majority of approaches were predicated on the foundational methodology of the psychodynamic and humanistic models. While they both attempt to explore foundational elements of…
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Compare and contrast psychoanalytical and humanistic explanations of personality

se personality approaches in regards to their comparative and contrasting elements, with specific emphasis on their theoretical foundations and developmental elements.
Sigmund Freud wasn’t the first to investigate the philosophical ramifications of the unconscious, but his early 20th century psychological examinations and development of psychoanalysis make him the progenitor of the psychodynamic personality theory (Griggs 2008). While psychoanalysis has been extended into a broad range of analytic fields, most notably literature, its implications for personality theory have largely been linked to his theories regarding the unconscious or childhood development (Elliot 2002). Most individuals are familiar with Freud’s characterization of the personality as differentiated into three categories of ego, super-ego, and id. When considering the relevancy for this personality theory it’s important to note that Freud believed that the conscious elements represented by the ego in certain situations experienced cognitive overload resulting in repression as a protective mechanism affecting the personality in later life.
Psychodynamic personality theory understands personality as rooted in the complex interaction of conscious and unconscious forces governing the individual’s actions. In examining the psychodynamic aspects of personality theory, considering it in terms of therapeutic processes reveals its foundational theoretical perspectives. While psychodynamic personality approaches have been practiced for nearly a century and have engendered a number of therapeutic techniques, two of the most predominant techniques are free association and dream interpretation. In free association the patient is encouraged to freely express their thoughts while the therapist examines their narrative descriptions for its underlining subconscious motivation; similarly dream interpretation is a method used by the therapist as a means of direct access to unconscious impulses. A number ... Read More
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