“Psychodynamic theory is defined as the intensive study of how various parts of the body interrelate with each other. Basically, it attempts to explain how the physical mind, the personality and the inner self of an individual closely relates to their emotional, mental and motivational influences at the unconscious level. The theory is founded on the assumption that the behavior of human beings and the various social relationships that they form in the course of their lives are formed by both conscious influences and unconscious influences (Horowitz, 2001). As such, the theory has been greatly applied in various fields of our day to day life as it serves to explain various concepts concerning the diverse behaviors executed by people as they relate with each other.

This paper attempts to explore psychodynamic theory in depth as well as its application in real life as presented by Sigmund Freud. It presents an analysis of the theory in terms of its historical developments and perspectives as well as the ideas of its main proponents. Further, the paper also attempts to highlight the implicit and explicit assumptions made by the theory concerning individuals, groups, families, systems and communities. Moreover, It will attempt to highlight the relationship that exists between the theory and other theories. The key concepts discussed by Feuds psychodynamic theory have also been discussed in this paper. In addition, the paper also focuses on the application of the psychodynamic theory in social work direct practice and how the theory has influenced various aspects and beliefs in the field. Finally, the paper will attempt to expose the main criticisms of the psychodynamic theory as presented by various psychological researchers.

Background History

Initially, the Psychodynamic theory was developed by a famous theorist known as Sigmund Freud who lived between the year 1856 and 1939. He was also the creator of the psychoanalysis theory, psychological treatment as well as the development of the psychosexual theory. The theorist was recognized for his emphasis on the variations of biological forces through phallic, oral, anal and eventually through the genital stages. There were also other theorists who contributed significantly to the development of the psychodynamic theory. These include; Carl Jung, Melanie Klein and Alfred Adler (Walsh, 2010).
According to earlier psychological analysts, it is documented that Sigmund Freud’s discovery of the psychodynamic theory was greatly inspired by one Ernst Von Brucke who was among the early developers of psychodynamics. The theory was discovered upon Freud’s discovery that laws of dynamics could possibly be applied to the personalities and bodies of human beings (Carlson, 2010). Throughout his life, Freud wrote a lot on the influences of human behavior in his attempt to analyze the psychological processes of man. In the history of psychology, Freud’s theory was recognized among the utmost achievements of modern science.

Consequently, the psychodynamics theory became fully established and applicable in mid 1940s and 1950s. However, in 1930, it is documented that Freud’s daughter also contributed towards the development of his father’s theory by applying the theory of the “ego” to the analysis of the attachment between a parent and a child. In turn, this led to the development of ego psychology. Freud’s Psychodynamic theory model was further enhanced by Eric Berne, an American psychiatrist, in the 1950s where he expounded Freud’s “ego states” to come up with the transactional analysis based on the various human interactions (Carlson, 2010). Subsequently, the psychodynamic theory was further popularized in the year 1964 by being featured in the book, ‘Games of the People’.

In addition, Joseph Breuer also contributed to the development of psychodynamic treatment. According to him, hypnosis could be used to assist a patient to reach the point of catharsis. On the other hand, Sigmund Freud differed with Breuer as he believed that hypnosis was not necessary for catharsis. Instead, he held the idea that catharsis could be reached through talk therapy or free association. Intrinsically, a collaboration of the two ideologies gave birth to the concept of psychodynamic treatment…”

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