1.What are the strengths and weakness of Psychodynamic Approach? 2.Starting on pg 301, describe any experience,...

1.What are the strengths and weakness of Psychodynamic Approach?

2.Starting on pg 301, describe any experience, that relates to any of the key concepts and dynamics within the Pschodynamic Approach

3.How can this chapter be effective in a person's life?

Northouse, Peter G. Leadership: Theory and Practice, 7th edition. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.


Homework Answers

Answer #1

1.What are the strengths and weakness of Psychodynamic Approach?

Psychodynamic & Existential/Humanistic theories vary greatly in their approach, dynamic, and assumptions. The succeeding compares and contrasts the two theoretical approaches paying attention to the assumptions presented by each approach, motives for behavior, and whether the approach is deterministic or not.

To gain more perspective into each approach it is essential to learn about the different theories and theorists that developed and contributed to each. The key psychodynamic theorists presented include Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, Carl Jung, Melanie Klein, Karen Horney, and Harry Stack-Sullivan. On the other side, the theorists that contributed to the existential/humanistic approach include Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Rollo May

Psychodynamic Theorists and Theories The founder of the psychodynamic approach to personality and psychoanalysis was Sigmund Freud. Freud’s views were focused mainlyon sex and aggression as the basis for human motivation (Feist & Feist,2009). According to Freud there are three distinct parts of human personality; the id, the ego and the super ego. And also three levels of consciousness; unconscious, preconscious and conscious. The two sets of three coincide with the id being part of the unconscious, the ego a part of both pre-consciousness and consciousness and the super ego also a part of the unconscious. A general assumption in psychodynamic theories is that the two unconscious parts of the mind are in constant conflict with the ego. In the matter of the conscious versus unconscious mind, Alfred Adler proposed a different approach indicating that instead of the two consistently being in conflict, they exist together as a collaborative part of the mind (Feist & Feist, 2009).

2.Starting on pg 301, describe any experience, that relates to any of the key concepts and dynamics within the Psychodynamic Approach

Have you ever wondered how it is that you've become the person you are today? You have, of course, had many experiences and influences from others that have helped to shape your identity, but surely there's more to it than that. From the psychological perspective, there are a number of different theories that attempt to explain how we develop our personalities, but among those, psychodynamics has been one of the most popular.

The term psychodynamic theory or psychodynamics doesn't refer to a single theory; rather it references a number of different psychological theories that make up the psychodynamic perspective. These theories collectively suggest that the individual personality is a combination of early childhood experiences and unconscious impulses or desires.

Say, for example, that you were conducting research in order to understand why a person has committed a series of violent crimes. If you adhered to psychodynamic theory, you would likely conclude that the person had many negative or violent experiences as a child and that these experiences have led to an unconscious desire to harm others, which eventually becomes a conscious desire.

Psychodynamic theory is concerned with understanding the inner world of human beings and its relationship with how we behave in the outer world and relate to other people, organizations and society. A central component of Freud’s theory was the contention that we all have an unconscious as well as a conscious part of our minds. He did not consider this unconscious part simply to be the place where things that are outside our awareness are permanently stored away. Rather, he argued that we each have a ‘dynamic internal world’

In which there is constant interaction between conscious and unconscious thoughts, feelings, wishes, urges and fantasies. Within this inner world, the role of emotions is considered central. Pivotal to understanding the interplay between the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind is the belief that human beings have the capacity to regulate their experience of their own emotions without being aware that they are doing so. This means that we tend to ban from our conscious minds those unpleasant, frightening or threatening feelings that we fi nd too diffi cult to tolerate.

Defining and studying leadership is not as straight forward as it may initially seem to most people. The mere definition of leadership has evolved over time and still today it varies slightly depending on whom you ask. Just to be clear though regarding the modern concept of leadership, certain components should be present. Those components are that leadership is a process, leadership involves influence, leadership occurs in groups, and leadership involves common goals (Northouse, 2013). As for studying leadership, it doesn’t get any easier. Some of the different approaches involve examining the leader’s traits, style, or the situation involved just to name a few. Others are not as simple to comprehend. I am referring to one in particular and that is the psychodynamic approach. When I consider this approach, I immediately conjure up images involving repressed memories and the stereotypical leather couch.

The underlying concept of the psychodynamic approach is that of personality (Northouse, 2013). For me, it is easy to understand that leaders should possess certain traits, that certain styles work better than others, and that the situation certainly should come into play. Maybe it is because these concepts can be taught and have the ability to be applied accordingly. The psychodynamic approach however makes no assumption about good traits or best style and does not attempt to match a style to followers (Northouse, 2013). Additionally, and this is where it gets even more interesting, two assumptions are important to understand when considering the psychodynamic approach to studying leadership. They are that the personality characteristics of individuals are deeply ingrained and very difficult to change in a significant way, and that people have motives and feelings that are buried in the unconscious (Northouse, 2013).

So does this mean that when it comes to evaluating leaders we should follow the proverbial rule and not judge them until we have walked a mile in their shoes, maybe? We can examine the traits a leader possesses, we can examine his or her style, we can examine the context of the situation, and we can examine the interaction between the leader and his or her followers but until we have examined the family upbringing, personal backgrounds, emotions, and drives have we really identified who the leader is or what makes him or her act the way he or she does. Not according to the psychodynamic approach anyway. Our personalities, feeling and motives penetrate deep into our core and may not always be obvious to see and understand. I guess this all means that professional psychoanalysis should be a mandatory prerequisite not only for leaders but also for their follows as well. Not only is it important for each respective leader to have an understanding of his or her own psychology to be effective , but it is just as important for the leader to have an understanding of each of his or her followers as well (PSU WC, L.3, p.3). Given this approach, it would seem to me that we may just run into a shortage of leather couches.

3. How can this chapter be effective in a person's life?

In many ways, 1900 was a significant moment in time. Just as we recently experienced "millenium madness", so, too, the turn of the century was seen as a social and cultural landmark. From the perspective of psychology, the discipline was still in its infancy: Wilhelm Wundt had established the first experimental laboratory only 25 years earlier, and William James's Psychology, the first notable general text , had appeared only ten years earlier, in 1890. However, one could argue that even more significant, in terms of ultimate impact on both psychology and society, was the publication in 1900 of Sigmund Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams.

The Interpretation of Dreams was a landmark, for it represented the first of Freud's books to capture popular as well as academic interest. Scientifically, Freud's ideas about dreaming and other mental processes were often controversial among his peers, and the controversy has not subsided in the 60+ years since his death. Yet whether one accepts or rejects Freud's theory, there is little doubt that psychoanalysis had significant impact. His study of motivation and mental processes laid the foundation for all psychodynamic theories, and changed our culture by changing how we see ourselves.

Psychodynamic Therapy

The term psychodynamic therapy covers psychotherapeutic approaches which share the assumption that psychological disorders are rooted in conflicting motivational states, often unconscious, which the individual responds to with a variety of habitual strategies (psychiatric symptoms). Most psychodynamic formulations specify that such conflict is “intra psychic” (e.g., Brenner, 1982); others include interpersonal conflict, but even there the implication remains that conflict occurs between an internal state and the internal meaning of an external situation (Sullivan, 1953). Psychological intervention is conceived of as assisting individuals to use and develop their inherent capacities for understanding, learning, and emotional responsiveness, in response to the therapeutic relationship and especially the therapist's interpretations of the patient's motivations and strategies, to arrive at more adaptive resolutions. There is no fixed set of techniques to be used in this task, and different therapeutic orientations emphasize different, although substantively overlapping, procedures. Distinctions between types of psychodynamic therapy can be made along several lines; for example, we distinguish psychodynamic individual therapy from group therapy (Rose, 1972) or family approaches (Selvini Palazzoli, Boscolo, Cecchin, & Prata, 1978), expressive from supportive techniques (Luborsky, 1984), Freudian from Kleinian psychoanalytic orientation (King & Steiner, 1991), and therapies may be distinguished according to the relative emphasis of adjuncts such as play (Schaefer & Cangelosi, 1993), art (Simon, 1992), or drama (Johnson, 1982).

Understanding just how much our world was changed because of Freud's work can be difficult to grasp, for we are immersed in a world of Freudian concepts. Every time we make reference to doing something "unconsciously", or refer to someone as having a big "ego", we are using Freudian terms. (Most people in our culture in fact find it hard to believe that some cultures have no concept of "unconscious" processes!) As a result, it can be useful to explore the background of Freud's life, and the nature of our culture before his ideas so profoundly altered it.

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