In thefield of mental health, there is more than one way to look at what is abnormal.As the word “abnormal” itself, brings a lot of stigmas with it as explained inC, Triandis & J, Gelfland (1998) article.
There is not a defined definitionfor it, but a relevant number of particular behaviours that are easily found atthe clinics and psychiatrist hospitals today. However, the essay presented willbe exploring only two types of what is classified as personal distress (anyexperience of discomfort linked to the self) which includes anxiety anddepression as the key issues here (as cited by Birch, A. & Hayward, S.1994). Whereas, anxiety will be slightly more focused than depression.
Thepsychodynamic perspective looks at the motivations and how the individualpersonality happens to develop as the result of an inner conflict. Also knownas mental apparatus; which involves the id, ego and superego. (cited by Lundin,R. 1996. Freud, S.
1947). The humanistic perspective aims to look at thequalities and capacities of each human being individually, in order tounderstand the individual uniqueness instead of explaining it (Glassman, W.& Hadad, M. 2013). Thepsychodynamic perspective, as suggested by Woodworth (1948), has Sigmund Freudas the main theorist. Freud was focused on what makes a human behaviourabnormal; he was one of the first to noticed that, abnormality in behaviourusually starts at childhood (Muris, P. 2006), as it is described in his theoryof psychosexual stages (as Lundin, R.
1994, cited Freud, S. 1995). Freud alsobelieves that human behaviour is guided by a psychic instinct divided into two;the life (Eros) and the death (Thanatos) instinct, (cited by Birch, A. & Hayward,M. 1994). In the case of anxiety, the psychoanalysts would say that an innerconflict is happening between the id, ego and superego. Moreover, the reasonfor it to happen is that, whether the ego starts to feel intimidated by anexternal event or an internal request from the id or superego, anxiety willarise (Glassman, W.
& Hadad, M. 2013). In the case of depression, asGlassman, W., & Hadad, M. (2013) cited, Freud (1920) would explain it, asan over among of unpleasant memories and feelings pushed down into theunconscious. While the mechanism of defence (which has the propose ofrecreating gratification), is not really doing its function. Instead, it isusing most of its energy by keeping undesirable thoughts away from theconscious mind; which would result in depression.
Thehumanistic approach looks at what guides and keeps the human being lookingforward, as well as, suggests that each person has a need for being positivesocial accepted and that such feeling should arise from an unconditionalpositive regard from those surrounding the person. Whether this does nothappen, the disharmony between the self and ideal-self occur. Furthermore,according to the humanistic perspective, by this point may be when theindividual starts to feel anxious about what S/he “will be” or “would be”;which is known by incongruence (cited by Glassman, W. & Hadad, M.
2013,Rogers. 1959). Consequently, the person will start to feel too preoccupiedabout how the others will judge S/he, for not being what they think others areexpecting, resulting in a depressed feeling (Birch, A. & Hayward, S.(1994).
According to Maslow theory of the hierarchy of needs (cited by Lundin,R., 1996. Maslow, 1968-1971) all human being aims to achieve basic needs firstthen start other needs such as safety, belonging, esteem, intellectual,aesthetic and finally achieve self-actualization (which is consider by Maslow,as the most difficult part of the hierarchy to be achieved).
All of them mustbe an incentive from the environment where this individual is inserted in.Otherwise, if there is a deficit, especially in the safety need, where theperson may not be able to find a safe place to be; that will cause anxiety anda lack of the pyramid of needs, that probably will not allow the individual toreach other needs, causing distress and a depressed feeling. Both,the psychodynamic and humanistic perspective shares the same main aim, which isto focus first on the person itself, instead of the environment that thisperson is inserted in for instance. Also, says Hansen, J. (2000) the twoperspectives look at what is happening inside the individual. Still, accordingto Hansen, J.
(2000), there is some evidence which suggests, that humanism andpsychoanalysis have similarity through techniques of psychotherapy. These twoapproaches agree on the use of free association (this mean when the individualis encouraged during a therapeutic session, to say whatever comes to S/hemind). Although the two approaches have this technique in common, they use itdifferently in terms of what is going to be analysed from the therapistobservation. For instance, when working through free association, thepsychodynamic therapist objective will be to look at what is hidden in theunconscious mind, in order to explain the internal conflict by what theindividual speech is showing.
Whilst the humanistic prefers to use it in orderto facilitate the connection between the person and the therapist, suggestsHansen, J. (2000). Thosewho sympathized with the humanistic approach, tend to consider the individualcapacity of choosing, as a natural ability carried within each human being(cited by Hansen, J. 2000.
Sass, L. 1989). In other words, it is evident thatthe humanistic approach has a flexible view towards the individual itself, asthis approach tends to consider first what is important by each individualview. While the followers of the psychodynamic perspective, for being guided bythe means of the unconscious; end up showing a strong determinism, as theunconscious is one of the most difficult parts of the mind to be investigated(cited by Hansen, J. 2000. Sass, L. 1989).
Another contrast between the twoperspectives is in the matter of the person; (cited by Lundin, R. 1994. Rogers,C. 1951) viewed the person as the one responsible to be the same who will guidethemselves. Whilst, the psychodynamic view would say that the individualrepressed sexual drive and/or aggressive behaviour during childhood will be aconsequence of the inner conflict that lead future behaviour in adulthood (ascited by Hansen, J. 2000. Pine, F. 1990).
Inconclusion, the essay presented aim was to describe how the psychodynamic andhumanistic approach would explain abnormality in human behaviour. Consideringthe two abnormalities addressed; anxiety and depression, as well as, theircommon and different points of view. The finds show a relevant significance inanxiety as a trigger to personal distress, in the case of depression. Althoughboth perspectives have different ways to understand the hypothesis of what maycause such peculiar behaviour. According to what was examined, there isevidence which demonstrates how the psychodynamic and the humanistic approachagrees on the internal process as an influencer to the individual externalbehaviour.
In addition, this essay also brought an interesting therapeuticskill, named by free association. As a technique used commonly by thepsychodynamic and the humanistic approach.