D171 Tma01

Compare and contrast how the psychodynamic and person-centred approaches to counselling understand the person, and how these two approaches explain psychological distress experienced by individuals.

The following will examine the psychodynamic and person-centred approaches to counselling by looking at key ideas and concepts of the two approaches, how they are applied to and help the patient in question and how the results of the different approaches may also differ. I will attempt to compare and contrast the ideas and in doing so, highlight similarities between both of them. Later I will also explain which approach is most appealing to me and which aspects have led to that conclusion.

Beginning with a look at the psychodynamic approach to counselling which originates firmly in ideas of psychoanalysis and the work of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). Other theorists such as Jung, Bowlby, and Adler, would later create changes to Freud's main ideas as well as contributing theories of their own, which would result in taking the focus away from the theme of psychosexual development to focus more on psychosocial theories. (McLeod, 2008, p.93) Even with these changes, one of the main traits would continue to be an emphasis on the importance of childhood experiences or past childhood conflicts and how these experiences and memories go on to shape personality, character and future relationships later in life. Rather than an approach to recovery through hypnosis Freud believed instead that a more effective form of mental healing could be reached through encouraging his patients to speak freely about experiences or memories that may bother them, in a safe environment. This became a key theme in the ideas of Freud's practice and established it as one of his key methods. (McLeod, 2008, p.90-91)
Freud's psychodynamic practice has resulted in being a key influence in current modern psychology's theory and practice, however the current ideas have also developed to go beyond...