Psychodynamic Orientations




Psychodynamicorientations place an emphasis on studying the psychologicalprocesses underlying the behavior of human, emotions and feelings andtheir relationship to early experiences in a systematic way. Thepurpose of this paper is to present an evaluation of psychodynamicorientation and theory.

Psychologically,a psychodynamic theory is any view that tries to explain thepersonality of human beings using conscious and unconscious termsfor instance, the description of personality using unconsciousdesires and beliefs of people. This paper is a discussion of anevaluation of psychodynamic theory and therapy. The discussion willcenter on the appealing aspects of the psychodynamic theory, theeffectiveness of psychodynamic interventions, how well the approachfits with my emerging or developing theoretical orientation, as wellas the approach’s challenges or criticisms.

Psychodynamictheory and therapy

Psychodynamictheory helps in the identification of conscious and unconscious termscrucial to the explanation of personality (Collins, 2013). A goodexample is the explanation of personality using the unconscious setof beliefs and desires. Psychodynamic therapy, on the other hand, isthe use of psychology to explain emotional and mental processes(Fish, 2011). The appealing aspect of psychodynamic theory is thefact that psychological processes occur outside the consciousawareness. In simple terms, this implies that the mind’s activitiesare presumably unconscious. Research shows that most of our mentalactivities, such as, motives, feelings, and emotions have very littleor no access to consciousness (Collins, 2013). The uniqueness in theextent to which psychological theory emphasizes the events of earlychildhood as personality development and dynamics’ determinants isalso an appealing aspect of the psychological theory. These aspectsare appealing because they help explain the nature and development ofpersonality of human in a natural manner. The aspects as well providea quick solution to changing unconscious human beliefs and desires toconscious ones.

Theapproach by the psychodynamic theory fits well with my emerging/developing theoretical orientations. My emerging theoreticalorientation shows that our mental activities such as feelings,emotions, and thoughts have no access to the conscious awareness ofthe mind. This emerging theoretical framework has a closerelationship with the approach by the psychodynamic theory hence theyfit well.

Theeffectiveness of psychodynamic interventions

Fromresearch, we can make a conclusion that psychodynamic interventionshave been effective. While psychodynamic theory helped in identifyingthe nature of the mental activities to lack consciousness,psychodynamic therapy has been of great help in bringing theseunconscious mental activities into consciousness. The application ofpsychodynamic therapy has been crucial in the identification andoffering of quick solutions to challenges.

Challenges/criticisms of psychodynamic orientations

Theprimary challenge and criticism of the psychodynamic orientationsstem from the fact that they lack scientific prove. The analysis ofhuman behavior through psychodynamic orientation does not have anyscientific prove. For instance, it is not possible to studyscientifically the concepts revolving around conscious andunconsciousness of the mind. With this regard, it is arguable thatpsychodynamic orientations are unfalsifiable because the theoriesattached to them lack means of empirical investigations.


Psychodynamicorientations help in the psychological study and understanding of theconscious and unconscious terms that explain human behavior.Psychological theory helps in the identification of these terms whilepsychological therapy helps in bringing the unconsciousness of themind to consciousness. The discussion above shows an evaluation ofthe psychodynamic orientations by discussing the most appealingaspects of the psychodynamic theory. An elaboration of the approachof the psychodynamic orientations and how the approach fits well withmy emerging theoretical orientation, the effectiveness ofpsychodynamic interventions, and the challenges and criticisms of theapproach has been evident.


Collins,B. (2013). Psychodynamic theory for therapeutic practice.PsychodynamicPractice. 19,2, 227-229

Fish,J. (2011). Skills in psychodynamic counselling and psychotherapy.Psychodynamicpractice. 17,4, 471-472