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Contrasting Personality Theories

What is the basic or underlying assumption in regards to psychodynamic and existential theories? What are the limitations and strengths of the two? Many situations within these theories have contrasts of determination vs free will as well as awareness of self in comparison to unconcious behavior. In this matter, how would the theories relate to these factors?

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Contrasting Personality Theories
What is the basic or underlying assumption in regards to psychodynamic and existential theories what are the limitations and strengths of the two. Many situations within these theories have contrasts of determination vs. free will as well as awareness of self in comparison to unconscious behavior. In this matter how would the theories relate to these factors.

Psychodynamic theories of personality are influenced by the work and assumptions of Sigmund Freud. Along with Freud, those in his sphere of influence include Erickson and Adler who all espoused a theory of personality that is heavily influenced by the conflict between unconscious and unconscious. Because of this human behavior is mostly view in these theories as determined or even predetermined based on biology and past experiences, which shapes present reality.

For Freud a person's personality is determined by the id, ego and the superego. The id is comprised of all our basic needs and urges, while the superego is responsible for high level ideals and moral thinking. The ego mediates and resolves conflicts between the two. According to psychodynamic theory, who we are is already set by our biological realities and childhood experiences. Motivations for behaviors are determined by those factors and free will and self-determination do not exist at all for Freud and are extremely limited in the constructs of Erikson. For example, any anxiety or dysfunction we experience in the present is a result of unconscious realities developed in childhood and being carried out and made evident in an individual's present circumstances and behaviors. If these thoughts are carried out to their logical conclusion one could understand that psychodynamic theories propose a sort of predetermination not just determination. Particularly in the diminished capacity that free will and self-determination plays in personal development.

In general, all psychodynamic theories are stagist theories (one advances from one stage to another) focused on the exchange and transformation of psychic energy as an individual advances. How each stage is resolves determines the quality of life and psychological wellbeing ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides an explanation of psychodynamic and existential theories of personality and compares Freud's perspective of personality to Adler's.

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