Discuss the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Three Main Theories Covered in This Module.

1965 Words Nov 20th, 2011 8 Pages
Discuss the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Three Main Theories covered in this Module.

This essay will attempt to highlight and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the three main theories of counselling within the module covered this term. The three approaches in discussion are psychodynamics, cognitive behavioural and humanistic.

The psychodynamic theory originated from Sigmund Freud, a medical doctor and philosopher (1856 - 1939) founded in the 1900s. Freud developed his ideas whilst working as a psychiatrist in Vienna, collecting information from his patients such as feelings, thoughts and early childhood experiences.

The psychodynamic theory focuses on the unconscious mind. Freud’s credence is that different mental forces
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This raises the issues of gender, culture and historical bios.

His theories are also hard to test due to them being in the unconscious state, are they really childhood memories or fantasies manifesting themselves as memories. Most of Freud’s theories are discredited due to lack of empirical support, making this approach difficult to falsify. However although it is difficult to generate testable hypothesis it is not impossible. It also depends on how this theory is viewed, scientific approach or the philosophical approach, as to whether this is seen as a weakness or strength.

Psychodynamics takes on a deterministic view (Gross, 2005), claiming that all humans have no free will. And that we are pre- determined by our innate drives. This is then seen as a weakness, because therapies such as the cognitive behavioural therapy and humanistic therapy prove that we can change the way we behave.

Another influence that is ignored by the psychodynamic approach on behaviour, are influences such as biochemistry and genetics.
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Another weakness in Freud’s theories was on his biased, sexist male view on female inferiority such as his idea of “penis envy”. Although Carl Jung developed the Electra complex, expressing girls do have sexual desires for their fathers. Resenting their mothers in the process. Freud became outraged by this concept, claiming that it was misleading to imply that both genders experiences are similar. This criticism is due to Freud only having one child