Psychodynamic Theories: Concepts, Limitations and role in Eclectic Therapy

Basic Assumptions of Psychodynamic Theories

Psychodynamic theories are rooted in the belief that unconscious motives significantly influence behavior. These theories also emphasize the impact of childhood experiences and assert that personality is composed of the id, ego, and superego.

Freud’s Personality Theory- Tripartite – the id, ego, and superego

Freud's personality theory views the psyche as having three components: the id, ego, and superego. The id operates on the pleasure principle, the superego as a moral conscience, and the ego mediates between them.

Defense Mechanisms

Defense mechanisms are ways the mind protects us from thoughts or feelings that are difficult to handle consciously. These mechanisms include denial, projection, rationalization, and more.

Therapeutic Approach Involved

Psychodynamic therapy encourages clients to explore their emotions, thought patterns, and behaviors. Techniques like free association, dream analysis, and transference are used to delve into the unconscious.


The psychodynamic approach has limitations such as determinism, an overemphasis on childhood experiences, the need for deep personal sharing, therapist interpretation, and lengthy treatment durations.

Therapist Niche

The Cognitive Hypnotic Psychotherapy (CHP) framework integrates psychodynamic principles with other therapeutic approaches like hypnosis, making the process more efficient and person-centric. This approach can lead to quicker and sustainable change in clients, often within 8 sessions.

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