Advanced Theories of Personality

September 7, 2017 | Author: KorinaCabungcal | Category: Psychoanalysis, Id, Sigmund Freud, Humanistic Psychology, Psychotherapy
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Theories of Personality...


Name of Theory


Psychodynamic Theories Psychoanalytic Sigmund Freud Theory

Adlerian Theory

Alfred Adler

Analytical Psychology

Carl Jung

Object Relations Theory

Melanie Klein


This theory of Sigmund Freud is partly autobiographical because he based some of his major concepts in his childhood experiences. In this theory, there are three structures of personality, namely the id, ego and the superego. His view in the human nature is pessimistic. We are doomed to anxiety, to thwarting of impulses, and to tension and conflict. The goal of life is to reduce conflict. It presents optimistic view of the people while resting heavily in the notion of social interest, that is, the feeling of oneness in humankind. It is the assumption that a phenomena can influence the lives of everyone. He believed that all of us is motivated not only by repressed experiences but also by certain emotionally toned experiences inherited from our ancestors. He also argued that personality is shaped by the future as well as the past and placed greater emphasis on the unconscious. This theory was made on careful observations of young children. In contrast to Freud, Klein gave importance of the first 4 to 6 months of birth. She insisted that the infant’s drive are directed to an object. According to her, the child’s relation to the breast is fundamental

School of Thought Psychoanalysis

Individual Psychology




Psychoanalytic Theory

Karen Horney

Humanistic Psychoanalysis

Erich Fromm

Interpersonal Theory

Harry Stack Sullivan

Post-Freudian Theory

Erik Erikson

Humanistic/Existential Theories Holistic-Dynamic Abraham Theory Maslow

and serves as a prototype for later relations to whole objects, such as the mother and the father. This theory was built on the assumption that social and cultural conditions, especially childhood experiences, are largely responsible for shaping personality. People who do not have their needs for love and affection satisfied during childhood develop basic hostility toward their parents, and as consequence, suffer from basic anxiety. This theory assumes that humanity’s separation from the natural world has produced feelings of loneliness and isolation, a condition called basic anxiety. It emphasizes the importance of various developmental stagesinfancy, childhood, the juvenile era, preadolescence, early adolescence, late adolescence, and adulthood. Healthy human development rests on a person’s ability to establish intimacy with another person, but unfortunately anxiety can interfere with satisfying interpersonal relations at any age. This theory extended Freud’s infantile developmental stages into adolescence, adulthood, and old age. He suggested that at each stage a specific psychosocial struggle contributes to the formation of personality. It assumes that the whole person is constantly being motivated by one






Person-Centered Theory

Carl Rogers

Existential Psychology

Rollo May

Dispositional Theories Psychology of the Gordon Allport Individual

need or another and that people have the potential to grow toward psychological health (selfactualization). To attain this, people must satisfy lower level needs such as hunger, safety, love, and esteem. Only after they are relatively satisfied in each of these needs can they reach self-actualization. Also known as “client-centered theory”. It grew out of the experiences as a practicing psychotherapist. It proposes that we are conscious, rational beings not controlled by the unconscious forces or past experiences. Personality can only be understood by a phenomenological approach, that is, from an individual’s own view-point based on his or her experiences. According to this theory, people are complex beings capable of both tremendous good and immense evil. Its basic tenet is that existence precedes essence, meaning that what people do is more important that what they are. In his theory, Allport emphasized the uniqueness of the individual. He believed that attempts to describe people in terms of general traits rob them of their unique individuality. He also believed that our fates and our traits are not determined by unconscious motives originating in early childhood but by the conscious choices we make in the present.




Trait and Factor Theories

Learning Theories Behavioral Analysis

Hans Eysenck Raymond Cattell Robert R. McCrae Paul Costa Jr.

It takes into consideration the researches made to measure personality.


Burrhus Frederic Skinner

In this theory, Skinner focused mainly on observable behavior. He believed that people are not free but are controlled by environmental forces. They may seem to be motivated by inner causes, but in reality those causes can be traced to sources outside the individual. This theory rests on several basic assumptions. First, the outstanding characteristic of humans is plasticity; that is humans have the flexibility to learn variety of behaviors in diverse situations. Second, through a triadic reciprocal causation model that includes behavioral environment and personal factors, people have the capacity to regulate their lives. Third is that it takes an agentic perspective, meaning that humans have the capacity to exercise control over the nature and quality of their lives. This theory rest in the assumption that cognitive factors help shape how people will react to environmental factors. It objects to Skinner’s explanation that behavior is shaped by immediate


Social Cognitive Theory

Albert Bandura

Social Learning Theory

Julian Rotter Walter Mischel



reinforcement and instead suggest that one’s expectations of future events are prime determinants of performance.



Jodie contacted her therapist because she “didn’t have a minute of one day when she didn’t feel depressed”. Jodie is an IT professional attached to the US military and was stationed in Germany until just recently. Apart from her depression, she was obese, had various medical problems and was on constant medication.

Jodie was in a state that called for a clear head and thought. She is the type of person who had been known to withdraw from others when things got too much for her so I was happy that she appeared for the session. She was unusually agitated and somewhat aggressive and accusatory, something I was not used to from her. This session turned out to be the catalyst for what I consider a successful end to therapy. Jodie in a recent communication with me cited the CBT techniques learnt in our sessions as the major reason for her change in mindset.

Jodie came from humble roots growing up in a military family in the US with two siblings. Her mother was a neurotic who spent most of Jodie’s early life in some form of institution, leaving Jodie’s primary care to her older sister. Her father was a soldier who was often posted abroad, taking the family with him. The parents had strong religious views and were highly influenced by the “fire and brimstone” style of preaching seen in the Bible Belt at that time. For this reason, out of marriage relationships and sex were seen as the devil’s work. During our sessions, Jodie revealed that she, at the age of 42, had never even come close to a sexual experience. All of these factors contributed to Jodie’s view of herself and the world around her causing unhappiness and depression. However, a breakthrough in therapy


revealed a complicated relationship between Jodie and her older sister who was apparently jealous of her younger sibling and so behaved in such a way that forced Jodie to feel inferior and subversive. The relationship turned into a love-hate roller coaster that played out over several decades. Jodie’s whole experience of being “molded” by her sister to believe that she was “no good” had created her window of reference on the world and ultimately her depression. One of the side effects of this was a severe lack of assertiveness and in her words “constant cowering down and meekness” Lisa was in outpatient treatment for six years. This is her fifth inpatient confinement. She was first diagnosed with major depression followed by bipolar mood disorder, then borderline personality disorder, before receiving the posttraumatic stress diagnosis two years ago. Lisa is quite dependent on her outpatient therapist who she sees three times per week, and who is becoming exhausted by the demands of treating this labile and needy patient.

Prepared by: Maria Korina B. Cabungcal MA in Clinical Psychology

The Trauma Program's confrontive, yet supportive style, offered Lisa a chance to move from supervision to independence. It helped her find and use the strength within her to set and meet treatment goals and to begin setting and working toward real life goals. Lisa's outpatient therapist and psychiatrist were regularly informed of her progress. Upon her return home, Lisa was scheduled to see her outpatient therapist twice weekly. With the help of Trauma Program staff, limits were set on phone calls between therapy sessions. Lisa enrolled in college part-time and began working a few hours each week.

University of Batangas

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