MCC 670 – Psychodynamic Models

Psychodynamic model hypotheses are based on the work of Freud, Jung, & Adler. They focus on unconscious mechanisms and early childhood experiences.

internal parts (p1)

overview & key concepts

“The problem can be explained in terms of Internal Parts that need to be understood, accepted or modified and coordinated.” (Ingram, 2912, p. 289) In other words, there exists a lack of awareness of how subconscious thought processes and/or childhood experiences create conflict in our lives. Treatment centers around resolving this inner conflict and addressing this resistance. Ingram, (2012), discussed concepts within transactional analysis as highly relevant here.

when is hypothesis a good match

“you can only work productively using this hypothesis when the client can reflect on different parts as aspects of one’s personality, and be able to take a playful, ‘as if’ attitude when speaking with the voice of an inner part. This requires the maturity to take a metacognitive perspective.” (Ingram, 2012, p292)

treatment planning ideas

Treatment planning involves the resolution of our missing pieces as areas of conflict. In DBT, the outcome of this would be wise mindedness. In transactional analysis it would be an identification if inner parts and resolution of inner conflict.

example #1: overcome stuckness

“Resistance is often explained as a battle between inner parts: one part wants to change, while the other does not – out of fear of the risks or enjoyment of the benefits of staying the same (secondary gains)”. (Ingram, 2012 p234).

example #2: gestalt 2-chair technique

Therapist guides client to talk back and fort between two parts, each spatially linked to a different chair. The therapist’s role is to clarify. (Ingram, 2012, p296).

recurrent parts (P 2)

overview & key concepts

“A Recurrent Pattern, possibly from early childhood, is causing pain and preventing satisfaction of adult needs…Insights may not be enough, the client may need to experience and learn to tolerate painful emotions.” (Ingram, 2013, p301). We generally tend to utilize the most effective solutions based on past experience. Ingram, (2012), discusses attachment theory and family of origin here.

treatment planning

“you need to be specific about what exactly is being reenacted and offer your hypothesis about how, specifically, the pattern occurs in current functioning.” (Ingram, 2012, p305)
Avoid blaming and focus on promoting insight and provide validation. Be aware of countertransference.

deficiencies in self & relational capacities (P3)


“The client demonstrates Deficits in Self and Relational Capacities and seems to be functioning at the maturity level of a young child.” (Ingram, 2012, p. 312). Ingram, (2012), goes into great detail on various theories that discuss stages of childhood development.

treatment planning

Ingram, (2012) suggests holding off until you can understand their developmental level relationally. Psychoanalytic strategies can might involve a therapist being as a “selfobject [for purposes of] learning vicariously” (Ingram, 2012, p302). Humanistic theories can address these issues by enabling client’s to be less reliant on approval from others.

unconscious dynamics (p4)

“client suffers from irrational, self-defeating behaviors or distressing symptoms that do not respond to ordinary interventions. These may stem from unconscious conflict or self-protective responses to traumatic events. Defense mechanisms function to keep the conflict unpleasant affects out of awareness” (Ingram, 2012, p.325). This hypothesis utilizes some Freudian concepts that I’m not a fan of.

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