from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Possible approaches to psychological forces according to Gustav Theodor Fechner (1801–1887)
(1) External psychophysics
(2) Internal psychophysics
(3) Neurophysiology

Psychodynamics is the theory of the workings of inner soul forces . It describes influences on the state of mind and behavior of people (similar to the physical laws of dynamics and the usual observance of time behavior in outer space) .

Psychodynamics wants to provide information about the triggering of mental processes as reactions to certain external and internal events and influences. The outer physical space (outer psychophysics) is thus contrasted with an inner space for the course of mental processes ( topics , also inner psychophysics ). Similar to physics, the dynamic view is opposed to the structural or static view (see e.g. the distinction between electrostatics and electrodynamics ).

The two opposing perspectives complement each other. The basis of the “psychic dynamics” are the methods of psychophysics . Psychophysics is also based on psychological forces between well-defined psychological instances, as z. B. the three-instance model of Sigmund Freud suggests. As an analog of external space in physics, in psychodynamics z. T. the inner space of the psychic topic , e.g. T. the interaction between internal structures and external conditions.


Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776–1841) distinguished between static and dynamic consciousness. The teachings of Georg Ernst Stahl (1659–1734) and the animism he advocates contain clear dynamic points of view. Even the Brownianism based on the balance of power of charms and irritability. While in these theories, however, z. In some cases, moral-philosophical aspects are also included, psychodynamics is more in the tradition of psychophysics . Psychodynamics is significant as a psychological theory based on a physical model. It has been shown to be heuristic . Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) and Kurt Lewin (1890–1947) provided decisive impulses for psychodynamics .

Psychodynamics was chosen by Sigmund Freud as one of three principles of his metapsychology (see theoretical assumptions of psychoanalysis and the section on the history of psychoanalytic concepts ).

Kurt Lewin, along with Max Wertheimer , Wolfgang Köhler and Kurt Koffka, is one of the most prominent representatives of gestalt psychology and gestalt theory and is known for having transferred methods of physics and mathematics to psychology. Lewin's ideas on psychodynamics laid the basis for today's motivational psychology as the doctrine of psychological motives.

Further developments from such a mathematical-physical way of thinking are terms such as field theory and group dynamics .

From a psychodynamic point of view, the psychological forces are understood as analogous to the physical forces, but are only partially or in individual characteristics to be regarded as identical.

Psychoanalytic conceptual history

René Descartes considered animals - in contrast to humans - to be reductively explainable automata - De homine (1622)

From a psychoanalytical point of view, psychodynamics describes the psychological play of the inner soul forces positively as driving forces ( libido ) and negatively as inhibitions ( destrudo ). In layman's terms, psychodynamics or dynamics are often equated with psychoanalysis (see section Contrasting use of terms ). From 1896 onwards, Freud spoke of the dynamics of mental processes in a letter to Wilhelm Fließ . The term dynamics is also mentioned in his Outline of Psychoanalysis . Freud spoke of a "psychic apparatus" and thus adopted the thesis about the mechanically explainable life processes of animals from René Descartes , who declared animals to be machines, and thus also transferred them to the mental life of people. Freud is thus in the tradition of rationalism. Freud believed that

"Mental life is the function of a psychic apparatus to which we ascribe spatial expansion and composition of several pieces"

Freud imagines this function to be no different from that of a telescope, microscope and the like ( machine paradigm ). However, he does not distinguish between an objective-physiological and a subjective-psychological level, but uses both modes of description in order to achieve a gain in understanding (cf. the classical identity philosophy and the more modern identity theory ). Freud regards the brain as a physical organ or as an “apparatus to which we ascribe spatial expansion”. The forces are the subject of his drive theory , the energy the subject of the libido theory . The static elements are primarily the more physically represented elements of the conscious and unconscious (1st topical model) in addition to the personality components (2nd topical model). These more physical elements are to be called “topical” because they aim at the spatial shape of the body. This does not only happen in a spatial-metaphorical sense, as it is e.g. B. Harald Schultz-Hencke (1892–1953) would like to have understood. Freud makes it clear that the “dynamic conception of mental processes” must be taken into account together with their “psychological topics”. In this context he writes:

Neural network , drawn by Sigmund Freud in 1895. The illustration shows the inner connection between dynamics and topics . Incoming nerve impulses to be interpreted dynamically (see arrow) are passed on to further neurons to be viewed topically separately within a neuron chain or within the elements of a neural system (see projection ).

“If we want to be serious about a topic of mental acts, we must turn our interest to a question of doubt that arises at this point. If a psychic act ... experiences the conversion from the system Ucw into the system Bw ..., should we assume that with this conversion a new fixation, as it were, a second writing continues? Or should we rather believe that the implementation consists in a change of state that takes place in the same locality ? "

Freud was firmly convinced of a physical topic and only "temporarily" did without its more detailed designation in the sense of a psychic topic. He used the term dynamics, with which he referred to the sensory physiological work of Gustav Theodor Fechner (1801–1887) ( psychophysics ). Freud's concept of "excitation sums" (GW Volume 1, pp. 63, 74) for explaining the origin and effectiveness of affects suggests, among other things. a. conclude on these neuropsychological relationships.

Newer theoretical concepts

Newer psychodynamic concepts are the object relationship theory , the interplay of relationship patterns , the theory of basic conflicts and structural conditions . The changeability of the inner process through personal development is also still in adolescence z. B. included through psychotherapy.

Psychodynamic model

If one assumes a correlation of physical and psychological phenomena, then it is consistent and almost inevitable to speak of an inner spiritual space , similar to what physics does in outer, three-dimensional space . These are z. Some of the so-called structured or topical models . They are not only the subject of depth psychology or, in particular, psychoanalytic theory, but also the subject of the most diverse philosophies and religions. Topical models are based on the one hand on anatomical-topographical empirical conditions ( somatotopics ), but on the other hand also on theoretical-abstract metaphysical , mystical or gnostic elements. In psychoanalytic teaching, it is also an analogy with basic physical concepts such as dynamics and topics. These physical aspects are, however, supplemented by Freud with an economic meaning in the sense of a teleological concept category ( metapsychology ). In this context, CG Jung also speaks of “active imagination”. This teaching thus goes beyond what can be concretely experienced and includes not only aspects of sociology but also those of rational psychology . This can be described as an overarching model that integrates not only the physical and biological, but also the psychological and social conditions into a common concept. Thure von Uexküll called these various topologically describable aspects a space of integration .

Overarching bio-psycho-social model

The contrast between dynamic and static approaches is complementary.

Classical physics Atomic physics biology psyche society
elements Planets Atoms Cells , organs Instances according to Freud: System Bw, Vbw and Ubw (1st topical model) and three-instance model (2nd topical model) Individuals , groups
dynamics Gravitation , centrifugal force Electromagnetism Functions Motivations Group dynamics (Lewin), collective psyche (Jung)

Psychological instances

An example of a conception of dynamic psychological processes based on anatomical-topographical ideas is the three-instance model . One can imagine the named psychic instances as elements of a psychophysical system ( systems theory ). This psychophysical model is based on the functional interaction of such elements analogous to the methodology of physiology and neuropathology or analogous to the workings of organ medicine . What is new about this psychodynamic method is the inclusion of subjective-psychological facts in relation to the z. B. more objective physiological methods in the experimental psychology of Wilhelm Wundt (1879). The instances to which psychoanalysis refers in detail are the structures conscious, preconscious and unconscious (1st topical theory of Freud) as well as super-ego, ego and id (2nd topical theory of Freud), which only later became known as psychodynamics have contributed.

application areas

Psychodynamics mainly plays a role in the theory of personality and disease in psychoanalysis , which explores the interaction between conscious and unconscious mental processes. There it is defined as the interaction and counteraction of different psychological tendencies ("forces": instinctual impulses, motives and emotions ). It is important to explain phenomena of symptom change and the effectiveness of shock therapies . With these more physical aspects, models by Pierre Janet such as the Abaissement du niveau mental should also be mentioned. Freud introduced the terminology of economic viewpoints here ( metapsychology ). In addition, the term psychodynamics also has a more general meaning in depth psychology and psychosomatic medicine when diagnosing mental illnesses and drawing up treatment focuses and plans. The presentation of psychodynamics is the most important part of the report to the expert in the context of the health insurance application for analytical psychotherapy based on depth psychology .

In the diagnosis

More recent developments such as the operationalized psychodynamic diagnostics include the changeability of symptoms of illness based on psychodynamic model concepts in a diagnostics and thus come closer to the requirements of quality assurance. Psychodynamic-psychotherapeutic diagnostics are therefore process-oriented. Changes induced by psychotherapy can be tracked in the process, the change process in the patient can be described and the result can be used to guide therapy.

See also


Individual evidence

  1. Sven Olav Hoffmann , G. Hochapfel: Theory of Neuroses, Psychotherapeutic and Psychosomatic Medicine. (= Compact textbook ). 6th edition. Schattauer, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-7945-1960-4 , (a): to Stw. "Comparison of (psycho) dynamic and static phenomena" p. 12; (b): to Stw. "Contrasting use of the term" p. 12
  2. a b c Uwe Henrik Peters : Dictionary of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology. 3. Edition. Urban & Schwarzenberg, Munich 1984; P. 141 f. Lemma "dynamics".
  3. Psychodynamik In: Norbert Boss (Ed.): Roche Lexicon Medicine . 2nd Edition. Hoffmann-La Roche AG and Urban & Schwarzenberg, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-541-13191-8 , p. 1416 on Lemma “Psychodynamik”,
  4. Kurt Lewin : The transition from the Aristotelian to the Galilean way of thinking in biology and psychology. 1931.
  5. Carl Gustav Jung : The transcendent function. Preface. In: The dynamics of the unconscious. (=. Collected Works. Volume 8). Walter-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1995, ISBN 3-530-40083-1 , p. 81, para. 3.
  6. ^ Sigmund Freud : Outline of Psychoanalysis. Fischer Bücherei, Frankfurt am Main, February 1964, p. 20.
  7. Hans-Georg Gadamer : About the concealment of health. (= Library Suhrkamp. Volume 1135). Frankfurt am Main 1993, ISBN 3-518-22135-3 , chap. “On the problem of intelligence”, p. 67.
  8. Monet: Facilité à comprendre et à l'homme et les juger chez animaux.
  9. ^ A b Sigmund Freud: Outline of Psychoanalysis. Fischer Bücherei, Frankfurt am Main, February 1964, p. 6.
  10. ^ Sigmund Freud: Outline of Psychoanalysis. Fischer Bücherei, Frankfurt am Main, February 1964, p. 10.
  11. ^ Sigmund Freud: Outline of Psychoanalysis. Fischer Bücherei, Frankfurt am Main, February 1964, p. 12.
  12. Stavros Mentzos : Neurotic Conflict Processing. Introduction to the psychoanalytic theory of neuroses, taking into account more recent perspectives. © 1982 Kindler, Fischer-Taschenbuch, Frankfurt 1992, ISBN 3-596-42239-6 , p. 40 f.
  13. Harald Schultz-Hencke : The psychoanalytical conceptual world. revised edition. Publishing house for medical psychology in the publishing house Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1972, ISBN 3-525-45620-4 , p. 111 ff.
  14. Sigmund Freud: The Unconscious. In: The Unconscious. Writings on psychoanalysis. S. Fischer Verlag, 1963, p. 14 (first published in: Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse. 1915, Volume III; Collected Works, S. Fischer, Volume X).
  15. ^ Sigmund Freud: Outline of Psychoanalysis. Fischer Bücherei, Frankfurt am Main, February 1964, p. 15.
  16. a b Carl Gustav Jung : The transcendent function. Preface. In: The dynamics of the unconscious. (= Collected Works. Volume 8). Walter-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1995, ISBN 3-530-40083-1 , p. 81, paragraph 2 (a); 82 (b)
  17. ^ Thure von Uexküll : Basic questions of psychosomatic medicine. Rowohlt Taschenbuch, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1963, p. 127 f.
  18. Rolf Adler (Ed.): Psychosomatic Medicine. Models of medical thought and action. Founded by Thure von Uexküll. Urban & Schwarzenberg, Munich 2003, chap. 24 Critical Opinion on the Use of the International Diagnostic Keys, Paragraph 6, p. 394.