The psychodynamic, cognitive and biological approach

Length: 592 words

In this assignment I will discuss the strengthens and weaknesses of the psychodynamic, cognitive and biological approach.


The psychodynamic approach takes both the nature and nurture side of the debate into consideration. It also focuses on the effects of childhood experiences and the affects it may have on an individuals’ personality, if an individual goes through a traumatic event it may affect their later life as it will always be in their unconscious mind. Freud’s theory is known to work effectively in therapy for individuals who need to understand the root to their problems according to

However Sigmund Freud’s theory is unreliable because it cannot be proven wrong as there’s not a fair argument because the base of its research is not the most reliable form since people cannot decide what’s going on in someone’s unconscious mind. The core of the evidence is based dreams and on slips of the tongue which is not reliable as it cannot be proven that it wasn’t said purposely. Freud believes that adult behaviour is based on childhood experiences however this may not be the case for everyone as not every individual needs to experience something in their childhood that will affect their adulthood experiences.


The cognitive approach is mainly based on experiments to put their research into practice rather than making assumptions and jumping into conclusions. Jean Piaget believes there is a set of four stages that all individuals go through in order to develop effectively. It helps determine how an individual recognises and deals with different situations and it’s also used in health and social care settings in terms of overcoming stress, anxiety, depression and anger management issues. This theory is also compatible with other theories such as the behaviourist theory which has similar outcomes to the social learning theory.

However George Kelly’s theory compares human beings to computers due to their similarities but the human mind is much more complex as well as feelings and emotions can affect an individuals’ output. This theory focuses on mental processes. Thinking is a mental process and you cannot assume what someone is thinking based on how they act, so this may be unreliable as people show you what they want you to see. This theory also relies on good language skills which may not be suitable for all individuals as some individuals may not know how to express their feelings and emotions.


The biological approach explains in great detail about the nature all individuals’ were born with, supporting the nature side to the debate. Arnold Gesell has also made it easier to understand the human behaviour and disorders individuals’ may have allowing them to receive the right help and care as well as explaining how a parents genes give a child a set of instructions to follow to sprout into the person they are meant to be.

On the other hand the approach does not acknowledge the nurture side to the debate. This means Arnold Gesell does not consider how the environment around you can have an impact on an individuals’ behaviour which has been proven in numerous studies. This theory also generalises to apply to all individuals’ not taking into count every human being is different it excludes individuality and it assumes everyone responds the same way. Gesell only points out genetic disorders ignoring that not all disorders are genetic as some disorders can occur due to environmental factors such as mental health issues i.e. anxiety, depression and stress.

Tagged In :

Get help with your homework

Haven't found the Essay You Want? Get your custom essay sample For Only $13.90/page

Sarah from studyhippoHi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out