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No merge needed[edit]

Removed cfdnotice, cfd has completed. --Kbdank71 17:28, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Comment: It should properly be moved to Category:Psychodynamics and the related terms such as regression (psychology), psychic energy, drive theory, id, ego, and super-ego, entropy (psychology), and probably at least a dozen others that could stand to be written, should be added there as well. Here’s a quick description to psychodynamic psychotherapy that I just found. From the books I have read and own, psychodynamics, i.e. psycho (mind) + dynamics (thermodynamics), is the theory, found in many forms (most of which derive from Freud and Jung), and psychodynamic psychotherapy is the application of the theory used in clinical practice by many psychologists in many forms. I have a good-sized bookshelf on these topics and will be glad to back up any disagreements with refs. --Sadi Carnot 05:23, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Just because one editor thinks the proposed merger isn't warranted doesn't justify the same editor closing the discussion by removing the merger template from the respective article pages. I have consequently reinstated the merger tags. The same goes for discussion to delete category. It is my opinion that Category:Psychodynamics is (almost) as unjustified as Category:Psychodynamic psychotherapy, and if User:Sadi Carnot insists on solving the dispute by renaming the category, I shall nominate also the second category for deletion. __meco 08:41, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Meco, please explain to me why you think a merge is needed? Also, explain to which article you feel should be merged into which and why? Thank you: --Sadi Carnot 09:08, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Also threats are not welcome conceptions in Wikipedia, thusly go ahead and please nominate category:psychodynamics for deletion. --Sadi Carnot 09:11, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Psychodynamics, as a concept, and psychodynamics as applied to psychotherapy, are two completely different entities. Merging them would be inappropriate.--DashaKat 16:30, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Meco...I will respect your reinstatement of the Merge tag, although I stand by my premise that the two topics, while related, are exclusive. I will not, however, respect your rather rude public directive to respect the process of discussion and discourse.
A further read of this, and other, pages puts you in the light of someone who is agenda driven, and, more often than not, off-base in your positionality. Kindly check your ego at the door, thank you. --DashaKat 21:20, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Ad hominem arguments are most unwelcome anywhere on Wikipedia. I suggest such issues are best dealt with on individual user's talk pages.
Your statement that you will not respect my perhaps blunt censure of your removal of the merger tag, rather ignoring the fact that there is an agreement to allow for some time in discussing and maturing this issue, also leaves me a bit befuddled. Should this be taken as a position that you do not agree that the merger issue should be discussed? __meco 06:44, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Meco, you’re dragging this issue out beyond reasonable measure. What DashaKat is trying to say, I think, is that psychodynamics is the central theory, and it has many branches, e.g. Freudian psychodynamics, Jungian psychodynamics, psychodynamic psychotherapy, relationship psychodynamics (PDF), parent-infant psychodynamics, social-psychodynamics. etc., and there is not reason why they should all be merged into one article. --Sadi Carnot 16:04, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Being far from certain that that is what DashaKat is intending, I'd first like simply to point to DashaKat's retraction of some of what he/she wrote above. Now, DashaKat has performed a radical re-write of the Psychodynamic psychotherapy article, and the issue has become clearer to me. I now can see that this article does not deal with Psychodynamics as a modality of psychotherapy. Now, it does purport to expound "psychodynamic theory", and the way it does still does not satisfy me. I will, however, discuss that in a separate entry. __meco 17:09, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Spurious establishment of thermodynamics parentage[edit]

I find the connection between Psychodynamics and thermodynamics incidental, and I find the insertions of references to thermodynamics in several places in the current article to be arbitrary conjecture on the part of one editor and not adequately supported by references. Just as Category:Jungian psychology (which User:Sadi Carnot has used as corroboration for this linkage) isn't shown as a sub-category of Category:Thermodynamics, nor should Psychodynamics be put in such a formal direct relation. This relation is professed to be based foremost on the application of the principle of entropy, indeed on the entropy page there is a link to Psychological entropy which in fact redirects to the current article. I assert nevertheless that this does not constitute an adequate rationale for establishing Psychodynamics as a sub-category to Category:Thermodynamics.

I find it noteworthy that before User:Sadi Carnot started the current article in March of 2006, only the Psychodynamic psychotherapy article existed, and it had no mention of thermodynamics whatsoever. In the Sigmund Freud article the connection between the physicists Helmholtz and von Brucke is discussed only in respect to Freud's early career, i.e. medical school. I can not see that the connection between these disciplines (thermodynamics and psychodynamic psychology) has been developed in any other way than its extension through the Jungian school's application of thermodynamic metaphors. __meco 09:18, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

And what is your point? Everything in all the related articles is sourced? --Sadi Carnot 09:25, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Sourced or not, it's giving a mistaken impression. Within psychology, psychodynamics is used to refer to particularly theoryset not at all related to thermodynamics, even if historically true, as in where frued got the idea, that information should be relegated to the historical perspective of the field, and not in the intro paragraph as it gives a mistaken impression. leontes 01:50, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
This is my impression also, and the only current source associating contemporary Psychodynamic psychotherapy with thermodynamics in the way this article purveys appears to be Wikipedia user Sadi Carnot. __meco 08:54, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Leontes, you state “within psychology, psychodynamics is not at all related to thermodynamics”. Your ignorance is irritating, but let me give you one basic example, namely that of the famous psychologist Carl Jung who has volumes written about entropy in relation to the human psyche. Quoting from page 64 of Calvin S. Hall and Vernon J. Nordby’s 1973 book A Primer in Jungian Psychology, “psychodynamics is concerned with the distribution of energy throughout the structures of the psyche, and the transfer of energy from one structure to another. Jungian psychodynamics makes use of two basic principles, both of which were derived from physics. They are the principle of equivalence (the first law of thermodynamics) and the principle of entropy (the second law of thermodynamics).” The concept of entropy, mathematically defined as dQ/T, was developed by the great German thermodynamicist and physicist Rudolf Clausius between 1850 and 1865:
  • Mechanical Theory of Heat – Nine Memoirs on the development of concept of "Entropy" by Rudolf Clausius [1850-1865]
He derived the concept of “entropy” based on a foot-noted supposition, namely “no change occurs in the working substance of a heat engine during an engine cycle”, from French physicist Sadi Carnot’s 1824 paper “On the Motive Power of Fire”, the very same paper that founded the science of thermodynamics.
Hall and Nordby go on to state facts such as “students of physics will recognize that this principle of equivalence is the first law of thermodynamics or the conservation of energy” (pg. 65) and that “in physics the second law of thermodynamics is called the principle of entropy.” (pg. 68). In short, Freud used the 1st law (the Helmholtz version) to develop his psychology and Jung used both the 1st and the 2nd law (the Clausius version) to develop his psychology. Please, there are many books written on this, specifically Amazon shows that you can buy 12,469 books on the topic of psychodynamics. After you read some of them, then please feel free to add to the article with references. --Sadi Carnot 02:48, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

History lesson for misinformed meco[edit]

To help appease your confusion, although I’m not going to type up a history lesson for you, quoting from chapter one, “Freud’s Scientific Heritage”, of Calvin Hall’s 1954 book A Primer in Freudian Psychology: first in 1859, when Freud was three, his family took him to Vienna to see the publication of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species. The following year Gustav Fechner founded the science psychology when he demonstrated, in 1860, that the mind could be studied scientifically and that it could be measured quantitatively. These two men, Darwin and Fechner, had ‘a tremendous impact on the intellectual development of Freud.’ Hall continues:

”There were other influences that affected Freud even more profoundly. These came from physics. In the great physicist, Hermann von Helmholtz, formulated the principle of conservation of energy. This principle stated, in effect, that energy is a quantity just as mass is a quantity. It can be transformed but it cannot be destroyed. When energy disappears from one part of a system it has to appear elsewhere in the system. The fifty years between Helmholtz’s statement of the conservation of energy and Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity was the golden age of energy: thermodynamics, the electromagnetic field, and quantum theory.”

This is the basis of Freud's psychology. Hall goes on to discuss how the founding thermodynamicists, namely “James Maxwell, Max Planck, James Joule, Lord Kelvin, Josiah Gibbs, Rudolf Clausius” had an influence on Freud and that after studying under Ernst Brucke, who was a close associate with Helmholtz, who had worked previously with him in the years 1838-42, in the laboratory of the German physiologist Johannes Muller, that Freud “quickly became indoctrinated by the new dynamic physiology” and that “he was to discover some twenty years later that the laws of thermodynamics could be applied to man’s personality as well as to his body.” I hope this clarifies your uncertainties. There are dozens of books written about this topic, try reading some of them. I personally own over 130 thermodynamic books and about a dozen psychodynamic books. --Sadi Carnot 10:04, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Is anything at all about this article reliable?[edit]

The more I follow up on my initial reaction to the attempt at establishing a hierarchy around the term 'Psychodynamics' the more I begin to question the basic validity of this article. I am particularly bewildered by claims by the article's principal editor who asserts to be more or less authoritative on the subject "owning about a dozen books on Psychodynamics". Definitions within the article itself are wildly disparate, one emphasizing the parentage of thermodynamics and asserting Freud as the founder of this branch of psychology. Later in the article Psychodynamics is defined as an "evolving multi-disciplinary field" applying buzzwords from neuropsychology and mind-body intervention with no mention of any relation to thermodynamics at all. This second "version" appears to be lifted verbatim from, a page which seems to have little to do with any coherent discipline of psychology, where it elaborates:

Our approach to psychodynamics has been to focus on combining a number of emerging communications, design and psychological sciences -- including the research of eminent Russian neurophysiologist Dr. P.V. Simonov, neurochemist Dr. Pavel Balaban, the late social psychologist Dr. Arnold Mitchell, movement psychologist Dr. Stuart Heller and transpersonal psychologist Dr. Beth Hedva, among others.

A Google search on the term "Psychodynamics" yields more confusion and to my preliminary investigation nothing that corroborates the inclinations purveyed in the current article. I get responses like "the psychodynamics of drug abuse and psychological. dependence", "Psychodynamics of Political Correctness", Answers.Com gives the following definition:

The study of human behavior from the point of view of motivation and drives, depending largely on the functional significance of emotion, and based on the assumption that an individual's total personality and reactions at any given time are the product of the interaction between his genetic constitution and his environment.

Am I the only editor that is seriously sceptical to the validity of out current encyclopedic entry for Psychodynamics? __meco 11:23, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps you should try reading Edoardo Weiss’ 1950, 268 page book Principles of Psychodynamics to educate yourself. The contents include: (1) What is Psychodynamics? - alloplastic, psychodynamics, (2) The Ego and the Id integrative - syntonic, integrative, drives, (3) Mental Energy - cathexes, cathexis, libido, along with 19 other sections. Please, this article is sourced with 9 published references. I see no need to belittle efforts to write up an article on a basic term. Please take your trolling somewhere else. Also, if you don’t have access to a library, please feel free to consult Merriam-Webster who define psychodynamics (1874) as (1) the psychology of mental or emotional forces or processes developing especially in early childhood and their effects on behavior and mental states; (2) explanation or interpretation, as of behavior or mental states, in terms of mental or emotional forces or processes; (3) motivational forces acting especially at the unconscious level. I think I will prefer to side with Merriam-Webster over you. --Sadi Carnot 15:34, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
The article should reflect all pertinent material, and it is the article alone which stands to merit its inclusion in Wikipedia. Referring readers to "read up" on external literature is simply irrelevant. It doesn't matter if a term can be documented and corroborated in all sorts of external sources as long as the article itself doesn't reflect this. In my opinion this article is seriously deficient. __meco 15:43, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the encouragement. I have now added a total of 14 references to this article. I suppose that, according to your logic, the more references I add the worse it gets? Anyway, thanks for the fun time and for all the moral support! --Sadi Carnot 16:33, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Another reference to appease meco[edit]

Here’s another direct quote from page 83 of Robin Robertson and Allan Combs 1995, 408-page book Chaos Theory in Psychology and the Life Sciences: “Psychological processes are flows of psychological energy in a complex brain. Thus, Freud founded psychodynamics on the concept of psychological energy, which he called libido. Based on thermodynamics of closed systems, Freud proposed that psychological energy was constant (hence, emotional changes consisted only in displacements) tended to rest (point attractor) through discharge (catharsis)." --Sadi Carnot 15:53, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Meco, you can also reference Tasman, Kay, and Lieberman's 1997, 1900-page, two-volume opus Psychiatry to read up on psychodynamic psychotherapy, found in multiple chapters. --Sadi Carnot 16:15, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
I am quite pleased with the reference pulled from Robertson and Combs. If we can weed out all unsourced (and conflicting) statements and insert quotes of this calibre in their place, I have no doubts this article has the potential to become exemplary. __meco 17:50, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, thank-you. I will try to chip in, in this direction; whenever I come across good sources. Trying to uncover reliable sources on theories that began over 100 years, however, is always a slow and tedious process. It took me over a year to figure out what chemical affinity is; a theory that goes back over a 1,000 years. --Sadi Carnot 00:39, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

The Ego and the Id[edit]

Having read pages 4-5 which are cited in the article as a reference for the following statements:

In psychology, psychodynamics or dynamic psychology is the study of the interrelationship of various parts of the mind, personality, or psyche as they relate to mental, emotional, or motivational forces especially at the unconscious level.


At the heart of psychological processes, according to Freud, is the ego, which he sees battling with three forces: the id, the super-ego, and the outside world.

I can find nothing on those two pages which supports these statements. In fact the book here deals with defining the term "unconscious" in psychological terms in contradistinction to philosophical ones pointing out that unconscious can refer to two different conditions where a latent idea is absent from consciousness, one being when it can easily be brought back into consciousness and the other where it is repressed by som force and cannot easily be made conscious. __meco 20:36, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

The second is a direct quote off the back cover of the Norton & Co. 1960 edition of The Ego and the Id. The first definition is basically found on pages 4-6 of this same book where he speaks of "psychical dynamics", "mental dynamics", the "division of the psychical into the conscious and unconscious", the various "forces" and "work" associated mental "states", and the displacements of "mental energy" as they effect their way towards action, etc. Read the book to get the best picture. Also, from page 13 of Hall's Primer in Freudian Psychology, "A dynamic psychology is one that studies the transformations and exchanges of energy within the personality." This is all basic information, found in many books. --Sadi Carnot 23:21, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
Then the second is erroneously attributed to the same location as the first. This should be corrected. __meco 18:44, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Merge discussion[edit]

I’ve fixed the references, so that three support the intro-definition and I’ll keep my open for more down the road. Also, regarding the merge proposal there are about 40 pages that link to psychodynamic psychotherapy and a different 40 or so pages that link to psychodynamics; confounding the two, in my opinion, will only further confuse the situation, where the separate terms are already confusing to begin with. --Sadi Carnot 23:33, 23 May 2007 (UTC) Ego death is an experience that supposedly reveals the illusory aspect of the ego, sometimes undergone by mystics, shamans, monks, psychonauts and others interested in exploring the depths of the mind.

The practice of ego death as a deliberately sought "mystical experience" in some ways is said to overlap with, but is nevertheless distinct from, traditional teachings concerning enlightenment/"Nirvana" (in Buddhism) or "Moksha" (in Hinduism and Jainism), which might perhaps be better understood as transcendence of the notion that one even has any actual, non-illusory "ego" with which to experience "death" in the first place. The God of Mind : Exploring the Implications of Neurotheological Research Written by Jonathan PararajasinghamOctober 26, 2011 11:54 pm3 comments Editor’s Note: This is the fourth part of “Mind’s Matter”, a series by Dr. Jonathan Pararajasingham exploring the Neurobiological basis of behaviour.

Neuroscientists have discovered curious truths about religious experience and their potential enhancement through drugs, disease or even practice. In this article I explore the implications of the apparent malleability and non-universality of religiosity.

A relatively new area in neuroscience gaining momentum rapidly is neurotheology – a field which investigates the notion that within the brain are neural structures which give rise to the potential for religious experience. More studies are beginning to show not only that neural correlates exist, but that they have susceptibility to pharmacological and pathological modification and potentiation, much as the same as we have found for many of the complex emergent properties of the brain.

The neuroscientist VS Ramachandran has extensively investigated a curious condition known as temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Studies have shown that after TLE patients undergo an epileptic seizure, they uniquely describe having a profound “spiritual” experience. They claim to understand their place in the cosmos, and how everything suddenly becomes saturated with significance and meaning. Such experiences occur independently of prior beliefs held by the patient. Ramachandran has explained that the phenomenon is not evidence for “God module” as the media initially popularised. Rather that there are perhaps a variety of structures which work together to give rise to such spiritual experiences, which is the case with other specific systems of the brain. The visual system for example has many quite distinct components (colour, movement, object recognition, facial recognition) working together to produce vision, rather than a “vision module” located in a single area. TLE patients also show a reduced response to normally provocative images (such as sexual images), but a heightened response to religiously-loaded words or imagery.The serotonin (5-HT) system has long been of interest in biological models of human personality. Psychopharmacological research has investigated the effect of psychedelic drugs in relation to religious experience. The drugs which have been studied include adrenaline derivatives (e.g. mescaline) and serotonin derivatives (e.g. LSD, psilocybin, DMT). It has been found that these drugs cause transcendental or spiritual experiences as well as intense visual hallucinations. The remarkable finding is that all of these drugs act on one specific type of neuroreceptor called serotonin 2A (or 5-HT2A) receptors, which are found all over the cortical surface of the brain. 5-HT2A receptors are stimulatory, which means when these drugs acts on them they increase production of serotonin in the brain, and this gross overstimulation of the 5-HT2A receptors leads to what are interpreted as religious experiences.

A second line of evidence regarding the serotonin system was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 2003 on the effect of 5-HT1A receptors, which are inhibitory. They showed that the binding potential of 5-HT1A receptors correlated inversely with scores for “self-transcendence”. Self-transcendence is a personality trait covering religious behaviour and attitudes originally described by Washington University psychiatrist Robert Cloninger. He found that spiritual people tend to share a set of characteristics, such as feeling connected to the world and a willingness to accept things that cannot be objectively demonstrated. This result implies that there is a dysfunction in the 5-HT1A receptors in spiritual people resulting in less inhibition of the effects of serotonin, which in turn would lead to increased susceptibility to spiritual experiences. This was further evidence that the serotonin system may serve as a biological basis for spiritual experiences.

In “Why God Won’t Go Away”, radiologist Andrew Newberg describes his studies on the religious experiences of Tibetan Buddhists in meditation and Franciscan nuns in prayer. Using PET scanning, Newberg revealed a number of mental traits which all seem to play a part in an overall religious experience in the brain. The most interesting of these processes is the feeling of cosmic unity. The parietal lobe contains an area called the “orientation association area” (OAA), which processes information about space and time, as well as the orientation of the body in space. It determines where the body ends and the rest of the world begins. The left OAA creates the sensation of a physically delimited body. The right OAA creates the sense of the physical space in which the body exists. An injury here destroys your ability to navigate around in physical space.

Sensory input is essential for the OAA to function, which is blocked during intense meditation or prayer. The left OAA cannot find any boundary between self and non-self, resulting in a sense of oneness. Without sensory input, the right OAA defaults to a feeling of infinite space, where meditators feel that they have touched infinity.

The obvious interpretation of such findings is that there is neural architecture in the brain which includes the temporal lobes that are specialized for what we understand as spirituality, which may be selectively and transiently enhanced by pathological (epileptic storm) and artificial (5-HT2A agonists) factors. However, it is quite specific in these studies that what is described is an overwhelming feeling of meaning or significance. I would speculate that such religious experiences feed into our mind’s innate teleological sense, eventually culminating in a deep religious belief which is used to elucidate the experienced emotions. The focus therefore is in meaning – an idea which ties in elegantly with native teleology, explaining the obsession with meaning and purpose explanations among intellectual theists.

The most significant question that arises from these discoveries is the implications on the theistic account of free will in choosing faith. In other words, the typical monotheistic description of a God who gives us the ability (free will) to choose to worship him becomes problematic, since we find that the capacity for religious experience seems to be as varied among the population as any other personality trait, individual characteristic or innate ability. Some people are simply born with a brain that has a greater chance of finding God, as they are “wired up” that way. We are restricted in our choice, much the same as we are restricted in our choice to prefer chocolate or vanilla, Bach or Mozart, men or women. Neuroscientific studies have consistently shown that all the choices we make in life are far more greatly influenced by genetic makeup, rather than our environmental influences. In this regard, we are certainly not equal in finding pathways to God.

The potential of religiosity to be enhanced through drugs, disease or even practice, reminds one of similar effects on other abilities such as music or art. Certain brain conditions such as autism or schizophrenia lead patients to express heightened artistic or musical abilities. Perhaps we should think of deeply religous individuals as having a keen “religious ability”, much like we do with other types of artistic temperament.

But like art, such religious abilities may be rationalised now as being secondary to natural rather than divine processes, though I concede that those with strong religious abilities would be unlikely change their view that their stunning experiences have no supernatural component. Having said that, I would still hope for an intellectual purification of such feelings, perhaps first by discarding words such as spiritual, transcendent or religious in their description, as these have all been tarnished by the brush of supernaturalism. Instead, I would propose we begin to use phrases such as “numinous ability”. We can learn to appreciate this creative numinous ability as something intrinsically rather than mystically stunning, much the same as we appreciate music or art without linking their intrinsic beauty with supernaturalism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:00, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Beneath Mate Selection and Marriage[edit]

This volume is cited as a reference for the article's definition of Psychodynamics, however, having read the cited page I must conclude that this is a misapplication. The book reads:

"The forces, motives, and energy generated by the deepest of human needs are referred to as psychodynamics. Psyche which means 'soul' or 'heart,' and dynamics, which means 'energy' or 'forces,' have their origins in the developing personality. An explanation of exactly how childhood development influences subsequent preferences, needs, desires, and interests would take volumes. Suffice it to say that psychodynamics is at the bottom layer of feelings, attitudes, and needs that are often not available to the individual for conscious investigation or analysis."

This is obviously not a reference to any modality or system of psychology, but merely defining a term which the book subsequently applies. __meco 15:14, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

David Klimek has a PhD in clinical psychology and is a member of the American Psychological Association and this is his published definition of “psychodynamics” in mate selection psychology, which he defines as “the social, emotional, and psychological forces which propel men and women into paring”. If you don’t like his definition, then that is your point of view. Also, instead of attacking the references I find, why don’t you try find some references and definitions of psychodynamics and add them to the article. Thank-you. --Sadi Carnot 02:15, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
The definiton is fine, that's not what I'm complaing about. He is defining a term whereas you read this as a definition of a system of psychotherapy. There's a huge difference between the two. As I see it, the article is currently ALL about the psychological term psychodynamics with no emphasis on describing any system of psychology with this same name. Why are there no references neither in this article nor in Psychodynamic psychotherapy to professional associations, educational institutions, journals, or even the odd website professing to represent Psychodynamics as a discipline, modality or system of psychotherapy? __meco 15:32, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
As I no longer understand this article to be attempting to describe a system of psychotherapy I no longer hold the above position. Why I held this conception for this long I don't clearly see. It could be that the diffuse language of the introduction, as I see it, confused me. __meco 07:17, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
My intentions here are to define the term "psychodynamics", its history, and how it is used in psychology presently. --Sadi Carnot 07:02, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
As for the above reference and others, yes I agree this is a confusing topic. In short, I feel that if we collect enough references, from all points of view, then we can get a well-rounded article, being that there is not standard college courses on psychodynamics, as a stand-alone. The basic feeling I get from my readings is that between 1874 and the 1960s, psychodynamics was stand-alone, but has since branched off and been embedded into modern psychology in its various branches. --Sadi Carnot 07:02, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Further good references to anyone else who has reservations[edit]

If anyone else has issues with this article, they can read Bowlby’s 1969 book Attachment, Vol. I, pages 13-26, where he spends 13 pages justifying why he is the first psychologist not to use Freud’s psycho-dynamic theories in his new science of attachment theory, specifically “the points of view not adopted are the dynamic (psychological forces) and the economic (psychological energy); there are therefore no propositions concerning psychological energy or psychological forces; concepts such as conservation of energy, entropy, direction and magnitude of force are all missing.” In later chapters, he says, “attempt is made to fill the resulting gap.” He also cites six full sources which describe the origins of Freud’s model, as based on chemistry and physics, in detail, stemming from Brücke , Meynert, Breuer, Helmholtz, and Herbart. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sadi Carnot (talkcontribs) 14:20, May 30, 2007

I just don't see a coherent argument for the way you present the term psychodynamics in citing Bowlby's book. The fact that Freud applied analogies from thermodynamics and the fact that terms such as "psychological forces" and "psychological energy" can be apprehended by most do not render into your thesis that the term psychodynamics can be applied as a key concept of psychology with clear implications of being a subordinate discipline of thermodynamics. Your repeated recommendations to read copious external literature is not the way to present a persuasive argument for your case either.
Would it not be better to rename this article for instance Influences of thermodynamics on Freudian psychology or something similar? If the article is to be about a main system of psychotherapy called Psychodynamics, it should be completely re-written. Especially the introductory section now is a mishmash of inconsistencies and buzzwords. __meco 15:22, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Meco, your entire agenda is turning into trolling. To quote form User:DashaKat (above) “Psychodynamics, as a concept, and psychodynamics as applied to psychotherapy, are two completely different entities. … A further read of this, and other, pages puts you in the light of someone who is agenda driven, and, more often than not, off-base in your positionality.” Lastly, to repeat what is already stated above, according to Merriam-Webster:
Psychodynamics is the psychology of mental or emotional forces.
Either you start contributing to this article or please go somewhere else. Thank-you: --Sadi Carnot 15:53, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Before you get deeper in pulling cheapshots you might wish to read this. That said, I am satisfied with the distinction between the discipline of Psychodynamic psychotherapy and the content of this article, so I shall desist from badgering you more about that. Now, I am still going to put my effort into the improvement of this article. I have made succinct points above and I have more points coming. I will make an effort to present them in a coordinated fashion. __meco 16:48, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

First sentence should go[edit]

It currently reads: In psychology, psychodynamics or dynamic psychology is the study of the interrelationship of various parts of the mind, personality, or psyche as they relate to mental, emotional, or motivational forces especially at the unconscious level.[1][2][3]

  1. ^ Freud, Sigmund (1923). The Ego and the Id. W.W. Norton & Company. pp. (4–5). ISBN 0-393-0042-3. 
  2. ^ Hall, Calvin, S. (1954). A Primer in Freudian Psychology. Meridian Book. ISBN 0452011833. 
  3. ^ Psychodynamics (1874) - (1) the psychology of mental or emotional forces or processes developing especially in early childhood and their effects on behavior and mental states; (2) explanation or interpretation, as of behavior or mental states, in terms of mental or emotional forces or processes; (3) motivational forces acting especially at the unconscious level. Source: Merriam-Webster, 2000, CD-ROM, version 2.5

Besides being particularly diffuse, this sentence alone could give the impression that Psychodynamics is a coordinated discipline of scientific study. Although the article gives examples of psychodynamic research and development taking place (e.g. Jung's work), it does not support a notion that this work represents a collected body as would be the case if there where doctorates issued in Psychodynamics or there existed within various psychology departments schools of Psychodynamics.

Also the term dynamics often refers to Psychodynamics, but I believe that the term dynamic psychology should be removed as it certainly stands to give the impression that this is a coherent, coordinated field of study.

An important distinction which I believe should be presented in the first sentence is Psychodynamics' focus on the quantitative aspect of the interrelating forces of the conscious and unconscious (including the preconscious) as opposed to the qualitative aspects.

I find the mention of "mind, personality, or psyche" too unspecific. These terms are very vaguely delineated (generally, not just in this article), especially when it comes to the forces aspect. I therefore think it becomes confusing to have them introduced this explicitly, giving the reader the impression that there exists a clear relationship between them in the context of Psychodynamics which is significant for understanding what Psychodynamics is, an impression which will unavoidably create bewilderment in the reader: either because the reader will think he or she lacks some prerequisite understanding about these terms which should be regarded as common knowledge (since there is no further description in the article about their relationship in the context of forces), or after reading on not finding an elaboration on these relationships which have been given such a prominent mention.

Similarly I find that the mention of "mental, emotional, or motivational forces" likewise gives an impression that these are clearly distinct terms, and as with the other three terms, the reader will frustrate him- or herself in trying to find in the article a detailing exposition of their distinction and relationship in the context of exchange of forces or energy.

My main point is that I think getting the first sentence to be very succinct in summarizing the content of the rest of the article would make further improvements much simpler. __meco 08:43, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

All of your points are good, but until we find better sources and references for the term, I would prefer to stay away from Wikipedia:Original research in making up our own definitions. Certainly, one or more clarifying definitions after the main one is will be good. Also the term "dynamic psychology" is used in publication and found as a synonym for psychodynamics. To note, I think that if we can get a copy of the 1874 publication of Lectures on Physiology by German physiologist Ernst von Brücke that we will find the original definition of psychodynamics. Also, Jung’s The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche and his “On Psychic Energy” are good books and papers on psychodynamics. Talk more later: --Sadi Carnot 06:50, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

I’ve used two new references for the introduction per your request:

I hope this helps? --Sadi Carnot 17:19, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Dynamic psychology[edit]

In 25 years of practice, research, and teaching, I have never heard the expression dynamic psychology, not least in terms of it being as equivalent to psychodynamics. For this statement to be crediable, I would want to see a reference...and not one that is 200 years old, tank you. --DashaKat 16:06, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

It's in one of the three references cited. --Sadi Carnot 16:47, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Specifically, from page 13 of Hall’s Primer in Freudian Psychology (1999 ed.):
What is it with you two? Why do you each have problems with everything in the article, these are not my views, they are published views? --Sadi Carnot 17:10, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I'll give you my take on that. It does really appear to me that you have an idiosyncratic way of establishing the relation between an expression and its various possible denotations. The case of dynamic psychology in this instance to me is a prima facie example of this. From the way this paragraph presents itself I do not find it appropriate as a source for definition of the term. The fact that the author writes "A dynamic psychology" instead of "dynamic psychology" simply should give this away. It occurs to me that you do not seem to distinguish well between these terms being used in contexts where they merely loosely, not significantly, reference the phenomenon about which this article revolves, and common, more loose applications of the terms. I think you need to make allowance for the occurences of these terms not always being applicable as references for this article by critically considering the full context in which they are used. If this context is not very explicit in making it clear that the term is applied with an emphasis on its referencing the elaborate energetics which we hope this article shall become able to expound, then I think it does no good to the cause of making this article less opaque to include such a text as reference. As it now stand the repleteness of external references seems to be based on a principle of quantity with insufficient regard for quality, i.e. short and spiffy statements, characterized by clarity and succinctness. __meco 18:54, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Although I, too, can be more than brusque, and find Meco's take pretty pointed, I would have to get on board with the overall idea that "referring to does not a reference make." I suspect we are all operating at different standards of succinct-ness, and it would appear that this is strongly informing the root of contention on all fronts.
My personal opinion is that this article started poorly and has gotten markedly better in recent days. The paucity and "lightness" of referential material still plagues us. --DashaKat 19:25, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

My efforts to reference different terms for psychodynamics (the most generally-used term presently), is that it often goes by various names by different noted authors, but is invariably the same stuff, i.e. any application of physics, particularly thermodynamics, to psychology that can trace its roots to Freud. Bowlby (1969) calls it “Freud’s psychical energy model”, Jung (1928) calls it “psychic energism and dynamism”, Freud (1923) calls it the “dynamic view”, and there are many others early than Freud who were digging into this area, e.g. in 1896 Theodor Lipps had already distinguished between psychic energy and psychic force, to cite one of many examples. Moreover, prior to the 1920s, approximately, the science of thermodynamics was still referred to by many as the science of energetics; hence, the name choice as to what Freud was talking about with all his unconscious “driving forces”, “repression”, and “instinct” in relation to physics was not that clear. Hence, please don’t shoot down my efforts on trying to clarify what we’re talking about here as it has been used in history and in modern times. --Sadi Carnot 21:54, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

What is your opinion on Wilhelm Reich's Sex Economy seen in relation to Psychodynamics? I have not seen Reich applying references to thermodynamics (I think), nevertheless, there's definitely the quantitative play of forces which this theory is based on. And he was a student of freud's. __meco 00:14, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
That’s an interesting article, it would probably take a while to separate what’s psychodynamic from other theories in that article, you’ll have to give me some time to digest it. Where did you get that “biodynamic psychotherapy” term? Also, all the references seem to be in German, I think?; is there a book on this topic that I could buy off Amazon? --Sadi Carnot 21:44, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Links and related pages[edit]

You ask for links to groups and such, etc., so here’s a few more examples:

To name a few. --Sadi Carnot 08:09, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

DashaKat edits[edit]

Please Dasha, start with the newer version with 3,000+ kb of new material with new references used for the intro, and add in your changes slowly over the next week, otherwise I can't tell what sentences you have issues with, when you delete entire sections. Let's start over and work together step-by-step. Could you please first state below what you have issues with. Thank-you. --Sadi Carnot 16:53, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

I have no problem with this. I do have a problem with your on-going deference to Meco, however. --DashaKat 17:36, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, we’ll I may have jumped the gun on some comments, but we got off on the wrong foot with his accusation that I added a “spurious establishment of thermodynamics parentage” to the article. Hopefully, we have worked together enough now to have cleared that issue up? --Sadi Carnot 17:44, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Hopefully. No ill will intended toward either of you, being something of a pompous know-it-all myself, I find Meco's style to tend toward the bullying, and would be disappointed to see anyone fall prey to that. --DashaKat 19:28, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Usually exchanges that become this personal are relegated to users' own discussion pages, however, in the current context, with the present company, I find them justified and constructive. Could you therefore clarify, perhaps by simply rephrasing, your point here? I don't think I understand the phrase "to tend toward the bullying". __meco 19:49, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Meco, I've idea to which "other thread where you were being critical" you are referring. What I was referring to is that you, as I, am an intellectual bully. I woudl align myself with you in stating that we tend tot hink before we think and, in that moment, think that we are right and everyone else is wrong. If I've read you wrong, I apologize, but I beleive you've provided evidence supporting this assessment in your own words. It was not an insult, but an observation. Blessings. --DashaKat 20:00, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Then we're on level. And I agree with your perspective. However, I can't envisage myself being a bully the way I perceive that term. I can be agressive, preferably sharply, but unfortunately sometimes also bluntly, a trait which I would rather hone and refine than attempt to rid myself of. But I see being a bully as someone who displays callous or inadvertent disregard for the feelings and position of others, and I would be extremely uncomfortable if I found myself in that role. I can live with others seeing me in that role as long as I see them as being wrong, not counting all sorts of resistance which that provokes, but I want to be able to look deep into myself without having to fend off by means of psychological defenses any intolerable attitudes I may project. And being a bully unequivocally is one such. __meco 20:58, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I have just added a response in another thread that is rather critical of your efforts, not generally, but in one particular respect. As I have before. I have previously had some pretty harsh words come in my direction as well, warranted or not so warranted. I think we so far have made a very good cooperative effort of collectively calming ourselves when these hotpoints have flared up. I can sometimes be blunt and sometimes I see, in hindsight, that my initial point wasn't all that clearly in my favour which I started out believing. It is easier said than done to prevent these sometimes transgressions, because it has to do with my temporally dynamic impulses to invest myself in this article. If I am indeed to participate in the process of producing this article, I have to make the most of periods (occasions rather) where I find myself getting worked up ("energized" would be an appropriate term here) enough to delve into the process of absorbing text, both from the article itself, the external sources, and of course the discourse taking place on this page, then processing this both linearly (logically?) and by associations and analogies, hopefully contributing with some lateral thinking as well to the benefit of everybody, and finally, before the (hopefully cool) air exits the balloon, put some significant thoughts down in writing in a way that facilitates the continuing collective effort. __meco 19:43, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, in any event, I hope were all on the same page. I stopped by the library and printed out four articles on psychodynamics, 1940s to 1950s, from JSTOR a few minutes ago. After I read them, I will probably add some material to the article in the next week or so. Talk later: --Sadi Carnot 21:35, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Replacement first sentence also awful[edit]

The new first sentence in my opinion is very bad, and I know it comes out of McGraw-Hill Science Tech Dictionary. In fact so much so that it may rather constitute a copyright violation. Now that is not my contention. I find the wording "Psychodynamics is the study of human behavior from the point of view of motivation and drives, depending largely on the functional significance of emotion, and based on the assumption that an individual's total personality and reactions at any given time are the product of the interaction between his genetic constitution and his environment." to be just as opaque in its use of various psychological, in the context insufficiently defined, terms and also in its complete omission in identifying the energetic focus. In fact, since I began working with this article I have seen so many disparate definitions of the term psychodynamics that I wonder if perhaps we hadn't better make a survey of them and attempt to collate them to sort out differences, similarities and what they focus on primarily. Some of them, I find, don't seem to be very focused at all, which may reflect an impossibility of establishing a congruous term. If this also turns out to be the conclusion of the survey which I propose, then we must present this paramount paradox to the reader and caution about the use of the term without an additional explanation of what one means when using it, possibly recommending not using it at all for the sake of clarity alone. __meco 09:03, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

I think you’ve objected now to just about every introduction we have tried? Is there any published definition that you do like? --Sadi Carnot 11:05, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm not going through the material at a great pace currently, so I haven't covered all there is to read. However, I do not see the necessity of using someone else's readymade definition as long as we can support our own with the article itself, and all in it which needs to be referenced is referenced. Anyway, when I see something I don't like (and I can give some reason why I don't like it), I will express it whether or not I can provide any alternatives. __meco 14:17, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Sure, but we don’t want people attacking the article with reference tags. I'll start your original definition idea by throwing one out here, off the top of my head;
Like or don't like? --Sadi Carnot 21:28, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I would characterize your sentence as being very cluttered. Let's also prune the verbosity: You don't need both principles and concepts; the mentioning of physics is redundant as long as thermodynamics is mentioned; the initial "in science" is also superfluous. The trailing in psychology would look better in the first clause: i.e. "psychodynamics is the application of the principles of thermodynamics to psychology" or something similar. Then there are three injected clauses explaining three terms of thermodynamics. I think the three terms should be mentioned separately first, then the relations of these to psychology could follow. The first clause is: "drive, meaning to impart forward motion to by physical force." This sounds too complicated, I think. Try to make it simpler. Also, it lacks a relation to the psychological meaning of drive. The second is: "energy, referring to libido." This is too short. The third is: "entropy, referring to resistances in the external world mediated by the ego." This really doesn't make much sense to me. My take would be that having read this much an average reader would experience information overload and anything exceeding this would send him or her reeling. The last part of your proposed text, about the interaction of the conscious and unconscious levels, is a key element that should be presented in a full sentence without clauses, and not too long.
If you want to give it another try, go ahead! __meco 22:42, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes, let me think about your comments for a while. I'll add in your suggestion (bolded) for the time being, because I had thought of that short definition as well, but found it to recursive; but if you like it, we'll give it a shot. --Sadi Carnot 04:26, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Historical terminology[edit]

In addition to what I have stated above, i.e. how "psychodynamics" (the most generally-used term presently), goes by various names by different noted authors, but is invariably the same concept, i.e. any application of physics, particularly thermodynamics, to psychology that can trace its roots to Freud. Bowlby (1969) calls it “Freud’s psychical energy model”, Jung (1928) calls it “psychic energism and dynamism”, Freud (1923) calls it the “dynamic view”, or “mental dynamics”, etc., is that prior to the 1970s, approximately, the science of thermodynamics was still referred to by many as the “science of energetics”, among other names, such as the “theory of heat”, and the term “energetics” was mostly used in reference to life. One example, is American physiological chemist Albert Lehninger’s very popular 1973, 2nd edition, Bioenergetics – the Molecular Basis of Biological Energy Transformation, in which the first chapter is “biological work”, the second chapter is “principles of thermodynamics”, and the rest is ATP-energetics and its applications, essentially. The modern day equivalent of this is American biophysicist Don Haynie’s 2001 textbook Biological Thermodynamics.

Another term for thermodynamics, particularly in the late 19th century, was “mechanical theory of heat”. In 1876, for instance, American civil engineer Richard Sears McCulloch, in his Treatise on the Mechanical Theory of Heat and its Application to the Steam-Engine, "the mechanical theory of heat, sometimes called thermo-dynamics (note the hyphen), is that branch of science which treats of the phenomena of heat as effects of motion and position." These types of transitory views in terminology, might help us shed some light on why Freud, who began thinking about this issue in 1874, doesn’t specifically come right out and say (or reference) in is publications (although I still need to read more of his work), something to the effect that, “my new theory is the thermodynamics of psychology”. --Sadi Carnot 05:06, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Current section[edit]

Can anyone explain to me what is going on in the current section? There is a mix between an ordered list and bullets, but I'm lost. Can we resolve this? --1000Faces (talk) 00:30, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

and some statements are inaccurate, lack a comprehensive understanding of psychodynamic theory, and need revision. Majicshrink (talk) 17:55, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I had to fix that sentence without public comment. the reference that was sited did not support the statements being made, and there was confusion evidenced in calling phenomena (regression) a theory. while people have theories about regression, it is not a "theory." it is a clinical phenomena that is witnessed in the process of psychotherapy. It can be induced, may occur spontaneously, or may be avoided, depending on many factors, all of which are beyond to scope of the current article. So I fixed it, i hope without too much contention. Majicshrink (talk) 18:13, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

No Criticism AT ALL ?[edit]

I find it somewhat remarkable that a Wiki article on such a well-known theoretical framework lacks a section devoted to criticism of this framework.

Is it really that there are no criticisms of psychodynamics that meet Wikipedia standards of notability ?

Could someone with relevant knowledge please address this issue ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:52, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

I agree. As I understand it there's quite a bit of evidence that Freud was a charlatan and fraudster, e.g. inventing clinical results, which would itself raise questions over his work. Also, is there any actual scientific evidence for any of the claims of psychodynamics? (talk) 17:20, 7 January 2013 (UTC)


First of all it should be clearly stated that it is nothing more than a PSEUDOscience. This belief is neither falsifiable nor testable thus it doesnt fulfil criteria of a scientific theory. Psychodynamics must not be described as to be equal to both biological psychiatry and cognitive-behavioral psychology. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:19, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

The problems arise from conflicting definitions[edit]

I have long thought that the term Psychodynamics suffers from the problem of being used in two ways. The first, as used in the opening sentence of this article, is non-specific and a category of study that includes all past and future approaches. The second refers to 'all theories originating with Freud'. The two are mutually exclusive, especially as the Psychoanalytic world divided into three groups long ago, and many researchers who started with a Freudian-based training analysis, such as R D Laing and John Bowlby, rebelled openly early on and went their own way. Criticism? There can be no criticism of Psychodynamics under the broad (and surely preferable) definition, because it is a category, a field of study that is ongoing and constantly revised. Of Freud and his theories of course there is much criticism. Compare with Physics, which defines a field of endeavour, and thus cannot be subject to criticism (except by those opposed to knowledge). Newtonian physics of course can be criticised, but we do not define Physics as 'all theories that originated with Newton'. There is a similar dilemma with Evolution which Wiki editors insist on defining as synonymous with 'The Modern Synthesis' or 'Darwinian theory of Evolution'. They thus seek to destroy the very possibility of 'evolution' as a subject of ongoing study; which it very much is. This is straight out of Orwell and 1984. I know it's not currently the role of Wikipedia to define words, but I think it is going to have to be (along with explanation like this) if it is to get out of some of the traps that it is currently stuck in. Does anyone here think R D Laing, John Bowlby etc worked in Psychodynamics? If so, lets extend the list of theories, and emphasise Psychodynamics as a broad category of psychology. If it is not that, then we have no name for a field that very much needs a name, and has nothing necessarily to do with Freud or Thermodynamics. I consider the opening sentence to be spot-on. --Lindosland (talk) 22:51, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

By the way, there is then a lot of good experimental evidence for particular theories, from Bowlby, Ainsworth, Tinbergen, and Harlow (Monkeys). --Lindosland (talk) 22:55, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

I should perhaps say that the problem I am trying to explain is not, as others have suggested that there are several definitions out there that need a survey. It is the fundamental problem that a category cannot contain itself. Thus if Psychodynamics is general and not necessarily Freudian, then it cannot also mean Freudian. I seem to remember that Gregory Bateson, proposer of the 'double bind' was hot on this, beginning with systems theory and epistemology. --Lindosland (talk) 23:07, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

I feel I have now resolved this by explaining the different uses in the introduction, with the emphasis on Bowlby and current work rather than Freud. I hope this meets with approval.

Introductory confusion[edit]

In the introduction there is the sentence; "Psychodynamic therapies depend upon a theory of inner conflict, wherein repressed behaviours and emotions surface into the patient’s consciousness; generally, one conflict is subconscious". I am not sure how the last phrase of this fits in or even what it means. Can anyone clarify? LookingGlass (talk) 21:11, 16 January 2014 (UTC)