The Psychosocial Approach
The psychosocial approach helps us to develop a healthy questioning of the obvious. An open mind, imagination and knowledge of personality functioning, human behaviour and emotional suffering are inherent in the ideas; they assist in reaching;differential diagnoses and treatment plans. This is another way of saying that clients interact with their environments in unique ways and if we are to give service which is accurately targeted then, when appropriate, we have to comprehend underlying feelings and motives which can block people from making optimum use of such help. Freudian psychoanalytic ideas, particularly personality theory, began to feed into what became known as psychodynamic casework. Freud's approach was the attempt to explain the internal processes that motivate behaviour, Freud's belief was one of psychic determinism; that is, that all behviour has a cause that is to be found in the mind. Various theories of how the mind works have derived from Freud's theories, which were strongly associated with the biological nature of human beings, particularly the sexual drive.
Later developments have become more focused on the social nature of human beings, but Freud's belief that the mind has a conscious and an unconscious part remains a powerful influence on western culture and beliefs.
Psychodynamics has been hugely influential in the development of social work because freud was a pioneer in an approach to complex human behaviour which sought to give rational explanations based on the human condition. This is often forgotten, particular by the critics of Freud, who stress the controlling aspects of his approaches to analysis, and its sexism. The stock in trade question 'how do you feel?' comes from the influence of Freud, who stressed the importance of the feelings of his patients, rather than treating them as if they were objects of 'treatment'.