The Unbearable Dynamicity of Psychological Processes: Highlights of the Psychodynamic Theories

  • Rosapia Lauro-Grotto
  • Sergio Salvatore
  • Alessandro Gennaro
  • Omar Gelo


The term dynamic generally refers to the psychology grounded on and informed by psychoanalysis—even if dynamic perspectives do not necessarily coincide with it. It is well known that in Freudian theory, the dynamic level of analysis is that focused on conflicts and their role in shaping psychological facts. Yet contemporary psychoanalytically oriented psychology gives a broader meaning to the label, and consequently dynamic psychology is the psychology concerning the affective source (motivation, instinct, intra-psychic, and/or interpersonal conflicts) shaping (inter)subjectivity. Thus, in contemporary psychology the term psychodynamic can be seen as a synecdoche where the whole—the psychoanalytically oriented psychology—is referred to by means of the part—the dynamic level of analysis as conceptualized by Freud. Here we assume this broad definition. Therefore, henceforth the term psychodynamic will be used as being synonymous with psychoanalytically oriented psychological theory.


Phase Space Chaotic System Strange Attractor Chaos Theory Factorial Dimension 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We wish to thank the participants in the session of the Clark University’s Kitchen Seminar (10 September, 2008) devoted to the discussion of a first draft of this text. The discussion that developed there provided meaningful feedback, helping us to bring the implications of our proposal into focus.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosapia Lauro-Grotto
    • 1
  • Sergio Salvatore
  • Alessandro Gennaro
  • Omar Gelo
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyFlorence UniversityFlorenceItaly

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