Analyzing the Components of the Psychoanalytic Approach to Personality

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Analyzing the components of the psychoanalytic approach to personality Herbert Reeves
April 26, 2011
David Brueshoff

Analyzing the components of the psychoanalytic approach to personality Theories are analytical tools for understanding, explaining, and making predictions about a given subject matter. One such subject of much debate is the psychoanalytic theory. In order to grasp a hold of this intriguing subject matter, one has only to examine the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Alfred Adler. The most notable of the three is Freud. It was Freud's pioneering use of the term "the I" ("das Ich" in his native German, which was then translated into the Latin "ego") that brought "ego" into common parlance and popular interest to the process of self-consciousness (Bridle, 2000) Freud coined the phase “Psychoanalysis ‘.Psychoanalysis—Freud's innovative treatment method in which the patient is encouraged to speak freely about memories, associations, fantasies and dreams and which relies on Freud's theories of interpretation—was Freud's noble cause and, for a time, it was Alfred Adler's and Carl Jung's as well. (Bridle, 2000) However, Adler never fully embraced Freud’s position and radical musings of sex, particularly Freud’s view of infantile sexual trauma. Adler later went on to developed what he called "Individual Psychology,” It was based on the idea of the indivisibility of the personality. His most significant divergence from Freud's premises was his belief that it was crucial to view the human being as a whole—not as a conglomeration of mechanisms, drives, or dynamic parts. In contrast to most psychological thinking of the time, Adler believed that, fundamentally, human beings are self-determined. (Hoffman, 2000) Carl Jung’s interest in psychology was more overt than and less assuming than Freud’s in that Jung’s approach bordered on the mythology and fantasy of the psychic world. Yet in the beginning, Jung...
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