Freudian Psychology: The Main Ideas
Psychoanalysis is Sigmund Freud’s work, thought to be created between 1900 and 1939, which still is a very vibrant thread in history and psychology today. According to Sigmund Freud the unconscious mind is a reservoir of repressed impulses and desires in your mind, while you may be completely awake you are still unaware of the mental processes that are taking place. Though the repressed impulses control the way we think, act, and above all feel. Freud also talks about the conflict within each individual between the internalized ideals (your superego) and impulses (your id), also how your ego (your conscious self) tries to keep out the awareness of such using a defense mechanism to distort reality around you. These processes are manipulated throughout the stages of childhood. Freud claims that the dynamics of every person is crafted by the childhood experiences and the level of influence from parental roles. His main ideas circle around attachment, the cognitive unconscious, ego, superego, id, psychoanalytic theory, and sexual development as a child, though the scientific relevance and credibility are always being contested by many critics throughout history and time. Psychoanalysis is a method used for understanding the mental processes and the way they function, stages of growth, and the development of human behavior and experience, but many critics challenge its scientific creditability to successfully treat patients throughout the time it has been practiced. To understand the main ideas of psychoanalysis we must start at the beginning discussing the psychic apparatus; which is the id, ego, and super ego. In short, the id contains everything already in place at birth (like human instinct) and the unconscious part of your mental state. It’s a pool of instincts, such as sex and aggression, ready to be released at anytime. The ego is responsible for controlling the id and your instincts; it serves as a buffer between your id and the outside world. “The Id thinks primarily in visual and irrational terms – called primary process thinking” (Kazlev). The ego is what people would consider and recognize themselves as and as a way they would describe to others. It’s what people use the visualize events and solve dilemmas logically in everyday life. Finally the superego, which is controlled by the id, it’s responsible for the limit of satisfaction, influence of others, and the influences of the culture and environment in which you thrive in can have on you as a person. Freud insists that the instincts are the first and foremost cause of all behaviors, sexual and satisfaction instincts that is. The superego has control of moralistic ideas and restraints from the imposed influence of parental figures during development. These pressures can block random impulses. The two instincts that influence everything are referred to as Eros, which serves to protect unity through your relationships, then there is the destructive/death instinct, which is for undoing the connections and unity made in relationships using a destruction mechanism. The instincts can work together through attraction or against one another through repulsion. “Freud suggested that behavior is determined by the unconscious mind, a repository of repressed impulses and desires, of which the waking mind is completely unaware, but determines the way we think, feel, and act” (Kazlev). Freud claims that all the behavior comes from the motivation to feel pleasure or satisfaction. Freud also theorizes on the sexual life, he says it begins with four main phases through manifestations soon after birth. Beginning with the oral phase, this is all about satisfaction and needs of the mouth. During this phase the infant is primarily sucking or swallowing, which in referred to as “oral incorporation”. Later the stage will progress to biting and chewing which is called “oral aggression”. Secondly, the sadistic-anal phase,...
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