History of Psychology

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Theoretical Position Paper
Kori E, Hudgins,
Psy 310
Dr. Joycelynn Flowers-Ashton

In this paper we will compare and contrast the basic theoretical positions of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler and William James. We will be describing the differences among their perspectives concerning the causes and nature of human psychological functioning. Sigmund Freud, who was often considered the “father of psychoanalysis” work was instrumental in providing a clearer understanding of what motivates behavior and how the mind works. Freud broke important ground in professions such as psychology with his treatment of mental and emotional disorders but it was not only his work in psychology that made him so important it was also his work that influenced breakthroughs in the medical profession, criminology, and sociology. Freud’s work also cast mental illness into a new category of illness which could be treatable as well as any physical alignments. Even those who did not agree with Freud’s work agreed that without his endeavors’ then, the stigma of mental illness would be much worse. Sigmund Freud who began initially treating what was then called “hysteria” (extreme symptoms, such as paralysis of a limb, with no apparent physical origin) by hypnosis, in 1890’s Freud began experimenting with different ways of releasing hidden memories from a patient as he began to see hypnosis as ineffective. Freud would begin free association which was allowing the patient to talk freely, guiding the conversation only when he needed too. Freud believed that this form of therapy was not only improved from hypnosis but also allowed patients to be active participants in their treatment, because they would be fully conscious whenever any revelation transpired. Freud began focusing on dreams and their interpretation techniques to determine the symbolic meaning of dream events. He wrote a book in 1899 that outlined his theories in his “Interpretation of Dreams”. Freud also...
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