In November 2009, Oprah Winfrey delivered the shocking news that she will end her show in September 2011. The Oprah Winfrey Show is viewed by 42 million viewers weekly, it was the number one talk show for 23 successive seasons, and it received numerous awards throughout its history. Oprah’s decisions to take on the show, stay the course, and ultimately to end the show was motivated by psychoanalytic, humanistic, and diversity motivations. Freud’s psychoanalytic view suggests that Oprah and all people are motivated daily by unconscious sexual and aggressive tendencies. Freud established this perspective on four principles. Determinism: human behavior driven by elusive forces which people have limited control over. Freud puts forth the idea, “We are not the masters of our fate. We are more like pawns in life’s chess game. Somebody else is making the moves” (McAdams, 2006, p. 250). Drive: Further, Freud proposes that humans need sexual contentment and appropriate means for expressing aggression. Conflict: Freud also proposes that people have a constant inner dissonance that manifests itself in anxiety because people can never have everything they want. Unconscious: Next Freud suggests that people do not know what they want and what the causes of their anxieties are because they exist in the unconscious. Nearly 25-years ago, Oprah was driven by determinism. She believed she had little control over the direction of the show. She was driven by a force much bigger than herself. She did not have a vision or high expectations for the show; however, I believe unconscious and internal conflicts were the source of her motivation. This show was about to become the platform or drive, the appropriate means for expressing the conflict within, for Oprah’s healing and the healing of many of her guest and viewers. This phenomenon would be the beginning of personal fulfillment for many. Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow developed the humanistic theory based on...
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