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Psychoanalytic Approaches to P

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Psychoanalytic Approaches to P

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  • October 1999
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Psychoanalytic Approaches to Personality
The area of psychology with perhaps the most controversial history, due to it's complete lacking of empirical evidence, psychoanalysis, has it's origins in the teachings of Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis is a form of therapy developed by Freud in the early 1900's, involving intense examinations into one's childhood, thought to be the origins of most psychopathology which surfaced during adulthood. Ideas about the subconscious, which saw the human mind as being in continuous internal conflict with itself, and theories that all actions are symbolic, for "there are no accidents", were also major themes of the psychoanalytic approach. Successful therapy was a long-term and costly process, which most people during that time, with the exception of the wealthy, could not afford. Sigmund Freud's main contribution to this new field of studying personality was in the area of the understanding the unconscious, an aspect of the mind to which, he claimed, we did not have ready access to, but was the source of our actions and behavior. Freud believed the human mind was divided into three parts: the id, ego, and super-ego. The id is man's (generic meaning, referring to both sexes) instinctual, primitive, and hedonistic urges for pure pleasure, which the id was bent on experiencing, without regard to any consequences. The super-ego is man's senses of morality, first brought on by experiences with authoritative figures and parents, which basically hold ideas of what is right and wrong, and is almost a direct paradox to the id. The ego, which can be seen as the mediator between the id and the super-ego, takes into account the activities of the external world, and attempts to invoke some balance among all three parts of the mind, with failure resulting in neurosis of some kind.

Freud's "Lecture III" provides, what I believe to be another important theory in understanding personality from this...

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