Psychoanalytic Personality Assessment

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Psychoanalytic Personality Assessment
PSY/250

Psychoanalytic Personality Assessment

The psychoanalytic theory states that there are inner forces other than your awareness that affect your behavior. Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler and Carl Jung influenced psychology with their theories making a very large impact on psychology. As the writer I will compare and contrast the theories of these three gentlemen and decide which of these theories in which I agree and which of these theories I do not agree with. Freud’s work is now the most recognized and most heavily cited in all of psychology and referenced in humanities as well. Freud emphasized on dreams and sexuality. Dreams according to Freud’s psychoanalytic theory are said to have two levels of content, manifest content and latent content. The manifest content is what a person remembers and consciously considers. The latent content is the underlying hidden meaning. This is the trademark idealism of the psychoanalytic approach to personality, in other words what we see on the surface is only a part of what really lies underneath. (Friedman & Schustack 2009) In his theory “libido” was the sexual energy that was responsible for psychological tension. Freud believed that the principal driving force behind men and women’s activities was either repressed or expressed sexuality. Unfulfilled sexuality led to pathological conditions. In other words that the unconscious was the storage facility for repressed sexual desires. (Friedman, Schustack, 2009) Freud also felt that religion was just an escape and a misleading notion which was an idea that should not be spread to people, that religion was a drug of the masses. His faith was fully in the minds ability to access its unconscious thoughts, thus avoiding any psychiatric disorder. Freud viewed the unconscious as a collection of images, thoughts and experiences that an individual refused to process, which led to psychiatric problems. (Wikipedia, 2010) On the other hand Jung disagreed on what constituted the unconscious. Jung added to Freud’s definition by stating that each individual also possessed a collective unconscious, a group of shared images and archetypes common to all humans. Jung was fascinated with symbols. He argued that there are “archetypes” among these symbols which relate common human heritage, not just individual experiences. (Wikipedia, 2010) Thus each of us has a set of common symbols within us. Jung’s neo-analytic theory also differed suggesting that “libido” was a general psychic energy that was not sexual in nature. Jung believed that sex amounted to only one of the many things that drive humans. More importantly, humans are driven by their need to achieve individuation, wholeness or full knowledge of the self. Jung quite different in his beliefs, suggests that religion was an important place of safety for the individual as he or she began the process of individuation, exploring and excepting all parts of the self, that religion was a means of communication between all types of people, because although religions differed, the archetypes and symbols remained the same. In my opinion Jung was more mythical. Adler as opposed to Freud and Jung was in a class of his own. He believed that people were social creatures, forming goals and striving to meet them. Adler saw mental health in terms of having healthy values, which affect what goals we try to achieve. He believed that inferiority complexes affected self esteem and caused a negative effect on human health. Adler argued for holism, masculinity and femininity were crucial to understanding human psychology (Friedman, Schustack, 2009). The desire of the self was offset by social and ethical demands. Adler suggested that social realm was important to psychology as was the internal realm. That the dynamics of power and compensation extend beyond sexuality, and that gender and politics were important considerations that go beyond libido. As you can see...
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