PSYCHOANALYTIC PERSONALITY ASSESSMENT
December 19, 2012
Dr. Kathlyn J. Kirkwood
PSYCHOANALYTIC PERSONALITY ASSESSMENT
The Psychoanalytic Theories of Freud, Jung, and Adler contributed so much to psychology as we know it today. As developers of the theory of personality involving the id, ego, and superego, which led to the therapy method known as psychoanalysis, Freud, Jung and Adler shared many ideas and fought over many concepts in developing each of their versions of what became the beginning of psychotherapy. These three scientists came up with the fledgling ideation that led to many modern theories of human behavior, thought, and personality. Most psychologists recognize these three as the pioneers of modern theories. The theories of all three are very complex and difficult to understand (The Science and Practice of Clinical Psychology, 2007). Freud, Jung, and Adler became fast friends through their avid interest in psychology. Alfred Adler, a medical doctor with a deep interest in psychology and human nature, met Freud in their native Vienna in 1900 at a medical conference where Freud presented his new theories about dreams and the unconscious. Freud met Jung and after a mega- meeting of thirteen hours of discussion, became cohorts in spreading the wonder of psychoanalysis (Bridle & Edlestein, 2000, Spring/Summer). Alfred Adler and Carl Jung liked Freud’s definitions of id, ego, and superego, but had no interest in the sexual ideation in his theory. There was also significant tension between Freud and Jung. Freud believed that religion had no place in psychological theory. Carl Jung separated from Sigmund Freud to develop his own human personality theory based on his belief that the human psyche has an undeniable religious nature (Malamud, 1923). He thought dreams contained significant insight into people's psyche and theorized that for people to become whole, they should be taught to integrate the unconscious with the conscious mind in a process he called individuation (Malamud, 1923). This process was at the center of his analytical psychology (Malamud, 1923). Jung considered people's social aspect when he said, “The human psyche cannot function without a culture, and no individual is possible without society" (Richards, 2008, p. 7). Psychotherapy for Jung was less structured than psychoanalysis. He did not use free-association the same way Freud did. Rather, he relied on the spontaneous discussion of the individual. Jung became fascinated with symbols, and began to see a cross-cultural pattern in them. He argued that there are "archetypes" among those symbols that relate to common human heritage, not just the individual's experience. Jung identified four major archetypes; the most important is the persona. The persona represents all of the different social masks that we wear among different groups and situations. An example would be you see my glory but you do not know my story or I am glad I do not look like what I have been through. Thus, each of us has a set of common symbols within us, which Jung referred to as the collective unconscious. The collective unconscious coexisted with the personal unconscious. Like Freud, he analyzed dreams and verbalized symbols. He was less concerned with uncovering trauma and more concerned with tracing the relationships among symbols. He also understood symbols more in terms of common human experience and less in terms of sexuality (The Science and Practice of Clinical Psychology, 2007). An early member of Freud's inner circle, Adler was the first to break with Freud. Adler anticipated much of modern psychology and psychotherapy. He dispensed with Freud's instinctive psychology and focused instead on the goal-oriented nature of human behavior. In 1912, Alfred Adler founded the Society of Individual Psychology. Adler's theory suggested that every person has a sense of inferiority. From childhood, people work toward overcoming this...
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