Psychosexual Theory

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Evaluate the extent to which Freud’s theory of psychosexual development can help us to understand a client’s presenting issue?|

Psychosexual Development Theory
The meaning of the psychosexual theory has nothing to do with sexuality or sex in terms of reproduction, but is referred to in meaning as anything that gives pleasure to the body such as a hug, taste, food, this is according to Freud. Freud believed that early childhood has an effect on the future life of person there are five stages he believed that a person went through physiologically and psychologically. The physiology is based on human instinct to survive, the psychology is the emotional/mental interpretation of the act and the pleasure that it provides. This was the birth of psychodynamics the link between physiology and psychology, the motivation behind the behavioural action. Freud’s psychosexual theory is based on child development from birth through to adult hood. The idea is the association between the physiological developments being linked to the psychological development in early childhood. The first stage is set at birth to 18 months, it is the oral stage, this area is based on the mouth and the need to eat to survive also coupled with the pleasure that follows through with taste, this is instigated by breasting feeding. Babies enjoy breasting feeding it is soothing, it feels good and it tastes good, this is the first pleasure that babies have. This stage focuses on the mouth as babies learn through taste; they put things in their mouths to learn. It is at this stage that a child learns that the mouth gives instant pleasure through taste and that food gives pleasure. Following the oral stage is the anal stage which is based on the anus; this stage normally occurs around 18 months to three years old. This stage is based on control, this is the control of the bowels being able to control when and where to excrete. The pleasure principle here is based around potty training, the emphasis placed on the child to control when they need to release themselves and the parent displaying expectation on the suitability and necessity of having control over the bowels and taking ownership of actions based around potty training. Depending on how this is executed the developing child will learn the control factor and get pleasure for being able to exercise their control over this. Stage three is the phallic stage this is from ages 3-5, at this stage the child starts to realise that there is a difference between boys and girls; it is here that the developing child sees a difference in their genitals relating to the parent from the opposite sex. Females start to become aware that they don’t have a penis and sense there is a difference in terms of strength between men and women. Males start to become aware that they are strong and have a sense of protection regarding their mother. This can be understood in terms that girls seek protection from their fathers and see their mother as a rival and this follows in reverse regarding sons and mothers. Stage four from ages 5 to adolescence is latency it is the lull stage where nothing further happens in terms of development in the psychosexual theory. Stage five genital stage this is the adult sexual phase, this is where the developing person experiences sex, romance, love, crushes and friendships.

The relationship of the five stages manifested through to adulthood is as follows. During the oral stage should there be a disruption such as feeding was unsuccessful or issues to do with health pertaining to the oral area then it would manifest through the individuals behaviour resulting in direct issues regarding the mouth. The conflict here is weaning the child off the breast towards solid foods, if this process is handled in a less satisfying way towards the developing child, the outcome can be an anxiety lead habitual acts. This could result in chewing pencils, thumb sucking, gum chewing, smoking, over eating, not...
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