Application. Ego psychology builds upon psychoanalytical theory. This theory discusses how an individual can develop based on their ego, how they function, and the type of defense mechanisms a person utilizes. In the case of April, Ego psychology will be utilized to dive into her strengths and limitations using Erik Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial crises, which are tied to Freud’s psychoanalysis. April, a 5 year old, has had some serious changes since her father committed suicide. She withdraws from activities that she liked to do, is not eating much, and has shown signs of regression to a state when she was a toddler. She began to have nightmares and explains that she feels alone and feels that something is coming after her in her dreams. Her mother reported that April sometimes ignores her, but other times cries like a baby when she tries to leave. Her mother also feels that April rejects her because of the death of April’s father. A hypothesis can be made that April has an imaginary friends or is pretending that someone is around, because of her actions during an observed play time. Other changes include outside factors such as moving into a small apartment, sharing a room with her sister, having her grandmother move in, and having less interaction with her mother who now has to work full time.
Ego psychology ties together cognition and emotion when interacting with others (Goldstein, 2008). Elizabeth Hutchinson discusses ego as natural, it “is the source of our attention, concentration, learning, memory, will, and perception” (2013, 123). When reviewing April’s past, she appears to be developing as she should according to the psychosocial stages. However, after the suicide of her father, the factors that are driven by the ego have stopped operating as her social and psychological needs are not met as before. At a time when the family structure was more stable and her father was involved. She’s begun developing negative...
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