In Brief

Topics: Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, Defence mechanism Pages: 5 (1554 words) Published: March 27, 2013
Complete the following for each theory stated in the syllabus.

Name of theory: Psychoanalytic

History: The founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, laid a sold psychological foundation for future psychoanalysts to build upon and improve. By 1900, Freud had conjectured that dreams had symbolic significance, and generally were specific to the dreamer. In 1905, Freud published three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality [16] in which he laid out his discovery of so-called psychosexual stages. By 1923, he consummated and formalized the ideas of id, ego, and superego in a book entitled, The Ego and the Id. In the 1930’s the rise of Nazism leads to the expansion of psychoanalysis in America. Following the death of Freud, a new group of psychoanalysts began to explore the function of the ego. Led by Heinz Hartmann, Kris, Rappaport and Lowenstein, the group built upon understandings of the synthetic function of the ego as a mediator in psychic functioning. In the 1960s, Freud's early thoughts on the childhood development of female sexuality were challenged; this challenge led to the development of a variety of understandings of female sexual development, many of which modified the timing and normality of several of Freud's theories.

Key concepts: According to the psychoanalytic view, the personality consists of three systems: Id, Ego, and Super Ego. The id is the original system of personality. It begins at birth. The id lacks organization is blind, demanding, and insistent. It is ruled by the pleasure principle, which is aimed to reduce tension and reduce pain, and gaining pleasure. The id is illogical, amoral, and driven to satisfy instinctual needs. It never matures and remains the spoiled brat of personalities. The ego has contact with the external word of reality. It is the “executive that governs, controls, and regulates the personality. It mediates between instincts and the surrounding environment and ruled by the reality principle. The Ego does realistic and logical thinking. It is the personality that checks and controls the blind impulses of the id. The superego is the judicial branch of personality. It includes a person’s moral code and represents the ideal rather than the real and strives for perfection rather than pleasure. It functions to inhibit the id impulses, to persuade the ego to strive for perfection. Another key concept of the psychoanalytic theory is the consciousness and unconscious. The consciousness is a thin slice of the total mind. It includes everything that we are aware of. This is the aspect of our mental processing that we can think and talk about rationally. A part of this includes our memory, which is not always part of consciousness but can be retrieved easily at any time and brought into our awareness. The unconscious stores experiences, memories, and repressed material. Most of the contents of the unconscious are unacceptable or unpleasant, such as feelings of pain, anxiety, or conflict. The unconscious cannot be studied directly but is inferred from behavior. Dreams, slips of the tongue, posthypnotic suggestions, and free association are great tools to examine the unconscious thoughts or behaviors. Ego defense mechanisms are another key concept popular in the psychoanalytic theory. Ego defense mechanisms help the individual cope with anxiety and prevent the ego from being overwhelmed. Common ego defenses include: Repression, denial, reaction formation, projection, displacement, rationalization, regression, and compensation. Finally, the development of personalities by Erikson influence by Freud.

Beliefs about persons: According to psychoanalytic theory, people have unconscious beliefs that are kept from becoming conscious by a psychological mechanism termed “repression.” Psychoanalytical theories involve the belief that development is primarily subconscious and influenced greatly by emotion. Psychoanalytical theories believe that an individual's behavior is just the surface and that...
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