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Psychoanalytic Theory

Psychoanalytic Theory

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Psychoanalytic Theory

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  1. Psychoanalytic Theory Personality According to Sigmund Freud

  2. Personality An individual’s unique and relatively consistent patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving

  3. Personality Theory Attempt to describe and explain how people are similar, how they are different, and why every individual is unique

  4. Personality Perspectives • Psychoanalytic—importance of unconscious processes and childhood experiences • Humanistic—importance of self and fulfillment of potential • Social cognitive—importance of beliefs about self • Trait—description and measurement of personality differences

  5. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) • Founder of psychoanalysis • Proposed the first complete theory of personality • A person’s thoughts and behaviors emerge from tension generated by unconscious motives and unresolved childhood conflicts. Learn more about Freud at:

  6. Methods of Studying the Unconscious

  7. Free Association • Freudian technique of exploring the unconscious mind by having the person relax and say whatever comes to mind no matter how trivial or embarrassing The Couch

  8. Projective Tests • Tests where a patient is asked to say whatever comes to mind as they view an ambiguous picture or inkblot.

  9. Dreams & Slips of the Tongue • Freud said dreams were the “Road to the Unconsciousness” • You let down your guard when sleeping and unconscious wishes and desires come forth. • Slips of the Tongue – accidentally say something. • Example: “One, two, three, four, five, SEX, I mean six!” • These are the wishes and desires of your unconscious ID

  10. The Psychodynamic Perspective:Freud’s View of the Mind

  11. Psychoanalytic Approach • Conscious – all things we are aware of at any given moment

  12. Psychoanalytic Approach • Preconscious – everything that can, with a little effort, be brought into consciousness

  13. Psychoanalytic Approach • Unconscious –inaccessible warehouse of anxiety-producing thoughts and drives

  14. The Psychodynamic Perspective:The Id, Ego, and Superego

  15. Psychoanalytic Divisions of the Mind • Id—instinctual drives present at birth • does not distinguish between reality and fantasy • operates according to the pleasure principle • Ego—develops out of the id in infancy • understands reality and logic • mediator between id and superego • Superego – the moral principle • internalization of society’s & parental moral standards • One’s conscience; focuses on what the person “should” do • Develops around ages 5-6. • Partially unconscious • Can be harshly punitive using feelings of guilt

  16. Id: The Pleasure Principle • Pleasure principle—drive toward immediate gratification, most fundamental human motive • Sources of energy • Eros—life instinct, perpetuates life • Thanatos—death instinct, aggression, self-destructive actions • Libido—sexual energy or motivation

  17. The Personality Id: “I want” Superego: “I should” Ego: “I will”

  18. Rational, planful, mediating dimension of personality Information in your immediate awareness Conscious Ego Superego Preconscious Information which can easily be made conscious Moralistic, judgmental, perfectionist dimension of personality Unconscious Id Thoughts, feelings, urges, and other information that is difficult to bring to conscious awareness Irrational, illogical, impulsive dimension of personality Psychoanalytic Approach

  19. The Psychodynamic Perspective:Freud’s Psychosexual Stages

  20. Psychosexual Stages • In Freudian theory, the childhood stages of development during which the id’s pleasure seeking energies are focused on different parts of the body • The stages include: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital • A person can become “fixated” or stuck at a stage and as an adult attempt to achieve pleasure as in ways that are equivalent to how it was achieved in these stages

  21. Oral Stage (birth – 1 year) • Mouth is associated with sexual pleasure • Pleasure comes from chewing, biting, and sucking. • Weaning a child can lead to fixation if not handled correctly • Fixation can lead to oral activities in adulthood

  22. Freud’s Stages of Development

  23. Anal Stage (1 – 3 years) • Gratification comes from bowel and bladders functions. • Toilet training can lead to fixation if not handled correctly • Fixation can lead to anal retentive or expulsive behaviors in adulthood

  24. Freud’s Stages of Development

  25. Phallic Stage (3 – 5 years) • Focus of pleasure shifts to the genitals • Sexual attraction for opposite sex parent • Boys cope with incestuous feelings toward their mother and rival feelings toward their dad (Oedipus conflict). For girls it is called the Electra Complex. • Child identifies with and tries to mimic the same sex parent to learn gender identity.

  26. Oedipus Complex • Boys feel hostility and jealousy towards their fathers but knows their father is more powerful. This leads to… • Castration Anxiety results in boys who feel their father will punish them by castrating them. • Resolve this through Identification – imitating and internalizing one’s father’s values, attitudes and mannerisms. • The fact that only the father can have sexual relations with the mother becomes internalized in the boy as taboo against incest in the boy’s superego.

  27. Electra Complex • Girls also have incestuous feelings for their dad and compete with their mother. • Penis Envy – Little girl suffer from deprivation and loss and blames her mother for “sending her into the world insufficiently equipped” causing her to resent her mother • In an attempt to take her mother’s place she eventually indentifies with her mother • Fixation can lead to excessive masculinity in males and the need for attention or domination in females

  28. Freud’s Stages of Development

  29. Latency Stage (5 – puberty) • Sexuality is repressed due to intense anxiety caused by Oedipus complex • Children participate in hobbies, school, and same-sex friendships that strengthen their sexual identity

  30. Freud’s Stages of Development

  31. Genital Stage (puberty on) • Incestuous sexual feelings re-emerge but being prohibited by the superego are redirected toward others who resemble the person’s opposite sex parent. • Healthy adults find pleasure in love and work, fixated adults have their energy tied up in earlier stages

  32. Freud’s Stages of Development

  33. Defense Mechanisms Unconscious Self-Deceptions

  34. Defense Mechanisms • Unconscious mental processes employed by the ego to reduce anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality.

  35. Repression • Puts anxiety-producing thoughts, feelings, and memories into the unconscious mind • The basis for all other defense mechanisms

  36. Denial • Lets an anxious person refuse to admit that something unpleasant is happening

  37. Regression • Allows an anxious person to retreat to a more comfortable, infantile stage of life

  38. Reaction Formation • Replacing an unacceptable wish with its opposite

  39. Projection • Reducing anxiety by attributing unacceptable impulses or problems about yourself to someone else

  40. Rationalization • Displaces real, anxiety-provoking explanations with more comforting justifications for one’s actions • Reasoning away anxiety-producing thoughts

  41. Displacement • Shifts an unacceptable impulse toward a more acceptable or less threatening object or person

  42. Sublimation • A form of displacement in which sexual urges are channeled into nonsexual activities that are valued by society