Freud's Pychosexual Stages

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Freud's Theory of Psychosexual Development Freud proposed a theory of personality development that centered on the effects of the sexual pleasure drive on a persons behaviour or personality traits later on in life. At particular points in the developmental process, he claimed that the id's pleasure sweeking tendancies are focused on specific pleasure sensitive areas of the body termed erogenous zones .(Passer et al,2009). Freud described five stages of psychosexual development, which we all pass through related to the body part in question : Oral (0-2 years) Anal (2-3 years) Phallic (3-6 years) Latent (6-11 years) Genital (11+) If the stages are completed successfully, the result is a healthy personality. If certain issues are not resolved at the appropriate stage, fixation and/or regression can occur. A fixation is a persistent focus on an earlier psychosexual stage. Until this conflict is resolved, the individual will remain "stuck" in this stage. For example, a person who is fixated at the oral stage may be over-dependent on others and may seek oral stimulation through smoking, drinking, or eating. Regression, according Freud, is a defense mechanism leading to the temporary or long-term reversion of the ego to an earlier stage of development rather than handling unacceptable impulses in a more adult way. The defense mechanism of regression occurs when an individual's personality reverts to an earlier stage of development, adopting more childish mannerisms.(Passer et al,2009) During the Oral phase, children gain primary satisfaction from the consumption of food, sucking on a breast, a thumb or some other object. According to Freud, either excessive gratification or frustration of oral needs can result in fixation on oral themes of self-indulgence or dependency as a result.(Passer 2009) This type of personality could have a higher tendency to smoke,
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