Psychoanalytical theories of personality stress the individual’s unconscious motivations which can be identified through dreams, slips of the tongue and fantasies (McCrae & Costa, 2003; 21). “The psychoanalytical theory views personality as biologically based, relatively unchangeable and determined by the need to control sexual and aggressive instincts which are unconscious in nature” (Rust & Golombok, 1989, 131). Sigmund Freud was the founder of the psychoanalytical approach to personality although many academics have expounded on his research since then (Bernstein, 2001; 125). This contrasts with the humanistic theory which was adopted by leading 20th Century psychologists Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow (Nicholas, 2008; 226). Robert Ewen suggests that
Sigmund Freud developed an approach on abnormality that highlighted how human personality and psychosexual development in childhood can cause abnormality. Freud proposed that the human personality is made up of three interacting elements: the id, the ego and the super ego. The id is our unconscious it releases natural pleasure seeking instincts and operates to satisfy these instincts through pleasurable activities. The ego represents our conscious self; it tries to balance the id with moral rules proposed by the superego. The superego is our moral authority this developed through identification of our parent’s moral rules and the social norms of society If the ego fails to balance the id and the superego this can lead to conflict and may result in a psychological disorder.
There are different theories established by psychologists, which explain where personality originates. The highly important individual who played a role in the psychoanalysis theory was Sigmund Freud. Freud believed an individual’s personality was influenced by the unconscious, which there is no way to control. He based understanding of personality on analysis of patient’s dreams as well as his own dreams. Adler theorized that personality was motivated by the influence of society and fighting for triumph.
This element is innate – it is present from birth. The superego, or the morality principle, is the conscience of the mind- it understands right from wrong. It is in constant conflict with the Id, and develops during the phallic stage of psychosexual development. The third element, the Ego, acts as a mediator between the two and at times uses defence mechanisms to shield the conscious from the Id and its desires. Freud also proposed a theory he understood to be the “structure of the mind”.
In this essay Freud sets out his theory of psychosexual development. He asserts that there is in all humans an innate drive or instinct for pleasure, a sort of psychic energy, which he calls the libido and this energy needs to be discharged. He then goes on to describe how this drive finds outlet at the earliest stages of life, as babies, toddlers and infants and describes the oral, anal and phallic stages and the psychological effects of fixation at these stages. It is important to note that Freud separated sexual aims and objectives. His work on sexuality and perversions led to the wider theory of sexuality whereby he differentiated the sexual aim (the desire for pleasure) and the object (the person or thing used to fulfil the desire).
The superego fails to internalise morals. Therefore, someone whose superego overpowers the id and ego may often have deviant behaviour. The root of Freud’s theory is that all people are driven by the libido. The libido isn’t just the sex drive; it can take different forms. The libido moves to different areas of the body at different stages of development.
Psychoanalytic Personality Assessment TaWonnia Jackson PSY250 September 6, 2012 Loretta Harris Psychoanalytic Personality Assessment The following statements discussed will analyze the components of the psychoanalytic approach to personality. The theories of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Alfred Adler are compared and contrasted by research found. There will be characteristics of two theories along with descriptions of the stages to Freud’s theory, and characteristics along with Freudian's defense mechanisms. Each theorist’s had their own unique way of developing their very own theory. Sigmund Freud's theory is the psychoanalytic theory unique to a certain point and which it has developed formal models describing the ways in which individuals process information on different levels (Bornstein, 2010).
He declared that our mind consists of both conscious (ID), and the unconscious (ego). Then he edited it to suggest that there is no thought completely conscious or unconscious. Thus, we have a third part called superego helps us to make a moral judgment. Freud goes on analyzing the psychological mind of a child, into becoming a man or a woman through three stages: Oral, anal and phallic in which he discover the pleasure and other things. Then the child will grow and struggle will grow as well between the ID and Ego which Freud named the neurosis.
Evaluate the extent to which Freud’s theory of psychosexual development can help us to understand a client’s presenting issue In this essay we will look at Freud’s theory of psychosexual development in some detail, including an evaluation of the theory’s origin, criticism and strengths. We will be looking at its application, both through history and in current practice, leading to a more thorough discussion centred around its relavance when trying to understand clients’ presenting issues. The main themes of Freud’s work were centred on the significance of the first few years of a child’s life, in the subsequent development of personality. Freud believed that children experience emotional conflicts, and their future adjustment depends on how well these conflicts are resolved. Another theme with Freud’s work concerned the unconscious mind, the part of our mind we are not aware of.
This approach views personality as being primarily unconscious and as developing in stages. Psychodynamic theorists believe that behavior is merely a surface characteristic and that to truly understand someone’s personality we have to explore the symbolic meanings of behavior and the deep inner workings of the mind. These ideas were presented by the architect of psychoanalytic theory-Sigmund Freud. Most psychodynamic perspectives emphasize that early experiences with parents play an important role in sculpting the individual’s personality. Freud believed the personality had three structures - the id, the ego, and the super-ego.