To begin, this essay paper is a summary over Sigmund Freud’s greatest triumph, which is, his psychoanalytic theory and his therapy techniques. It will also include the development, its greatest influence, Freud’s meanings of dreams, the Oedipus Complex, and his theory of personality, as well as psychosexual stages starting at birth and his contribution to psychology and science.Sigmund Freud, whom we believe as the creator or father of psychoanalysis, was attracted to understanding the reason of unconscious methods and the cause of mental illnesses in individuals, as well as treating them. Although, we have heard time and time again that Freud is the father of this theory, we should not give him full credit for it. While Freud was finishing up his education, a friend of his and former student by the name of Josef Breuer, was currently working on helping a young woman with hysteria by meeting with pretty consistently and using a form of psychoanalysis by hypnotizing her (Hergenhahn and Henley, 2014). According to Hergenhahn and Henley (2014) “it was what Freud learned from Breuer concerning the treatment of a woman anonymously referred to as Anna O., that essentially launched psychoanalysis” (p. 496). He could have easily taken credit for psychoanalysis but would have felt bad for taking full credit. Although, he did attempt to hypnotize patients, he found little to none long-term lasting effects of hypnosis because patients could not remember what happened during the hypnosis session (Hergenhahn and Henley, 2014, p. 498). Hysteria is a term used to describe “traumatic experiences that is not allowed adequate expression and therefore manifests itself in physical symptoms” (Hergenhahn and Henley, 2014, p. 499). Symptoms of hysteria can take on symbolic representations because past traumatic experiences can be difficult to face or think about and when it is thought about can actually cause great stress (Hergenhahn and Henley, 2014). These experiences can become bottled-up and stored in the unconscious memory, until the individual is ready to deal with these memories again. According to Hergenhahn and Henley (2014) “the fundamental point is that repressed experiences or conflicts do not go away” (p. 499). According to Freud, sex is a precondition for hysteria, and as we will see throughout this paper, he believed just about anything and everything was based on sex or was the cause of sexual desires.If one searches the term “psychoanalysis”, there are many definitions, descriptions, and explanations for it. It is easy to mix up the terms that begin with “psycho” such as; psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, psychotherapy, and psychoanalysis. After much research on the term, Psychoanalysis can basically have two different meanings, but the same. In other words, it can be coined aa a therapy and a theory. It is a form of psychotherapy where listening and talking is very important. It’s able to help the analyst treat mental disorders by being able to bring those blocked memories from the unconscious mind to the surface of the conscious mind. This can be done through free association and dream interpretation. Psychoanalysis can be attained when the patient is able to talk about what is on his/her mind (or not on his/her mind), and eventually grow from what is ultimately holding them back or hurting them. Psychoanalysis is a talk therapy, but there usually isn’t much contact with the therapist. The therapist will sit back and observe the patient while they talk. This is known as free association, a form of treatment to treat neuroses and hysteria. Psychoanalysis isn’t the only type of talk therapy, there are many different kinds, including psychodynamics, DBT, and CBT, to name a few, and they are very much different. These are all types of psychotherapy.Freud created free association by accident, maybe coincidence, after discovering hypnosis was ineffective and that he did not have to touch the client, it was also time consuming, and very costly. Psychoanalysis is also costly and can take up to years to treat a patient. “Although when using free association it is often more difficult to arrive at the original traumatic experience, once attained it is available for the patient to deal with in a rational manner” (Hergenhahn and Henley, 2014, p. 498). The other type of psychoanalysis involves dream interpretations and is called dream analysis. Dreams can take on symbols, colors, shapes, and very lucid dreams that can be compared to the present or the past waking life of an individual. According to Freud “He assumed that the content of dreams could be viewed in much the same way as hysterical symptoms. That is, both dreams and hysterical symptoms could be seen as symbolic manifestations of repressed traumatic thoughts” (Hergenhahn and Henley, 2014, p. 500). Hergenhahn and Henley (2014), Freud believed that being able to understand or read dreams can ultimately gain knowledge and help become acquainted with the unconscious mind (p. 500). When a person is asleep they are physically shut down, but their thoughts are not. “Repressed experiences reaches consciousness only in disguise form” (Hergenhahn and Henley, 2014, p. 501). Freud found that because of this, dreams do not always mean what we think they mean and termed this as manifest content, whereas, latent content is what the dream really does means. According to Freud, dreams can also be considered a wish fulfillment. What he means by this is that every dream that an individual has is some sort of expression to things they want or need in waking life but are to afraid to express those needs out loud. Therefore, the individual dreams about it. We dream about what we think about. Dream Interpretation is not an easy thing to do. One must be very knowledgeable, experienced, and highly trained in psychoanalysis. Dream symbols, like mentioned previously represent waking life, stresses of life, needs, wants, or can symbolize something similar to current life situations, but in a less stressful form or symbol. Next, the Oedipus Complex will be explained, and let’s just say it is very complex and can be misleading for many. After Freud’s self-analysis, he concluded that his childhood experience in regard to; jealousy and sexual experiences could much represent all individual’s childhood and sexual experiences, regardless if raised in a positive, nurturing home or a negative traumatic home. The Oedipus Complex is named after a Greek play. Oedipus was the name of the character who killed his father to be with his own mother (Hergenhahn and Henley, 2014). “Because male children have a close physical relationship with their mothers (the mother bathes, strokes, nurses, and hugs them) Freud thought that it was natural for them to have desire for their mothers” (Hergenhahn and Henley, 2014, p. 501). Male children feel they are in competition with their fathers, but since they are only children they feel they cannot compete with the male figure, so they stay quiet. The same goes for daughters and the jealousy they feel towards their mothers. “He now saw such fantasies as representing repressed desires to possess the parent of the opposite sex and to eliminate the same-sex parent” (Hergenhahn and Henley, 2014, p. 503). This is hard to agree with and is bazaar. Although, I do believe boys have a strong bond with their mothers, it is no way in any shape or form sexual. Freud’s choice of vocabulary was very sexual and that’s because he meant for it to be. Freud discusses everyday life in terms of parapraxes, Freudian slips, and everyday humor. Parapraxes are considered small errors in life or mistakes and can range from being forgetful, losing your keys, being disorganized, doing poorly on an assignment and much more. Freudian slips, known as slips of the tongue, is when something is said that didn’t mean to be said, but was said due to suppressed feelings. “According to Freud all behavior is motivated; so for him, it was legitimate to seek the causes of all behavior, “normal” or “abnormal.” Furthermore, he believed that because the causes of behavior are usually unconscious, people seldom know why they act as they do” (Hergenhahn and Henley, 2014, p. 502). He also believed people use humor to express thoughts and emotions, whether it be sexual, fantasy, anger, jealousy, hatred, love, anxiety, or stress. By using humor individuals can deal with their own stressors or thoughts without frustrating themselves. Freuds theory of personality involves three mechanisms known as the Id (unconscious) or “the it,” the Ego (executive) or “the I,” and the Superego (preconscious), or “the over I” (Hergenhahn, 2014). The id is unconscious but also serves as our drive for needs and pleasure. The id is difficult and demanding. It wants satisfaction as soon as a drive arises. According to Hergenhahn and Henley (2014) The id has two means of satisfying a need; one is reflex action and the other is wish fulfillment (p. 505). Reflex action is automatic (Hergenhahn, 2014), and wish fulfillment uses an object in the place of the wish to help fulfill that need at that moment. The ego is known as the executive because it is aware of what’s going on, everywhere. Ego bases decisions by the reality of the conflict or situation. Superego “is the moral arm of personality” (Hergenhahn and Henley, 2014, 505). The superego is pretty much a person’s morals and values. As a child grows up they learn right from wrong, do’s and don’ts and what is and isn’t accepted. “Once the superego develops, internalized values govern the child’s behavior and thoughts, usually those of the parents; and the child is then said to be socialized” (Hergenhahn and Henley, 2014, p. 505). Throughout Freuds work, as we can see he believed everything about the person was fueled off of sex, sexual desires, and pleasure. Freud also believed that there are psychosexual stages of development throughout a person’s lifespan. Pleasure points for each stage are called the erogenous zone. The first stage is the oral stage, and last until the age of one (Engler, 2014). The reason the first stage is called oral is because infants are able to satisfy their needs by putting stuff in their mouth, either by chewing, biting or sucking. According to Engler (2014) “Freud outlined psychosexual stages that children travel as they progress from autoerotic sexual activity to mature reproductive activity” (p. 38). The second stage is the anal stage and occurs at age two. This occurs during toilet training of a child. Freud believed that the child will either enjoy expelling matter or will have pain doing it. The buttock is an erogenous site that can either be pleasurable or painful. Whatever it may be can aid in personality in the future. The third stage is known as the phallic stage and occurs during ages three through six years old (Engler, 2014). Freud was very misleading, especially in this stage. He believed that during this stage children spend much time exploring their genitals and masturbating. According to Freud, “they spin fantasies about the sexual act itself and the birth process” (Engler, 2014, p. 39). This stage also leads into the Oedipus Complex. Freud’s mind was a little out of whack. According to Engler, (2014) “They may believe that a pregnant woman has eaten her baby and that a baby is expelled through the mouth or the anus. Sexual intercourse is frequently viewed as an aggressive act by the father against the mother” (Engler, 2014, p. 39). But, as we all know this is misleading and ridiculous. The next stage is the latency period and begins at age seven until puberty begins in boys and girls. Freud didn’t speak about the latency period much because nothing out of the ordinary happened, except that likes and interests turned to sports, academics and friendship more than sexuality (Engler, 2014). The last stage of Freud’s psychosexual stage is the genital stage and is from the time puberty hits to the end of a person’s lifespan. Many people do not agree with Freud’s theory, especially the psychosexual pleasures and wishes. During this stage Freud believes that “There is a rebirth of sexual and aggressive desires, and the sexual drive, which was formerly autoerotic, is redirected to seeking gratification from genuine interaction with others (Engler, 2014, p. 41). Freud has discovered some very important findings about the mind, sexual desires and pleasures, theories of personality. Although, I do not agree with his drives or forces all being from sexual desires, I do believe that he has been highly influential in science and psychology. According to Cherry (2019) “Despite its critics, psychoanalysis played an important role in the development of psychology. It influenced our approach to the treatment of mental health issues and continues to exert an influence in psychology to this day.” ReferencesCherry, K. (2019). The Influence on Psychoanalysis on the Field of Psyhchology. VeryWell. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-psychoanalysis-2795246. Engler, B. (2014). Personality Theories (9th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.Hergenhahn, B. R., & Henley, T. B. (2014). An Introduction to the History of Psychology (7th Ed.). Belmont, Ca: Wadsworth.
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