Pius X High School
The human psyche is one of the most complex yet fragile system found in nature. It constantly stores information in both the conscious and subconscious mind, forming the mental prowess and personality of every person on the planet. To try and understand this complex feature of the mind Psychiatrists have created the treatment/theory of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis allows psychiatrists to try and bring conflicts out of subconscious and into the conscious mind of the patients. In order to understand psychoanalysis it is important to know its origin, the process of analyzation it entails, and its role in the psychiatric community. Through the practice of this technique psychiatrists around the world have been able to learn and study the factors that define the human psyche.
In the late 19th century psychiatry and the study of the human mind was flourishing into a new movement in the world of medicine. Sigmund Freud was the first psychoanalyst of the time and pioneered the importance of unconscious mental activity. By the turn of the century Freud created the term psychoanalysis and over his lifetime he worked to develop its main principals, techniques, objectives, and methodology. At the time the idea of the importance of the inner workings of the mind seemed revolutionary and unthought-of of. For many years Freud had been considered a radical by many in his profession, he was soon accepted and well-known worldwide as a leading expert in psychoanalysis (Gay, 1989, p. xii). After his death Freud left behind a legacy of theory that has become common practice over the last 70 years. Today Psychoanalyst and psychiatrists alike see psychoanalysis as the most effective form of gathering information from the mind.
Through his work during his lifetime Freud defined three major factors of the psychical apparatus—the id, the superego, and the ego. The id is the unconscious part of the mind, containing everything inherited such as that which is present at birth and human instincts. Second, the superego, which is managed by the id, limits satisfaction and represents cultural traditions and the influence of others. Finally, the ego is the conscious aspect of the mind serving as a link between the id and the external world. Freud states that instincts are the ultimate cause of all behavior. The instincts are made up of two key parts, the instinct to love and destruction. The purpose of the former being to unify and of the latter to undo connections. The two instincts can either operate against each other through repulsion or combine with each other through attraction (Freud, 1949, p. 19). Through these revelations Freud was able to develop a basic understanding of the conscious and unconscious mind.
Through study of psychoanalysis Freud was able to develop his own form of psychological therapy. By doing so he laid the foundation of modern psychoanalysis. In...