Psychoanalysis And Freud

2420 words - 10 pages

Psychoanalysis is a system of psychology originated by the Viennese physician Sigmund FREUD in the 1890's and then further developed by himself, his students, and other followers. It consists of three kinds of related activities: (1) a method for research into the human mind, especially inner experiences such as thoughts, feelings, emotions, fantasies, and dreams; (2) a systematic accumulation of a body of knowledge about the mind; and (3) a method for the treatment of psychological or emotional disorders.Psychoanalysis began with the discovery that HYSTERIA, an illness with physical symptoms that occurred in a completely healthy physical body--such as a numbness or paralysis of a limb o ...view middle of the document...

Later similar pleasures are experienced in the anus during bowel movements, and finally these erotically tinged pleasures are experienced when the sexual organ is manipulated. Thus psychosexual development progressesfrom the oral through the anal to the phallic stage. (Phallic, in psychoanalytic theory, refers to both male and female sexual organs.)During the height of the phallic phase, about ages three to six, these libidinous drives focus on the parent of the opposite sex and lend an erotic cast to the relation between mother and son or between father and daughter, the so-called Oedipus COMPLEX. However, most societies strongly disapprove of these sexual interests of children. A TABOO on incest rules universally. Parents, therefore, influence children to push such pleasurable sensations and thoughts out of their conscious minds into the unconscious by a process called repression. In this way the mind comes to consist of three parts: (1) an executive part, the EGO, mostly conscious and comprising all the ordinary thoughts and functions needed to direct a person in his or her daily behavior; (2) the id, mostly unconscious and containing all the instincts and everything that was repressed into it; and (3) the superego, the conscious that harbors the values, ideals, and prohibitions that set the guidelines for the ego and that punishes through the imposition of guilt feelings.Strong boundaries between the three parts keep the ego fairly free from disturbing thoughts and wishes in the id, thereby guaranteeing efficient functioning and socially acceptable behavior. During sleep the boundaries weaken; disturbing wishes may slip into the ego from the id, and warnings may come over from the superego. The results are intrapsychic conflicts, often manifested in dreams (see DREAMS AND DREAMING), sometimes even in frightening NIGHTMARES. Freud elucidated this concept in his first major work, The Interpretation of Dreams (1900; Eng. trans., 1913). Something very similar to the weakening of boundaries during sleep sometimes happens during ordinary daytime activities when some impulses from the id manages to cross the repression barrier to invade the ego and cause faulty actions such as slips of the tongue. Psychoneurotic symptoms occur if psychologically hurtful experiences during childhood have left the repression too weak or have distorted the ego, or if overstimulation has left the id wishes too strong, or if the delicate balance between ego, id, and superego has been upset by injury or other events. Any kind of psychic trauma may lead to the ego becoming an area of intrapsychic conflict between the intruding id, the threatening superego, and the powerful influences emanating from the surrounding environment. Furthermore, the damage done to the basic psychological structures by traumatic experiences leaves those structures weakened and with defective functioning.Such conflicts and defects can cause intense ANXIETY and severe DEPRESSION. In order to k...


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