Psychoanalytical Theory

Jacques Jansen van Vuuren
Mind Map by Jacques Jansen van Vuuren, updated more than 1 year ago
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The psychoanalytical theory of Sigmund Freud

Resource summary

Psychoanalytical Theory
1 The view of the Person
1.1 Psychosocial conflict

Annotations:

  • Conflict between drives within psyche and demands and norms of society
1.2 Biological and psychic determinism

Annotations:

  • Human drives are based within the body. The drives are localized within the body in the Id part of the psyche. Societal rules are gradually absorbed into the superego part of the psyche. Therefore, the conflict that determines all behaviour takes place within the psyche.
1.3 Mechanistic assumption

Annotations:

  • Human beings function in a mechanistic way.  The physical principles of energy consumption, conservation and transformation are applicable. The steam engine used as suitable analogy for psychic functioning
2 Personality Structure and Functioning

Annotations:

  • The Id is the innate primitive component of the psyche. The Ego develops from the Id through contact with external world to ensure the survival of the individual. The Superego develops from the Ego as an intra-psychically representative of society's moral codes.
  • The Id, Ego and Superego function together to attain three primary goals: Ensure survival of individual Allow experience of as much pleasure as possible Minimize experience of guilt
2.1 Levels of consciousness

Annotations:

  • Conscious - currently aware thoughts/feelings Preconscious - information recalled without much effort Unconscious - forbidden drives and memories causing pain or guilt or anxiety
2.2 Id

Annotations:

  • Primary process - Not capable of thought or rationality. No contact with external reality. Only form of drive satisfaction through wish fulfillment. Pleasure principle - Seeks immediate and complete satisfaction without regard for anything else
2.3 Ego

Annotations:

  • Secondary process - Evaluates context before action is taken. Can weigh up if and when action is taken. Reality principle - Ego takes physical and social reality into account by using perception, rationality, memory and learning.
  • The Ego adapts through life. The Id threatens the Ego with tension if drives are not satisfied  The Superego threatens with guilt and punishment to follow moral rules. The physical environment does not always provide satisfactory objects for drive satisfaction.
2.4 Superego

Annotations:

  • Moral principle - punishes the individual by feelings of guilt for immoral wishes and behaviour and holds relentless, perfectionistic ideal of moral behaviour. The punishing element is the conscience. The positive element the ego-ideal. All mental disorders stem from superego.
3 Personality Dynamics
3.1 Motivation

Annotations:

  • Energy transformation - Energy is converted from physical-biological to psychic drive energy.
  • Internalization - process of making attitudes, beliefs and values of others and society as part of personality to adapt and cope.
  • Individual has to cope with conflict between two forms of energy: Drive energy (forbidden wishes) VS Moral energy (guilt feelings)
3.1.1 Drives

Annotations:

  • Energy conservation - The energy does not dissipate of own accord. Drives, as representation of energy derived from the body, are main driving forces in human functioning and motivate and and directs behaviour.
3.1.1.1 Types

Annotations:

  • Eros - develop constructively Thanatos - disintegrate and die
3.1.1.1.1 Life Drives

Annotations:

  • Preserve life and function in a constructive manner. Combine smaller units in the process of building larger more complex units (biological tendency of cell formation and development)
3.1.1.1.1.1 Ego Drives

Annotations:

  • Individual survival and includes all drives for basic life needs. Primary needs as referred to in psychology with the exception of sexual needs.
  • Ego drives are not associated with moral prescriptions and guilt feelings.
  • Provide the energy required for the functioning of the Ego.
3.1.1.1.1.2 Sexual Drives

Annotations:

  • Primary function is erotic - satisfaction of the sexual drives provide erotic pleasure.
  • Sexual drives are present at birth, but function in service of reproduction and survival of species from puberty.
3.1.1.1.2 Death Drive

Annotations:

  • The original object of the death drive is the individual's body. 
  • The death drive is in conflict with the life drives and this is projected outward in the form of aggression and destructive behaviour.
  • Conflict also manifests between the aggressive drives and the moral codes of the Superego.
  • The unconscious ideal of all life is is death where the individual achieves a totally tensionless state of nirvana.  "The goal of all life is death" (Freud; 1955)
3.1.1.2 Characteristics

Annotations:

  • All drives have four characteristics in common
3.1.1.2.1 Source

Annotations:

  • Every drive has own source in body. Example: source of energy for hunger drive is organs involved in eating and digestion.
3.1.1.2.2 Impetus

Annotations:

  • Every drive has a certain quantity of energy or intensity of energy dependent on condition of energy source and lapse of time since last satisfaction.
3.1.1.2.3 Goal

Annotations:

  • Every drive has goal of satisfaction. Goals are experienced subjectively as desire to accomplish something specific. Pressure of goal remains operative until satisfaction is reached.
3.1.1.2.4 Object

Annotations:

  • Every drive requires object suitable for satisfaction. Satisfaction is achieved by using the energy of the drive with the use of an appropriate object to carry out a suitable action.
  • The process of object choice (cathexis) enables individual to expend or reduce drive energy.
  • Displacement occurs with the substitution of an object with another, less suitable object. The effect is that the newly formed cathexis (transport channel of energy from drive to object) is not as effective and drive energy starts building up, causing problems.
3.2 Anxiety

Annotations:

  • Ego's reaction to danger, and it stems from the conflict between the id's forbidden drives and the superego's moral codes.
3.2.1 Reality Anxiety

Annotations:

  • Actual danger in the environment I.e. Fear
3.2.2 Neurotic and Moral Anxiety

Annotations:

  • Internal origin and partly or wholly unconscious. Difficult to deal with and play an important role in all psychological disturbances.
  • Ego is not aware what is causing the anxiety therefore not easy to differentiate between Neurotic and Moral anxiety
3.3 Defence Mechanisms

Annotations:

  • Strategies which the ego uses to defend itself against the conflict between forbidden drives and moral codes, which causes neurotic and moral anxiety. Since the mechanisms are attempts to cope with unconscious psychic contents, individuals are not conscious of the fact that they are using defence mechanisms and not aware of the deep-seated reasons for defensive behaviour.
3.3.1 Repression

Annotations:

  • Basic defence mechanism which transfers (represses) drives, wishes or memories that are unacceptable to the superego, to the unconscious.
3.3.2 Projection

Annotations:

  • An attempt to keep unconscious psychic material unconscious by subjectively 'changing' the focus to the drives or wishes of other people.
3.3.3 Reaction formation

Annotations:

  • Individual tries to keep to keep a forbidden desire unconscious by adopting a fanatical stance that gives the impression that he or she experiences exactly the opposite desire.
3.3.4 Rationalisation

Annotations:

  • Attempt to explain his or her behaviour, towards himself or herself or others, by providing reasons which sound rational, but are not the real reasons for the behaviour. It is usually less threatening to blame someone or something else for our behaviour than take the blame.
3.3.5 Fixation

Annotations:

  • Occurs when an individual's psychological development becomes partly stuck at a particular stage. More specifically, this means that the child behaves in a manner more appropriate to an earlier stage and avoids facing the challenges of the next developmental stage.
3.3.6 Regression

Annotations:

  • Partial or total return to the behaviour of an earlier stage of development.
3.3.7 Identfication

Annotations:

  • Consists of the desire to be like someone else and is of special significance during the phallic stage, especially for boys.
3.3.8 Displacement

Annotations:

  • Individual finds a substitute for the object that society's moral code forbids and using the substitute object for drive satisfaction. The psychic energy that was invested in the forbidden object is this displaced in the substitute object.
3.3.9 Sublimation

Annotations:

  • Finding displacement objects and actions which are regarded by society as culturally valuable. Person expresses unacceptable 'base' drives in a acceptable or even valuable way, thereby raising these lower drives to something sublime.
3.4 Dreams

Annotations:

  • Dreams represent, in disguised or symbolic form, repressed desires, fears and conflicts.
3.5 Parapraxes

Annotations:

  • Accidents are usually the outcome of guilt feelings about repressed desires which try to reach consciousness and are therefore regarded as a kind of self-punishment.
4 Personality Development
4.1 Optimal Development

Annotations:

  • The genital character is the personality type that comes closest to representing the ideal of balanced conflict management.
4.1.1 Developmental viewpoint

Annotations:

  • Genital stage of development is attained without any fixations on pregenital stages and thus no regression.
4.1.2 Structural viewpoint

Annotations:

  • Strong ego  Superego that is not overly strict
4.1.3 Dynamic viewpoint

Annotations:

  • Same as with all other individuals yet the Ego of genital personality is capable of effective reality testing. Sublimation defence mechanism is used. Ability to love and to work as described by Freud.
4.2 Psychopathology
4.2.1 Historical causes

Annotations:

  • Traced back to psychosexual development. *Fixation in a stage *Development of weak Ego *Development of strict Superego
4.2.2 Contemporary contributory causes

Annotations:

  • Stems from any changes or crises that upset the person's balance between drive satisfaction and guilt feelings.
4.2.3 Neuroses

Annotations:

  • DSM refers to anxiety states Neuroses develop because of the ego's inability to cope with conflict between Id and Superego. Subsequently the Ego produces a symptom in desperate effort t save the situation. Neuroses is an attempt to deceive the ego and similar to manifest dream content and parapraxes.
4.2.4 Personality Disorders

Annotations:

  • Result of fixation and consequent regression to pregenital developmental stage.
4.2.5 Psychoses

Annotations:

  • Complete inability to deal with anxiety on the part of the ego resulting in total withdrawal and distortion of reality. Ego can not function according to the reality principle anymore.
4.3 Stages of Development
4.3.1 Oral Stage

Annotations:

  • Birth - 1 year Lips and mouth are main erogenous zone or source of sexual drive energy. Death drive develops by biting of breast. Defence mechanism is displacement, substituting breast with thumb.
4.3.2 Anal Stage

Annotations:

  • 1 year - 2 year Anus and excretory canal erogenous zone. Fixation as defence mechanism produces sadism and masochism or obsessive compulsive neurosis with an anal personality. Death drive when excreting wrong times or refusing to excrete.
4.3.3 Phallic Stage

Annotations:

  • 3 years - 5/6 years Sexual wishes related to parents, the penis and, in case of girls, absence of penis. Castration anxiety when boy receives punishment from father. Oedipus complex - boy tries to cope with forbidden wishes for mother and fear of father by repression of desires and identification with father. Electra complex in girls - observes she does not have a penis and holds mother responsible for this defect. Penis envy with father for possessing a penis. Repression of sexual and aggressive energy and identification with mother. Fixation causes homosexuality. Superego develops in this stage and important to genesis of mental disorders.
4.3.4 Latent Stage

Annotations:

  • 5/6 years - start of puberty. Concerned mainly with learning gender role and show little interest in opposite sex. Homosexual stage - plays mainly with friends of own gender.
4.3.5 Genital Stage

Annotations:

  • Puberty - Death Reawakening of the sexual wishes of pregenital stages, particularly phallic stage. Repression not sufficient as with phallic stage and new ways of coping must be found. Displacement and sublimation successful defence mechanisms.
5 Implications and Applications
5.1 Education and Developmental Psychology

Annotations:

  • Freud's theory contributed to the education of children and the rise of inquiry of development of children.
5.2 Psychotherapy

Annotations:

  • The purpose of psychoanalytic therapy is to discover the cause of patient's problems and enable the patient to overcome the problems through more constructive ways of dealing with underlying conflicts which cause these problems.
  • The patients' search for the causes of their problems in their own psyche
  • The therapist's interpretations and explanations to facilitate the search
  • The cognitive insight of patients into the causes of their problems
  • The emotional working-through of the causes
  • Replacement of ineffective behaviour and habits with more effective ones
  • Resistance can occur when patient does not want to become aware of unconscious elements
  • Transference occurs as a form of displacement when the patient displays attraction or aggression towards the therapist.
5.3 Measurement and Research
5.3.1 Catharsis Hypothesis

Annotations:

  • Large number of projects undertaken with the purpose of testing the catharsis hypothesis 
5.3.2 Case study method

Annotations:

  • Freud's theory contributed to the development of the case study method - which is useful in clinical psychology
5.3.3 Projective techniques

Annotations:

  • For measurement, the theory gave some impetus for projective techniques such as the Rorschach test.
5.4 Interpretation and handling of aggression

Annotations:

  • "There is no use trying to get rid of man's aggressive inclination" Freud
  • Aggression is the result of the death drive which diverts to the outside in the form of aggression and violence.
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