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Psychoanalysis - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Psychoanalysis. The first theory to gain public recognition and acceptance, especially in Europe and the Americas. Sigmund Freud. The person whose genius created psychoanalysis. Born in Freiburg, Austria, in 1856.

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Psychoanalysis l.jpg

  • The first theory to gain public recognition and acceptance, especially in Europe and the Americas.

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Sigmund Freud

  • The person whose genius created psychoanalysis.

  • Born in Freiburg, Austria, in 1856.

  • As a psychiatrist, he initially used hypnosis as his primary form of treatment.

  • Was impressed during medical school by how patients who relive painful experiences can work through emotional events suppressed for years.

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Sigmund Freud

  • Began using a process called free association to help his patients remember long-forgotten important events and thoughts.

  • Utilized free association to explore the unconscious minds of his patients.

  • Began to stress the importance of the unconscious in understanding personality.

  • Thus was born psychoanalysis.

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View of Human Nature/Personality

  • The Freudian view of human nature is dynamic.

    • The transformation and exchange of energy within the personality drives behavior.

  • Freud focused his techniques on:

    • Levels of Consciousness (topographic)

    • The formation of personality (structural)

      • Id, Ego, Superego

    • Psychosexual Development (genetic)

      • Defense Mechanisms

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Levels of Consciousness

  • For Freud, human nature can be explained in terms of:

    • A Conscious Mind

    • A Preconscious Mind

    • An Unconscious Mind

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Conscious Mind

  • Attuned to events in the present and an awareness of the outside world.

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Preconscious Mind

  • An area between the conscious mind and unconscious minds; it contains aspects of both.

  • Hidden memories or forgotten experiences can be remembered in this area if given the proper cues.

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Unconscious Mind

  • Beneath the preconscious mind.

  • The most powerful and least understood part of the personality.

  • The instinctual, repressed, and powerful forces of the personality exist here.

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Formation of Personality

  • Freud hypothesized that the personality is formed from the interaction of three developing strucutres.

    • The Id – confined to the unconscious

    • The Ego – operates primarily in the conscious but also in the preconscious and the unconscious.

    • The Superego – confined to the unconscious.

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The Id

  • The id is the source of all energy.

  • Comprises the basic inherited givens of the personality and is present from birth.

  • It is amoral, impulsive, and irrational.

  • Pleasure principle – it pursues what it wants because it cannot tolerate tension.

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The Id

  • The id contains:

    • Basic life energy and life-preserving instincts collectively known as eros.

    • The psychic energy that accompanies them known as libido.

    • Basic death instincts known as thanatos.

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Primary Process

  • Operates through drives, instincts, and images (e.g. dreaming, hallucinating, and fantasizing) – a process known as primary process.

  • May bring temporary relief but ultimately unsatisfying.

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The Ego

  • The second system to develop after the id and before the superego.

  • A strong ego is essential to healthy functioning.

  • Moderates the wishes and desires of the id and superego to keep the person from being too self-indulgent or too morally restrained.

  • Reality principle – it devises ways to achieve appropriate goals, obtain energy for activities from the id, and keep the person in harmony with the environment.

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Secondary Process

  • The ego’s way of thinking is known as the secondary process.

  • Rationally thinking through situations.

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The Superego

  • It is the moral branch of the mind and operates according to what is ideal.

  • Contrasts with the id.

  • Functions according to the moral principle – strives for perfection and arises from parental & societal moral teachings.

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The Superego

  • Ego Ideal – rewards those who follow parental and societal dictates.

  • Conscience – part of the superego that punishes by inducing guilt when you act against what you have been taught.

  • By striving for perfection, the superego sometimes forces a person into restrained or no action when facing a dilemma.

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Psychosexual Stages of Development

  • Freud hypothesized that personality developed through a sequence or invariant stages. Most development occurs prior to age 6.

    • Oral stage

    • Anal stage

    • Phallic stage

    • Latency stage

    • Genital stage

  • Stages based on the location of id energy

    • Appropriate gratification is key to healthy development

    • Overindulgence or deprivation leads to fixation (id energy gets stuck)

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Oral Stage

  • The first stage.

    • Oral incorporative

    • Oral aggressive

  • Children up to 18 months.

  • Obtain basic gratification from sucking and biting.

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Anal Stage

  • The second stage.

  • Children between the ages of 18 months ang 3

  • Delight in either withholding or eliminating feces.

  • First really significant conflict between the child’s internal instincts and external demands.

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Phallic Stage

  • The third stage.

  • Children between the ages of 3 and 5 attempt to resolve their sexual identities.

  • Members of both sexes must work through their sexual desires.

  • Oedipus Complex / Electra Complex

  • Freud thought that the basic ingredients of the adult personality had formed by the end of this stage.

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Oedipus Complex / Electra Complex

  • Oedipus Complex – a boy must work through a desire to possess his mother sexually.

    • Castration anxiety

  • Electra Complex – a girl blames her mother for the fact that she has no penis.

    • Penis envy

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  • Children between the ages of 6 and 12.

  • Energy is focused on peer activities and personal mastery of cognitive and learning and physical skills.

  • Little manifest interest in sexuality.

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Genital Stage

  • The fourth and final stage.

  • If all has gone well, around puberty each gender takes more of an interest in the other and normal patterns of interaction appear.

  • If there were unresolved difficulties in the first three stages (pregenital stages), Freud believed two difficulties could arise:

    • Excessive frustration

    • Overindulgence

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Defense Mechanisms

  • Protect a person from being overwhelmed by anxiety through adaptation to situations or through distortion or denial of events.

  • Are normal and operate on an unconscious level.

  • Fixation at different stages can result in different patterns of usage and emphasis

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Common Defense Mechanisms

  • Repression

  • Projection

  • Reaction Formation

  • Displacement

  • Regression

  • Rationalization

  • Denial

  • Identification

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Therapeutic Relationship

  • Working alliance

    • Rational non-neurotic part

      • Neutrality is key

    • Therapist is the expert

    • Nonjudgmental stance

    • Little self-disclosure

  • Transference

    • Most important aspect

  • Countertransference

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Psychoanalytic Therapy


  • Meet several times a week for years

  • Agree to be active, talk

  • Commit to interventions

  • Terminate when problem is resolved

  • Gain insight into self and environment

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Process and Techniques

  • Change Processes

    • Consciousness raising

      • Insight

    • Catharsis – corrective emotional experience

  • Techniques

    • Free association

    • Dream Analysis

    • Analysis of Transference

    • Analysis of Resistance

    • Interpretation

    • Working through

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  • Help clients become more aware of the unconscious aspects of their personalities.

    • Make the unconscious conscious

  • Work through unresolved developmental stages.

  • Cope with the demands of society.

  • Engage more maturely in love and work

    • Increase expression of genital personality

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Strengths and Contributions

  • Emphasizes importance of sexuality and unconscious.

  • Reflects complexity of human nature.

  • Has developed over years, not stagnated.

  • Stresses importance of developmental growth stages. Comprehensive personality theory.

  • Transference/Counter transference

  • Defense mechanisms

  • Learning from personal past

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Limitations and Criticisms

  • Time consuming and expensive.

  • Difficulty with older clients.

  • Claimed almost exclusively by psychiatry.

  • Overly complicated terminology.

  • Deterministic.

  • Requires much therapist training

  • Therapist in control/charge of session

  • Not much focus on behavior/cognition

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Psychoanalytic Therapy


  • No couch

  • Fewer sessions

  • More self-disclosure by therapist

  • More work with ‘real’ issues than projected material and dreams