The Freudian Theory of Personality neurasthenia

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					The Freudian
 Theory of
The Topographic Model: Levels of
   Conscious – contains the thoughts you are
    currently aware of.
   Preconscious – large body of retrievable
   Unconscious – the material that we have
    no immediate access to.
Fundamental Assumptions of
Psychoanalytic Theory
      The Basic Instincts: Sex and Aggression

   Closely follows Darwin‟s theory
   Freud believed that everything humans do can
    be understood as manifestations of the life and
    death instincts
   Later termed libido (life) and thanatos (death)
Instincts: Libido & Thanatos
   Libido – the life or sexual instinct.
          Sexually motivated behaviors not only include
           those with blatant erotic content, but every action
           aimed at receiving pleasure.
   Thanatos – death or aggressive instinct.
          The unconscious desire we all have to die and
           return to the earth.
          Death instinct is turned outward and expressed as
           aggression toward others.
Fundamental Assumptions of
Psychoanalytic Theory
               Unconscious Motivation

   Individuals control their sexual and aggressive
    urges by placing them in the unconscious
   These take on a life of their own and become
    the motivated unconscious
The Structural Model: Id, Ego, &
   Id – present at birth; selfish part of you,
    concerned with satisfying your desires.
            Pleasure principle – only concerned with what
             brings immediate personal satisfaction regardless
             of physical or social implications. (I WANT!!!)
               Id impulses tend to be socially unacceptable.
           Completely buried in the unconscious.
       Most primitive part of the mind; what we are born
        with. The Id precedes culture and is universal.
       Source of all drives and urges
       irrational, emotional, demanding…and STRONG
The Structural Model: Id, Ego, &
   Ego – develops during the first two years of life; primary
    job is to satisfy the id impulses in an appropriate manner
    by taking consequences into consideration; mediates
    between id, superego, and environment.
   Operates according to the reality principle and
    secondary process thinking. Ego is pragmatic. “You
    can‟t always get what you want.”
          Reduces tension. Ego develops strategies to

           help the Id make it until the urge can be satisfied.
The Structural Model: Id, Ego, &
 Superego – develops by the time the child is 5 years old;
   represents society‟s and parent‟s values and standards
      - the part of the mind that internalizes the values,
                 morals, and ideals of society
 Conscience – right and wrong.
    Can be weak – little inward restraint.

    Super moral – impossible ideals of perfection.

        Moral anxiety – ever-present feeling of shame or

Id, Ego, & Superego Iceburg
The Structural Model: Id, Ego, &
   Conflict Model: The self is NOT UNIFIED; it is
    not a coherent, singular entity. Not entirely
    rational, not entirely in control of yourself.
   There are competing elements within ourselves.
   No way to resolve competing elements – only
    way to stay healthy is to not let any one of them
    “get the upper hand” or sickness (i.e. neurosis
    or psychosis) can occur.
Balance Between Parts of the
   If, as an adult, your Id is too dominant?
    (very self-absorbed, don‟t care about
    others, only out for yourself)
   If, as an adult, your Ego is too dominant?
    (distant, rational, efficient, unemotional,
   If, as an adult, your Superego is too
    dominant? (guilt-ridden or sanctimonious).
Defense Mechanisms
   The ego‟s way of dealing with unwanted thoughts
    and desires; wants to resolve tension.
          Repression – active effort of the ego to push threatening
           material out of consciousness or to keep such material from
           ever reaching consciousness. This is a constant, active
          Sublimation – the ego channels threatening unconscious
           impulses into socially acceptable actions.
              Ex: Aggressive id impulses are channeled into competitive
Defense Mechanisms Continued…
      Displacement – involves channeling our impulses to non-
       threatening objects; do not lead to social rewards.
          Ex: If someone is angry at the boss, he or she may take that
           anger out on the children at home.

      Denial – refusing to accept that certain facts exist; insisting
       that something is not true.

      Reaction Formation – hiding from a threatening
       unconscious idea or urge by acting in a manner opposite to
       our unconscious desires.
          Ex: People obsessed with religious values.
Defense Mechanisms Continued…
      Intellectualization – ego handles threatening
       material by removing the emotional content from
       the thought before allowing it into awareness; by
       considering something strictly intellectual,
       previously difficult thoughts are allowed into
       awareness without anxiety.

      Projection – attributing an unconscious impulse
       to other people instead of ourselves; we free
       ourselves from the perception that we are the only
       ones that have that thought.
   ACCORDING TO FREUD, humanity's very movement into
    civilized society (and the child's analogous introduction to that
    society) requires the repression of our primitive (but still very
    insistent) desires. Indeed, for this reason, he argues in
    Civilization and Its Discontents that all of civilized society is a
    substitute-formation, of sorts, for our atavistic instincts and
    drives. As he puts it in Introductory Lectures on Psycho-
    Analysis (First Lecture), "we believe that civilization is to a
    large extent being constantly created anew, since each
    individual who makes a fresh entry into human society repeats
    this sacrifice of instinctual satisfaction for the benefit of the
    whole community" (15.23).
   What happens instead, as he goes on to explain, is
    that those "primitive impulses," of which the sexual
    impulse is the strongest, are sublimated or
    "diverted" towards other goals that are "socially
    higher and no longer sexual" (15.23). Our instincts
    and primitive impulses are thus repressed; however,
    Freud believed that the sexual impulse was so
    powerful that it continually threatened to "return"
    and thus disrupt our conscious functioning (hence
    the now-famous term, "the return of the repressed").
   consciousness - The upper level of mental life of which the person is
    aware, as contrasted with unconscious processes. Context: By the
    end of the 19th century, consciousness began to be seen as a
    rational process.
   displacement - A psychoanalytic defense mechanism in which one's
    desire for something inappropriate, such as one's mother, is
    displaced onto something acceptable, such as one's wife. The
    acceptable person shares characteristics with, and takes the place of,
    the unacceptable person.
   ego - One of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic
    theory; it serves as the organized, conscious mediator between the
    person and reality, especially by functioning in both the perception of
    and adaptation to reality. Context: The ego is the rational self.
   id - One of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory;
    it is completely unconscious and is the source of psychic energy
    derived from instinctual needs and drives. Context: The id is the
    emotional part of the mind.
   latent - Present and capable of becoming visible, obvious, or active.
    Context: The real, hidden meaning of the dream is called the latent
   neurosis - A mental disorder that involves distortion, but not outright
    rejection, of reality. Neuroses include anxiety disorders, "hysteria,"
    "neurasthenia," and obsessive-compulsive disorders. See Repression.
   Oedipus complex - A persistent set of unconscious beliefs and
    desires that results, according to Freud, from the childhood repression
    of the desire to sleep with one's mother and kill one's father.
   pleasure principle - The principle obeyed by the id, which attempts to
    accomplish infantile wishes (e.g. see Oedipus Complex).
   projection - A psychoanalytic defense mechanism by which an
    unwanted desire is attributed to others instead of the self. If you hate
    your father, for example, you might project your own feelings onto him
    and become convinced that your father hates you.
   psychoanalysis - A method of analyzing psychic phenomena and
    treating emotional disorders that involves treatment sessions during
    which the patient is encouraged to talk freely about personal
    experiences and especially about early childhood and dreams. Context:
    In Freud‟s hands, psychoanalysis allowed his patients to attempt to
    make sense of their pasts.
   reaction formation - A psychoanalytic defense mechanism by which an
    unwanted desire is converted into its opposite; e.g. a hatred of one's
    father is converted into a powerful (neurotic) love for him.

   reality principle - The principle obeyed by the ego, which attempts to
    reconcile the id's desires with reality.
   repression - The process by which the ego prevents unwanted desires
    from emerging into consciousness; a mechanism of psychological defense,
    which conceals certain drives deep within the unconscious mind. "The
    unconscious exclusion of painful impulses, desires, or fears from the
    conscious mind" (American Heritage Dictionary). According to
    psychoanalysis, partially-successful repression is the cause of neuroticism.
   Sublimation - Channels the energy of unconscious and
    unwanted/inappropriate desire (sexual) drives into useful, socially
    acceptable activities, such as science, art, good works. Civilization, Freud
    argues, is premised on this process. His favorite examples of sublimation
    are art & religion. Helps channel repressed desires into socially appropriate
   superego - One of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic
    theory; it is only partly conscious, represents internalization of parental
    conscience and the rules of society, and functions to reward and punish
    through a system of moral attitudes, conscience, and a sense of guilt .
    Context: The superego represents societal pressures and tells us what
    is right and wrong.
   Unconscious - It "is rooted in unavowable and unavowed wishes or
    desires which have undergone repression such that their content
    remains foreign to, forbidden by the consciousness, which spends
    considerable energy in barring knowledge of and/or memory of such
    desire from itself. The unconscious does, however, find indirect
    expression through nuances, gestures, mistakes, dreams, where these
    forms take places as lapses, faults or mistakes… [T]he conscious mind
    is primarily and originally constituted around the root form of negation,
    variously figured as prohibition, taboo, [and] denial… [In contrast,] the
    unconscious „knows no negation‟" (Wright 441-2).
Burger, J.M. (2004). Personality: Sixth
 edition. Thomson & Wadsworth.