Psychology has existed since ancient times; the Greeks had developed the first scientific method to treat the mentally ill. They had developed two therapies: sleep therapy and interpretation of dream therapy. In the year six hundred the systematic approach was taken to treat mentally ill. Although, after the Greek empire had fallen they started treating mentally ill patients as abnormal. The thinking of abnormality in human, had started changing in the nineteen hundred. Since then time to time the new psychological theories had developed. Each theory of psychology has different purposes, as well as different point of view. By focusing on different research methods, techniques and goal, the psychologists had developed new theories. For example, the behaviorist focused on the environmental factors because according to them environment influences the behavior, the humanistic psychology believes in the whole person and the uniqueness of each individual, the cognitive psychology is the scientific study of the mind as an information processor and the psychoanalytic theory believe in the unconscious mind and their drives. The psychanalytic theory also known as the Freudian theory of the personality. According to Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, personality develops through a series of stages, each characterized by a certain internal psychological conflict. In this paper I will focus on the Freud’s theories of human personality and psychosexual stages of development, as well as, the common criticisms of his theories and
The Freudian theory of personality and treatment have been interrogated since it started. Critics had questioned many aspects of psychoanalytic theory: for instance, “whether or not it is a science; the method and effectiveness of psychoanalytic treatment; the theory over-emphasis on sexual drive; time-consuming and expensive therapy.” On the other hand, recent study has been admiring the psychoanalytic theory, “The unconscious part of the mind can perceive things without conscious awareness (Erdelyi, 1974) Defense mechanisms occur e.g. repression appears to occur (Weinberger & Davidson, 1994) Anal and Oral characteristics are intercorrelated (Weston, 1990) Catharsis is helpful for physical/psychological health (Erdelyi, 1994) Lab studies have demonstrated transference (Andersen & Baum, 1994).” Psychoanalysis is a great theory of personality that should not be ignored.
The psychoanalysis was founded by Sigmund Freud in Vienna during the 19th century, it was developed from social and intellectual circumstances. Freud work was impacted by various social trends, such as, the birth of German School, discrimination against Jews and the role of women in society; for instance, the German school helped him to enforce his treatment technique and discrimination against Jews policies forced him to study the medical profession and work with Jean Charcot in Europe. Freud work was influenced by Josef Breuer and Jean-Martin Charcot. Freud had learned the hypnosis techniques to treat hysteria and other abnormal conditions from the Jean Charcot. Although, soon he realized that the beneficial effects of hypnosis do not last long. Therefore, Freud adopted the techniques of talking, which was developed by the good friend Josef Breuer. After talking to patent Freud had noticed that many phobias are formulated by deeply traumatic experiences, which are happening in the patient’s past, although the traumatic experience was hidden from consciousness. Since the traumatic experience were forgotten by the patient, the talking treatment allowed the patient to recall the experience, and it helped them to confront the issue intellectually and emotionally. After their research, Freud and Breuer wrote book name “Studies in Hysteria,” in 1895. Although Breuer and Freud had a disagreement of “sexual origins and content neurosis” therefore Freud continued working alone.
During his practice, some women complained feelings of numbness in part of their body, although they did not have any physical defects that can be pinpointed to the cause. In other words, Freud found nothing wrong with any of those patients. Therefore, he form a hypothesis stating, if there is nothing wrong physically, then maybe something is wrong within the brain. There might be some mental or psychological issues with the patient’s. To conduct his investigation, he used a method call “Free Association.” In Free Association method, Freud had told the patient to come six days of the week for 50 minutes, during that time patient has to lay on the couch and they had to talk whatever came into their mind. He did not have any pictures on the walls, as well as, the wall was painted with soothing blue color and there wasn’t any movement in the room; so that the patient would not get distracted or stimulate their brain with the thought that relates to the picture or the movement. Additionally, he makes sure that there is no overhead light were patient is laying down because the brain is sensitive to light and may stimulate by light. Furthermore, he seated in the back of the patient head, so that patient has no distraction. While sitting there he didn’t speak a word, he just took notes of the patient’s thoughts. After his research, he had learned that unconscious thoughts and feelings can transfer to the conscious mind in the form of “fuzzy thought” a person says something, yet they do not mean to say that. For example, when the commentator was reading the score, she said Nancy lost by the goal, instead of saying they’d won by a goal. Freud called it a Freudian Slips; according to Freud “sips of the tongue” provides an information that is stored in persons unconscious mind; it is not an accident. Every behavior has insight into it, including slips of the tongue, has meaning to it. His findings helped him to develop the theory of Psychoanalysis. “psychoanalysis refers to (1) a theory of the personality and psychopathology, (2) a method of investigating the mind, and (3) a form of treatment for psychopathology” (McWilliams &Weinberger, 2003)
Freud compared the human brain to the iceberg; the part that shows above the surface of the water represents conscious mind and the much larger mass under the water level represents the unconscious mind. According to Freud unconscious mind is a storehouse of desires, cravings, and unreachable memories that affect our thoughts and behavior. “Freud believed that the two basic drives that motivate human behavior are sexual drive, which he referred to as libido, and aggressive drive (McWilliams &Weinberger, 2003).” The free association method helped Freud to discover the unconscious mind and allow him to formulate the theory of personality, which is made of three major systems: the id, ego and superego. The id, ego and superego help us to control the energy from drives, which constantly seeks to be free. Each system of personality has its own functions, although they all act as a one to direct our behavior. The id is made up of basic biological impulses the drives: works on principle of “I want it, and I want it now” The id seeks immediate gratification of impulses and operates on the pleasure principle; the id tries to avoid pain and obtain pleasure regardless of the external circumstances. Second comes the ego, which develops as a child learns to consider the demands of reality. It is a store house of rules and regulation. The ego creates our conscious self and follows the reality principle: the ego is essential the part of personality that decides what actions are appropriate and which are id impulses. Last but not least, the superego. The superego is constructed on the base of the values and morals of the society. Another word, the values that are taught by parents and teachers in