The psychoanalytical theory has several theories behind it but the most noted is Freud’s psychoanalytic theory. This was named after the founder Segmund Freud, who conceptualized this theory while observing and documenting adults’ recollections of memories during therapy sessions. Freud began his work in the late 1800’s, and at the turn of the century, it provided aradical new approach to the investigation and handling of “abnormal” adult behavior. Previous views ignored behavior and tended to rely on physiological reasons of abnormality. His approach was recognizing that neurotic behavior is not haphazard or pointless, but target oriented.One of the key concepts of his study was the human mind is subdivided into three distinctive categories; the conscious, pre-conscious and sub-conscious. The conscious mind is about the things we are aware of currently, the pre-conscious mind Freud argued that we could control our consciousness to an extent, and at the sub-conscious mind, the contentsare out of direct reach of the conscious mind.He finally suggested that our actions are in charge more by the sub-conscious mind (Eagleton, 1983).
Another key component of the study is on the different components of personality, the Id, the Ego and Super ego. The Id’shas primitive drives and survives on pleasurewith two targets in mind, getting pleasure and keeping away from pain. The Ego is alertto reality and knows that behaviors carry consequences, and this is memorized since childhood. The super-ego has our morals and values. The theory has five stages of human development that include, oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital stage (Eagleton, 1983).
The key theorists in psychoanalytical include Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud and Erik Erikson. The theory applies to general population and the appropriate population is the adult population because the study was mainly focused on adults. The therapist role would sit down and analyze a client’s mind while a client should just sit and open up. Some of the strengths of the theory included a new view of mental illness, the method used relied on experimental psychology rather than research, and many of the theories of personality apply even today. Some of the key terms include conscious, everything we think and talk about in a rational way such as Ego, part of personality that controls the needs of the id, the super-ego, and reality. Id, part of personality that satisfies needs and desires. Super-ego, part of personality that suppresses urges of the id (Beneckson).
Neoanalytic theory extends psychoanalytic theory but de-emphasizes sexuality, and the importance of the unconscious. It insteademphasizeson the role of the ego and some neoanalytic theorists focused on the functions of the ego. Others focused on how the ego interrelates with other individuals, culture, and societyand how it is affected by them. Many of the theorists believed that Sigmund Freud did not offer enough attention to the ego. The ego psychology is a psychodynamic framework in which ego functions are very important. The ego psychologists disagreed with Anna Freud by saying that the ego is present at birth and it is involved in adaptation (Wilderdom, 2003).
Other key theorists include Alfred Adler and Karen Horney. Adler felt that the central core of personality is motivation for superiority, and what a person can remember consciously from the early on in life had inkling about that person’s present and future identity.Karen did not agree with Freud’s explanation of neurosis and she was more focused on social impetus. She emphasized on the importance of stable family and society on a child, and that a child made its own helplessness. She also argued that the women feelings of being inferior to men came from the societiesoveremphasizes on men.
Key strengths of the theory include emphasis on coping with emotion on the inside and demands on the outside, the importance of positive goal-oriented nature of humanity, recognize the impact of society and culture on people’s personalities and assumptions that throughout life development go on. Some of the weaknesses include no concern with biology and personality structures, it is very difficult to test it and it often relies on vague concepts. Key terms include the persona, the protective social mask that assists us in coping with demands, the ego;it contains our thoughts and feelings and is at the center of one’s awareness (Wilderdom, 2003).
This theory is put forward by a Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961). He theorized that a person’s view of the world comes from certain ideas he called archetypes, that the person has inherited from experiencesand are present in the person’sconscious. He called those shared ideas the “collective unconscious.” He argued that everybody had a “personal unconscious,”that had past experiences from their life, but he pointed out that the collective unconscious was superior. He did his therapy by aiming to put people in touch with this source of ideas, especially through the interpretation of dreams. Jung’s theory was also based on his theory of personality that suggested two basic types: the extrovert and the introvert. He argued that one of these types control a person’s consciousness while the other has tocome in and reconcile with its opposite so that the person can become a whole individual (Fonda, 1996).
His dream interpretation method technique gave brought a great deal of inspiration. The compensation concept he said it applied to dreams and theprospective feature. While on interpretation he said, it was the amplification method. He stated that when people deal with some dreams, they have to collect associations from religious stories, folklore, mythology and habits, and so forth. In this way, people enlarge the genuine content of the dream with more images and symbols that help them to understand the meaning of the dream. Some of the weakness in the theory include Jung’s concept of auditory hallucinations, his literary style was confusing, he was not concerned with scientific testing, and he included religion in his theory. Key terms include: Extrovert, directed towards outward material, and introvert directed into the internal world.Sensation isa process of perceiving physical stimuli and intuition, a knowledge that senses immediate certainty (Campbell, 2011).
This theory says that the human life is attached to two basic motivations, the power to strive, and the need for human beings to belong or be accepted socially. The theory states that everybody develops this type of lifestyle, which is unique, and it then dictates how the person will feel after meeting his needs. This type of lifestyle begins at the age of six and is greatly impacted by the type of environment that the child is exposed to, also what the child has acquired from his parents form part of the equation. This theory states that people who are healthy are able to complete the basic tasks of life that include; work, love and community. These types of people are brave enough to handle responsibility in their lives. The other group of people this theory highlights is that dysfunctional people who are always discouraged and often selfish. They have timid personalities and never amount to anything and largely avoid taking on responsibility and life challenges. This theory helps a client to comprehend and recognize his faulty lifestyle so that he can improve. The therapist takes on an optimistic point of view and their relationship is unrestricted. One of the key theorists of individual psychology is Alfred Adler, and even the theory was called the Alderian theory.
Individual psychology also looks at love, faith and hopes as very important qualities and help in bonding a relationship. However, the weaknesses that are involved with this theory include that the theory is too simple, many of the assumptions in the theory cannot be proved, and the evidence of research used for the system is questionable (Manaster & Corsini).
Beneckson, R. E. (n.d.). Personality Theory. Retrieved March 21, 2012, from Fiupsychology: http://fiupsychology.com/PersonalityTheory2b.htm
Campbell, F. B. (2011). Jungian Theory of Psychological Type Augments. Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, Volume 8, Number 1, 1-9.
Eagleton, T. (1983). Literary Theory: An Introduction. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Fonda, M. (1996, December 8). Fonda’s Jung Notes:. Retrieved March 21, 2012, from Religious Worlds: http://www.religiousworlds.com/fondarosa/jung03.html
Manaster, G. J., &Corsini, R. J. (2009).Individual Psychology, theory and practice. International Association of Individual Psychology, 1-10.
Wilderdom. (2003, September 22). Major Neoanalytic Theories & Theorists. Retrieved March 21, 2012, from Wilderdom: http://www.wilderdom.com/personality/L8-10MajorNeoanalyticTheoriesTheorists.html
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