During this essay the writer will evaluate the extent to which Fraud’s theory of psychosocial development can help to understand a client’s presenting issue. Further on, the writer will describe Fraud’s psychosocial theory and relationship with connection to adult neurotic behavior. Lastly, the writer of this essay will look at the criticism around Fraud’s theory. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) who was brought up in a Jewish family had lived in Austria and was notably known as the founding father of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic theories.
The thesis behind the two theories mentioned revisions, were based upon the belief of the influence experienced by a person’s internal drives of an individual’s emotions towards their behavior. This would then be where Fraud’s focus and contribution of his study of the psychology of human behavior developed from his concept of the ‘dynamic unconscious’. Freud felt that within a person’s unconscious mind there was a great drive for a person to seek pleasure, he referred this as the ‘libido'(Module 2 ; Roth, 2001). In Fraud’s theory he divided the mind, known as the PSYCHE, F-reed divided this in to three parts.
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The first part would be offered as the unconscious; second part known as the preconscious and lastly the conscious. However these can be referred by another terminology which is; the ID, EGO and the SUPEREGO (Module, 2). The ID can be characterized as the part where the mental processing strives the initiation of a person’s behavior, the end result would be the satisfaction of the human beings needs met. These needs would be to somewhat as similar as to the Moscow Hierarchy – physiological needs, which includes; air, water, food, warmth, shelter, sex etc (Whap and Bridgeable, 1976).
The EGO can be seen hereby it seeks to hold an individual together as a whole, for example the EGO works with the ID. The EGO utilizes many different areas of a person’s psychological functions that includes; the memory, the thoughts of an individual and their speaking. Fraud’s belief on this was that the EGO was obeying the ‘Reality Principle’ (Roth, 2001 ) in which Freud meant that the EGO behaves in such a way that is normal to the external world and not violates the SUPEREGO (Module, 2).
The SUPEREGO works with corresponding to the demands externally of a person, from society surrounding them. For example, this would be the individual’s fulfillment of their self-actualization. This can be a result of the idea of their conscience, such as the influential guidance through early exposure in to the world. For example, the parental supervision as the person grows from a child in to an adult (Roth, 2001). The individual is able to know through this guidance right from wrong, what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.
A child may incur punishment or rewards as means of recognizing what is deemed to be acceptable and unacceptable. Freud recognized the unconscious mind to be the root source Of mental energy that persisted in to human behavior (McLeod, 2008). Fraud’s opinion deprived from his personal results from patients participating in hypnosis, when working on the removal of symptoms of hysteria, whilst the patient was in a trance state of mind (Module 2). Where conflict is produced amongst these three components, a form of tension and emotional problems occur for the individual.
For a person’s tension to be relieved, the individual may utilities their defense mechanisms to reduce their anxiety on the situation they are in. Freud felt that for a person not to have a defense mechanism they would develop either a mental illness or commit suicide (Roth, 2001). The defense mechanism can be categorized by the following displacement, rationalization, reaction development, regression, repression, denial, fixation, idealization, identification, identification with the aggressor, intolerance of ambiguity, isolation, phobic avoidance and sublimation (Roth, 2001 ; Module, 2).
The displacement side of the defense mechanism is whereby an individual experiences repressed feelings on things that are less dangerous than the initial threatening things that arouse their emotions. For example; an adolescent slams the door after they leave the dining room to be told by their mother that they cannot go out because their homework is not done. The rationalization part of the defense mechanism can be where a person feels convinced that they are an innocent person in a situation and see no Wrong from their view of things.
For example; a man goes for dinner with a lady, the lady declines any further contact. The man informs his friends that he did not feel she was attractive and was not that in to her. The reaction formation form of the defense mechanism is whereby a person converts anxiety processed thoughts in to their opposites via their consciousness. For example, an adolescent dressing in a provocative manner for college although worries she is not attractive. The regression part of the defense mechanism can be when a person experiences a step back in psychological time where they cannot handle the impulse in a mature adult way.
For example, a student becomes anxious when they start attending college and retires back to bed with their favorite childhood teddy bear. The repression side of the defense mechanism is the first defense mechanism Freud acknowledged; this is whereby a person has disturbed or threatening thoughts and represses them from being conscious (Roth, 2001 ; Sanders et al, 2009). For example, a man that was abused as a child was asked how his childhood was he simply responded by he does not remember his childhood.
The denial part of the defense mechanism is when a person refuses to acknowledge the risk or unpleasant experience of something. For example; a person that smokes may refuse to recognize the dangerous of smoking awards their health. The fixation part of the defense mechanism is when a person refuses to advance themselves in normal development, the influential factors could stem from their surrounding fears of the anxiety produced by unknown expectation of the unknown advanced level. This could be due to the individual not feeling that they have reached satisfactory finishes (Roth, 2001).
The idealization form is where the defense mechanism handles possible anxiety triggers forming from conflicting emotions (Wilson, 2012). The identification part of the defense mechanism is where an individual identifies with a person whereby they can look up to them for instance they see them as admirable, having good character and appearing as a strong person. From this view the person will develop great comfort towards the individual whilst not transferring any anxiety presently within the person. For example a personal role model (Module 2 ; Wilson 2012).
The identification with the aggressor form of the defense mechanism is whereby a person recognizes the character of a person and imitates it. In this instance it would be somewhat a negative imitation hence the word ‘aggressor’. For example rime victims become the criminals I. E. A child that was molested or abused becomes the abuser. The originator behind the ‘identification with the aggressor’ from the defense mechanism was by Anna Freud (Freud, 1936). She believed that this form within the defense mechanism was to SSH lied a person from hurt and disorientation (Freud, 1936).
The intolerance of ambiguity form within the defense mechanism is when the uncertainty of a person needs the ego to engage with reality with all their difficulties present (Module 2, ; Roth, 2001). The isolation part of the defense mechanism is here by a person will experience a defense towards their emotions. For example a person would not show feelings or respond emotionally, particularly when feelings would be anticipated. The phobic avoidance form within the defense mechanism is where a person develops phobia and continually avoids the embedded feared stimulus.
For example, a person scared of lifts would avoid using lifts. The sublimation part of the defense mechanism occurs where an individual seeks out a replacement of an acceptable goal which their libido could not resolve. For example, libido that s released through sexual intimacy is satisfied through an aggressive sport; boxing, football or rugby (Wilson, 2012). The use of the defense mechanism is in place for protection where one experiences guilt or even worry that occurs where an individual feels threatened; it can also be when the ID or SUPEREGO becomes too challenging for a person.
With regards to the EGO, a person’s unconscious will utilities one or more than one defense mechanism when up against a demanding situation (Wilson, 201 2 ). The defense mechanism is a natural part of a human beings life; when it becomes out of control a placement of neuroses is displayed, for example phobias or obsessions (Module, 2). Freud believed that psychological development for a person occurs in childhood through series of changes. These stages were referred by as the psychosocial stages, which Freud related as the libido (Wilson, 2012).
Freud described this as the sexual drives or the instincts of a human being, Freud thought that when a person experienced tension this was due to build- up of libido, he felt that all pleasures whether actions or thoughts experienced from a person came from the libido release (Module 2 ; McLeod, 2008). Freud stressed that the first five years of a person is vital of the formation of the development of personality (Roth, 2001 ; Module, 2).
Fraud’s psychosocial stages consist of; oral stage that begins from birth up to 1 8 months, then anal stage occurring from 18 months up to 3 years of age, the phallic stage from 3 years up to 5 years of age. The latency stage, that starts from 5 years up to adolescence years and lastly the genital stage stemming from adolescence in to adulthood. Within the first stages of Fraud’s psychosocial stages, Freud believed that during this stage all responsiveness s engaged towards the mouth by satisfaction through oral actions for example feeding, babbling and sucking of the thumb.
The functioning of this action is from the physiological needs that are driven by the instincts of survival. The main development within this period which Freud identified is the baby weaning off of the breast of the mother. The anal stage is the second phase of the psychosocial stages of development. Freud insists that during this stage the infant experiences some features of control. Freud particularly focused on the releasing of the infants faces as the means first elements of control. Freud believed that the Infant new how to gain attention through doing this act.
A fine example can be a toddler with a foul smell coming from their nappy or emptying themselves in or On open areas such as carpets or beds. The phallic stage is referred when the child recognizes their genital and when used and touched can result in sensations. Freud felt that this stage is when girls were more able to recognize that their genitals were different to boys. The Oedipus and Elektra complex are both feelings expressed by young girls and young boys (Module, 2 ; Wilson, 2012). Freud referred the Oedipus complex as what a boy child would feel during the phallic phase.
Freud believed that the boy child during the phallic stage were to have strong emotions towards their mother and due to their feelings they would develop envy towards their fathers and was thought to compete for the attention from his mother(Module, 2). With regards to the Elektra complex, Freud believed that also during the stages of phallic for a girl that they would also have related emotions but towards their father. Freud believed through time change would occur for both boy and girl where they solve the issue towards the same sex I. E. Or the girl towards her mother and for the boy towards his father. Fraud’s beliefs on this was that for the girl child she would relate herself more so to her mother and that boy would be embracing the character of his father (Sanders et alarm 2009). Fraud’s psychosocial stages may appear structured to what he believed that made up to the development of the individual’s personality. However, it can be said that through each phase of development during childhood, every child will have a unique experience whether a positive or negative impact.
For example a person may have a childhood of love and care surrounded by them and not experience rejection and could have a positive view on things and people around them. Whereas a person that experiences abuse and rejection would not have a positive outlook but perhaps a negative outlook compared to some one that is not grown around rejection. Freud felt that for a person to have disturbance during oral phase in later life an individual would find use with their mouth through either of the following; eating, smoking or drinking (Roth, 2001).
Freud also believed that where there was an anal disturbance for the individual that they would later in life either be ‘anally retentive’ or have an ‘anally expensive personality (Module, 2). Freud referred the ‘anal retentive’ person as being governing towards people and are very structured (Wilson, 2012 ; Module, 2). Freud describe the ‘anally expensive personality to be very disorganized and cluttered with mess (Module, 2). The next would soon occur for the child at the age of five years, this phase would be the latency stage.
Freud believed that the continual growth of a child remains whilst sexual urges are present but somewhat to a degree quiet. The last stage of the psychosocial stages is the genital stage. Freud described this as the phase whereby the adolescent learns to deal with the opposite sex, their egotistic-self shifts to the attention of the other gender. Freud believed that during this phase the physiological needs centered towards their feelings and of other peoples values. Many Psychologists of today still recognize Fraud’s work and follow his principles and they see themselves as Neo-Freudians (Module 2, Wilson, 2012).