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Discuss Freud's key concepts in his Psychoanalytic theory


Discuss Freud's key concepts in his Psychoanalytic theory



View of human nature
Psychoanalysis views human nature as determined by irrational forces, unconscious motivations. We are not aware of them but they still determine the way we behave. Biological drives – i.e. our interest will determine institutional drives, psychosexual events during the first six years of life.
Instincts in this theory are seen as central in Freudian approach. Originally the term libido was used to refer to sexual energy. Later on the idea of libido was broadened to include all the other energies that are involved in life. Freud says that these instincts serve the purpose of the survival of the individual and the human race. Life instincts danger e.g. fire outbreak. Instinct drives you to know to put off the fire e.g. car is rolling and you are about to die, what does the instinct tell you jump out. According to Freud, instincts are oriented towards positive growth, development and creativity. The goal of man‘s life is gaining pleasure and avoiding pain and the more comfortable goal is an effort.

The ego characteristics
According to Freud the ego has contact with the external world of reality. The word ego is taken directly from Latin, where it is the nominative of the first person singular personal pronoun and is translated as "I myself". The Ego acts according to the ‘reality principle’ seeking to please the id‘s drives in realistic ways that will benefit in the long term rather than bring grief. The Ego comprises that organized part of the personality structure that includes defensive, perceptual, intellectual- cognitive, and executive functions. Conscious awareness resides in the ego .It is the ?executive that governs controls and regulates personality. It is rules by the reality principles i.e. reasons, rational, regulates and deals with what is actually happening. It does realistic and logic thinking and formulates plans of action for satisfaction needs, for example a couple that is courting may want to have sex{the id ).The superego swings in action moralizing the feelings and labels them as sin. The ego mediates by assuring the couple that its not sin to possess feelings but they can wait since they are meant for each other. This is the seat of intelligence and rationality principle that checks and controls the blind impulses of id.

Freud super ego
It is the ?judicial branch of personality It is the persons moral code that asks, what is the right thing? The main concern is whether the action is good or bad, right or wrong. It represents the ideal’ rather than the ?real.‘ It strives for perfection. It represents the traditional values and ideals of the society as they are handed down from parents to children. It is related to psychological rewards and punishment. The rewards are not tangible e.g. confronting your mother and society demands you should not even when she does something wrong. Rewards are feelings of pride and self-love, while the punishments are feelings of guilt and inferiority.

Consciousness and unconsciousness
The greatest contributions of Freud are his concepts of the unconscious and the levels of consciousness. These concepts of the unconscious and the levels of consciousness are the keys to understanding behavior and the problems of personality. The unconsciousness cannot be studied directly but can be inferred from behavior. Clinical evidence for postulating the unconscious includes the following(1) dreams, which are symbolic representations of unconscious needs wishes and conflicts(2) Slips of the tongue and forgetting, for example a familiar name, and(3) Materials derived from free association. For Freud consciousness is a thin slice of the total, mind like the greater part of the iceberg that lies below the
surface of water, the low part of the mind lies below the surface of awareness. The unconsciousness stores all the experiences memories and repressed materials. Needs and motivations that are inaccessible are also outside the sphere of consciousness i.e. are thus in sphere of unconsciousness. The aim of psychotherapy is to make the unconscious motives conscious for only when one becomes conscious of motivation can one exercise choice.

Ego-defense mechanisms
The Ego Defense Mechanisms are psychological strategies employed by individuals, groups and even nations to cope with reality and to maintain self-image. Healthy persons normally use different defenses throughout life. An ego defense mechanism becomes pathological only when its persistent use leads to maladaptive behavior such that the physical and/or mental health of the individual is adversely affected. The purpose of the Ego Defense Mechanisms is to protect the ego (you) from anxiety, social sanctions or to provide a refuge from a situation with which you cannot currently cope. According to Freud every individual is at times confronted with need to justify his/her behavior that appears to contradict the normal behavior. When contradictions arise in our behavior, they cause emotional anxiety and must be explained to create emotion relief. According to Freud, it is the ego that does the process called defense mechanism.
francis1897 answered the question on March 15, 2023 at 13:39

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