Sigmund Freud’s main contribution to this new field of studying personality was in the area of the understanding the unconscious, an aspect of the mind to which, he claimed, we did not have ready access to, but was the source of our actions and behavior. Freud believed the human mind was divided into three parts: the id, ego, and super-ego. The id is man’s (generic meaning, referring to both sexes) instinctual, primitive, and hedonistic urges for pure pleasure, which the id was bent on experiencing, without regard to any consequences. The super-ego is man’s senses of morality, first brought on by experiences with authoritative figures and parents, which basically hold ideas of what is right and wrong, and is almost a direct paradox to the id. The ego, which can be seen as the mediator between the id and the super-ego, takes into account the activities of the external world, and attempts to invoke some balance among all three parts of the mind, with failure resulting in neurosis of some kind.
Rogers is recognized for his approach to therapy where the “…client…” has a more direct role in the process (CITE). Whereas Freud is best known for his work on the unconscious mind. The theory of psychoanalysis, founded by Freud, asserted that people could be cured by “…making conscious their unconscious thoughts and motivations…”, therefore gaining insight into their behavior and state of being (CITE). The aim of psychoanalytic therapy is to release repressed emotions and experiences, because Freud believed that psychological problems are rooted in the unconscious mind. In certain cases, individuals would have manifested symptoms caused by “…latent…”, or hidden disturbances (CITE).
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) is considered the father of psychoanalysis, and one of the most influential thinkers of the early 20th century. Psychoanalysis is a method of therapy based on a dialogue between patient and doctor, its purpose to find the repressions in the unconscious mind. Freud insisted that instead of treating neurotic behaviour as incomprehensible, one should rather treat it as behaviour that is meaningful. He came to an explanation to unconscious thoughts and desires that could explain human behaviour and mental states. Hence the significance which he attributed to obsessive behaviour, dreams and slips of the tongue – all of these are determined by reasons hidden in the mind.
Today, many of Freud’s ideas have been criticized for being too abstract and objective, but that does not mean that his work is without merit. The Psychodynamic Theory has redefined patient-therapist relationships and our understanding of thought processes and response patterns. According to the Psychodynamic
Psychoanalysis however provides a different insight. Psychoanalysis examines what lies beneath human behavior, teaching us that unconscious thoughts within us are outside of our everyday thoughts. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis believed that people could be cured of their disorders by making
Psychoanalysis opened up a new view on mental illness, suggesting that talking about problems with a professional could help relieve symptoms of psychological distress. Freud believed that this theory of treatment would help patients bring traumatic memories and their accompanying affect into the consciousness in ways that would allow them to form a connection with other conscious thoughts so that the patient can begin to ‘heal’ and accept the things that are affecting them in their unconscious mind. Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud believed that there are three levels of awareness. These are the conscious, preconscious and unconscious. The conscious mind includes everything that we are aware of.
Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung started out their relationship as mentor and mentee, respectively. Jung diverted from Freudian thought to create his own theories after discovering how many ways he did not agree with Freud. The differences between these two psychologists are extremely visible with the use of application and comparison. Numerous examples of Freudian practice and analysis are found in A.A. Brill’s The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud. Freud’s no-holds-barred form of therapy, commonly known as free association, is radical in its own right; let alone when compared to Jung’s analytical approach.
Many have developments within the Freudian framework. This included Anna Freud, E.H. Erikson, Melanie Klein, Karen Horney and many others. Anna Freud emphasized the field of the ego and the self defense mechanisms. “She also indicates resistance to treatment as a form of defense against instinct. She theorized that the effects associated with the instinctual impulses also are defended against in the ego, for example by the means of mastering them by putting them through a metamorphosis, which may manifest itself as emotional suppression or denial, among other things (A. Freud, 1966) (Plaut, Northwestern University).” Erik Erikson’s contribution to the theory of development is great.
In psychoanalysis, an ego defense mechanism is an unconscious personality reaction that the ego uses to protect our conscious mind from threatening feelings or perceptions. The ego defense mechanisms are as follows: denial, displacement, projection, rationalization, reaction formation, regression, repression, sublimation, and suppression. Ego defense seems to occur subconsciously – we are often not aware that we are becoming “defensive”. I believe that we use a complex of many, if not all of Freud’s ego defense mechanisms. Personally, I believe regression and rationalization may be the two defense mechanisms I use most.
According to Freud, personality is built from internal psychological forces. The theory provides an elaborative framework which describes human personality. Through the theory, new treatments were derived to help people in mental distress. Freud encouraged a more positive way to approach psychological distress so that even the mental illnesses themselves could be treated; many of the therapies that the theory suggested have helped to treat people with different psychological issues. Another strength of the theory is that it acknowledges the existence of a subconscious which has an impact on our behavior and not only superficial thoughts.