For Freud, psychosexual theory occurred when personality arises, as it tries to resolve conflicts between unconscious sexual and aggressive impulses and the societal demands to suppress these impulses. In general, psychoanalytic theorists are permeated with notions of human development, and how the child changes during the course of his maturation in an explicit and implicit perspective.
Unconscious and Conscious
In terms of the unconscious and conscious, Freud situates these conceptions in a topographic model of the mind. He divided it into two systems called the unconscious and the preconscious. Their knowledge in the unconscious system is repressed and unavailable to consciousness without overcoming resistances (e.g., defense mechanisms). Thereby, the repression does not allow unconscious knowledge to be completely aware; rather, it is construed by means of concealing and compromise, but only interpretable through its derivatives dream and parapraxes that overcome resistance by means of disguise and compromise. Within the preconscious system, the contents could be accessible, although only a small portion at any given moment. Unconscious thought is characterized by primary process thinking that lacks negation or logical connections and favors the over-inclusions and 'just-as' relationships evident in condensed dream images and displacements. Freud asserted that primary process of thinking was phylogenetically, and continues to be ontogenetically, prior to secondary process or logical thought, acquired later in childhood and familiar to us in our waking life (1900, 1915a).
Freud substituted the systems of the topographic model with the three agencies of the structural model when it became evident that defenses were unconsc...
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...xiety-producing impulses to others - usually to the target of those impulses. We need not feel anxious if the offending wish is not ours, but someone else's. In rationalization, we engage in what would normally be an anxiety-producing behavior, but feel no anxiety. This is because the unconscious ego fills our conscious ego with reasons for our behavior that keep us from understanding our real (anxiety-producing) motive. In reaction formation, the unconscious ego prevents anxiety over our impulses by filling the conscious ego with the opposite feeling or impulse. Denial is perhaps the most primitive and maladaptive of the defense mechanisms. We engage in the forbidden behavior, but feel no anxiety because memories of that behavior are prevented from entering consciousness. We cannot recall having done anything unacceptable, so we quite honestly deny our behavior.
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