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Psychodynamic Theory


Sigmund Freud

Born 1865 in Freiberg, Moravia to Jacob, his wool-merchant father.

Mother was Jacob’s third wife.
Moved to Vienna in 1860 until 1938.
Vienna exciting place of opportunity and optimism. In 1867, Jews
granted political rights and accepted into society.
Freud assimilated, identifying as a German.
About the time he was 15, liberal political atmosphere evaporated and
anti-Semitism became virulent, shattering assimilation
Graduated from University of Vienna medical school with strong interest
in research but quickly married and realized only private practice would
provide needed financial support.
Published well received scholarly papers on neurological disorders.
Outbreak of WW II forced him to flee to London, where he died a year
later in 1939.
Freud’s theory is complex because:

He kept modifying it as he went along

He never presented a comprehensive summary of his final
His theory is more comprehensive than must since it has a
number of aspects. For example, he gives us:
◦A theory of motivation
◦A theory of thinking (which includes dreaming, etc.)
◦A theory of personality development (psychosexual theory)
◦A theory of mental structures (id, ego, superego)
◦A theory of psychopathology and symptom formation
◦A theory of psychotherapy

Personality Theory According to Freud

Personality is defined as follows:

◦ Our characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting.

Freud’s psychoanalytic perspective proposed that childhood sexuality

and unconscious motivations influence personality.

Freud called his theory and associated techniques psychoanalysis.

Unconscious-large below the surface area which contains thoughts,

wishes, feelings and memories, of which we are unaware.

Free association-the patient is asked to relax and say whatever comes

to mind, no matter how embarrassing or trivial.
Personality Structure according to Freud

ID-a reservoir of unconscious psychic energy constantly striving to satisfy basic drives to survive,
reproduce, and aggress.

The id operates on the pleasure principle: If not constrained but reality, it seeks immediate

Ego-the largely conscious, “executive” part of personality that, according to Freud, mediates the
demands of the id, superego, and reality.

The ego operates on the reality principle, satisfying the id’s desires in ways that will realistically
bring pleasure rather than pain.

Superego-represents internalized ideals and provides standards for judgment (the conscious) and for
future aspirations.
Id Ego and Superego

Another way of looking

Freud’s Psychosexual Stages

Oral (0-18 months) Pleasure centers on the mouth-sucking,

chewing, biting

Anal (18-36 months) Pleasure focuses on bowel and bladder

elimination; coping with demands for

Phallic (3-6 years) Pleasure zone is the genitals; coping with

incestuous sexual feelings
Dormant sexual feeling

Latency (6 to puberty)
Maturation of sexual interest

Genital (puberty on)

Important Psychosexual Stage Theory Vocabulary

Oedipus complex-a boy’s sexual desires toward his mother and feelings of jealousy and hatred for
the rival father

Castration anxiety
◦ Fear from boys struggle to deal with his love for mother while knowing he cannot
overcome his father physically

Identification-the process by which, children incorporate their parents’ values into their developing

Fixation-a lingering focus of pleasure-seeking energies at an earlier psychosexual stage, where

conflicts were unresolved.
Penis envy
◦ Desire for male dominated advantages
Freudian slips
Free recall/free association
◦ Concept of a person having one word and freely associating any word with it
Tactics that reduce or redirect anxiety in various ways,
but always by distorting reality
A defense
mechanism that
thoughts into the

Reaction formation
A defense mechanism that
pushes away threatening
impulses by overemphasizing
the opposite in one’s
thoughts and words

A defense mechanism in
which one refuses to
acknowledge anxiety
provoking stimuli

Defense mechanism in which
anxiety arousing impulse are
externalized by placing onto

Defense mechanism in which
the target of one’s
unconscious fear or desire is
shifted away from true cause

Defense mechanism where
dangerous urges are
transformed into positive,
socially acceptable forms

Defense mechanism
where one returns to a
earlier, safer stage of
one’s life to escape
present threats

Defense mechanism where
after the fact (post hoc)
logical explanations for
behaviors that were actually
driven by internal
unconscious motives

Carl Jung

A Journey Into The Mind
Carl Jung
"Everything that irritates us
about others can lead us to
an understanding of
Who is Carl Jung?
Carl Jung was born in Kesswill Switzerland (1875).
As a child he was interested in history, archaeology, and
He studied medicine at the University of Basel and
discovered he had a passion for psychiatry. He became a
psychiatrist as it gave him the opportunity to study both the
spiritual and factual sides of the world.
For 9 years he was an assistant physician at a Psychiatric
He studied Schizophrenia extensively.
His Early Career…
In 1907 Jung went to Vienna to meet Freud where they studied along
side each other for a number of years. They developed their own
theories and corresponded through letters.
They came to parting ways because Jung disagreed with Freud’s belief
that the sexual component was the only part of the human personality.
Jung also felt Freud was too narrow-minded about his views on the
unconscious mind and dream interpretation. Freud’s main theories were
that our sexual libido controlled our unconscious thoughts and when
dreaming it was our sexual thoughts that controlled the content of
these dreams.
His first ideas were published in
Psychology of the Unconscious (it
contained much about
His Early mythological content and listed
parallels between myths and
Career Cont. psychotic fantasies).
He went on to develop his own
theory called analytic
psychology, for half a century he
wrote religiously about
personality in regards to
symbolic, mythological, and
spiritual views.
His Major Theories…
·Focused on the unconscious and
conscious mind…he believed that
the unconscious played more of a
role in controlling our thought
process (especially during
·The collective unconscious was
also more dominant factor in the
development of human personality
His Major Theories Cont…

·He believed in two personality types

·Introvert – someone who keeps to themselves and is
emotionally self-sufficient
Extrovert- someone who is outgoing and use their
psychological power to draw people towards them