Foundations And Components Of Psychoanalysis Theory

Psychoanalysis is one of the most important theories in psychotherapy. It was first developed by Freud. The theory may be divided into five major parts. Dynamics is the first part of the theory. It deals with instinctual forces. According to the theory, all instincts, and consequently, actions, may be linked to two types of instincts. These include Eros, which refers to the sexual instinct or libido and destructive or aggressive instinct. These instincts work for and against each other to influence the all actions of individuals. For instance, in sex, the instinct that plays a major role is libido and varying degree of aggressiveness. This may make an individual be either bashful or a sexual murderer or engage in actions that fall between the two actions (Gomez, 2005).

Economic is the second component of Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis. The economic level strives to quantify the power of instincts using the concept of ‘psychic energy.’ According to this level, the energy of an individual is directed towards a certain goal through the catharsis. This strives to maximize the pleasure for individual in question. However, anti-catharsises helps in balancing this principle. It ensures that is invested as a force that acts against this instinct. This helps in defending the ego of the individual in question (Talvitie, 2012).

Development is the third level of the theory. According to this level, the oral phase of development begins at birth. In the sadistic-anal phase an individual attains satisfaction through aggression and excretion function. On the other hand, in the phallic phase, the focus of satisfaction is one the male genitals. This stage is followed by the oedipal stage. During this stage, the individual starts to touch the genitals and has fantasies on their mother until he realizes that females do not have a penis. This makes the sexual urges of the individual to lie dormant. According to the theory, when girls realize that they do not have a penis and have an inferior clitoris instead, they usually shun sex. People start having sexual awareness in their puberty (Singer & Pope, 2012).

Structural is the fourth level of the theory. This part comprises of two categories. These include the topographic model and structural model. The structural component is made up of the ID, ego, and superego. On the other hand, the topographic model comprises of the unconscious, preconscious, and conscious. ID refers to the physical apparatus of an individual. It comprises of instincts and what people inherit. Ego refers to the intermediary of the ID and the outer world. It helps in controlling the instincts that one should fulfill and when to fulfill them. On the other hand, superego refers to what people form over time. Superego is greatly influenced by the external factors. Ego helps in balancing the superego. The last part of the theory is strives to explain how psyche relates to the outside world. This is referred to as the adaptive level (Talvitie, 2012).

Summary  – Five Levels Of Psychoanalysis Theory By Freud

  • Dynamics Level
  • Economic Level
  • Development Level
  • Structural Level
  • Adaptive Level

As such, psychoanalysis helps in determining the interaction between the conscious and unconscious elements of an individual. It brings up repressed fears and conflicts to the conscious mind, which helps in tackling them more effectively. According to Freud’s psychoanalysis theory, the development of an individual is usually dictated by things that occurred in the individual’s childhood. The only exception is the inherited constitution and personality part of an individual (Talvitie, 2012).

According to psychoanalysis, the attitude, experiences, and mannerisms of an individual are mainly influenced by irrational urges. The urges are unconscious. Attempt of an individual to become aware of the urges is faced with psychological resistance. This is referred to as defense mechanism (Gomez, 2005). The conflicts that exist between the conscious and the unconscious mind may b exhibited in form of emotional or mental disturbances, which include depression and anxiety. For the unconscious to be brought to the conscious form, one must have skilled guidance in the form of therapeutic intervention (Singer & Pope, 2012).

According to the Freudian psychoanalysis theory, if analytic patients verbally express their thoughts, which include dreams and fantasies, the analysts may determine the unconscious issues that cause the patient to exhibit certain symptoms. This would ultimately enable the analysts to determine how to solve the problem. The analysts should also evaluate the impact of patient resistance during the formulation of methods of solving the problems the patient faces. Psychoanalytic treatment may help in determining how patient may be own worst enemies (Singer & Pope, 2012).

According to the Freud’s theory people start experiencing unconscious conflicts in their early childhood.  During this period people start repressing their thoughts and wishes in their unconscious mind. Therefore, it is vital for psychoanalysts to strive to reveal the repressed material. This would help in solving various issues that the patient faces. According to the psychoanalytic theory the psychological development of an individual occurs in stages. People experience different desires at different periods of their lifetime. The urges may be conscious or unconscious.


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