Psychoanalytic TheoryThe term psychoanalysis is used to refer to many aspects of Freud’s work and research, including Freudian therapy
and the research methodology he used to develop his theories. Freud relied heavily upon his observations and case
studies of his patients when he formed his theory of personality development.
BOYET B. ALUAN BOYET B. ALUAN BOYET B. ALUAN
Say sOMeTHing WhatEVer
• coMES in your
• M I n d
• Before we can understand
Freud's theory of personality,
we must first understand his
view of how the mind is
• means the importance of unconscious
process and childhood experience
• It is also means therapy( it attempts to
provides insight into one’s thoughts
and actions) and theory of personality
• emphasizes unconscious motivation–
the main causes of behavior lie buried
in the unconscious mind.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
• Founder of psychoanalysis
• Proposed the first complete
theory of personality.
• A person’s thoughts and
behaviors emerge from tension
generated by unconscious
motives and unresolved
• Freudian technique of
exploring the unconscious
mind, by having the persons
relax and say whatever comes
Express your thoughts,
feelings and sensation about
• According to Freud, the mind can be
divided into two main parts:
• The conscious mind includes
everything that we are aware of at this
very moment This is the aspect of our
mental processing that we can think
and talk about rationally.
• The conscious is able to receive
information from both the external
world and the unconscious.
• Think of your childhood memories….
• Write your phone or cellphone number
or your pin number.
• The preconscious is the intermediate
between unconscious and conscious. In
order to an aggressive or sexual impulse to
reach the conscious, it must first pass
through preconscious. In this situation, the
preconscious has the power to decide
whether the impulse may reach the
conscious area or not.
• It is also the region of mind holding
information that is not conscious but easily
retrievable into conscious awareness
• Example your password and phone number.
Write your unacceptable
thoughts, feelings, wishes
The unconscious mind -slips
of the tongue/Freudian slips
• is a reservoir of feelings, thoughts, urges, and memories that
outside of our conscious awareness. Most of the contents of the
unconscious are unacceptable or unpleasant, such as feelings of
pain, anxiety, or conflict. According to Freud, the unconscious
continues to influence our behavior and experience, even though
we are unaware of these underlying influences.
• The unconscious represents all contents which are not present in our
consciousness. Freud believed that all childhood’s unacceptable
wishes are driven out of conscious awareness and become part of
unconscious. According to Freud’s theory, the unconscious is a
reservoir of primitive impulses, sexual and aggressive. These
unconscious thoughts are expressed in dreams, slips of the tongue.
Of course, there still are specialists and researchers who refuse to
accept this idea.
• According to Sigmund
Freud's psychoanalytic theory of
personality, personality is
composed of three elements.
These three elements of
personality--known as the id,
the ego and the superego--work
together to create complex
• And Superego
The id – I want
• is the only component of
personality that is present from
• This aspect of personality is
entirely unconscious and
includes of the instinctive and
• According to Freud, the id is
the source of all psychic energy,
making it the primary
component of personality.
• It operates according to
The pleasure principles
• which strives for immediate gratification of all desires, wants, and needs.
• If these needs are not satisfied immediately, the result is a state anxiety or
tension. For example, an increase in hunger or thirst should produce an
immediate attempt to eat or drink. The id is very important early in life,
because it ensures that an infant's needs are met. If the infant is hungry or
uncomfortable, he or she will cry until the demands of the id are met.
• However, immediately satisfying these needs is not always realistic or even
possible. If we were ruled entirely by the pleasure principle, we might find
ourselves grabbing things we want out of other people's hands to satisfy our
own cravings. This sort of behavior would be both disruptive and socially
unacceptable. According to Freud, the id tries to resolve the tension created
by the pleasure principle through the primary process, which involves
forming a mental image of the desired object as a way of satisfying the need.
• Sources of energy (eros- life; thanos –death)
• Libido- sexual energy or motivation.
The ego- develops out of the
id in infancy-I will
• is the component of personality that is responsible for
dealing with reality.
• The ego functions in both the conscious, preconscious,
and unconscious mind.
• The ego operates based on the reality principle, which
strives to satisfy the id's desires in realistic and socially
appropriate ways. The reality principle weighs the
costs and benefits of an action before deciding to act
upon or abandon impulses. In many cases, the id's
impulses can be satisfied through a process of delayed
gratification--the ego will eventually allow the
behavior, but only in the appropriate time and place.
• It understand reality and logic.
• The ego also discharges tension created by unmet
impulses through the secondary process, in which the
ego tries to find an object in the real world that
matches the mental image created by the id's primary
• Mediator between id and superego.
The Superego– I should
• The last component of
personality to develop is the
• The superego is the aspect of
personality that holds all of our
internalized moral standards and
ideals that we acquire from both
parents and society--our sense of
right and wrong.
• The superego provides guidelines
for making judgments. According
to Freud, the superego begins to
emerge at around age five.
There are two parts of the
• The ego ideal includes the rules and standards for good
behaviors. These behaviors include those which are approved
of by parental and other authority figures. Obeying these rules
leads to feelings of pride, value and accomplishment.
The conscience includes information about things that are
viewed as bad by parents and society. These behaviors are
often forbidden and lead to bad consequences, punishments or
feelings of guilt and remorse.
• The superego acts to perfect and civilize our behavior. It works
to suppress all unacceptable urges of the id and struggles to
make the ego act upon idealistic standards rather that upon
realistic principles. The superego is present in the conscious,
preconscious and unconscious.
The Interaction of the Id,
Ego and Superego
• With so many competing forces, it is
easy to see how conflict might arise
between the id, ego and superego.
Freud used the term ego strength to
refer to the ego's ability to function
despite these dueling forces. A person
with good ego strength is able to
effectively manage these pressures,
while those with too much or too little
ego strength can become too unyielding
or too disrupting.
• According to Freud, the key to a healthy
personality is a balance between the id,
the ego, and the superego.
• Freud’s theory suggests that
we are driving by sexual and
aggressive instincts. Our
behavior is guided by the
impulses and desires we have
in our unconscious.
• After he described the theory regarding the
human personality, Freud kept working. He
explained the development of our
personality. Freud’s theory says that our
personality begins to develop when we are
born and it is established when we are five,
six years old. He believed our childhood is
the most important part of our life.
• Freud described five stages of psychosexual
development – the oral stage, the anal
stage, the phallic stage, the latency stage,
and the genital stage.
• is an important element of the psychoanalytic theory.
According to Sigmund Freud, human beings are driven
by primary instincts, mostly sexual and aggressive. Since
we are born, we all possess an instinctual libido, a sexual
appetite. Freud believed that personality is established
by the age of five. Early experiences play an important
role in personality development.
• Sigmund Freud proposed five psychosexual
development stages. The stages are called psychosexual
because Freud believed that each is dominated by the
prominence of its own particular erogenous zone. The
personality during each stage revolves around the
significant erogenous zone.
• The oral stage is from birth to about one year of age.
In this case the erogenous zone is the mouth.
According to Freud, the baby does not just receive
nutrition from the breast but also achieves
gratification from the experience of sucking. In this
case, sucking satisfies the sex drive.
• If the baby receives comfort and love from his
mother, he will complete this stage. Otherwise, if the
mother does not feed the baby regularly a neurosis
may develop. The baby becomes obsessed with
achieving the gratification of what he feels deprived.
The neurosis has a great impact on the personality
development. The baby will fixate at the oral stage;
he will not progress fully to the next stages. He grows
up to be an oral personality.
• Freud called the second stage of psychosexual development
the anal stage because in this case the erogenous stage is the
anus. The stage from one to three years is experienced only by
those who did not fixate at the oral stage.
• At this age a child starts using the toilet. If his parents give him
too many rewards for this action the child may come to feel
possessive about his defecation. As a result, the child will get
pleasure thanks to his feces.
• If the parents are too strict, the child could fixate. A child who
had received a strict treatment from his parent during the anal
stage could develop into an anal expulsive personality and grow
up to be messy and irresponsible. Alternatively, the child could
develop into an anal retentive personality, growing up to be
obstinate, over-orderly, and righteous.
• The ego appears for the first time during the anal stage. From
now on the id will no longer have direct rule over every action.
• The phallic stage is from three to five years of age. The erogenous zone
becomes the region of the genitals. Freud believed children possess sexual
feelings. According to the Freudian theory, children direct their sexual
feelings at the parent of the opposite sex and try to annihilate the parent
of the same sex.
• In the case of boys, Freud called this the Oedipus complex. The boy starts
to feel attraction for his mother and consider his father a rival. He feels
like his father should not exist. The child is afraid of a particular kind of
punishment from his father – castration. The boy may suffer from
• In the case of girls, we talk about the Elektra complex. It is slightly
different because girls do not suffer from castration anxiety from obvious
reasons. Freud suggested that girls believe that they have already been
castrated. As a result they suffer from penis envy.
• During this stage, the superego appears for the first time. The moral
norms of the parent are assimilated into the child’s personality.
• If a girl fixates at this stage, she might continue to suffer from penis envy.
A boy who fixates at the phallic stage might continue to fear castration. As
a consequence, boys and girls may become frigid lovers.
Resolving problem in phallic
• Through identification- let the
child imitate one’s father’s
values, attitudes, and
• Girl having penis envy- thus
fixation can lead to excessive
masculinity in males and need
for attention and domination
• The latency stage develops from
age six until puberty. During this
period the libido interests are
suppressed. This stage is defined as
a period of calm. At six years old
the child enters into school and
becomes more interested in
developing relationships. The
latency stage is important in the
development of social skills.
• Freud called the last stage of psychosexual
development the genital stage. The stage begins
during puberty and last for rest of a person’s life.
People start to develop a strong sexual interest
in the opposite sex. If the previous stages were
completed, the individual should now be well-
• Sigmund Freud proposed five interesting stages
in order to explain the psychosexual
development of human beings. His theory was
criticized mostly because it is too vague and it is
based just on case studies and not on empirical
• Daily, people deal with different levels of
anxiety. According to Freud’s theory, we
develop several defense mechanisms in
order to cope with anxiety.
• The list of basic defense mechanism
includes: denial, displacement, repression,
regression, projection, intellectualization,
rationalization, reaction formation,
sublimation, introjection, identification,
isolation of affect, conversion, fantasy.
• is a simply is simply refusing to
acknowledge that an event has
occurred. A person may act as nothing
has happened. For example, a mother
finds out that her little child was killed,
and yet she refuses to believe this. The
mother still prepares breakfast for her
child every morning. Optimistic people
deny that things may go wrong.
Pessimistic people deny that they may
• is the shifting of actions from a desired
target to a substitute target. It appears
when the first target is not permitted or not
available and the person focuses her
attention to other target. The second target
will resemble the original target in some
way. For example, the boss gets angry at
work and shouts at his employees. An
employee goes home and starts shouting at
her wife or kids. A woman, rejected by her
boyfriend will go out with another boy.
• involves placing uncomfortable thoughts in
relatively inaccessible areas of the
subconscious mind. Even if we forget
painful things, they do not disappear.
Repressed memories can have several
effects such as anxiety or dysfunctional
behavior. They may appear in altered forms,
such as dreams or slips of the tongue. For
example, a child who is abused by a parent
later has no recollection of the event, but
has trouble forming relationships.
• involves taking the position of a
child in some problematic
situation, rather than acting in
an adult way. For example, a
person who suffers a mental
break breakdown assumes a
fetal position, rocking and
crying, without trying to do
anything for her health.
• appears when a person who has
uncomfortable thoughts or feelings
and she starts to project these onto
other people. It may also appear when
we see our own traits in other people.
The most common example is a
couple’s behavior. Usually when a
partner is nervous he thinks that his
partner is nervous, not himself. He
projects his own state of mind on his
• involves avoiding
uncomfortable emotions by
focusing on facts and logic. The
emotional aspects are
completely ignored. A woman
who finds out that she suffers of
infertility she starts reading
many books in order to find out
a rational way to cure herself.
• appears when we find difficult to
accept an event and we start
making up a logical reason to
understand why it has happened. A
man who bought an expensive car
starts telling people that his old car
was very unsafe. He tries to find a
logical reason to explain why he
bought such an expensive car.
• occurs when a person feels an urge
to do or say something and then
actually does or says something
that is effectively the opposite of
what she really wants. If I want to
sustain an idea at a school class and
I am afraid that I will be criticized, it
is possible to sustain another idea,
the opposite of the original.
• is the transformation of
unwanted impulses into
something less harmful. Artists
express their feeling through
music or painting. If I am angry I
go out to run and by doing this I
make sure that I express my
angry and nobody will be
• involves the internalization of
significant aspects of a person
as a way to accept the loss of
that person. For example, if a
child loses his father he will take
over his father’s qualities. We
use to attribute our own
unacknowledged feelings to
• is the internalization of another
person’s qualities. Commonly,
children follow their parent’s
model. In order to do that, they
will internalize their parent’s
qualities, in their attempt to be
just like mom and/or dad.
Isolation of affect
• involves separating an idea of
its associated emotional state
in order to avoid emotional
turmoil. For example, a
person is acting indifferent
toward someone when she
really dislikes that person.
• occurs when internal conflicts
are presented by physical
symptoms. A person may
complain of muscle pain,
numbness of different parts of
the body, but in fact she has no
major medical problems. Her
suffering is caused by internal
• occurs when a person
chooses to live in her own
internal world, in order to
avoid anxiety caused by
Sigmund Freud (German pronunciation: [ˈziˈkmʊnt
born Sigismund Schlomo Freud; 6
May 1856 – 23 September 1939) was
an Austrian neurologist who
became known as the founding
father of psychoanalysis.
Freud qualified as a doctor of
medicine at the University of
Vienna in 1881, and then carried
out research into cerebral palsy,
aphasia and microscopic
neuroanatomy at theVienna General
Hospital. He was appointed a
university lecturer in neuropathology
in 1885 and became a professor in
• Today, Sigmund Freud is also known
as The Father of Psychoanalysis.
• Freud’s theory was one of the most
controversial ones. His theory was
and still is strongly criticized.
However, there are many people in
the world who study psychoanalysis
and many people who are cured
through this way of treatment.