Many people have different personalities, perspectives influenced due to their early childhood or environment. Some of which may influence mental disorders or a personality change that exists since the start of early childhood.
So what are mental disorders? What causes that significant personality change in between adolescents and adults? These questions are most efficiently answered by this idea of psychoanalytic theory.
This study discusses the unconsciousness of primitive thoughts and desires. Hidden feelings or desires that tend to be repressed overtime from early years in which soon becomes a mental disorder or significant personality change that’s shown either in late teens or adults. Most scientists believe that repressed emotions or desires can be cured by therapeutic means. These methods include gaining insight within the unconscious mind by analyzing the patient’s dreams or listening to their past history. “The idea of the defense mechanisms has had some research support and has remained useful in clinical psychology as a way of describing people’s defense behavior and irrational thinking. The concept of an unconscious mind also has some research support.” Psychoanalytic theory has become the most convenient idea in terms of guiding patients to an effective treatment through communication.
Looking at history, we can learn about the founder(s) of psychoanalytic theory and how it pertains to modern scientists today.
In the mid-1800s, a well-known neurologist such as Dr. Sigmund Freud from Austria discovered a new idea of psychology such as psychoanalysis from treating his patients. As he sought to understand the cause of nervous disorders, he realized that there were no physical evidence and instead learned that the cause originated in the mind.”
Freud stressed the importance of early childhood experiences, believing that personality was formed in the 6 years of life; if there were significant problems, those problems must have begun in the early years.” His ideas reflected on the three levels in the human mind such as: conscious, preconscious and unconscious; in which based on thoughts, emotions, what can people remember, and the deep desire of the mind process.
Psychoanalytic Theory is slightly altered from the late 1800s, but looking at the different perspectives also gives insight on different theories created by other famous scientists. While some psychologists disagreed with Freud’s ideas on psychoanalytic theory, other scientists was enlightened by this theory but instead made a few changes. These scientists became known as Neo-Freudians named after Sigmund Freud and they were also known as the new psychoanalysts. In 1907, a renowned physicist, Alfred Adler met with Sigmund Freud to contribute to the psychoanalytic movement but he disagreed with Freud on the sexual desires. He instead believed in sexual development in youth and their behaviors. “The driving force behind all human endeavors, emotions, and thoughts for Adler was not seeking of pleasure but the overcome feelings of inferiority in one area of life by striving to be superior in another area…” For example, a child may feel inferior to their younger sibling because of the lack attention from parents. Moreover, they tend to feel superior by becoming perfectionists or overachievers to please the parents. Even though Adler’s ideas received support on the birth order but the feedback was rather bias. Another famous scientist was Carl Gustav Jung, another contributor in psychoanalyst theory and was a part of the group called, the Vienna Psychoanalytical Society. He was an active member along with Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler as the first president. He disagreed with Freud on the subconscious mind and believed that the mind carried dark traits such as fears, urges and memories.
In addition, he supported the theory that there was a collective conscious to the dark traits in human memories. “According to Jung, the collective unconscious contains a kind of species memory….These collective, universal human memories were called archetypes…” These archetypes was based on spiritual and mythological beliefs such as the anima/animus, and shadow in which both emphasize on the whole of a person. This shows that his understanding focuses on finding individualism inside a person and to cleanse the dark side in the psyche. These theories from the famous members of the Vienna Psychoanalytical Society gives different perspectives on the psychoanalytic theory. Learning about the different mental symptoms in patients, psychoanalysts can assume different solutions for treatments.
Currently, therapists today use Freud’s theory to examine patients by taking notes on their emotions or rapid dreams. The techniques psychoanalysts and therapists use ink blots, free associations, dream analysis, and clinical applications. Ink blots gives patients their interpretation on the visual imagery as means to unlock a hidden memory based on that connection. Free associations give the opportunity of recall a word or phrase until the patient resists and it gives a strong evidence for evaluation. Dream analysis gives an understanding of the unconscious mind by observing common dreams. Clinical applications include one-on-one sessions with patients but only providing treatment for intense personality factors such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc. These techniques gives accurate data on the patient based on their reactions for proper treatment. Scientists such as Freud, made a few hypothesis based on the deep consciousness such as: unresolved issues, repressed trauma in the past, and those tend to become a psychological problem that disturbs the mind.
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