You are on page 1of 8

Running head: PSYCHODYNAMIC THEORIST PAPER

Psychodynamic Theorist Paper Tammy Poe PSYCH 645 March, 17, 2014 Professor Kathleen Bernhard

PSYCHODYNAMIC THEORIST PAPER

Psychodynamic Theorist Paper Sigmund Freud did not set out to be a psychologist, he had planned on becoming a government official (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). He was Jewish, and his interest in anti-Semitism led him to medical school at the University of Vienna, where he received training that profoundly shaped the personality theory he developed later in life (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, p. 69). A professor of physiology, Ernest Brucke, was a part of Freuds psychological development, and this movement was known as mechanism (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). This movement disagreed that the assumption of natural science can explain behaviors of human behavior and thought (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). According to Cervone and Pervin (2010), People could be understood in terms of basic physical and chemical mechanisms (p. 69). Once Freud received his medical degree, he began studying neurology (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). He became a practicing physician after discontinuing his research career (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Freuds father died in 1897, and he had become depressed; however, he was determined to understand his dilemma, and began a self-analysis, which later became fundamental to the development of psychoanalysis (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Freuds view on the mind as an energy system is that the mind gets mental energies from the overall physical energies of the body, such as the information stored in a hard drive on the computer, or a book in the library (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, p. 71). Freud also believed the mind harbors instinctual drives pieces of activity that operate pressure amount of force on the overall physic mechanism (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, p. 71). Freuds view has three concepts, his first concept is that there is a limited amount of energy (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, p. 71). He thought that if much energy is used in one way, less is available for other purposes (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, p. 71). His second concept was that

PSYCHODYNAMIC THEORIST PAPER

energy can be blocked from one channel of expression and, if it is blocked, the energy does not just go away (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, p. 71). The energy is expressed in other way, along the path of least resistance (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, p. 71). His third concept of his energy model was that the mind functions to achieve a state of dormancy Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Freud believed bodily needs create a state of tension, and the person driven to reduce that tension to return to a quiet internal state (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, p. 71). For example, when a baby is hungry he or she will cry until they receive food. The goal is to achieve pleasure to release tension or energy (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, p. 71). Freud believed that ideas have energy associated with them and that energy remains stored in the mind (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, p. 71). Freuds view on consciousness was a major milestone, as well. Freud believed there were three levels of consciousness: the conscious, the preconscious, and the unconscious. There is a small part of the mind that is always conscious. The largest part of the mind is the unconscious mind where our drives and impulses are (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Structure of personality describes the id, ego, and superego. Freud believed that the id exists only in the unconscious and takes part in instinctual impulses or desires that require gratification (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). The egos function is to express and satisfy the desires of the id in accordance with two things: opportunities and constraints that exist in the real world and the demands of the superego (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, p. 85). The functions of the superego involve the moral aspects of social behavior. The superego contains ideals for which we strive, as well as ethical standards that will cause us to feel guilt if we violate them (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, p. 85). The superego is the internal representation of the moral rules, of the external, social world (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, p. 85).

PSYCHODYNAMIC THEORIST PAPER It controls behavior in rapport with offering rewards, such as pride, self-love for good behavior and punishments (guilt, feelings of inferiority) for bad behavior (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, p. 85). The reality principles concept describes pleasure and reality. Gratification of the instincts is delayed until a time when something in reality enables one to obtain maximum

pleasure with the least pain or negative consequences (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, pg. 85-86). The defense mechanisms concept describes that the ego uses defense mechanisms to camouflage or misconstrue undesirable impulses that block them from entering consciousness (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). The main defense mechanisms are regression, repression, rationalization, projection, reaction formation, denial, displacement, and sublimation (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). The stages of psychosexual development describe that sexual motivation is expressed through stimulation of body parts or arousing factors as individuals mature (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). There are five stages of psychosexual development: anal, oral, genital, latency, and phallic (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Under-gratification or over-gratification may lead to personality behaviors or character changes of that stage (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Erikson believed that personality develops as individuals mature (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Eriksons theory focuses on social experiences of ones whole life. He believed development was not only psychosexual but psychosocial (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). According to Cervone and Pervin (2010), To Erikson, the first stage of personality development is significant not just because of the localization of pleasure in the mouth but because in the feeding situation a relationship of trust or mistrust is developed between the infant and the mother (pg. 102-103). The psychosocial stages are basic vs trust, autonomy vs shame and doubt, initiative vs guilt, industry vs inferiority, identity vs role

PSYCHODYNAMIC THEORIST PAPER

diffusion, intimacy vs isolation, generativity vs stagnation, and integrity vs despair (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Eriksons Viewpoint Erikson believed that personality develops as individuals mature (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Eriksons theory focuses on social experiences of ones whole life. He believed development was not only psychosexual but psychosocial (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). According to Cervone and Pervin (2010), To Erikson, the first stage of personality development is significant not just because of the localization of pleasure in the mouth but because in the feeding situation a relationship of trust or mistrust is developed between the infant and the mother (pg. 102-103). The psychosocial stages are basic vs trust, autonomy vs shame and doubt, initiative vs guilt, industry vs inferiority, identity vs role diffusion, intimacy vs isolation, generativity vs stagnation, and integrity vs despair (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). To Erikson the latency and genital stages are when people develop a sense of industry and success or a sense of inferiority and, perhaps most important of all, a sense of identity or a sense of role diffusion (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, p. 103). The essential task of adolescence is establishing a sense of ego identity, an accrued confidence that the way one views oneself has a continuity with ones past and is matched by the perceptions of others (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, p. 103). Some people experience a sense of not knowing who they are, not knowing how others think of him or her, or not knowing where he or she is headed in life, which is called role diffusion (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). This could lead to feelings of despair later in life. Identity Formation has four prestige concepts. Identity achievement is when an individual establishes a sense of identity after exploration (Cervone & Pervin, 2010).

PSYCHODYNAMIC THEORIST PAPER These types of people function at a high psychological level competent of independent thought, interpersonal intimate relationships, elaborate or moral reasoning, and resistance to group demands for conformity or group manipulation of their sense of self-esteem (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, p. 103). When an individual is in experiencing an identity crisis it is called an identity moratorium (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). According to Cervone and Pervin (2010), Such individuals are capable of high levels of psychological functioning, as indicated in complex thought and moral reasoning, and also value intimacy (p. 103). These types of people struggle with who they are, and are less likely to make commitments (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). The concept of identity foreclosure is that those people do not go through the exploration process, and are determined, responsive to group demands for conformity, and the individuals selfesteem can be easily manipulated (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). The identity diffusion concept is that individuals do not feel a strong sense of identity or commitment (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). These types of people are sensitive when it comes to their self-esteem, and they have a disorganized way of thinking, and have trouble with intimacy (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Bowlbys Viewpoint John Bowlby named four characteristics of attachment: Proximity Maintenance-the need to be near people we are attached to. Safe haven- when faced with a threat or fear, he or she

returns to his or her attachment figure. Secure base concept is that the attachment figure acts as a security figure where a child can explore his or her environment (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). The separation distress is the absence of an attachment figure (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Bowlbys main key concept was that children raised with confidence that his or her attachment figure will always be there are less likely to experience fear. He also believed that confidence is affected during the critical duration of development, beginning during infancy, childhood, and

PSYCHODYNAMIC THEORIST PAPER

adolescence and the expectations that are built during this time remain unchanged for the rest of the individuals life (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). He suggested that the above expectations are tied with experience (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Todays Culture and Psychoanalytic Theories Some psychologists are skeptical of Freuds work and theories, while others are supportive (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). However, some of Freuds psychoanalytic theories that are used in todays psychology (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). According to Cervone & Pervin (2010), An evaluation of psychoanalysis suggests its tremendous contribution in calling attention too many important phenomena and developing techniques for research and therapy (p.158). However, the theory is questionable, poorly defined concepts, and problems in testing specific hypothesis (Cervone & Pervin, 2010, p. 158). Today, most people may think Freud did not know what he was doing, but he had a great deal to do with psychology today. Today, some psychologists consider him to be the father of psychology (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Conclusion The acknowledgement that a subjective and somewhat impulsive character can freely come to an end from Freuds theoretical groundwork as did many psychologist who followed in his footsteps. Psychologists today understand the importance of the essence of the mind and major components of personality, the decision making processes, and the appropriate development through each stage of life. Freuds work on the function of social work is misconstrued, but there is a solid understanding of his major concepts that are useful when working in social work settings. Freuds work was extensive, and almost impossible in determining the efficacy of his work.

PSYCHODYNAMIC THEORIST PAPER

Reference Cervone, D., & Pervin, L. A. (2010). Personality: Theory and research (11th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.