September 23 is the death anniversary of the well-known psychiatrist on the planet Sigmund Freud, we remember his contribution to psychiatry and the influence he has had on society as a whole.
Despite the criticism of this method by his many followers and modern scientists, psychoanalysis is still widely used in clinical practice, though in a modified form.
Freud introduced the concept of the unconscious to psychiatry. This is something that a person is not conscious of, but this something defines his needs and influences all his actions. The demands of the unconscious are not implemented completely, because human behavior is constrained by internal and external moral norms. There is always a conflict in the human psyche – the discrepancy between the actual and desired.
The essence of psychoanalysis – in an attempt to extract from the unconscious the feelings, actively suppressed by the consciousness, which, however, causes a failure in the psyche and causes the appearance of mental disorders: nervousness, hysteria, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc.
According to Freud, awareness and study of these experiences, their origins and influence on human behavior are able to significantly improve the patient’s condition, to resolve the mental conflict and in some cases completely cure the patient.
Classic “custody” psychoanalysis is firmly entrenched in the film culture of modern society.
Dream Interpretation by Freud
The interpretation of dreams — the work in which Freud described the role and function of the unconscious in the human psyche and, in particular, in the formation of his dreams. Of all of Freud’s ideas, this is probably the only non-criticized and now is widely recognized. Freud himself gave this discovery great importance and remembered the day and hour, when it struck him in the head.
Freud believed that desires are formed by the unconscious part of the personality and suppressed by superego (because of the unlawfulness or immorality) during the day, break out in a dream at night but not in the literal sense, but distorted and encrypted. Deciphering a dream can unravel a hidden desire to resolve the psychological conflicts of underlying mental illnesses and symptoms.
It is interesting that, despite the fact that dreaming is individual, some signs and characters are common to all. So, a phallic symbol is a stick, a dagger, a fountain, etc. a Symbol of death – departure, the nakedness – clothing… Even s special dream book was compiled according to Freud’s theory.
When trying to decipher the dream the method of a free association is also used, which was invented by Freud. The patient is invited to tell the dream and thoughts that come to his mind, quite freely, not limited by the norms of morality, ethics or internal blocks.
The Structure of the Psyche
Trying to analyze the work of the psyche, Freud developed a structure of personality. He divided it into three levels: Id (“It”, the unconscious), Ego (“I”, the first level of consciousness) and the Superego (“Over-I”, the second level of consciousness).
Id is the unconscious, forming desires and needs. It has no outlet to the surrounding reality and acts through the mind – Ego. The ego, however, does not always satisfy all the needs of Id, for example, if some of them cannot be met immediately. Controlling the desires with deferred pleasure, the Ego has the ability to meet the needs of the Id without exposing the body of danger.
In addition, there is the Superego, the internal censor,the conscience that blocks the desires, which do not meet the internal installations of morality. The Superego is necessary for the normal functioning of a man in the society. It is a moral and ethical force, which is formed in a child in the process of the formation of the psyche.
Currently there are several models of the personality structure, but Freud’s concept is one of the most widespread and known.
The Discovery of the Role of Sexuality in Behavior
Before Freud speaking about the role of sexuality and sexual desires in human behavior was not accepted. And the fact that the scientist made this aspect of human life the most important aspect, struck the global scientific community and made many Freud’s contemporaries and followers turn away from him. This is probably the most criticized topic in his teachings.
However, first we need to understand what Freud called sexuality. In fact, he did not narrow down all the impulses, motives to just problems of a human sexual life (frustration in bed), but on the contrary, he expanded the definition of sexuality.
Libido, according to Freud, is not just a sexual attraction, but a psychic energy, which is able to transform into different forms. The concept of sexuality was expanded because of admitting the fact that child’s sexuality also exists: there is also a psychic energy and the need for pleasure in children, and they are implemented through various (not just genital) mechanisms (thumb sucking, for example).
Freud’s theory of sexuality was widely discussed in society. It is believed that it set the stage for the sexual revolution of the 60s.
The Theory of the Formation of the Psyche
Freud divided the development of sexuality into 5 phases– the phase of psychosexual development of the personality, in the course of which the character is formed. An unfortunate passing of a particular phase affects the identity of the person in the form of certain traits.
Oral phase – from birth to 1.5 years. The pleasure is achieved by stimulation of the oral zone while sucking, biting and swallowing. The object of the enjoyment – the mother’s breast. During this period the ability to trust and love develops.
Anal phase – from 1.5 to 3.5 years. The pleasure is achieved by stimulation of the anal zone with defecation, that the child learns to control during this period. During this period the Ego is formed, as well as and the ability of self-control and self-regulation.
Phallic phase – from 3.5 to 6 years. At this time the child begins to explore his body, see the difference between boys and girls, shows interest in the birth of children; the superego formed under the influence of parents and educators. This time is characterized by the Oedipus complex in boys (the desire to possess the mother and rivalry with the father) and the Electra complex in girls (the attraction to father).
Latent phase – from 6 to 12 years. It is the period when sexual (mental) energy does not have a sexual release in the part of the body and transferred to other objectives: social engagement, communication, education, etc.
Genital phase – from 12 to 18 years. It is the period of puberty, which completes the psychosexual development. Sexuality finds its way in the genital area, it is formed by the needs and capabilities of mature sexual relations with a person of the opposite sex.
The correct behavior of parents is extremely important when a child is passing through each phase. According to Freud, sticking on a certain stage of the development leads eventually to the emergence of negative character traits, inner conflicts, complexes, neuroses, etc.