Freud’s View On Human Nature. Research on Sigmund Freud’s Theory
According to Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic investigation, human nature comprises some deep characteristics which yearn to satisfy particular needs and impulses such as aggression, the ego that drives him towards pleasurable experiences, the need for love and avoidance of pain in all areas of life. The impulses are considered to lead either towards good or evil, according to the nature of satisfaction they bring to an individual and the community at large. This research paper shall analyze Freud’s view of human nature that became a considerable contribution to psychology.
Freud’s View On Human Nature: Main Points
The nature of the society, either civilized or barbaric, is a result of the personality type of people inhabiting the environment. It is also a function of the degree of moral standards set by society, which forms continuous suppression of human instinct, leading to the need for either reaction or compensation (Ziegler, 2002).
Freud, on his psychoanalytic perspective, argued that personality development is one of the significant characteristics of human nature that leads to a deeper understanding of the uniqueness of each person’s life. Movement of individuals from one stage of life to another results in conflict between social and biological drive found within human nature. Freud’s drive theory assumes that the ability of any individual to cope with his/her environment is determined by the individual’s ability to deal with the forces within the society and learn from them.
His argument on psychosexuality was that the management of a child’s sexual and aggression drives by the parents within the early stages of life contributes more significant percentage on a healthy personality development which comprises of three parts; id which forms the source for primary and biological needs and forms substantial rate of the mind.
Then there is the ego that forms the conscious part of human nature and is driven by survival and contributes towards the directing of id’s impulses as appropriate. Then there is the superego that forms part of social conscience and develops as a result of relationships and interactions with parents who teach the children to accept and conform to the society’s values and norms (Ziegler, 2002).
Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalysis
Freud in his books continues to argue that human nature finds it difficult to accept anything less than excellence. According to Sigmund Freud’s theory, the instinct that drives them towards this contributes towards intellectualism and more of ethical sublimation, which makes a human crave for a superiority complex. Freud argued that there is a significant relationship existing between man and society, which makes him/her naturally antisocial based on the level of evil nature within each individual.
He believed that the function of the society was to check on the human antisocial instincts. According to his psychodynamic view of human nature, the level to which a human being becomes civilized is purely dependent on the process of sublimation. This brings about the inverse relationship between human nature’s urge to satisfy his drives and societal cultural practices. The degree to which an individual is subjected to suppression determines the level of his civilized lifestyle (Ziegler, 2002).
Sigmund Freud’s human nature view is seen as being more pessimistic since he placed so much emphasis on the traditional belief that there is a significant relationship between human behaviors and the society from which an individual grows. This makes the roots from which individual originates to be eviler and at times, leads to destruction. Freud believed that the superiority of the majority determines the way society is led and driven.
He argued that the main essence of human nature comprises a more significant percentage of id, which yearns to satisfy only the antisocial instincts that bring about an imbalanced society. Human nature theory by Sigmund Freud led to the question of whether it would be possible for human nature to contain the principles that drive towards pleasure (Ziegler, 2002).
In the study of human personality, Freud believed that the central part of human nature is as a result of id and the control of human decisions by the superego. He argued that childhood behaviors and experiences influenced a significant percentage of adult characteristics.
According to his discovery, neuroses were a result of powerful emotional forces brought about by traumatic and harsh experiences at the childhood stage. According to Freud, childhood experiences shape up the adult life stage to the extent where infantile character shapes the formation of characters into adulthood.
Sigmund Freud’s Theory: Is Humanity Disposed of More Towards Granting Mercy or Towards Aggression?
Freud discovered that the general behavior of an individual was much driven by motivations arising from the emotional forces built on the unconscious part of the mind, and free will is only an illusion. According to Freud’s theory of personality, human actions are as a result of mental and neurotic conflicts. It is in human nature, according to Freud, to be more inclined towards aggression, which demands the satisfaction of more antisocial instincts that drive towards the attainment of an individual’s pleasure.
This leads to more conflict between individuals and society and, ultimately, the destruction of humanity. Freud argues that humanity cannot be inclined towards granting mercy since there was no much emphasis on the constructive human nature forces. There was no clear indication of human creativity and productivity in Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of human development (Freud, 1930).
The urge to the immediate satisfaction of human instincts results in conflict. According to Freud, the aggression is produced by the id, which is considered as the little devil from within that urges individuals to indulge in pleasurable activities irrespective of the consequent results provided that some satisfaction is guaranteed.
The superego, on the other hand, operates on ideal principles that tend to push individuals away from trouble. Human aggression can well be seen in the behaviors of a growing child who cares less about the inconveniences his/her demands cause to other people, including the parents (Freud, 1930).
How Do We Progress in a Moral Sense?
There was a belief in Sigmund Freud’s theory that love, as a virtue, was a result of sexual sublimation. Human behaviors are regarded differently depending on the culture of the society from which it emanates. The culture, within which an individual functions, determines to a greater extent the abnormality or normality of specific actions and behaviors. Morality brings clear differentiation on what is considered good or bad within the societies. Moral behaviors are believed to be a result of shared values within the community.
According to Freud, morals are developed to provide means by which humanity can live together in peace and unity. These codes of morals are formed as a result of social and societal dictates. The general society contributes to a significant percentage of an individual’s morality since individuals know no moral boundaries (Freud, 1930, 49).
This is because people are so much concerned about their own persona good as opposed to others within the same environment, there is no reliance on others as long as an individual is at peace with himself. Based on individual drives and egos, moral restrictions are not of importance so long as there is security within.
The creation of communities led to the introduction of morality since individuals saw the need for healthy interactions and the realization of strength in unity of purpose. Greater strength calls for sole restrictions on individual behaviors and actions. This, according to Freud, sets up the power of the community as being superior to an individual’s power, which at times turns brutal. The power of the community is only eminent after dealing with the egocentric nature of human beings.
Individual actions require regulations by the moral codes for stability to be maintained within the societies. Freud argued that all negative behaviors must be dealt with in order to guarantee safety to other members of society. This is only possible when the concept of empathy is enforced upon individuals dwelling within the same community.
This is summed up in the golden rule principle, which states that we should do unto others what we expect them to do unto us. The moral code based on this principle ensures that individuals treat one another in a more cautious and less violent manner (Freud, 1930).
Freudian perception of morality is based upon the concept of empathy, such that any behavior associated with social evil is condemned by every society. According to Freud’s view on human nature, most individuals within the society accept the adoption of the principles and rules that guards against inflicting harm on others since no one desires evil behaviors against him or his family. The morality of an individual is majorly based on the behavioral actions which guarantee continuity within societies.
Morality is less associated with one’s thoughts since it is more revealed in an individual’s actions. Freud argued that what prevents an individual from inflicting harm on others is the fear of consequent results of community actions against him rather than empathy (Carpendale and Krebs, 1995).
Carpendale, J., & Krebs, D. L. (1995).Variations in the level of moral judgment as a function of type of dilemma and moral choice. Journal of Personality, (63), 289-313
Freud, S. (1930).Civilization and its discontents. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
Ziegler, D. J. (2002). Freud, Rogers and Ellis: A comparative theoretical analysis. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive- Behavior Therapy, 20(2), 75-91
Surrealism and Freud Research Paper
Surrealism is one of the well-known cultural movements of the 20th century characterized by visual artworks and writings of various philosophers. That movement was founded at the beginning of 1920s by a French writer and theorist Andre Breton.
Surrealism is not just a simple form of art that is studied by numerous writers; it is a way of how people look at life and understand it from political, philosophical, aesthetical, and social perspectives. The best representatives of surrealism were Salvador Dali, Sigmund Freud, Max Ernst, and Marcel Duchamp. Captivating writings and masterpieces of great people made a considerable impact on the development of surrealism.
One of the philosophers, who significantly influenced surrealism, was Sigmund Freud. To analyze how exactly surrealism was connected to Freud’s theories, it is necessary to identify the peculiarities of surrealism, to evaluate Freud’s theory, and find out how Freud’s ideas influenced the works of popular surrealists, Max Ernst, for example.
The Essence of Surrealism
Surrealism grew out of another, not less popular movement, Dada. The peculiar feature of Dada movement was the idea to present anti-art works and to underline the darkness and sorrow of war. In its turn, surrealistic movement was characterized by more positive expression of reality. “The objective of surrealism was the infinite expansion of reality as a substitute for the previously accepted dichotomy between the real and the imaginary.” (Balakian 14)
One more peculiar feature of surrealism is that it is not one specific style, but the union of several styles, which are based on the same idea – to present the reality. This is why it is possible to define surrealism as “psychic automatism in its pure state by which we propose to express – verbally, in writing, or any other manner – the real process of thought.” (Leslie 59)
Sigmund Freud and His Theories
When we talk about surrealism, we cannot but remember such a brilliant philosopher, whose works made a certain impact on surrealism and its understanding, as Sigmund Freud. The ideas of this person changed lots of worlds, the world of psychology and art in particular. His idea of having a kind of fixation on sex and that having sex may be considered as an explanation of all human’s mental ills attracts lots of people and cause numerous misunderstandings of the others.
Freud did not afraid to break any boundaries, offer, and prove his own ideas and visions. His theories of psychosexual development, dreams, id, ego, and superego played a significant role in the history of art. As for surrealism movement, it is better to pay attention to one of Freud’s theories, the theory of dreams, where Freud called dreams as a kind of road to the unconscious. In other words, Freud was sure that dreams could easily demonstrate and explain the sense of the unconscious mind.
Freud’s Theories and Surrealism
Surrealism presents the works of the subconscious mind. Freud identified dreams as the way to the subconscious. After we confront these two ideas together, it is possible to trace the connection of surrealism to Freud’s ideas.
In order to comprehend the ideas, which surrealists want to reproduce in their works, it is necessary to find the way to this unconscious, and it is possible only with the help of dreams. Freud’s dream theory is a kind of mechanism, the way according to which all our desires split through censorship. If a desire cannot be comprehended, it gets a form of some kind of absurdity.
For example, let us take two objects, which cannot be matched together in reality, melting clocks and trees, a bicycle and a fish, etc. These objects cannot be condensed into something one. This is possible only in a dream, when people desire something. This is what Freud’s theory about dreams is all about, and this is what surrealist representatives took from Freud.
However, Freud was interested not about the unconscious of surrealism. His burning desire was to analyze the conscious. He thought that all those experiments, which different surrealists did with psychic automatism (the release of the unconscious), are directed to ego activity.
Freud believed that such a direct release of the unconscious was a mistake. All those unconscious was shaped by the ego. So, surrealistic works could hardly be called as something unconscious. Even more, Freud underlined that if all those works were the products of unconscious, they could be much better.
Max Ernst as a Representative of Surrealism Movement
One of the representatives of surrealism movement was Max Ernst. He was a German painter, poet, and sculptor. First, he enrolled to study philosophy; however, soon he gave up that affair and started painting. His works took a lot from Freud’s theories. The idea of chance and the unconscious are the leading ones in one of Ernst’s work – Oedipus Rex. The influence of Freud is felt from the very title of the work.
The Oedipus complex is often recognized in Freud’s ideas, as well as it is recognized in the work by Ernst. Each component plays a significant role for general perception of the picture. The image between the man’s hand and the bird symbolizes man’s desire to be free from the society he lives in. The wall, in comparison to the hand, is not that big that underlines that in fact does not play too significant role, however, it is an obstacle that a person cannot move on.
This picture also has a sexual character. The nut represents a woman, and the crack in this nut symbolizes the intercourse between a woman and a man. This intercourse means a lot as for a woman, as well as for a man. The point that a man’s hand holds this nut is also worthy of attention. It underlines woman’s position in the society, women depend from men, and this is one of the truths, which Ernst wanted to represent in his masterpiece.
In general, surrealism and Freud’s theories have lots in common. All of them are about the subconscious and the conscious. People sometimes cannot understand where the reality ends, and dreams start. Surrealism is one of the artistic movements with strong political, social, and aesthetical components. It was one of the most organized movements of the 20th century. Its leader was Andre Breton, however, not his ideas only were considered.
One of the most influential philosophers for surrealism was Sigmund Freud. His theory of dreams and the unconscious influenced a lot the development of surrealism. The main difference between surrealism and Freud’s theory was Freud’s statement that numerous surrealistic works were shaped by the ego, and this is why they cannot be considered as the unconscious works only. A part of the conscious is still present is the works, such as Oedipus Rex by Max Ernst.
Balakian, A. E. Surrealism: The Road to the Absolute. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986.
Leslie, R. Surrealism: The Dream of Revolution. New York: Smithmark, 1997.
Sigmund Freud’s Psychosexual Development Theory Analytical Essay
Sigmund Freud, in the Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality explored the concept of sexual development from psychological point of view arguing that sexual development intricately links the behaviour, beliefs and psychology of an individual. Freud changed the perception of sex when he proposed that sexuality forms an integral part of childhood development as sex mediates between the body and the mind (Perron 5). He noted that sexual instincts are major driving forces in personality development.
Sigmund Freud has redefined the ordinary physical perspective of sexual development by incorporating psychological aspect of psyche. In his psychoanalysis theory, Freud proposed that the psyche has three components, namely, the ego, the super-ego and the id. Super-ego is the conscious component of the psyche that imposes and regulates cultural sexual constraints while the id is the unconscious component that determines the sexual instincts of pleasure and is important in socialization.
The ego is the component of the psyche that interfaces and coordinates the super-ego and the id in the harmonization of the conflicting sexual instincts and cultural sexual constraints in the process of psychosexual development (Dhanyasree Para. 1). To study sexual development, Freud divided the development process into five phases, namely the oral phase, anal phase, phallic phase, latency phase and genital phase basing on the source of the sexual drive.
Oral phase is the first phase of psychosexual development that begins from birth and continues up to about two years. In this phase, the primary source of sexual instinct or the erogenous zone is the mouth because the baby finds the pleasure in sucking her mother’s breast, sucking the fingers, or even putting any objects into the mouth (Stevenson Para. 3).
Critically, at this stage the baby is actively putting things into the mouth in order to satisfy the stimulating sexual instinct in the mouth. The psychological explanation is that, since the baby is still very young, super-ego and ego components of the psyche are immature thus the baby is under unconscious control of the id and cannot coordinate components of the psyche.
Therefore, the dominant component of the psyche is the id, which makes the baby be under the unconscious control of the id hence the baby focuses on the sexual instincts to derive pleasure (Perron 8). As the ego develops, the baby differentiates the environment and the body by the senses and can start demanding her mother’s breast or anything to suck.
Poor nursing or early weaning deprives the baby the pleasure of parental care and this forms part of the early challenges the baby experiences. During these challenges, fixation can occur, the baby will have problems in future such as aggression, dependency, nails biting, smoking, drinking or eating (Cherry Para 2).
Persistence of fixation characteristics into the live of an adult is an indication of the effects of the early sexual instincts in the development and modification of personal character. This implies that one can modify human behavior as early as the beginning of sexual instincts and proper childcare can help prevent fixation, which is the residual consequences of due to the unsatisfied motherly pleasure on the kid at an early stages of sexual development.
This is the second phase of psychosexual development and it involves a shift of sexual instinct from the mouth into the anus. This phase occurs between the ages of about 2 years and 3 years when a child trains on how to use a toilet. The source of sexual drive is the anus and the child finds pleasure in the “repulsion or retention of feces” (Stevenson Para. 4).Since the ego and super-ego have developed, they child psyche now have conflicting components of the psyche.
While the dominant id component unconsciously seeks pleasure in expulsion of feces, the super-ego component is the pressure seeking to instill proper toilet training to the child by the parent. The ego then tries to harmonize the conflicting demands from the parent, which is the super-ego and child’s desires, the id.
In the anal phase, the child has two options to choose: the child can either follow the desires of the id or comply with the demands of the super-ego. If the child opts for the desires of the id, it means the child is going to have pleasure in expulsion of feces at any time and place as they please and if the parents do not correct this habit, the child will continue with it into the future affecting the character.
The future character of the child will be an “anal expulsive character” that is careless, messy, reckless, disorganized, and defiant personality (Stevenson Para. 4).
On contrary, if the child opts for the demands of the super-ego, it means that the child either followed the demands of the parent in toilet training or has the pleasure of retaining the feces. If the child finds pleasure in the retention of the feces and continue enjoying without the notice of the parent, the child will overindulge this habit and develop an “anal retentive character” that is obstinate, clean, precise, orderly, meticulous, careful, stingy and passively-aggressive personality (Stevenson Para. 4).
The two characters, the anal repulsive and the anal-retentive characters result from the autonomy of the ego and not compulsion from the super-ego or the id. The ego choice of character and proper toilet training in the anal phase will significantly affect individual inclinations and attitudes towards authorities on how one can comply or disobey.
If the parent imposes toilet training to the child, physically the child will seem to comply but the ego of the child did not harmoniously sort out the conflict between the super-ego and the id resulting into perpetual conflict that affect the personality of the child. The resulting effect of dictating the ego of the child will lower the self-esteem and decision-making ability since the autonomy of the ego is interfered.
This stage occurs between the ages of 3-6 years and it is the most critical stage in sexual development. Here there is shift in the erogenous zone from anus into genitals as the child explore own genitals and genitals of the friends as an adventure to understand sexuality. Although the source of the sexual instinct originates from the genitals, the genitals are not mature as adults but boys experiences occasional erection in their sleep and they find pleasure (Cherry Para. 2).
The major conflicts at this stage are the Oedipus and Electra complexes for boys and girls respectively, which are the “unconscious desire to possess the opposite-sexed parent and to eliminate the same-sexed one” (Stevenson Para. 5).
Oedipus complex is the unconscious selfish interests the boy experiences as he competes with the father for the love and attention of the mother. The unconscious desire and natural love for his mother is due to the sexual instincts experienced at the oral and anal stages and it is transforming into real sexual desire (Dhanyasree Para. 5). As a boy mature, he begins to identify his sexual identity and associate with his the mother more than the father.
The boy feels that his father threatens his love towards the mother and he begins to envious as he tries to compete with his father for the attention and affection of the mother The boy develop fears when he realizes that her mother do not have penis like him because the father has castrated her. Freud describes this fear as “castration anxiety” (Cherry Para 5). This fear is due to the super-ego that tends to dominate the id as the boy mature and become more conscious about the choices he makes.
The term Electra complex describes the unconscious envy that the girl child experiences at the phallic stage. When the girl identify her sexuality and realizes the difference between mother and father or boy and girl sexuality, Electra complex ensues. After realization that she do not have penis and perceiving that her mother castrated her, she become envious for the penis of her father.
Freud describes this envy for the penis as “penis envy” (Stevenson Para. 5). The envious demands for the penis by the id outweighs super-ego cultural demands leaving the girl fixated, still envying men into the marriage. Since the girl has no option, she begins to identify with her mother and start to learn her sexual role.
The phallic phase is the most crucial stage where children learn their sexual roles after they experience the battle in their psyche. At this stage, there is a shift in the psyche as the id that is dominant in the childhood gradually dominates the super-ego. The ego then harmonizes the conflicting forces in the psyche making the child to accept reality and love both parents without fear of castration or envy of the penis.
If the conflicting super-ego and the id demands remain unsolved, fixation will occur. In women, it results into extreme characters such as hunger for superiority over men, seductive or low self-esteem, and while in boys, fixation may result into immorality, narcissistic, over ambition or careless behavior.
Freud further proposes that fixation can be the root of cause of homosexuality and other sexual anomalies (Stevenson Para. 6). The aberrant sexual behaviors that occur in an adult life originate from the phallic stage of psychological and sexual development, thus, phallic stage is very critical in the development of sexual characters as well as personality.
Latent phase occurs at the age when the child start schooling up to the age when adolescence begins. This stage is latent because the sexual instinct or libido drives are dormant and the erogenous energy of the genitals is directed into other areas of thinking process such as intellectual pursuits, games, and social interactions (Cherry Para. 6). Although sexual drives are dormant in this stage, the habits formed at earlier stages of psychosexual development are processed into concrete behaviors.
Essentially, what really happens at this stage is that the ego is taking control of the id because at the phallic stage, the Oedipal and Electra complexes causes repression of the id, hence the child is do not longer operates under the unconscious demands of the id but is under the conscious control of the super-ego and ego coordination.
In the conscious state the child begin exploring and discovering the environment as a way of exercising the ego in making decision and choices. This stage determines the personality in terms of communication, socialization, and self-esteem.
Latent phase critical depend on the resolution of the Oedipus and Electra conflicts that occur at the phallic phase because the conflict between super-ago and ego can be resolved or it may remain unsolved.
The importance of conflict resolution in the preceding stages of psychosexual development is that it forms basis for the development of subsequent psychosexual development stages. Thus, any anomaly in conflict resolution in the psyche will result into the aberrant behaviors such as poor communication skills, anti-social character, and low self-esteem.
This is the last stage of the psychosexual development and it occurs at the age of about 12 years when puberty begins until the end of puberty where major secondary sexual characteristics occur (Perron 12). At this stage, the dormant erogenous energy drive at latent stage is activated resulting into strong sexual urge to the opposite sex. Here there is the shift of interest from selfish needs to the consideration of the needs of others (Cherry Para. 7).
The shift in the needs is due to the maturity of the ego that allows proper coordination of the conflicts in the psyche making the child to transition well from the childhood into the adulthood. The child at this stage experience sexual maturity and get interested in doing responsibilities of the adults like doing work, love relationships or can even marry.
If there are conflicts that are unresolved from the preceding stages, now the child starts to feel their impacts at this stage. It is at this stage where there is a manifestation of the psychosexual development experiences, since secondary sexual characteristics are more pronounced. Proper development of ego and genitals at this stage results into a balanced individual with a normal personality.
Sigmund Freud has greatly changed the perception of sex by incorporating the psychological aspect into the sexuality. The earlier perception that sexual development is just a physical and only occurs during puberty is quite unsatisfactory in explaining the causes of aberrant sexual behaviors and diverse personalities. Psychosexual development theory elucidates what really constitutes sexually right from when the child is born up to the puberty point of maturity.
The psychological components of psyche, the super-ego, the ego, and the id clearly demonstrate psychological perspective of sexuality and character development of an individual. From Freud perspective, sexuality and character development are more of psychological rather than physical appearances that only depend on the biological dictation.
Psychosexual development theory gives five sequential phases that a human being undergoes in the course of sexual development. These phases are closely linked and dependent on one another in the cumulative building up of the sexual and psychological development and eventually the overall character of an individual. Psychosexual theory has significantly changed the perception and the definition of sexuality in the modern world.
Dhanyasree, Munnar. “Psychosexual Analysis” Oneindia Living. 2008. Web.
Cherry, Kendra. “Freud’s Stages of Psychosexual Development.” Psychology. 2010. Web.
Perron, Roger. “Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality.” International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis. 2010. Web
Stevenson, David. “Freud’s Psychosexual Stages of Development.” The Victorian Web 2001. Web.
Hello, Mr. Freud: The Psychology of a Sitcom Analytical Essay
Popular films and TV-shows have always conveyed hidden messages since the day TV was created. Sometimes these messages are not even intended, being just a product if the epoch, a free attachment to the art of cinema. It is only today, with the psychological theories developed well enough to see through the TV screen, people can understand what this or that film is driving at. The sitcom Two and a Half Men is a clear-cut example of such effects of TV.
The sitcom deals with the problem of two adult men and a boy living their lives together and getting involved into multiple funny and amusing situations. The clue about the TV-series is that it makes a vision of a hilarious show, and yet when you look closer to it, you start understanding that there is more than meets the eye in the comic scenes for the family to laugh at on a quiet evening.
Coming to the point, I want to get your attention to some particular details of thesitcom.
The author of the plot has managed to depict the situation of a man isolating himself from relationship with women and the problems this situation triggers.
In fact, a barrier that a man is putting between himself and a woman is already a psychological twist. The relationships between a man and a woman are not supposed to be shadowed by fear, whomever it might consider.
Whenever there is something that prevents the relationships to develop further on, it is a signal for the problems of communication to have arisen. The message in this case is that these are only the men with no psychological traumas, whether these were a long-forgotten past or the recent accident, can build up the relations with women, and create regular families with children, household chores and all the things that go with this present pack.
Personally, I insist on the role of communication as the one that keep a man going, not letting him fall into despair or turn mad. It cannot be excessive, and the more a man talks to the others and socializes, the better he proves that he has no mental or psychological problems, that he is a specimen of a healthy society. However, there can be another viewpoints concerning this problem.
For example, Gardiner makes it quite clear that the communication itself might root form the psychological disorder in a particular man or woman. That is the point that the psychologist makes:
Freud also teaches that communication can be therapeutic. He invented the talking cure, by which patients can contribute to the cure of their own illnesses by talking about their lives. A number of more modern therapists have followed up on this insight by further exploring the role of communication in mental illness. They have argued, however, that communication can also be a cause of mental illness. (141-142)
The Freudian problems have been emphasized in the movie in the very best way. One of the most explicit ones that the audience can catch from the very beginning is the relationship between a son and his mother. That is the clue that can be used as a guide across the whole sitcom.
Indeed, if considering each character of the sitcom in particular, it will be clear that the problematic relations with women are just a result of their complexes arose when they were deprived of a certain piece of mother’s love and care. They have been living most of their lives like tough bachelors, and, together with their lack of mother’s care and warmth has brought them to their present state of battling with their own personality.
As it can be easily understood, the result of such battle can be quite sorrowful, and they will be heart-aching until the day they fully realise their problems.
Take Charlie as an example. He is what a psychologist would call a man who has a high level of primativeness, and the mere mortals would call a womanizer. The very lack of mother’s attention and caring is what has turned him to be a lady-killer. However, one should not underestimate the power of choice. Sometimes it is ll to us that may change the life and bring us to the happily-ever-after. As Gardiner says, depicting the different paths the two twin brothers have chosen:
… Very different personalities could not be the result of genetic factors or environmental factors (they were genetically identical and their environments were as close as any two people ever had) or any “complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors”. We must consider a third factor – choice… (Gardiner 56)
But however reasonable Gardiner may sound, there is something that this description lacks if applied to the character of the sitcom, Charlie. A choice is something for a strong-willed man, while Charlie is rather weak and influential. And that also predetermines his attitude to women as to a pathetic something that does not deserve respect.
Next to Charlie is Alan, who lacks the same thing, which is mother’s attention, but he cannot realise it. That takes him to facing difficulties in his personal life, being ashy and sensitive… If he was a man that would be not that awful, but just imagine what misery such qualities can bring to a puppet!
The very “half of a man” that he makes, Alan is a psychological case of a man who has not grown up. Unfortunately, it is quite widespread phenomenon nowadays, so widespread that it has become a common case.
The modern psychologists say the following on this well-known problem:
“Dr. Dan Kiley invented the Peter Pan Syndrome to describe men who are narcissist, emotionally immature, irresponsible, aggressive and dependent. (Kavey 50-51).”
On the other side of the sword there is the so-called Wendy syndrome, or the case of will-you-ever-stop-mothering-me relationships. That is where all men’s fears of being dominated and subdued to the woman’s constant control get revealed in full.
That is, actually, the roots of the problem discussed above, that is, the fear of making contact to women. Afraid of being patronized, the men simply do not want to cut on their free and easy life and leave it all to the fate. They will never get married and create a family which will be their shelter and fortress, because they are afraid that the walls of the fortress will block their view.
Though this description is rather gloomy and very pessimistic, it proves right for those people who have not overcome the certain stage of becoming an adult person. This is just the thing that has happened to the character of the sitcom, Alan, who is stuck between a child and a man, both bodily and spiritually. This fact also drives our attention to the lack of the mother’s influence on Alan.
Of course, one might say that being half a man, the other half a child has its advantages. It is far easier to find a common language with children, and the picture of the world is not so gloomy anymore. Living on the bright side is something that an average adult person cannot afford, and the idea of settling such life is very tempting.
Alan plays a part of a link between Charlie and Jake that helps the father to understand his son and his childish joys and fears a bit better. A medium between a father and a son, Alan breaks the boundaries between half a man and a superman, an angel, a soul itself. He speaks to Charlie as his own conscience – rather nasty and stubborn one, though.
The syndrome of Peter Pan that I have told about is not a whole huge drawback; it is simply a state of soul. And, like every state, it can be changed, for it is not the finish of a person’s development, but a certain stage on the way to it. The problems of the book character are still something that a man can manage, and Alan knows it for sure. He adds a tint of the unreal and supernatural, making the rest of the characters more vivid, but he also is a case to consider.
Finally, we have Charlie’s son, Jacob David “Jake” Harper who has his parents divorced and that makes him an underachieving and weak child. He is a moving character, but he is certainly the one to feel sorry for, because these are not the arguments between the parents that drive the child lone and uncertain, but the final split, the divorce.
It is much like being torn in two, because it is impossible to answer the question of who-do-you-love-most-mom-or-dad. Their fears are much deeper than those the adults have, and the sad experience can crash their life for good. As G. Knowles says,
Two things stand out as distinctly different for children. The first is that they are dependent, physically, financially, psychologically and socially, on the adults around them. If one parent has died, then logic dictates that the surviving parent may die also. Suddenly the world seems very unsafe to a child… (122).
She poses the divorce as a practical loss of a parent for a child. That is something that a child can hardly live through without being hurt, both morally and psychologically. In his research Hersen says, that “conflicts over these topics may cause children to feel shameful, to blame themselves for the divorce, or to fear becoming involved in the conflict” (835).
Applied to the everyday life, this sitcom has all rights to claim for a position of a guide through the mishaps that occur in the incomplete families. This might be a good example of what problems the adults face as they get divorced. It also shows clearly what problems children might have in future if something happens to their parents, or if the kid was brought up with only one parent, namely a father.
I would also like you to pay your attention to the way the relationships between a father and a son unwind. As a rule, raising a child is the mother’s business, while the father remains a bit aside, not messing in the course of events. But this time it is the father who gets the role of a nurse and starts acting the way he had never thought before he could.
To sum up, the things that the sitcom illustrates are at times much deeper than the audience might have though and provides the food for brain you would not get from any other source.
Perhaps, the popular culture, or at least its TV element deserves a better attention as something really meaningful and important…
Gardiner, Lambert W. The Psychology of Communication. New York, NY: Trisha Santa, 2008. Print
Hersen, Michel, Alan N. Gross. Handbook of Clinical Psychology: Children and Adolescents. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, 2008. Print.
Kavey, Allison B., Peter Friedman. Second Star to the Right: Peter Pan in the Popular Imagination. New York, NY: Rutgers University Press, 2009.
Knowles, Gianna. Supportive Inclusive Practice. New York, NY: Taylor and Francis, 2010. Print.
Psychoanalysis: Sigmund Freud Works Examination Essay
The field of psychology is perhaps one of the most important fields which have enhanced civilization. The society heavily depends on the psychologists especially on the issue of social order which arguably is one of the most important aspects in the society. Over time psychologists have developed theories which have been found to have great applicability in the society.
In this article, the works of Sigmund Freud on the origin and development of psychoanalysis will be examined. Sigmund Freud has made great contribution to the world of psychology and this article will make an attempt to show that significance.
The article will also cite a number of authors who feel that Sigmund has made significant contribution as well as those who feel that the contribution is not that much significant. An overview of the work of Sigmund is given with the important concepts being brought out. I chose to examine the article by Sigmund Freud because I admire the views that Freud presented. I find most of reasoning to be quite practical in life.
Sigmund Freud’s views on psychology have been considered as “indispensable starting point for any serious student of psychoanalysis or psychotherapy” (Holt and Freud 4). It has further been claimed that “Freud has much to teach the contemporary reader and that the latter’s task is unnecessarily difficult” (Holt and Freud 4). Freud has been referred to as the founder of psychoanalytic theory (Cherry 1) though others have viewed his views to be quite irrelevant (Holt and Freud 4).
Personally going through the article I find the theories proposed by Freud and the illustrations given to be quite relevant. Freud came up with his theory of personality through his numerous observations that he made on his patients. From these observations, he divided the mind into two: the conscious and the unconscious mind (Thurschwell 5). I must say that I identify with the reasoning of Freud on the two divisions of the mind:
The conscious mind includes everything that we are aware of. This is the aspect of our mental processing that we can think and talk about rationally. A part of this includes our memory, which is not always part of consciousness but can be retrieved easily at any time and brought into our awareness. Freud called this ordinary memory the preconscious. (Cherry 1)
The second division, the unconscious mind, is very significant as most of the ideas that Freud developed were based on the unconscious mind:
The unconscious mind 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. (Cherry 1)
Freud in his determination to find a cure for seemingly abnormal behavior among adults made attempts to dig deep into the root of the cause of such problems. In his observations he found out that when people display some behaviors which are not considered normal it is usually due to some occurrence in their past life, to put it in his own words, “hysterical patients suffer from symptoms which are the remnants of traumatic experiences” (Freud 1).
I find this very practical in real life, is not what Freud was trying to explain an issue of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? No one can deny that after a person is exposed to traumatizing experience he/she is likely to have develop some funny or rather abnormal behaviors.
Freud made observations that hysterical patients are treated by being exposed to the conditions which had caused the traumatizing event: Freud drew up this conclusion after making several observations on hysterical patients. As a matter of fact exposure of a PTSD patient to the causal agent is one of the treatment means used in modern day clinical counseling. I therefore feel that Freud was quite accurate in his observation though his work has not been generally acknowledged.
Freud’s way of treating patients follows the path of exposing the patient to the causal effect. One way he did this was by talking to the patient when not in the normal state.
Freud acknowledged the fact that the patients tend to deny the state of condition by pushing the bad memories to the unconscious mind or rather by suppressing them such that one needs to assure them that they can remember the thoughts for them to remember the thoughts. Suppressing bad memories is an activity that takes place in anybody’s mind or rather at least to me it does happen.
One author who has greatly admired the work of Sigmund Freud is Catherine Reef. Reef has argued that the findings of Freud have had great influence upon the modern society as their applicability is widely relevant: “Freudian psychology has changed the way people do things, from creating literature and art to bringing up their children” (Reef 5).
The ideas of psychoanalysis especially the way that Freud attaches everything to sexuality has not obtained a common accepted among many scholars especially the modern day ones. Some of the ideas which have strongly been brought under criticism are:
Other studies indicate that Freud was wrong in thinking that girls do not value being girls and are not aware for a long time that Freud was wrong in thinking that girls do not value being girls and are not aware for a long time of their sexual organs; that girls want babies only as substitutes for a penis; that children begin to understand themselves as boys or girls only after observing genital difference; that the male superego is stronger than the female’s and that it derives primarily from fear of castration. (Winer and Anderson 72)
Winer and Anderson however have pointed out that it is Freud who proposed that children are often more observant than it is often thought, “children observe more than we think they do” (72).
Arguing from the view of Kant, it can be said that some of the ideas that Freud put across are both of priori and posteriori knowledge. For instance, the fact that a person will tend to resist a traumatic memory can be said to be of prior in nature but other issues such as girls hating who they are may need to be proved thus being posterior in nature.
Sigmund Freud laid a foundation for psychoanalysis. Though some of his conclusions have been severely criticized, it has generally been agreed that his work forms a very basic foundation in the field of psychoanalysis. Freud gave significant insight into the nature of the mind making a significant contribution to the society even at the current time in various fields including literature and art. Sigmund Freud was a great psychologist.
Cherry, Kendra. The conscious and Unconscious mind. Psychology, 2011. Web.
Holt, Robert and Freud Sigmund. Freud reappraised: a fresh look at psychoanalytic theory. New York: Guilford Press, 1989. Print.
Reef, Catherine. Sigmund Freud: pioneer of the mind. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001. Print.
Thurschwell, Pamela. Sigmund Freud. New York: Taylor & Francis, 2008. Print.
Winer, Jerome and Anderson, James. Sigmund Freud and his impact on the modern world. New York: Routledge, 2001. Print.
Sigmund Freud’s “The Uncanny” Essay
In Sigmund Freud’s “The Uncanny,” he introduces a mythical creature, the Sandman, who is involved with many negative activities including stealing children’s eyes. Sandman’s story presents an imaginary plot that involves Nathaniel, Olympia, and the sandman who appears in different names of Coppelius and Coppola.
Some of the most popular issues addressed in sandman’s story are blindness and eyes. The antagonist portrays the characteristics of a sadist, whose intentions are either to remove children’s eyes, or ruin relationships. From the story, excessive reference to eyes and blindness has a significant contribution to the themes, characterization and psychoanalytic elements.
One of Feud’s first interpretations of the story compares loss of eyesight to castration. In psychoanalytic terms, eyes enable an individual to see the real world and make positive contributions to its elements. However, once the eyes are removed, an individual shifts into an environment of hopelessness, fear and paranoia. The resulting fear in blindness is comparable to the helplessness caused by castration, especially when one considers the discontinuity established.
The eyes are therefore symbolic representation of the psychosexual characteristics present among humans, with each person striving to protect and retain eyesight. Feud introduces the eyes as the fundamental organs promoting ego and self-realization. According to the story, some organs like male sexual organs and the eyes influence sexuality, confidence and esteem, by promoting conscious control of emotions and feelings.
Blindness represents the fear experienced in dreams, myths and fantasies, at which individuals’ fear of losing the eyes can only be compared to that of being castrated. Sandman’s story demonstrates aesthetic factors with the constant mention of the eyes.
In the genital phase of human development, the unborn do not have an option of choosing their sexuality, but rather take their infantile states as insurance against mortality. However, with the representation of eyes, the story re-addresses the self-reflection among humans and the fact that nothing is lost forever or forgotten. The eyes represent the visions, realities and hopes.
The story therefore reflects how these are lost once the eyes are removed and makes a direct comparison to the losses incurred after one is castrated. In the story, the eyes are sexual reflections that are based on imaginary plot of the sandman, who takes several forms, but whose intentions remain unchanged. Children are the targets in Sandman’s story, and although Nathaniel had been warned about the activities of the Sandman, he nearly lost his eyes within the first few moments of his encounter with Coppelius.
Eyes represent the ability to overcome infantile characteristics and sexuality by establishing an aesthetic value to sight. Sandman’s target to the eyes is a way of trying to relate a fearful process to known issues, and Feud interprets this by comparing it with castration. The story invokes a sense of the uncanny, since it revisits infantile states and projects the victim to a primitive state. Castration terminates love and discontinues normal reproduction processes.
According to the story, Sandman does not only remove children’s eyes, but also ruins relationships. The Sandman ruins Nathaniel’s relationship with Clara, just when the two are about to are about to marry. In a unique representation of the eyes, the story uses spyglasses, which allow Nathaniel to see in private his repressed past. Just like in castration, removing the eyes sets an individual back to an infantile state and eliminates all the aesthetics in life.
Sigmund Freud’s Theories Analytical Essay
Sigmund Freud is one of the earliest pioneers of psychology. He is among a team of people whose discoveries have led to the development of psychology from one level to another. Currently, this subject is considered to be the broadest of all scientific subjects. This is not a small achievement considering the fact that psychology was just a miniature subject a few centuries ago.
This essay will discuss the major theories of Sigmund Freud as far as the psychodynamic approach to human behaviour is concerned. The essay will also look at the strong points in support of and against the theories. Finally, the essay will describe the cognitive approach to psychology as an alternative to Freud’s theories.
Background Of Psychodynamics
Psychodynamics is a type of study that focuses on the relationship between parts of the brain which coordinate to yield a certain human behaviour. The main components of psychodynamics are the human psyche, the personality of an individual and the mind. The organization of these three elements gives way to an effect on a person’s mental activity, emotional control and motivational forces.
This study also holds that the power of the mind which influences the states of the mind can be divided into emotional forces and inner forces that affect human behaviour. The following are theories that Sigmund Freud developed in his course of study of psychodynamics.
Sigmund Freud suggests that the unconscious state of the human mind is the major cause of the way individuals behave (Ahles 2004). Freud explains that the exact character of a person can only be determined through the knowledge of such a person’s unconscious state of mind. He explains that no action or deed is ever done without the preconception of the mind and the coordination of the elements of the mind. A surprising discovery that Freud made states that people rarely if ever know what goes on in their mind.
Freud holds that most of the actions of people are beyond their control. The decisions made are actually determined by their psyche. Unlike the personality of an individual, this component of the human mind consists of various parts which are in constant conflict with each other. These components include the ego, the id and the superego. According to Freud, these are the elements which are believed to be in control of the human behaviour.
The disagreement among the superego, the ego and the id usually leads to a decision that is favourable to all of them. The disagreement among these three goes on in the unconscious and so the person cannot really tell what is going on in his or her mind. However, this person may be in a position to feel the repercussions of the conflict. For instance, he or she may experience excitement, depression or even a headache as a result of what is going on in the unconscious state of mind.
The superego, the ego and the id each have different roles to play in the whole process of decision making and influence of human behaviour in the mind. Their roles can be summarised into three forces which are the instinctual drive, the moral constraint and the consideration of realistic possibilities at the time of decision making.
The id is controlled by instinctual drives such as an obsession for food, sex, drink and other wants. The id is only concerned about the acquisition of these desires and does not pause to consider the possibility or impossibilities of accessing them. In some cases, it might even get frustrated if it fails to achieve its desires.
On the other hand, the superego works on the basis of moral constraints. It advocates for only what is right and acceptable in the eyes of the society. The superego is the component that takes into consideration the advice and wise counsel that a person receives and prompts him to act according to them. The superego can go as far as punishing the individual if he acts contrary to the moral virtues he is supposed to adhere to. It does this by instilling a remorse feeling of guilt and anxiety.
Finally, the ego is the voice of reason behind the decision making process. As much as the id and the superego have a say in the entire process, it is the ego that finally decides what is to be done. It does this by considering the possibilities of both actions suggested by the id and the superego and then balancing between the needs of the id and the moral constraints imposed by the superego.
As pointed out earlier in this essay, Freud’s psychodynamic theory suggests that a majority of the thinking that goes on in the human mind happens without the knowledge of a person. According to Freud, the human mind can be divided into three main parts: the conscious, the preconscious and the unconscious.
The conscious part of the mind contains a small portion of mental activity that we are aware of and is majorly made up of thoughts and perceptions. The preconscious state of mind is deeper than the conscious but shallower than the unconscious. In this state of mind, the person is in a position to know hidden things but only if he or she tries to do it. It majorly comprises of stored information and memories.
In the unconscious state of mind, an individual does not know and cannot know things that go on in his or her mind (Mcleod 2007). There is a lot of information that falls under this state. These include shameful experiences, violent motives, fears, unacceptable sexual desires and traumatic experiences.
Most of these things are kept in the subconscious state of mind because the person refuses to think about them either because they threaten him or her or that they are totally unacceptable. The superego plays a big role in forcing these things from the conscious to the subconscious because of the guilt they evoke.
However, the repression of these thoughts into the unconscious state has the potential of doing a person more harm than good. This is because of the accumulating effect that the thoughts discussed above have on the mind. The locking up of these thoughts is one of the causes that lead to madness caused by depression or stress. This happens after the individual is unable to bear the weight of the locked up thoughts and becomes a victim of the same.
In some cases though, the ego may try to get rid of the pressure in the unconscious state of mind by finding alternative outlets. For instance, the ego can develop defence mechanisms that work by changing the form of one impulse into another form or type. A good example is that of individuals who refuse to accept shameful things about themselves and instead see the fault in others.
Sigmund Freud points out that the way people are brought up has a great impact on their later lives. This has a lot to do with the virtues they were taught by their parents and people around them. It also depends with the cultural background of the society in which the people are brought up in. The structure of a person’s psyche and personality is greatly influenced by the way he or she is treated by other people during childhood.
Strengths Of Freud’s Theories
Sigmund Freud’s theories would not have been wildly accepted and used had they not been sure and convincing. His theories are currently used in a number of medical practices such as psychoanalysis.
This is the most significant strength of Freud’s theories. Through his psychodynamic approach to psychology, it has been possible to identify causes of mental disorders and even try to restore the mental stability of mentally disorderly persons. The dream therapy which is based on the theories has also been helpful in the treatment of mentally disturbed patients.
In addition to that, the theories can be used to describe and explain any phenomena in life. This is because they provide an insight to the main factor that propels life in the universe; human behaviour. It is therefore possible that the theories of Sigmund Freud can be incorporated in almost each and every aspect of daily life and used to unravel hidden meanings.
The last strength of these theories is that they are among the few psychodynamic theories that used experimental methods to arrive at conclusions. The practical experimentation of the theories by Freud lends credence to their effectiveness. The documentation of the experiments can also serve as guidelines to medical practitioners who use the theories in treatment.
Weaknesses Of Freud’s Theories
First and foremost, Sigmund Freud’s theories are not in a position to be scientifically proved. This is because they can neither be measured nor quantified. The theories are therefore closed to constructive scrutiny. Had they provided room for scientific testing and proving, chances are that the theories could even have been improved and made into a better form than they are now.
Secondly, Freud’s theories are marginalised and present a possibility of bias. This is because the theories were developed from a small localised sample population in Vienna. Moreover, the majority of the people were middle-aged women and therefore the results cannot be used to provide a general worldwide view. They were based on mere clinical observations that cannot be a representation of the entire world population.
The last weakness of Sigmund Freud’s theories is that they did not take into account variations in culture. The experiments were solely done on white middleclass patients who represent only a fraction of the world population. The theories then generalise the conclusions and similarly apply them to other people from other cultures. This leads to misleading and in accurate information.
The Cognitive Approach
Cognitive psychology is the study of how people understand, recall, talk, think and evaluate problems (Neisser 1967). Unlike psychodynamics, cognitive psychology is a purely scientific approach to psychology. This is because it can be tested in the laboratory and proved.
Cognitive psychology deals mostly with the mental activity of an individual as opposed to psychodynamics which basically deals with behavioural characteristics. Cognitive psychology is also based on the acknowledgement of states of mind that are internal such as obsessions, notions, motivations and courage.
The cognitive approach is based on a number of assumptions. First and foremost, the approach suggests that a combination of scientific processes influences the behaviour of human beings. The second assumption is that this human behaviour only comes about as a response to external factors or stimuli. Finally, the cognitive approach also holds the view that genetic factors and other physical features have no influence on human behaviour. It suggests that people act the way they do because of their own thoughts.
Although the cognitive approach is among the latest sub disciplines of psychology, it has been successfully incorporated in many subjects such as personality psychology and abnormal psychology. The development of computers and increased artificial intelligence has also led to the widespread use of the cognitive approach.
From the foregoing discussion, it is evident that Sigmund Freud was a prominent psychologist whose psychodynamic theories revolutionized the entire discipline of psychology. His psychodynamic theories, namely the psyche, the unconscious state and childhood influences have provided meaningful explanations to some of the phenomena in life. The theories are also widely in use today because of their strengths and credibility.
However, they also have weaknesses which led to the establishment of the cognitive approach. This approach focuses on the mental activities and thought processes as major factors which influence human behaviour. The approach has grown due to the recent developments in psychology as a discipline. Finally, the cognitive approach has benefited from increased use of technology in the discipline of psychology.
Ahles, S. (2004) Our inner world: A guide to psychodynamics and psychotherapy. New York, Johns Hopkins University Press.
Mcleod, S. (2007) Psychodynamic approach. Web.
Neisser, U. (1967) Cognitive psychology. New York, Meredith.
Freud and Jung Psychology Essay
Freud and Jung had a lot in common. As a matter of fact the two had a strong relationship for many years. This is even evident from Jung’s work which tends to borrow heavily from Freud’s theory of unconscious. However, Jung became independent at later stage and is seen to write against Freud’s theories.
He took his own direction in the field of psychology. He refers this method as analytical psychology. This paper is therefore going to look deep into the concept of unconscious in relation to fraud’s and Jung’s views. It is important to note that although both of them employed the concept to explain dreams, Jung tend to take a multi layered direction of the subconscious.
Freud and Jung differed on what makes the unconscious. According to Freud, the unconscious is made up of the unwanted images, experiences and thoughts. The collection of all these result in a condition known as the neuroses (Storr, 1989).
In addition to that, Jung says that all human beings have a collective unconscious. This is basically images and archetypes commonly shared by individuals. Once in a while they try to come out of the personal unconscious. The commonly shared images and archetype are symbols that can help one to understand and interpret a dream.
The repressed or expressed sexuality are driving force according to Freud. Failure to fulfill it leads to pathological conditions. Jung did not agree with this; he argued that humans are driven by many factors, repressed being one of them. He emphasized that individuation is the reason behind all the other drives. Individuation is the full knowledge of the self. When humans are driven by emotions, they become psychologically unhealthy. Freud viewed unconscious as the place where the repressed are stored.
This results to mental illness. Jung on the other hand argued that the unconscious is independent and it seeks to achieve wholeness hence mental illness is not as result of pathology. It is caused by the action of the unconscious trying to regulate emotions (Stevens, 1994). The discussion will therefore show how Freud takes a masterful method of studying the unconscious. It will as well show how Jung leant towards the earlier humanist psychology. It motivates both holistic gestalt and therapeutic schools.
The Concept of the Unconscious
The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious
Jung describes the unconscious as having a superficial layer which he calls personal unconscious. In addition, he wrote that the unconscious can only be described in relation to its contents. The contents in this case are capable of consciousness hence psychic existence. Personal unconscious according to Jung have contents which are feeling-tone complexes.
They entail both personal and private sides of psychic life. In the collective unconscious there are the archetypes. These are basically the contents. They are concerned with primordial types. In other words, they deal with universal images that have existed in the history. For this reason therefore, Jung concluded that the processes of the unconscious exist but to the totality of an individual.
He further added that it has little to do with the conscious ego thus influencing many people to ignore their presence. However, they usually manifest themselves in an individual’s behavior. Even when they are seen from outside by other people, an individual is not always aware of them. He clarifies that the contents of the unconscious are different and strange from the conscious ones and thus cannot be understood (Carl, 1980).
Jung adds that the theory of unconsciousness is unique unlike all the other theories. He says that this is because there in the idea of collective unconscious. In other words, it is a person’s psychic inheritance. According to Jung, this is biological inborn reservoir of our experience. Even though it is a knowledge that everybody is born with no one is directly conscious of it. The unconscious according to both is important part in human beings. This is because all their products are symbolic and are perceived to convey crucial information.
According to Jung, the purpose of life is individuation. By this he means that a human being is inwardly whole and is capable of moving toward self realization. Individuation is thus a process of harmoniously combining the conscious and the unconscious parts.
The process is inborn and it is for this reason that human beings are able to understand and harmonize the various part of the psyche. He however blames the human being for letting lose the parts of them. He goes on to say that the human beings listen to the messages such as those of dreams and imaginations and allow them to influence them negatively.
According to Freud, the aim of the therapy was to transform the unconscious to the conscious. Freud puts it that the personal unconscious is simply unconscious as many people know it. It includes all those things that are conscious but have the ability to be unconscious.
In addition, it comprises of thoughts that come into mind as well as those that are concealed due to various reasons known to an individual. Moreover, Freud says that the unconscious is alive and has a big influence on a person. This is despite their willingness. The unconscious takes the person wherever it wishes by force. The unconscious in this case is just a term that was used by Freud to describe those things that causes disturbance to the normal functioning of the body.
That is, the unconscious sways away the normal conscious intentions. For example according to Freud, the conscious intention is to keep the repressed away. However, the unconscious does the opposite and thus Freud comes up with the statement that the repressed will always come back. Freud just like the other psychoanalysts agrees that the unconscious has a big influence over the conscious. For this reason therefore, most of the unconscious have been turned into unconscious due to repression.
Repression as described by Freud is involuntary process that involves taking away painful events and experiences from the consciousness. The threatening thoughts and feelings end up in the unconsciousness. Since the hidden try to escape, the ego develops defense mechanisms.
Repression in this case is a tactic of making something not to be seen even though it is alive in the mind. In addition, the repressed cannot be recovered into the unconsciousness but to the consciousness which is not easy. It is thus seen indirectly in a person’s behavior.
Repression in other words is the cause of the things that we do that are against the conscious. The psychoanalyst argue that it is difficult to change that which is unconscious, in other words, it is not easy to change that aspect of us that we are not aware of. Unconsciousness is also always shifting. At some point they are evident in our thoughts, memories, and behaviors. Sometimes they can remain repressed (Corey, 2008).
The unconscious encompasses the thoughts and feelings. It is worth noting the contents of the unconscious have influence on human actions. Freud wrote that Id, Ego and Superego are the components of the psyche. Moreover, the three are always in conflict trying to outdo the other. This takes place without us being aware of it. In some rare cases, we may notice their effects in form of anxiety, depression or even dreams.
Id can be described as animal part of the psyche. It is influenced by instincts such as sex, food and drink. It always seeks to satisfy its drive and when not able to do so it becomes wild hence bringing about conflict. The superego is the opposite of the Id. It is the moral and good part of the psyche. Its drive is to do well and to behave like the society expects us to, failure to which it rebukes us by causing us to feel guilt.
The conflict between the two sides is balanced by the ego. It does so in consideration to the reality. The psyche in adulthood according to Freud is determined by our childhood. That is, the treatment we received from parents, friends and society at large and the experiences we went through can either have negative or positive impacts to our adulthood.
Jung talks about the psyche. He says that he prefers to use the term psyche instead of mind because the mind is commonly used to mean the mental functioning. It is basically the conscious part of the psyche. He adds that through psyche, he can understand all the psychic processes including both the unconscious and the conscious. Jung compares the psyche to a body. He says that it has the ability to regulate its parts. It strikes a balance between the conflicting parts.
Moreover, it continues to develop hence individuation. The psyche is innate and exists in different components. Among the components are complexes and archetypal (Jung, 1980). These are independent contents working autonomously. Jung explores on the ego. He concludes that the ego takes the lead in the conscious part. It helps one to be conscious aware as well as creating a sense of personal identity.
In addition, the ego influences our thoughts, feelings and intuitions. It can also go through the memories that have not been moved to the unconscious part. It therefore creates a balance between the inner and the outer environments. During development, the ego plays an important role. It can deduce meaning and evaluate the value in relation to life. It thus tells a lot about the self even though there are not equal or similar.
The psyche according to Jung captures unlimited number of things hence concluding that the conscious is selective. Those that are not selected are thus moved to the unconscious. At this point, they become opposition to the conscious. As the tension increases, the unconscious comes out in form of dreams and weird visions. This brings in the idea of unconscious complex. It comes in to stand in for the conscious or as well as to supplement it.
The Development of Personality
Unlike Freud, Jung explains that life is more than sexuality. However, he clarifies that sexuality is present and takes big part in personality. He says that this is the reason behind individuation. He further adds that the unconscious has another function which is to regulate and to compensate.
Freud concludes that when the sexual desires are not fulfilled, it causes instability in the psychic balance; pathology. This is unlike Jung who concludes that it does not always result to pathology. He says that the disturbance leads to compensatory and regulatory processes of the unconscious in order to create stability in the psyche.
Jung further advises that at midlife, people should try to let go of their values and behaviors that guided them during their young age. They should confront the unconscious simply by listening to messages of the dreams and at the same time engage their energy in constructive activities.
He wrote that the unconscious forces should be integrated in the conscious life. This he says will develop the theory of personality. He further disagrees with the Freud’s idea that we are completely shaped by past events. He wrote that we are influenced by our future as well. According to Jung human beings are composed of constructive and destructive forces. It is important to recognize our dark side or shadow together with its characteristics such as greed and selfishness as being part of our nature (Casement, 2005).
The Unconscious Particularly in Relation to Dream Interpretation
The two psychoanalysts used dreams when researching on the concept of the unconsciousness. According to Freud, dreams could be explained as hallucinations that are as a result of repressed things. They appear as the repressed to accomplish their wishes. According to him the repressed express their wishes in dreams in two ways; childhood and past happenings.
On the other hand, Jung believes that dreams’ contents are gotten from a deeper source. He explains that he associates it with the evolutionary history of human being which he refers to as the collective unconscious. In addition, he sees them as important because according to him they enhance individuation hence bringing about balance in human beings.
Sigmund Freud interpreted dreams as having an obvious manifest. In other words, they are symbolic and they have meaning. The manifest in this case is the theme of the dream. Everything that appears in a dream does so for a reason and has some history of the person having it. Freud also interprets that a dream being the unconscious in form of manifest content is transformed by condensation and displacement processes.
Condensation in this case entails several unconscious issues being manifested as one dream, a situation he refers to as dream thoughts. This differs from what is seen as dream contents or elements. This means that there can be more than one interpretation of a dream and hence a dream can have several meanings. Displacement on the other hand is a process in which the fearful unconscious changes into reasonable issues.
He continues to state that there is a physical force that usually operates in the dream. This force is responsible for creating a balance between the high physical value and those of low physical value. The new ones created are later found on the dream content. Freud states that dream as a wish fulfillment is determined by active material at that particular time. In the real sense therefore, it means that there are no dreams but wishful ones.
He added that even the latent meanings can be described as the wish fulfilling dream. However, in 1920, Freud reviewed his interpretation of the dream. He changed his principle that all dreams are wish fulfilling. He accepted the fact that nightmares and horrifying dreams were as a result of traumatic experiences. Moreover, he believed that things happening around us could appear in dreams (Coolidge, 2006).
Jung’s interpretation of dreams was much more than that of Freud. He strongly believed that dreams were real. In addition, he believed that dreams can be interpreted at an individual level because they are personal and cannot be interpreted by any glossary. He states that they are messages that are sent from an individual’s unconscious part.
He clarifies that people have a common collective unconscious. However, he says that dreams are personal. Jung emphasizes the importance of dreams. He says that it is a channel in which one can understand the inner soul where the most confidential and secretive things are stored.
Jung wrote that symbols are also personal in that they cannot be separated from the dreamer. In addition, every individual has his/her way of interpreting a dream. This is because even the unconscious differs in the way they complement the conscious in different individuals. According to him symbols carries more meaning than that which is known. In fact, he puts it that the deeper meaning could never be fully known and thus interpreted.
Moreover, all the people in the world produce symbols in their dreams unconsciously and spontaneously. Jung added that dreams are usually in to compensate for those things that the dreamer have negative attitude about. The most important things that an individual ought to put in mind concerning dreams are that dreams are facts. This means that one should not make assumptions unless in the situation that it make sense. He also needs to understand that dreams give expression or messages from the unconscious.
Dreams according to Jung’s interpretation do not have a specific structure that shows its idea. He therefore concludes that a dream’s intention have different dimensions in terms of time and space. Critical examination of its every aspect is thus taken for one to understand it. Jung came up with a theory he called misoneism which is the fear of new things. He used it to describe the tendency of the unconscious to fear the unknown.
He related this to the fact that people did not want to accept the meanings conveyed by the dreams. The problem comes in when the dreams want to compensate or create a balance which is very important. He clarified that dreams do not always mean good things but their intention is to create a balance between the conscious and the unconscious minds. He therefore concludes that the unconscious posses qualities of the nature.
That is, it is in between and has aspects of human nature. It can have both sides; good and evil. He further explains that for one to be mentally stable both the conscious and the unconscious should work together and move in parallel lines failure to which it result to psychological problems. In conclusion, Jung felt that dreams were just a reflection of self. He refers to them as self portraits of the psychic life process. He compares it with the theatre in which the one dreaming is the scene, actor, the public and all the other parties involved.
Freud and Jung have widely written about the analytical psychology. However it is evident that Jung’s analysis is heavily borrowed from the Freud’s analysis. This is said to be the cause of their disagreement and disappointments.
It resulted to breaking up of their friendship. It is at this point that the difference between the two is seen. Freud’s idea of the unconscious is that it is receptacle in which the conscious mind is found. In addition, it is a dwelling place of all those things that bother and are disliked by the conscious mind. These include bad thoughts and feelings as well as bad experiences.
Jung states that the unconscious is made up of the personal and the collective unconscious. The two exist as layers. The personal unconscious is the layer under the conscious followed by the collective unconscious. The personal is responsible for taking psychic contents while the collective stores all human experiences. The psychoanalysis of the two thinkers can finally be said to be materialistic and reductive but Jung is quite holistic and spiritual.
Coolidge, F. (2006) Dream Interpretation as a Psychotherapeutic Technique. Abingdon, U.K, Radliffe Publishing Ltd.
Corey, G. (2008) Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. Thompson brooks/Cole C.A.
Casement, P. (2005) On Learning from the Patient. London, Tavistock publications.
Jung, C. (1980) The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. NY, Princeton University Press.
Storr, A. (1989) Freud: A Very Short Introduction. New York, Oxford University Press.
Stevens, A. (1994) Jung: A Very Short Introduction. New York, Oxford University Press.
Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung and their view of human personality Term Paper
Introduction: The meaning of personality
Personality is a term that refers to unique, relatively stable aspects of a given character . Personality normally deals with a wide range of human behavior. To most theorists, one can conclude that personality includes virtually everything about a person: mental, emotional, social, and physical. It is worth mentioning that there are certain aspects of human beings that may not be observable.
These include aspects such as thoughts, memories and dreams. On the other hand, there are certain aspects which are observable. These include overt actions. In addition to this, personality also includes aspects which might be concealed to oneself. These are termed as conscious or unconscious aspects which are normally within our awareness. Theories of personality
There are many theories which have been put across in an attempt to explain the nature of a man. It is worth noting the fact that there are four criteria that a theory of personality should satisfy: description, explanation, prediction and control of behavior.
Human behavior can be considered to be quite complicated. In this case, a coherent and clear theory enables a person to be able to bring order out of this chaos. A good personality theory explains the phenomena under study. It offers answers to such significant questions as the causes of individual differences in personality, why people are different in their own right and also why other people seem to be pathological as compared to other people.
To most psychologists, the litmus test of a theory is the ability of the theory to predict future events and behaviors among the human beings. A valuable theory usually leads to important practical applications. It facilitates control and change of the environment, for example, by bringing about better techniques of parenting, education, or even psychotherapy.
There are several theories which have been postulated in this light. These theories have been postulated by several psychologists who have attempted to explain the nature of man. In this case, we are going to be looking at two main theorists. These are Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.
The Psychoanalytic theory
Freud named his theory Psychoanalysis. This term is also used to denote the form of psychotherapy that Freud originated. In essence, this theory is based on the belief that people could be cured when their thoughts, which were unconscious, were brought to a conscious state and thus they were able to know what they were going through.
This was important because it enabled them to gain insight of what they were going through in the course of life. The main focus of this theory was to enable people to release repressed emotions and experiences. Psychoanalytic theory is a theory which is based on the concept that forces motivating behavior is derived from the unconscious mental processes.
The common occurrence of perception implies that much of our personality is usually beyond what we can call our immediate awareness. Freud concluded that most of our personality which was largely influenced by our mental activity was unconscious.
This implies that it cannot be called to mind even with great effort. Information that is not conscious at a given moment, but which can readily become so, is described as preconscious. The preconscious is considered to be closer to the conscious because it is largely within our control. Freud’s major theories of the mind follow.
The topographic theory of the mind
In this case, the mind is made up of the unconscious mind. This mind contains repressed thoughts and feelings. These feelings and thoughts are usually unavailable to the unconscious mind. In this case, primary process is a type of thinking which is associated with primitive drives, wish fulfillment and pleasure.
This does not involve logic and time. On the other hand, the dreams represent gratification of the unconscious instinctual impulses and wish fulfillment. Secondly, the preconscious mind contains memories that, although not readily available, they can be accessed by the conscious mind. Lastly, the conscious mind contains thoughts that a person is currently aware of but does not have access to the unconscious mind.
The structural theory of the mind
According to this theory, the mind is divided into three parts. That is the id, ego and superego. The id is usually present at birth. This represents the instinctual drives that a person has. These include the sexual urges and drives. In addition, this structural component is characterized with pleasure principle. In essence, the id is not influenced by circumstances that might be taking place in the external environment at all.
The ego begins to develop at birth. This component controls the id in order to adapt to the changes which are taking place outside the world. It is the component that uses reality testing in order to make sense of what is going on around the world. It brings a balance between the super ego and id in the course of life.
The superego is a component which begins to develop about 6 years of age. It is the component which controls the id. It is usually associated with the moral values and the conscience.
The intra-psychic conflict occurs or takes place among the components of the mind. That is, the id, ego and super ego. This conflict is usually a direct result of behavior which might need justification in order to obtain balance. These conflicts at times lead to changes in personality as a person develops and learns to cope with the events within the environment. Personality development
Sigmund Freud developed five stages which he argued determined how a person’s personality develops over time. According to this theory, when a child is born, his or her center of pleasure revolves on the mouth. This is associated with activities such as suckling, chewing and biting. From one to three years, the centers of pleasure shift to the anal. This implies that the child derives her source of pleasure through defecating.
The third stage is the phallic stage; this takes place between three to six years. During this stage, the children derive sexual pleasure through stimulating their genitals. At this stage, the Electra and Oedipus complexes emerge. The fourth stage is the latency stage.
During this stage, the sexual urges are rechanneled to school work. The child, at this stage, internalizes societal values and the environment where one grows. Lastly, there is the genital stage, this is marked by the emergence of adolescence. It is worth noting that according to this theory, when a person does not fulfill the demands and pleasures at each stage, the person becomes fixated. Some of these traits later emerge in adulthood.
Application of psychoanalysis
This is a therapeutic approach which utilizes various techniques in order to ensure that the client is properly treated. These approaches include free association, resistance analysis, transference analysis and dream analysis. These techniques are used to treat anxiety disorders such as phobias.
In addition, these techniques are used to treat people who have depression. In this approach, treatment is a process which entails encouraging the client to speak and share their experiences. However, there is caution when it comes to dealing with transference and counter-transference issues when dealing with a client.
Psychoanalysis as a scientific theory
The scientific status of this theory has been under scrutiny by many. This debate has been raging on. This is because the basis of this theory is on the unconscious activities. These are activities which are not empirical.
Carl Jung: Analytical Psychology
Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist, called his new approach Analytical Psychology. This was done so that he could differentiate it from Freud’s psychoanalytic theory. Like Freud, he emphasized the unconscious determinants of personality. However, he had a different approach to the state of affairs when he proposed that the unconscious consists of two layers.
The first layer, he called it the Personal Unconscious, is essentially the same as Freud’s version of the unconscious. According to Jung, the personal unconscious houses material from one’s life that is within one’s conscious awareness because it has been repressed or forgotten. In addition, Jung theorized that the existence of a deeper layer he called the Collective Unconscious.
Essentially, the collective unconscious is a storehouse of latent memory traces inherited from people’s ancestral past that is shared with the entire human race. Jung called these ancestral memories Archetypes. They are not memories of actual personal experiences. Instead, archetypes are emotionally charged images and thought forms that have universal meaning.
These archetypal images and ideas show up frequently in dreams and are often manifested in culture’s use of symbols in art, literature, and religion. Jung felt that an understanding of archetypal symbols helped him make sense of great concern to him because he depended extensively on dream analysis in his treatment of patients. Let us have a detailed look at this theory.
Jung contributed much to this field. Key among his contributions wes the use of the personality typologies to foster understanding and reduce interpersonal conflicts, and the use of dreams to enhance personal growth and highlight important aspects of the dreamer’s life and journey. Contrary to Freud, he believed that the person who had the dream was the most likely person to ultimately understand what it meant.
He was always willing to work with patients to help them to interpret their dream. According to him, there was no right interpretation, however, believed that the dream was rightly interpreted when it made sense to the client.
Jung’s religious upbringing and exploration of diverse religious perspectives made him be sensitive and open to spiritual and religious possibilities. Jung held the belief that the voices people hear in the dreams may not be of their own making, rather they came from a source which was transcending us.
This was a term which was coined by Jung to explain the occurrence of events which seemed to be coincidental. He coined this term to refer to seemingly accidental life events that are tied together by the meanings we give them. These are acausal happenings, episodes that do not seem to follow the normal cause and effect processes. One can almost feel the flow of the interconnections and sometimes even laugh at them.
Essentially, Jung describes synchronicity in relation to his own etymological analysis of the linguistic unconscious of the term, finding the association with simple simultaneity. In this case, simultaneity as a term lacks the element of recognition that generates meaning due to mutuality of physical and psychological states.
Synchronicity, in Jung’s case, created the impression that some simultaneous activities which occurred in light of one or more external events appeared to be meaningful to a person subjective state.
Jung described eight personality types, each characterized by a predominance of one of the four functions, used in either extraverted or introverted attitude. According to Jung, people can be classified using the human mental functions, that is, seeing – intuition and thinking – feeling, a person’s attitude, which is, extraversion – introversion.
In essence, according to him, a person’s personality is derived from certain dimensions which include
- extraversion and introversion
- sensing and intuition
- thinking and feeling
- judging and perceiving.
When establishing a personality type, there is an acronym which is used according to this theory.
This is the ISTJ which can be decoded to imply introvert, sensing, thinking and judging or ENFP which might be construed to imply extravert, intuitive, feeling and perceiving. This typology is used to determine the personality type. Personality structure
According to Jung, the structural nature of personality reflected a redefined and expanded view of the unconscious mind. In this theory, the conscious ego is the center of conscious awareness of the self.
The major functions of the conscious ego are to make the individual aware of his or her internal processes, for instance, thoughts or feelings off pain and the external world that is, surrounding noises through sensation and perceptions at a level of awareness necessary for day to day functioning.
This is directly next to the ego and it is completely below conscious awareness, Jung called it the personal unconscious region of the mind.
Its contents included all those thoughts, memories, and experiences that were momentarily not being though about or were being repressed because they were too emotionally threatening. In his description, he came up with a complex which implies a collection of thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and memories that center on a particular concept.
The collective unconscious
In this case, the collective unconscious was conceptualized as being transpersonal in nature. According to him, a person’s mind contains an unconscious region which is shared by all people. This region is usually developed over time and it is usually transferred from one generation to another.
The principal function of this wisdom in the collective unconscious is to predispose individuals to respond to certain external situations in a given manner. This maximizes the development of the individual. There are several aspects which are associated with this aspect. They include the archetypes; these are universal thoughts, symbols, or images having a large amount of emotion attached to them.
Their special status come from the importance they have gained across the many generations and the significant role they play in day to day living. For example, the archetype of the mother is an image of a nurturer. The persona is an archetype which develops over time as a result of the tendency to adopt the social roles and norms that go along with living with other people.
The animus and anima are the aspects which bring out the aspect of being male or feminine. The shadow, on the other hand, represents the dark and the more primitive side of the personality. The self is considered to be among the important archetypes because is that which predisposes the individual to unite all of the other aspects to bring out an individual.
In conclusion, both Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung had a similar perspective regarding human personality. In this sense, they embraced the fact that the unconscious mind played a major role towards personality development. They also had a similar approach to treating patients in their approaches.
However, their background influenced their differing views to a great extent. Furthermore, it is worth noting that the differences which ensued from their practice and theory had contributed a great deal to the field of psychology.
Ewen, R. B. (2003). An introduction to theories of personality. New York: Routledge.
Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2004). Counseling and psychotherapy theories in context and practice:skills, strategies, and techniques. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Sigmund Freud: On Dreams Report
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) is one of the most controversial figures of the twentieth century. He is, undoubtedly, one of the most criticized scientists. At that, he had a great impact on the development of the western society. Of course, it is possible to criticize his ideas, it is possible to call them unscientific.
Nonetheless, it is simply impossible to ignore Freud and his ideas. Thus, On Dreams (1914) is one of the most popular books of this controversial author. The book was written after the success of another work The Interpretation of Dreams (1900). In his book On Dreams Freud revealed his ideas on dreams to make them understandable for non-professionals. Of course, the book can also be interesting for psychiatrists, scientists, neurologists, etc.
It is possible to state that the book is a result of Freud’s self-analysis, his private practice and his theoretical orientation. Notably, Freud was influenced by the work of Jean-Martin Charcot who paid a lot of attention to hypnosis. Sigmund Freud got inspired by the ideas of unconscious mind. However, soon he adopted another method.
Freud’s friend and mentor Joseph Breuer had a very specific approach. He did not rely on hypnosis, but he used conversations to help his patients. The case of Anna O. made him as well as Freud understand that talking to patients and making them recall some events and dreams can be very effective, even more effective than hypnosis.
Such ideas became the basis for Freud’s numerous works, and especially his book On Dreams. It is possible to state that this book is one of the most well-known books by the author. The book is worth reading as it makes the world of psychopathology more understandable.
There are quite many books written by Freud. However, the book under consideration occupies a very special place as it is on the border between the world of scientists and the rest of the world. The book helps people learn more about one of the most influential theoretical approaches in psychopathology.
In his book On Dreams Freud reveals the major mechanisms of dreams. Thus, one of the central ideas of the book is that the dream is “the guardian of sleep” (Freud, 2010, p. 38). The scientist notes that sleep is one of the most important physiological processes, which helps the human organism to accumulate energy to start a new day.
Freud (2010) also notes that people can be easily distracted from sleep by various stimuli: light, sounds, physical needs, etc. Nonetheless, dreams keep people sleeping as they transform the stimuli into a more appropriate form, i.e. the form of visions which keep people in the unconscious state.
The scientist also expresses his ideas on the dream work (Freud, 2010). The researcher defines four major stages of the dream work. Freud (2010, p. 28) defines the dream work as “the transference of dream thought to dream content”. First, the researcher dwells upon condensation, i.e. combination of two or more thoughts, concepts or ideas. Freud explains that dreams are constituted by these concepts taken from the real life experiences.
Displacement is the second stage of the dream work. According to Freud (2010) specific intentions, desires or thoughts are transferred into quite different concepts. These concepts are often unrelated to the particular object or idea.
The third stage of the dream work can be referred to as symbolism. The author claims that the concepts created are then transformed into certain situations or images which the individual have experienced. At this point, it is possible to note that Freud pays special attention to sexual symbols. More so, the researcher insists that the majority of desires and ideas experienced during a day (during a lifetime) which are then reflected in dreams are of sexual character.
Finally, the fourth stage of the dream work is secondary revision. During this stage the concepts and symbols are transformed into some meaningful scenarios which are similar to those experienced in a day life. Thus, people often see particular scenes from their everyday lives in their dreams.
The researcher also notes that dreams can reveal some concepts which negatively effect people’s mood and even people’s lives. Freud (2010) mentions that dreams are constituted by the concepts which have certain importance for people. Often people ignore or even fail to perceive their intentions and desires which can result in various complexes and anxiety. The researcher claims that making people aware of their real intentions and desires can help them avoid anxiety.
It is necessary to note that the book under consideration contains various interesting ideas which can be helpful for both psychologists and non-psychologists. Freud (2010) analyses mechanisms associated with dreams. Admittedly, the four stages of the dream work are worth consideration. It is impossible to deny that the mechanisms are described in detail. It is impossible to deny that dreams are connected with people’s experiences. It is impossible to deny that dreams are often symbolic.
Nonetheless, some stages are quite groundless. For instance, such stage as displacement is somehow overlooked. Thus, concepts do not necessarily transform into unrelated images. More likely, dreams reflect people’s experiences. Sometimes images and symbols can be combined. This is why real intentions can be difficult to identify. However, there is certain meaning in every dream.
Another important shortcoming of the book (as well as Freud’s ideas) is that the researcher pays too much attention to sexuality. The author claims that
no other class of instincts has required so vast a suppression at the behest of civilization as the sexual, whilst their mastery by the highest psychical processes are in most persons soonest of all relinquished. (Freud, 2010, p. 41)
Notably, people may suppress some sexual desires. However, people are not fixated on sexual issues. It is possible to admit that in the end of the nineteenth century the society was somewhat different from the contemporary world. Thus, people did suppress various ideas, inclinations and desires as societal conventions were too strong. People were ashamed of many things which are now perceived as normal and acceptable. Of course, nowadays people may freely talk of many things, which prevents them from developing various complexes.
However, Freud overestimated the role of sexuality in the lives of people who lived in the end of the twentieth century. He largely based his assumptions on his own experiences and memories. It goes without saying that it is really unscientific to rely on such scarce data. He tried to see sexuality in every symbol in every memory and vision.
As far as the book itself is concerned, it is possible to note that it is written concisely. It has specific chapters which deal with specific topics and themes. It is easy to follow the author’s ideas. He uses simple terms to explain his ideas and assumptions. The book is targeted at the public.
The author reached his aim as even non-psychologist will be able to understand everything perfectly well. Freud (2010) provides particular examples to illustrate his theoretical approach. He depicts his dreams and experiences. He also mentions his patients’ dreams and ideas.
As far as I am concerned, I loved the book. Even though I do not agree with some ideas articulated, I think the book under consideration is worth reading. One of the major features of the book I like most is its clearness. I believe it is important to be able to explain some difficult concepts in simple terms. Of course, I learnt a lot about dreams and the nature of people’s dreams. Now I can be more attentive to my dreams and my thoughts.
I would definitely recommend the book to everyone. It can be interesting for psychologists, neurologists, etc. In fact, it can be interesting to all people irrespective of their jobs.
In the first place, it can enrich people’s knowledge about the nature of dreams. It can also be some kind of a frame to start with. In a way, this can be a kind of a self-help book as it helps people understand themselves. Of course, those interested in psychology will find it interesting as well as it is impossible to be a professional in the field without being aware of some basic concepts articulated by Freud.
Finally, I would like to note that the present project was very helpful as I found out more about people’s dreams. Now I know more about a scientist who was bold enough to reveal his revolutionary ideas. I have always known that psychology is a very important discipline which can help people become successful. Now I am sure that psychology can help people succeed in every part of their lives.
Freud, S. (2010). On dreams. New York, NY: Cosimo, Inc.