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Psychology 3325 Lecture Notes - Anal Stage, Oral Stage, Repetition Compulsion

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Psychology 3325
John Usher

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Can we change our defining characteristic, and the answer to that is yes
As a whole or a group after a certain amount of time, you will naturally gain or lose
characteristics, naturally become more conscious, more emotionally stable, etc. (as we age)
People want to know if they can change if they make a deliberate effort to change, and the
answer is yes, psychotherapy does work, by reading psychology books, meeting a therapists,
they will succeed, cope better with their problems and stress, etc.
As part of psychotherapist studies, they must have a theory of personality, of how people
work, fi your going to have an idea of how and what depresses them
Series of personality change are based on a more basic theory of personality
One very prominent theory of change mechanisms is Freudian psychoanalysis
Freud changed how we saw ourselves, prior to Freud we though of ourselves of masters of
our own experiences, that consciousness is primary, but Freud said that we may be captains
of our own ship but only a fool goes on board of a ship and does not take into account the
ocean, the unconscious ocean that we sit on is really what tells us where we go as people
Early childhood is important, the ideas of conflict, anxiety, all of Freud’s ideas
Core concepts is the idea of conflict, one of the things that Freud captured in his thinking is
the idea that humans are conflicted, we are often ambivalent about things, our choices are
not often clear cut, competing motives that determine how and what we do
Conflict to Freud was anxiety, being that the egos inability to keep control of things, when
the ego starts to think I cant control the id and superego, there is experience of anxiety, and
persistent inability to manage the anxiety leads to symptoms what Freud calls
neurosis=persistent anxiety and manifestation in daily life
Wide range of defence mechanisms to protect ourselves from anxiety, but they don’t always
work, cannot withstand magnitude of anxiety
Freud also had theories of development, at the heart of Freudian thinking was a
developmental theory, how personality was built over infancy and childhood, sequence of
stages how personality was put together, we all moved through the oral, the anal and the
fallic stages
And how at each stage, particular component of personality comes online
Oral stage, issues of trust (the id emerges), the anal stage, issues of control (develop the
ego) and then there is the fallic stage, infantile sexuality, fear, and overcoming
(development of conscious or superego)=its expected that all of us pass through these
stages, and if we don’t pass the previous one then we cannot move on to the different
Leading us to new concept, the idea of fixation, this notion of developmental sequence, a
sequence fo stages that need to be negotiated and solved, that some point along this line
we fail, the potential and likelihood that we fail to negotiate the problems
successfully=produces a quality called fixation (quality of being stuck at a particular
developmental stage, makes it hard for us to move on to later stages)
e.g. army metaphor, a general commanding an army, army is moving from one battle site to
another, it defeats one and moves on to next battle, but there is resistant, and the
subsequent battle doesn’t go as well as predicted, the general needs to command the army
to move on, but battle is not finished, so general can choose to take some troops to next
battle and leave some troops behind, stationed at the post and deal with any instigations
after they have moved on, so army moves on but smaller in size and reduced in
strength=key idea, some of our energy and strength is left behind, we are less equipped,
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