Lecture 8: Psychoanalytic Approach [Freud]
Biography of Freud (1856-1939)
Core of Freud’s Theory
Topography model: “Layers” of personality
The Id, Ego, and Superego
Psychosexual Stages of Development
Is Freud Dead?
• Conversion hysteria: people of the wealthy class (mostly women) would show
up at the doctor’s with a form of paralysis.
o Nothing was found wrong with them.
o The women were in hysterics (adult temper tantrum/attention seeking
behaviour). The hysteria was converted into a neurological problem,
causing the paralysis.
o Doctors weren’t terribly sensitive to the condition.
Freud was sought out as he was sensitive to it.
The Interpretation of Dreams (1900): the book wasn’t received well in the medical field.
• An American was however impressed with the concept. He gets the book
translated into English and sold in the USA. It is an instant hit.
• Freud has started believing that conversion hysteria’s origin is buried in the
subject’s unconscious mind.
o He tries to devise ways to access the unconscious mind.
Cocaine: removed censorship of every day life. This concept
was dismissed after his friend became addicted to coke.
Hypnosis: spent 1-3 months experimenting with this.
The Talking Cure: developed by Bruer; allowed his client to
speak to him, uninterrupted. The more they talked, the more
relaxed they became, and in turn they recalled more events.
This became Freud’s principle concept.
• Added the couch for the patient to lie on, as well as
positioning himself out of their line of sight.
• Freud had a theory that while we are asleep, our dreams are the theatre of the
unconscious mind. The unconscious mind would speak in code, and if you
could decipher the code, you could fully understand the patient’s mind.
o Three levels of consciousness (the Mental Iceberg):
Conscious: thoughts and perceptions Preconscious: memories, stored knowledge
Unconscious: fears, violent motives, unacceptable sexual
desires, irrational wishes, immoral urges, selfish needs,
o Freud believed that the bulk of our mind is inaccessible to us. We
have repressed it into out unconscious mind as we have developed.
• The ID (Tasmanian devil): pleasure principle; first principle we have in life.
Driven by instincts.
o Eros; life force
The force that moved evolution forward
Behaviours associated is mainly the sex instinct
o Thanatos; death wish
Aggression; to hurt, destroy, maim, and kill.
• Ego: meaning “I” or “me”. Operates on reality principle.
o Helps us to control the ID.
• Superego: operates on the ego ideal. An internalization of your parents.