PSYC496AV Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Oedipus Complex, Psychopathology, Neurology

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12 Feb 2013
Psychoanalytic or psychodynamic paradigm was developed by Frued. it means that psychopathology result from
unconscious conflicts in the indiv
Structure of the mind
Frued divided the mind into 3 principal parts: id, ego and superego
1) The id is present at birth and is the part of the mind that accounts for all the energy needed to run the psyche. It
comprises the basic urges for food, water, elimination, warmth, affection and sex.
Trained as a neurologist Freud saw the source of all the ids energy as biological. Only later at the infant develops
is the energy which Freud called libido converted into psychic energy all of it unconscious below the level of
The id seeks immediate gratification and operates according to the pleasure principle. When the id is not satisfied
tension is produced and the id strives to eliminate this tension
Another means of obtaining gratification is primary process thinking –generating images—in essence fantasies—
of what is desired
2) The ego is the next aspect of the psyche to develop. Unlike the id the ego is primarily conscious and begins to
develop from the id during the 2nd 6months of life. Its task is to deal with reality. Through its planning and
decision making functions called secondary process thinking the ego realized that operating on the pleasure
principle at all times is not the most effective what of maintaining life. The ego thus operates on the reality
principle as it mediates between the demands of reality and the immediate gratification desired by the id
the final part of the psyche to emerge is the superego which operates roughly as the conscience and develops
throughout childhood
Freud believed that the superego developed from the ego much as the ego developed from the id. As kids
discover that many of their impulses such as biting or bedwetting are not acceptable to their parents they begin to
introject, parental values as their own to enjoy parental approval and avoid disapproval
The interplay of these forces is referred to as the psychodynamics of the personality
Much of human beh is determined by forces inaccessible to awareness. The ids instincts as well as many of the
superegos activities are not known to the conscious mind. While the ego is primarily conscious and is involved in
thinking and planning it too has important unconscious aspects that protect it from anxiety.
Freud considered most of the important determinates of beh to be unconscious
Neurotic anxiety
When ones life is in jeopardy one feels objective (realistic)anxiety –the egos reaction to danger in the external
world according to Freud.
The person whose personality has not developed fully due to fixation at a stage may experience neurotic anxiety-
a feeling of fear that is not connected to reality or to any real threat.
Moral anxiety arises when the impulses of the superego punish an indiv for not meeting expectations and thereby
satisfy the principle that drives the superego—namely the perfection principle
Defence mechanisms –coping with anxiety
Neurotic anxiety can be handled by means of a defence mechanism.
A defence mechanism is a strategy unconsciously used to protect the ego from anxiety
Most imp is repression which pushes unacceptable impulses and thoughts into the unconscious. By remaining
repressed these infantile memories and desires cannot be corrected by adult experiences and retain their original
Denial entails disavowing a traumatic experience such as being raped into to the unconscious.
Projection attributes to external agents characteristics or desires that an indiv possesses but cannot accept in his or
her conscious awareness
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