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Chapter 10

Chapter 10 Basics of Psychoanalysis - Textbook Notes

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Richard B Day

Psych 2B03 Jasmyn Lee Part IV: The Hidden World of the Mind: The Psychoanalytic Approach Chapter 10: Basics of Psychoanalysis The Key Ideas of Psychoanalysis Psychic Determinism – assumption that everything that happens in a persons mind (everything a person thinks and does) has a specific cause  Determinism – a basic tenet of science; the idea that everything that happens has a cause that an be identified  All seeming contradictions of mind and behaviour can be resolved and nothing is ever accidental, from a psychoanalytic perspective  Assumption of psychic determinism leads directly to the conclusion that many important mental processes are unconscious Internal Structure – assumption that the mind has an internal structure made of parts that can function independently and which, in some cases, conflicts with one another  Note: keep in mind the distinction between the brain and the mind o Brain – physical organ o Mind – psychological result of what the brain and the rest of the body do; id, ego, superego (Freud) Psychic Conflict and Compromise – because the mind is divided into distinct and independent parts, it can conflict with itself  Compromise Formation – the ego finds a middle course between the competing demands of motivation, morality and practicality, among the many things a person wants at the same time – the compromise is what the individual consciously thinks and actually does Mental Energy – the psychological apparatus of the mind needs energy to make it go  Mental energy/psychic energy/libido  Only a fixed and finite amount of libido is available at any given moment ; energy powering one part of the mind is not available for any other part; energy spend doing one thing is unavailable for other purposes  Some of the implications have not stood the test of time; original formulation assumed that if a psychological impulse was not expressed, it would build up over time o Eg/ If someone made you angry, then unless you expressed your anger, it would build up until something snapped o Expressing anger typically makes a person more angry, not less – contradicts original idea  Not measured in units; just a metaphor that applies in some respects but not others  Modern psychoanalyst theory – it is the minds capacity for processing information, rather than its energy, that is limited  retains the implication that capacity used up by one purpose is not available for anything else Controversy  Victorians – Freud’s emphasis on sex and sexual energy  theory was “dirty”  21st Century – Freud’s emphasis on what cannot be seen and cannot be conclusively proved  theory is “unscientific” Freud Himself  1856-1939  Medical doctor; practiced in Vienna Austria from the 1890’s to 1930’s  Jewish; fled to his native country when Hitler came into power  Died in a pessimistic frame of mind – convinced that the impending world war proved that humans have aggressive, destructive urges that would destroy us  Began career as a research neurologist  Went to France to study the newly developing field of hypnosis with Jean-Martin Charcot; he then moved into psychiatry – medical practice paid more than research  First discovery – when his patients talked about their psychological problems, that often was enough to help or cure them  Used hypnosis to get patients to talk about difficult topics  Used free association; instruct patient to say whatever comes to mind  the talking cure o Freud’s reasoning for cure – making ones thoughts and fears explicit by saying them out load brings them into the open where ones conscious, rational mind can deal with them; psychotherapist can provide emotional support during patients difficult talk of trying to figure out what is going on  Attracted numerous disciples that helped spread the ideas of psychoanalysis o Carl Jung, Alfred Adler - both had strong minds and quarreled with Freud  Freud’s ideas came from patients and from observations of the workings of his own mind o Many patients were well-to-do women; many sexually abused by fathers when they were very young 1 Psych 2B03 Jasmyn Lee  At first believed that early abuse was a common source for early-life trauma  Later believed that these memories of early abuse were fantasies that had come to seem real Psychoanalysis, Life and Death  Two motives are fundamental o First motive impels toward life and the other toward death o Both motives are always present and competing o In the end, death always wins  Libido – life drive; sexual drive; has t do with creation, protection, enjoyment of life with creativity, productivity and growth  Thanatos – Greek for “death”; drive toward death o People engage in a good deal of destructive activity that does not seem rational (eg/ war) o Everyone dies in the end  Doctrine of Opposites – everything implies, even requires, its opposite; one cannot exist without the other o Life requires death, happiness requires sadness, etc o Implication – extremes on any scale may be more similar to each other than either extreme is to the middle Psychological Development: “Follow The Money”  Like money, psychic energy is always both absolutely necessary and absolutely limited  Psychological development is the story of how libido becomes invested and then redirected over an individuals early years o Babies are full of libido that lacks focus or direction; as the individual develops, the energy begins to focus o As the focus shifts, the style and type of gratification that the child seeks continually changes  Stages of Psychological Development o Oral o Anal o Phallic  3 Aspects to Each Stage o Physical Focus – energy is concentrated and gratification is obtained o Psychological Theme – related to both the physical focus and to the demands on the child from the outside world during development o Adult Character Type – associated with being fixated (to some degree stalled) in that particular stage, rather than fully developing toward the next one Oral Stage  Birth-18 months  The first action that a baby can do, that involves motor control and physical coordination, is suck – the first source of pleasure is the mouth, tongue and lips  Uses the mouth to explore the world, as other fine motor skills are not yet developed (i.e. baby finds an object and doesn’t look at or feel; she puts in mouth)  Dependency (theme) – a baby is dependent on others for everything he needs to live  Problems can occur 1. Baby’s needs are not fulfilled; caretaker is uncaring, incompetent or irresponsible  results in mistrust in other people and the inability to deal adequately with dependency relationships 2. Baby’s needs are fulfilled too instantly and doesn’t realize that the world might respond differently  results in a shock when in the demands increase but the service decreases; may wish to be back at oral stage; causes anxiety  doctrine of opposites  Oral Character – adult personality type that results from extreme childhood experience at the oral stage; two extreme types that share an obsession, discomfort and fundamental irrationality about any issue related to dependency and passivity 1. Aggressively independent souls who refuse help from everyone; determined to go it alone no matter what the cost – no accomplishment means anything unless it is achieved without assistance 2. Passive individuals who do nothing to better their situation, yet are bewildered/angry about their failure to get what they want; believe that wanting something should be enough for it to appear  Spend more time thinking about what they want than how to get it o Both types are equivalent; tendency too flip from one extreme to the other – never to middle ground  Babies are all id o Id is all impulse 2 Psych 2B03 Jasmyn Lee Anal Stage  Baby begins to form the ego o Ego mediates between what the child wants and what is actually possible  Physical focus is on the anus and associated organs of elimination  Self Control and Obedience (themes) – child begins to develop the ability to control urges (defecate, cry, grab a forbidden object etc) – authority figure begins to insist that the child uses new self-control capabilities  “Terrible Twos” – the age where children try to figure out how much power the authority figure has; experiments with the boundaries of what he can get
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