EXPLORING THE UNCONCIOUS
- Patients led to Freud’s discovery of the unconscious
- Freud at first thought hypnosis might unlock the door to the unconscious but his patients did not agree to terms
- Freud turned to Free Association: in psychoanalysis, a method of exploring the unconscious in which the person
relaxes and says whatever comes to mind no matter how trivial or embarrassing
- Psychoanalysis: Freud’s theory of personality that attributes thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and
conflicts; the techniques used in treating psychological disorders by seeking to expose and interpret unconscious
- Unconscious: according to Freud, a reservoir of mostly unacceptable thoughts, wishes, feelings, and memories.
According to contemporary psychologist, information process of which we are unaware.
o Preconscious: Some thoughts we store in the preconscious which we can retrieve them into conscious
o Freud believed that we often repress desires that we cannot achieve and they set towards the unconscious
which is like an iceberg.
- Freud viewed that human personality arises from conflict between impulse and restraint seeking biological urges and
our internalized social controls over these urges.
- Believed that personality is the result of our effects to resolve basic conflict
- Freud proposed three interacting systems
o Id: contains a reservoir of unconscious psychic energy that, according to Freud strives for basic sexual and
aggressive drives. The “id” operates on the pleasure principle, demanding immediate gratification
o Ego: the largely conscious, “executive” part of personality that, according to Freud, mediates among the
demands of the id, superego, and reality. The ego operates on the reality principle, satisfying the id’s desires
in ways that will realistically bring pleasure rather than pain.
o Superego: the part of personality that, according to Freud, represents internalized ideals and provides
standards for judgment and for future aspirations.
- Analysis of his patients’ histories convinced Freud that personality forms during life’s first few years.
- Children pass through a series of psychosexual stages: during which the id’s pleasure seeking energies focus on
distinct erogenous zones.
- Oedipus Complex: according to Freud, a boy’s sexual desires toward his mother and feelings of jealousy and hatred
for the rival father, while the girl experienced Electra Complex
- Identification: the process by which according to Freud, children incorporate their parents’ values into their
- Fixation: according to Freud, a lingering focus of pleasure seeking energies at an earlier psychosexual stage, in which
conflicts were unresolved. Stage Focus
Oral (0-18months) Pleasure centers on the mouth-sucking, biting, chewing
Anal (18-36months) Pleasure focuses on bowel and bladder elimination; coping
with demands for control
Phallic (3-6 years) Pleasure zone is the genitals; coping with incestuous sexual
Latency (6 to puberty) Dormant Sexual Feelings
Genital (puberty on) Maturation of sexual interests
- Anxiety, said Freud, is the price we pay for civilization. As members of social groups, we must control our sexual and
aggressive impulses and not act them out.
- Freud said that the ego protects itself with defense mechanisms that reduce or redirect anxiety by distorting reality.
o Repression: basic defense mechanism that banishes anxiety, arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories from
o Regression: psychoanalytic defense mechanism in which an individual faced with anxiety retreats to a more
infantile psychosexual st