Freudian Psychoanalysis

Freudian Psychoanalysis

Freudian Psychoanalysis

Freudian Psychoanalysis reflects on the idea that human beings are born with instincts and tendencies that satisfy their needs. These satisfactions come from practical and pleasurable sources which refer to our innate sexuality. This model elaborates on the child, intimate interaction and sexual drives. Throughout a child's early development stages the "erotogenic emerge stage" begins and is followed by the oral and anal stages. The development of these points to present psychotherapy models which explain the drive behind our personalities and behavior during social interaction or conflict. In these models there are three awareness levels that are pointed out: preconscious, conscious and unconscious.

Goals of Freudian Psychoanalysis

The goal of Freudian Psychoanalysis is to understand the personality through levels of awareness and our three minds: conscious, preconscious and unconscious. The conscious mind is everything that we are aware of and is also the part of our mentality that uses rationality. We can speak about our consciousness in a literal sense. The preconscious mind is the area that reflects our memory. Although not all of us are aware of what is being processed here we can still pull into the state of consciousness. The unconscious mind is the part of our being that stores feelings, urges and conflict. It is the area that ultimately influences how we respond to situations and behave. The purpose of Freudian Psychology is to also understand the three areas of the personality: id, ego and super ego. When the three personalities remain in balance with each other it allows for a smooth conscious operation.

When is Freudian Psychoanalysis Used?

The Freudian method of analyzing is used when clients are dealing with competing forces or conflicts between the three personality types. If someone is having a difficult time functioning as a result of their nature, the ego strength can be studied to measure how the patient can effectively manage certain areas of their lives. At times one area can seem difficult to manage as a result of conflicting personalities. If there is too much or not enough of the ego strength the client's behavior can be disrupting.

How Freudian Psychoanalysis Works

As a form of psychoanalytic therapy the counselor looks at how the unconscious mind is functioning in a client by focusing on early childhood experiences. The therapist often meets with the individual once a week and continues the therapy for months. During sessions the counselor listens to the patients speak about their lives while the patterns are studied and recorded. The analysis of data may point to confusion or difficulty in the client's life. Often times the study focuses on childhood happenings, thoughts, dysfunctional reactions and motivations that have resulted in a conflict.

Depending on the counselor, psychoanalytic theory may use varying techniques such as role playing or interpretation of dreams. Psychosexual stages are focused on because that describes what has led to the development of the personality and current behavioral influence. If the psychosexual stages developed fully it results in a healthy mental state. When they do not complete the stages as they should have a fixation can occur in the individual. Until this conflict has been resolved the person remains in a stage which also results in a personality conflict. They may turn to clutches such as smoking or drinking because the oral development period was not completed.

There are other components such as the the anal stage of childhood development in which the individual becomes more dependent. If a child goes through the function stage correctly it creates a productive individual. There aren't a lot of parents who support their child enough and may punish them for common mistakes. If inappropriate responses take place from the parents during this time it can result in a patient who is too dependent or lenient. They are then diagnosed as having an anal-expulsive personality. This individual may be more prone to order or suffer from an obsessive compulsive condition. On top of the Oral and Anal stages there is also a Phallic, Latent and Genital Stage. These can have negative effects on the individual's personality if the function wasn’t complete. During sessions the psychoanalytic therapist ensures that the approach is unbiased and safe for the client who will reveal any feelings or thoughts that have lead to tension in their lives. The treatment is empathetic and may help the client just by acting as a support system or positive influence.

Criticism of Freudian Psychoanalysis

There are critics who claim that Freudian Psychoanalysis Therapy takes up too much time during sessions and is ineffective for the cost of the treatment.


Psychoanalytic theory. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Psycho social development. (n.d.). Retrieved from 

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