Year 2 - Psychotherapeutic Counselling - Module 2 – written assignment:
“Evaluate the extent to which Freud’s theory of psychosexual development can help us to understand a client’s presenting issue?”
Word count: 2650 (excluding any appendices)
Please Note the use of the following abbreviations for clarity:
Version date: 06-03-2015
The objective of this essay is to evaluate this aspect of Freudian theory, however in order to do so I will look to understand and describe this particular aspect. From there we can look to evaluate this by exploring some of the various views surrounding this.
It was a proposal of Freud that psychological development ...view middle of the document...
Supported by the probable timeline of childhood behaviour, he proposed "libido development" as a model of normal childhood sexual advancement, wherein the child evolves through five psychosexual phases – the oral; the anal; the phallic; the latent; and the genital – in which the source pleasure is in a different erogenous zone.
Psychosexual phases explored
Freud stressed that in his view the first five years of life where crucial to the formation of the adult personality; the ID must be controlled in order to satisfy the socially imposed demand which in itself sets up a conflict between the wishes that become frustrated and the socially excepted principles. To this end the Ego and Superego develop to enable control over this direct need for gratification into the socially conventional constraints.
Each of the psychosexual phases is related with a specific conflict that must be resolved prior to the individual successfully advancing to the next period. The resolution of each of these conflicts requires the disbursement of sexual energy (it should be noted at this point that Freud used the term sexual in a very generalised way meaning all pleasurable acts and thoughts) and the more energy that is exhausted at a particular phase the more significant characteristics of that phase tend to remain with the individual as he/she matures psychologically.
Freud’s own analogy of this was of military troops on the march, as the troops advance they are met by opposition or conflict, If they are highly successful in winning the battle (resolving the conflict) then most of the troops (libido) will be able to move on to the next battle (phase). But the bigger the struggle faced at any particular point the more troops needed to remain behind to fight and therefore fewer troops will be able to go on to the next skirmish.
Some people don’t seem able to exit one phase in order to progress on to the next. A reason for this may be that the needs of the developing individual at any particular phase may not have been sufficiently met in which case there is frustration. Or conceivably the person's needs may have been so well gratified that he/she is disinclined to leave the psychological benefits of a particular phase in which there is overindulgence. Both frustration and overindulgence or a combination of the two, could evolve in to what psychoanalysts call fixation at a particular psychosexual phase.
Fixation in this sense describes to the hypothetical notion that a portion of the individual's libido has been lastingly locked in a particular phase of development; It is presumed that some libido is permanently locked in each psychosexual phase and thus each person will behave in some ways that are characteristic of childhood.
To be specific Freud devised that there was five Psychosexual Phases of Development, these can be remember the order by using the mnemonic: “old (oral) age (anal) pensioners (phallic) love (latent) grapes (genital).