Chapter 2-3-Module 2 Sigmund Freud and the Development of Psychoanalysis
The Psychoanalytic Approach to Psychology
Metropolitan Community College
Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist who was very well known for his study of the body and the mind. Freud became known as the founding father of Psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst. Freud worked to develop techniques such as the use of free association, the process in which a patient recites their thoughts without reservation spontaneously. He also discovered transference, the process to which patients speak of feelings to their analysts derived from their childhood attachments. Freud’s work with Psychoanalysis helped him further develop other theories or explanations for the way humans are the way they are ...view middle of the document...
In Freud’s study of psychoanalysis, he also determined that the mind was composed of three elements: the id, the ego and the superego. The id is the part of the personality of an individual that wants what it wants now and is the seat of natural, primitive instincts such as aggressive and sexual desires. The ego is the more reasonable and rather more developed section of the personality. With the ego, the mind is able to attain reality and understand reason and logic with the concern for survival. The superego is very similar to the conscience and is interrelated with morals and values of society as well as the individual. Throughout the life of an individual, the id, the ego and the superego balance one another out to correlate and coordinate the thought process of the mind. They each work to keep one another in check and are in constant interaction. This is where defense mechanisms come in to play.
In life, many times the id, the ego and the superego interact. When the ego is met with threatening impulses by the id to get out of the comfort zone, anxiety can build in the body. In a young individual, they may choose to calm anxiety by coping with the impulses in a satisfactory way. For example, someone who is anxious about losing a job may find a new one until he or she can find one they really want. When a realistic resolution of conflict is not available, the ego employs the defense mechanism to reduce tension, meaning the entire conflict could be repressed. An example of this could be aggressive urges being discharged in sports.
To this day, Psychoanalysis continues to be an influential device within psychotherapy across the work of human services. Although it continues to cause debate of therapeutic efficiency and its scientific status, Psychoanalysis still stands strong within the psychiatry community.
Cherry, K. (n.d.). The Id, Ego and Superego The Structural Model of Personality. Retrieved from
About.com website: http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/personalityelem.htm