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Psychoanalytic Assessment Of Personality Essay

1349 words - 6 pages

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The three psychoanalytic approaches to personality could not be much different. Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytical approach focuses mainly on childhood development and sexual urges. Carl Jung felt that most human behavior could be traced to or caused by their unconscious. Alfred Adler, on the other hand, focused most of his approach on people’s motivation and superiority.
Sigmund Freud believed that the psycho-sexual motivated human behavior. His psychoanalytic approach to personality was based on three different levels of personality. These three levels include the ID, the ego, and the superego. The ID (Latin for it) is immediate personal gratification or a human’s basic, ...view middle of the document...

These stages were the oral stage, the anal stage, the phallic stage, the latency stage, and the genital stage. During the oral stage an infant is focus on seeking pleasure through his or her mouth. Fixation can occur if his or her needs are not met by parents. Fixation could lead to over-eating, thumb-sucking, nail biting, smoking, etc. This could also result in feeling incomplete or overly dependent. The anal stage occurs from the age of eighteen months up to three years old. The child seeks pleasure through passing bowels and urine. Fixation in this stage could lead to being anal-retentive which includes being a perfectionist or extremely neat and precise. The phallic stage in psychosexual development lasts from 3 years old to 6 years old. This is a stage where children focus on their genitals for pleasure and may develop incestuous feelings for the parent of the opposite sex. Fixation in this stage could result in low self-esteem. The latency stage of psychosexual development starts when a child is 6 and lasts until they are eleven. Freud’s theory says that there are no sexual feelings during this stage due to them being represses and that children generally develop skills socially through interacting with other children and family members. The last stage is the genital stage which starts at eleven years old and lasts until a child becomes an adult. This is the stage when most children will develop an interest in the opposite sex. Freud thought that if a personal did not have any fixation throughout any of the earlier stages that he or she would turn out to be a well-balanced and mentally healthy person.
Freud felt that people dealt with challenges from the outer environment by using defense mechanisms to protect one’s self. Three examples of defense mechanisms would include repression, reaction formation, and regression. Repression occurs when events are forgotten as an ego defense. These thoughts can be pushed back into the conscious when something terrible happens to someone. For example, a girl was molested by a family member at a young age but did not remember it until a therapy session as a young adult. Reaction formation occurs when a person has a moral conflict about their natural desires. For example, a man who I knew in high school was actually homosexual but he did not come out until after he graduated college years later. In fact, in high school he was quite homophobic and often talked about how he was scared of gays and how morally wrong their behavior was. Often times he would preach about how sinful homosexuality was and how he did not see how anyone could think that a man should be with a man or a woman with a woman. He told me years later that although he knew he was gay that he was too scared to accept it. In high school he did date other men although it was kept secret. So while he was preaching to others about homosexuality being a sin he was actually a homosexual himself. I feel this was...

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