Psychoanalysis had its beginning with the discovery that a person in complete physical health could experience an illness with physical symptoms that stemmed from things trapped in the subconscious known as hysteria. Charcot, a French neurologist tried to liberate the mind through hypnosis. A Viennese physician, Josef Breuer, carried this purging further with a process based on his patient, Anna O., revealing her thoughts and feelings to him. Sigmund Freud took Breuer’s method and made generalizations that grew into conceptualizations and eventually into the theories of psychoanalysis. Freud would listen to his patients, and then use these thoughts to interpret what was happening in the unconscious part of their mind. This was explained as bringing the unconscious to consciousness so it could be dealt with through therapy. Breuer and Freud’s successes with this method led to the foundational publication of Studies in Hysteria in 1895. Freud continued his practice of theory until it became the system of psychology known as psychoanalysis, a system that is the single most influential theory of psychotherapy in our time. A brief look into psychoanalysis is seen through the foundations of Freud’s theory.
Freud began with his study of the three forces of the psyche: the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is the unconscious and contains most things inherited and the all-encompassing instincts. The ego is the conscious and must control the ever-demanding id by serving as its link to the external world. The ego is a regulator and responds to a stimulus by adapting or fleeing, regulating, and seeking pleasure while avoiding displeasure. The superego is actually managed by the id. It carries the responsibility of the limitation of satisfactions and the representation of other persons’ influence, especially the influence of parents, teachers, and other role models. It also represents the impact of racial, cultural, and societal traditions.
The instincts, which are mostly a part of the id, are the cause of every human behavior. Behavior is further made up of two basic instincts that are Eros (love) and Death (destructive and aggressive). Eros is responsible for establishing and preserving the unity of relationships. The Death or destructive instinct carries the purpose of undoing connections and unity through aggression or destruction. They either work together to form attraction or in competition to create repulsion. Simply put one may be bashful or impotent or aggressive to the extreme of being a sex murderer. To carry his study further, Freud considered the sexuality of an individual.
Through this particular study, Freud contends that one must go back to birth, which is the manifestation of an individual’s sexuality. The oral phase is where life begins and that is why babies explore everything with their mouth, the center of all...