Freud's Contributions To The Field Of Psychology

1350 words - 5 pages

Sigmund Freud was a pioneer within the field of psychology who developed multiple theories that introduced the world to the inner meanings of the human unconscious. He created the theory of psychoanalysis, which allowed him to enter the world of the unconscious mind. He also proposed that humans go through a transition of various psychosexual stages, each level containing a different drive and desire. These urges were governed by the three components of the mind: the id, the ego, and the superego. He also believed that humans create defense mechanisms in order to drive away anxiety, guilt, and depression. However, he believed his greatest work resided within his interpretation of dreams through a method he called dream analysis. Each aspect of his studies and theories attempt to identify the reason behind human behavior.
Freud graduated with a degree in medicine from the University of Vienna, Austria. Soon after, he mapped the geography of the human psyche, and began working with severely disturbed patients. Through extremely intense self-analysis, Freud concurred that repressed desires were the source of emotional disturbances. He then developed psychoanalysis, a method of bringing these repressed desires to the conscious level. In order to evoke these hidden, unconscious desires, Freud used dream analysis and free association. He believed dreams were the royal road to the unconscious, and through the interpretation of its contents, repressed desires can be brought to surface. Free association was a therapeutic technique in which the patient would spontaneously verbalize thoughts in an atmosphere that was open and non-judgmental. It was Freud’s belief that the patient would begin to self-analyze, and ultimately identify their hidden desires through personal insight (Fiero 26).
Moreover, Freud identified various stages of development, each containing an erogenous desire that drives behavior. He called these stages, psychosexual development and theorized that if any one of these stages is not successfully completed, a person will remain stuck, or fixated, in the stage that was not resolved. Psychosexual development contains five stages: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital. The oral stage occurs during infancy, and pleasure is brought about through activities that include oral stimulation such as eating or sucking. If the infant does not gratify these desires, Freud believed that the individual would later develop issues with dependency or aggression. At about eighteen months of age, the infant enters into the anal stage of development. In this stage, pleasure is gratified through bowel movements. The major conflict at this stage is toilet training, when the child must learn to control his or her bodily needs. If this control is established, the young child feels a sense of accomplishment and interdependence. Fixation occurs through the parent’s methods of potty training. If the parents utilize a praise and reward...

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