Psychoanalysis And Reclaiming The Self

1221 words - 5 pages

Deep in the minds of human beings lies a vast ocean of emotions and experiences. The human mind is often misconstrued and simplified by those who possess one, but delving deeper into the mind and it’s processes you see a whole other world that is veiled beneath the surface. One of the most famous examples of the human mind is the image of an iceberg, what is on the surface is so minimal compared to the immense body that lies underneath. Sigmund Freud was the father of psychoanalysis and believed in the idea of the unconscious and subconscious that help power who we are. Through psychoanalysis Freud began to reclaim the self as an individual and stressed the importance of the external world ...view middle of the document...

From one of Freud’s lectures “New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis” Freud says “The poor ego has a still harder time of it; it has to serve three harsh masters, and it has to do its best to reconcile the claims and demands of all three...The three tyrants are the external world, the superego, and the id” (Butcher). In serving all of its “masters” the ego soon becomes malleable and is essentially who we are and who we convey to the world. This aids in Freud’s attempt to reclaim the self because essentially all of these components are what make up the self. Every choice made by an individual is an attempt to satisfy one of the components of the self, and thus allowing an individual to make choices to fulfill their own desires. Freud’s concept of self is centered on these three components and their interactions with the external world.
Another important aspect of reclaiming the self through psychoanalysis is seeing how the self came to be. Essentially the self has to do with the three components, the id, ego and superego, but it also has to do with time, which means how the past shapes the present. Psychoanalysis stresses that every experience that individuals go through has an effect on the self, no matter how small or big the experience is. In the book “Time, Self, and Psychoanalysis” the author William W. Meissner says “As embodied the self endures through time, as do all the other bodies making up the world of our experience, and I would submit that this phenomenon, as we experience it subjectively, provides one of the foundations for the sense of self-continuity and change…” (Meissner). As an entity that is moving through time, the self is constantly being altered through the subjective experiences that it is going through. Just as the physical body is changed throughout time, the sense of self changes as well. Thus with each passing day the self is constantly in state of transformation, and it is this transformation that makes an individual unique. Psychoanalysis believes that each individual is unique, and it is because of this interaction of time, the external world, and the three components of the self that forms a distinctive individual. Not everyone can experience an event the same way because our unconscious does not function the same, we all have different hard wiring that makes it impossible to be the exactly the same as another human being.
On the other hand many people believe that psychoanalysis is not a credible way to understand the self...

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