Psychoanalytical Theory Essay

3100 words - 12 pages

Psychoanalytical Theory

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was the first person to initiate the thought
of psychoanalysis. According to Friedlander (1947), classical Freudian
psychoanalytic explanations of delinquency focus on abnormalities or
disturbances in the individual’s emotional development from early
childhood. Since then many people have amended his original writings
and presently there are numerous versions Freud’s original
psychoanalytical theory. Many of these recent versions are similar to
the original version with the exception that they are updated to
current times. Few new models are extremely different from Freud’s
theory.

Adler, Mueller, and Laufer (2004) describe the psychoanalytical theory
as follows: “In criminology, a theory of criminality that attributes
delinquent and criminal behavior to a conscience that is either so
overbearing that it arouses excessive feelings of guilt or so weak
that it cannot control the individual’s impulses” (p. G-6). Freud
stated in the text “The Ego and the Id” (1961) that

it was a surprise to find that an increase in the Ucs. sense of guilt
can turn people into criminals. But it is undoubtedly a fact. In many
criminals, especially youthful ones, it is possible to detect a very
powerful sense of guilt which exists before the crime, and is
therefore not its result but its motive. It is as if it was a relief
to be able to fasten this unconscious sense of guilt on to something
real and immediate (p.52).

The psychoanalytic mind feels the need for immediate gratification.
People of this type have feelings so strong that no matter what the
consequences of their actions maybe, they feel a need to satisfy them.
They will go to any means to fulfill this need for gratification.
“Most analysts view delinquents as children unable to give up their
desires for instant pleasure” (Adler, Mueller & Laufer, 2004, p. 86).
The psychoanalytical theory focuses on the development of personality,
the stages of development and the emotional problems reflecting some
unconscious aspects of one’s psychological functioning. Adler,
Mueller, and Laufer (2004) base this theory on three principles.
First, “The actions and behavior of an adult are understood in terms
of childhood development.” Second, “Behavior and unconscious motives
are intertwined, and their interaction must be unraveled if we are to
understand criminality.” Third, “Criminality is essentially a
representation of psychological conflict” (p. 86).

Freud believes that criminality has a lot to do with the structural
model of the mind. He breaks the mind down into three categories; the
Id, Ego, and the Superego. “The Id is the unconscious seat of
irrational, antisocial, and instinctual impulses which must be
controlled and shaped for social adaptation to life in society”
(Akers, 1999, p....

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