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Sigmund Freud Essay

3588 words - 14 pages

Sigmund Freud
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     Psychology and its evolvement in the U.S. and its culture exploded with the theories and writings of Sigmund Freud. America welcomed psychoanalysis as its new treatment for hysteria and mental illnesses. Society began to rely on psychoanalysts as not only their doctors but their personal consultants. A new outlook on the American culture and its thought began to emerge. Many found psychoanalysts to be aristocrats and others viewed it as a new tool of discovering the mind and how it worked. Psychoanalysis and psychosexual theories of Freud became the target for feminist uprisings during 1920’s and 60’s that changed American outlook on its culture and social roles. Freud and the emergence of psychoanalysis in the U.S. served as means of new treatment for the mentally ill, new careers and organizations for the psychology field, as well as the means to change American society and its culture.

Psychoanalysis incorporates Freudian concepts of id, ego, and the superego in their relation to repression of human thoughts and emotions. According to Feud, the id represents a portion of the human mind where all the desires and pleasures are sought to be achieved by the individual disregarding the reality. The id is the selfish pleasure seeking device. The ego interacts with the id by bringing a sense of reality to the person’s mind that is acquired from an individual’s contact with the social world. “The ego attempts to reduce the tensions of the id, and it tries to do so by successfully dealing with the environment” (Nye, p.13). The superego makes the final decision of right and wrong. It is associated with morals and ethics most often acquired through parents. The superego represents the values and standards of the parents, incorporated into the individual’s own personality (Nye, p.14). This system of morals represents the conscious level of the person’s mind, while the id mostly lies within the unconscious. The ego, when faced with stress and inability to cope with stressful situations creates defense mechanisms that often lead to repression of thoughts, memories, and emotions (Nye, p.26). Psychoanalysis aims to discover each sector of personality and mind separately. In order to acquire access to the id, a person’s ego has to be penetrated due to the defense mechanisms it creates. By studying the superego, the present person may be revealed as a combination of the morals and values learned in childhood through parents. Whether studying each sector of the personality individually or as a whole, Freud believed them to be vital to the structure of a person, their behavior, and their revelation through psychoanalysis.

     One of Freud’s most famous and controversial theories is the psychosexual stages of development. The emphasis in psychoanalytic theory is on the pregenital or the first three stages (Nye, p.19). The oral stage concentrates its attention on the infant’s mouth and the need to suck and bite....

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