Freudian Psychology: Everything You Need to Know

Freudian psychology is based on the research of Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). He is revered as the founder of psychoanalysis and is significantly responsible for developing the field of talk therapy. Nowadays, the therapeutic modalities that most often include Freudian ideas are psychoanalytic and psychodynamic approaches. Influential views regarding the unconscious mind, the causes of psychopathology, and the importance of dreams were also created by Freud.

For what is Freud renowned?

Freud is renowned for his many ideas on the unconscious, dreams, infantile sexuality, libido, repression, and transference, all of which still have varying degrees of effect on the discipline of psychology. A trained neurologist, Freud’s conception of the mind as the ethically motivated superego, the desire-centered id, and the ego (or “the I”) led to a new understanding of how people grow psychologically and how to treat psychological disorders.

The idea of discovering “Freudian slips” in speech and Freud’s theory of the Oedipus complex, which holds that a kid unconsciously has a sexual connection to an opposite-sex parent, are other ideas that are still strongly connected with Freud today.

What was Freud’s definition of the unconscious?

The unconscious portion of the mind has been compared to a reservoir of potent emotions and ideas that influence daily life even if the individual does not become immediately aware of them. He considered that this suppressed mental material influenced the development of mental disease.

What are the id, ego, and superego?

The id, ego, and superego make up Freud’s three-part model of the mind. The id was the source of primal urges, including sexual and combative tendencies. The ego was made up of conscious and unconscious “defense mechanisms” that were put in place to deal with conflicts between the id and the demands of reality. The superego was believed to be the mental embodiment of social norms, which might lead to shame and self-blame.

How do defensive mechanisms work?

Freud referred to defense mechanisms as mental adaptations to internal problems. Examples include reaction formation, acting in a manner that is at odds with one’s genuine sentiments; repression, which is blocking unpleasant ideas from awareness; and displacement, which is moving emotional reactions (such as aggressiveness) from an original target to a safer one, etc.

The Freudian dream theory

According to Freud, dreams provide a crucial glimpse into the unconscious mind and may be seen as the mind’s means of sating desires that cannot be gratified in the waking world. Numerous dream symbols may be used to symbolize aspects of reality. In his 1899 book The Interpretation of Dreams, he offered strategies for interpreting their significance.

A “Freudian slip.” 

We’ve had a few sexbacks, or “good to beat you,” are examples of a “Freudian slip,” which is a case of misspeaking that is assumed to disclose underlying ideas or motivations. In his 1901 book The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, Freud discussed these slips.

Is the Oedipus complex real?

According to Freud, boys want to eliminate their father and have sexual impulses for their mother. (The fabled character Oedipus murders his father and weds his mother without realizing they are his parents.) There is disagreement among psychologists as to whether the Freudian version of the Oedipus complex is a universal one.

Penis envy: is it real?

One of Freud’s most controversial theories was penis envy, which included females feeling inadequate because they lacked male genitalia. This theory was similarly divisive to the Oedipus complex. Penis envy is unlikely to be a normal developmental phenomenon.

Which five phases of psychosexual development did Freud identify?

According to Freud’s theory, persons go through five psychosexual phases as they develop: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital. They were mostly named after erogenous zones that he believed to be significant at each stage—during breastfeeding (oral), toilet training (anal), and so forth. The Oedipus complex was assumed to occur during the phallic stage, between the fourth and sixth years.

How would Freud characterize libido?

The mental energy of human impulses to survive and reproduce is how Freud defined libido. It was believed that it could express itself physically (including sexual enjoyment) and psychologically, for example, by manifesting wishes in dreams.

The Psychotherapy of Freud

Psychoanalysis, the kind of therapy that Freud invented, has been a cornerstone of therapeutic practice. As a theorist and a practitioner, he demonstrated the potential effectiveness of discussing and observing one’s inner life in reducing the symptoms of mental illness. The work of Sigmund Freud has impacted other psychotherapy disciplines, including modern psychoanalysis, even though they diverge from him in terms of specifics of theory and practice.

Freudian psychoanalysis: What is it?

Based on Freud’s theories, Freudian psychoanalysis is both a therapeutic approach and a tool to comprehend the mind. His theory of therapy holds that mental disease is mainly anchored in the unconscious and that the role of the psychoanalyst is to help bring pathological cognitive processes into awareness.

What are some of the therapeutic methods Freud employed?

Free association, which allows a patient to speak freely about whatever ideas come to mind, was one of Freud’s leading techniques. It was believed to be a means to bring internal conflicts into consciousness and treat them. Transference—projecting one’s thoughts about another person (such as a parent) onto the therapist—presented a chance to cope with such feelings and was thought essential to the therapeutic interaction between the patient and the therapist.

Why did the patients of Freud lay on a couch?

In psychoanalysis, lying on a sofa and not looking at the therapist during sessions is said to make it simpler for the patient to disclose inner thoughts during free association. Additionally, it could help the therapist think more clearly throughout sessions.

What are neuroses?

The word “neurosis” describes situations that include intense worry or discomfort (in the form of irrational fears, obsessions, or other symptoms). According to Freud, neuroses and different types of mental disease result from unconscious internal conflicts, such as when an impulse is repressed.

How did Freud mentor other psychologists?

Freud partially educated future psychoanalysts by analyzing them after conducting his self-analysis. In a lineage going back to Freud, psychoanalysts-in-training were afterward examined by someone who had already undergone analysis. This is referred to as a  “training analysis.”

Do Freudian psychoanalysts still practice today?

Even though psychoanalysis has advanced beyond Freud’s fundamental theories, there are still active psychoanalysts. Psychodynamic treatment is a subset of therapy that is more general and linked.

Ideas from Freud Today

The method of treatment Freud developed lost favor as psychology and psychotherapy advanced. Some of his most important theories, like how he conceptualized the unconscious, have been rejected by scientists because they are difficult or impossible to verify scientifically.

However, Freud’s ideas—such as projection and other “defense mechanisms”—remain valuable to psychologists today. Modern psychoanalytic therapists and therapists who use psychodynamic techniques also owe much to Freud.

The Significance of Freud’s theories

Freud’s ideas are still widely held today, and his contributions to psychology’s history are significant. Although many of his theories have been revised or disproved, others have served as a foundation for new psychological theories and therapeutic approaches.

What are some of Freud’s ideas’ weaknesses?

Although Freud used his self-analysis, clinical cases, and other sources to create his ideas, they often were not put to the same kind of empirical scrutiny that modern psychological theories are anticipated to undergo. According to current scientific data, Freud overemphasized early childhood events’ impact on mental disease development.

Are psychologists still using Freud’s theories today?

Indeed, a lot of them are. Psychologists recognize the importance of mental processes that people are ignorant of (or only partly aware of). Some types of modern treatment continue to address defense mechanisms or similar cognitive processes. Additionally, the relationship between the therapist and the patient is acknowledged to be a crucial component of successful psychotherapy, even if it may not take the same form as in conventional psychoanalysis.

Choose your Reaction!