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The Psychoanalytic Theory founded by Sigmund Freud, The Jungian Theory developed by Carl Jung , and The individual psychology Theory established by Alfred Adler were all founded by three very important influential minds of Psychology. Freud believed the mind had three levels the unconscious, the preconscious and the conscious. In addition, Psychoanalytic theories focus on the unconscious mind, which contains introverted sexual feelings and unwanted thoughts, events and experiences of the resenting conscious mind. Jungian took many of the same terms Freud used but believed them to mean something different. Neither Jung or Adler believed that the Oedipus complex was a common phenomenon as Freud did.
Sigmund Freud developed the psychoanalytic theory, which proposes unconscious motivations influence personality development. According to Freud’s theory, the mind has three components the id, the ego and the super ego. The id is a real pleasure seeker and wants immediate satisfaction it is into aggression and what the id wants it wants immediately. The ego try’s to meet the ids needs the best that it can the ego works under the reality principal keeping desires realistic and under control so they can bring long-term pleasure instead of hurt and disorder. The ego mediated between the desires of the id and the restraints imposed by the superego. The super ego is like a conscious that represents society’s norms and values. It considers the real and the ideal. The super ego thinks about how a person should behave according to society and uses ideas about morality that comes from ones parents and the environment. The super ego also gives a person a strong sense of right and wrong. The super ego can make us feel very proud or very guilty. The superego often opposes the id and the ego, and works hard to reconcile the two.
“According to Psychoanalysis, humans progress through a series of stages of sexual development beginning at birth where sexual pleasure began in early infancy, and ending with mature sexual identity in puberty”(Murdock, 2009, p. 41). The proposed five stages of development that humans go thru as they grow up are, the oral stage, the anal stage, the phallic stage, latency stage and genital stage. If a human being receives too much or too little pleasure from one of these stages, he or she can become fixated on that stage and focus too much on the pleasers associated with that stage. When a person’s drives and desires get out of control, they may use one or more of their defense mechanisms, which are all a form of denial to protect themselves.
“Jung called the psychological makeup of a person the psyche. In the center of Jungian personality, structure is the ego” (Murdock, 2009, p. 68). Jung believed the ego, which was only a part of the human mind, was capable of a personal direct awareness or their conscious. The vast majority of the human mind is unconscious but through the power of symbols, we can explore the unconscious and tap into its vast reservoir of creative energy. Jung believed dreams gave us a window into the unconscious as well as the role of art and religion. Jung thought that only part of the mind was truly personal the area of the personal unconscious. In the personal unconscious, there is the persona, which is the internalized social role one has. As well as, the shadow, the parts with which humans are ashamed of and try to repress. The collective unconscious contains inherited capacity to form symbols these are called archetypes. To get the true creative energy of the unconscious a person has to get all the way down into the collective unconscious. “Jung believed that specific characterizations of these archetypes can change over time, but the essential characteristics of the specific archetype did not” (Murdock, 2009, p. 69)
Adler the founder of Individual Psychology believed that the universal complex afflicting all children was the inferiority feeling that every child experiences because of being born a child in an adult world. Children realized that adults have more privileges and more knowledge. With social interest, a person stops feeling sorry for oneself and start caring more about others. The whole dynamic of mental illness according to Adler is how this individual has unsuccessfully coped with the feeling of inferiority. As well as the treatment plan, the unique way the therapist is going to guide the individual to the course of social interest. There are several factors that can bring a child down into a worsening of inferiority feeling. For example Adler believed children who are neglected, abused, or even pampered by there parents could have a feelings of inferiority. Adler believed there are three paths a person can take to get to the healthy mode of social interest. Interpersonal relations with friends, development of a family, and a career where they can get a sense of achievement will help them develop social interest. “Our task is therefore to find ourselves worthy despite occasional human imperfection. The existential task is concerned with finding one’s place in the cosmos. Coming to terms with religion is a part of this task” (Murdock, 2009, p. 115-116). Religion is part of the solution not a part of the problem according to Adler.
Both Jung and Freud proposed that all that is unconscious is seeking its way to the surface to become known and become conscious. Freud and Jung shared a great interest in dream symbols but that is where their similarities ended. Freud attempted to reduce all human behavior to the underlying internal drives of sex and aggression. Jung was much more humanistic emphasizing the potential of each human being to grow and be creative. Therefore, instead of viewing dream symbols as a mere representation of sexual drives, Jung thought that such symbols could enable humans to grow by harnessing some of that creative energy of the unconscious. Freud believed religion tried to control sex and aggression and it was something mankind would eventually out grow. Freud viewed religion as apart of the problem and imperfect solution. Jung however believed religion was part of the solution. Jung believed the reason man needs psychotherapy is because they have lost touch with religion. In the past, art and religion provided man with a symbolic contact with his unconscious. Jung believed the only way to achieve mental health is for a person to reconnect with their spiritual roots. Adler also believed religion was a part of the solution.
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