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Constantine D. Della, MD, DPBP, FPPA

Department of Behavioral Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
University of the Philippines Manila

• Conscious EGO
Mediates between id impulses & superego inhibitions

– Awaren
Determines who wins between id & superego
Reality principle
Very rational
Operates at conscious level

Ideals & morals

– Contai
Conscience incorporated mostly from parents, school & society
Operates at preconscious level

Basic impulses (sex & aggression)
Pleasure principle: seeks immediate gratification
Amoral, irrational & impulsive (gets what it wants when it wants it)
Operates at unconscious level



Libido: sexual & aggressive urges that transfer from one erogenous zone to another
Erogenous Zone: part of body where libido is centered; part of body that needs
stimulation by engaging in gratifying activities
Inability to proceed to next stage due to frustration (under-gratification) or over-
indulgence (over-gratification)
When fixated, one manifests behaviors that involve erogenous zone & these
behaviors continue to manifest in adulthood, specially during periods of anxiety
Regression: coping with anxiety by manifesting a childhood behavior that was learned
from previous stages

Oral Stage (Birth - 1.5 years)

Erogenous zone in focus: mouth

Gratifying activities: nursing, eating, mouth movement, including sucking, gumming,
biting & swallowing
Interaction with environment
To the infant, mother's breast is not only source of food & drink, but also represents
her love
Because the child's personality is controlled by the id and therefore demands
immediate gratification, responsive nurturing is important
Insufficient & forceful feeding may result in fixation at this stage
Oral Fixation (The “getting” personality)
Oral-Dependent Personality: with too much stimulation, child may become very
dependent, submissive, & uses charms to get what he/she wants
Oral-Aggressive Personality: If there is too little gratification, the child will be very
aggressive and will get what he wants through force.

Symptoms of Oral Fixation

Constant chewing on gum, pens, pencils, etc.
Nail biting
Sarcasm ("the biting personality") & verbal hostility

Anal Stage (1.5 – 3 years)

Erogenous Zone in Focus: anus
Gratifying Activities: bowel movement & withholding of such movement
Interaction with environment
Major event is toilet training (process through which children are taught when, where,
& how excretion is deemed appropriate by society)
Children start to notice pleasure & displeasure associated with bowel movements
Through toilet training, they discover their own ability to control such movements
Along with it comes the realization that this ability gives them power over their
parents; by exercising control over the retention & expulsion of feces, a child can
choose to either grant or resist parents' wishes
Anal Fixation (the “controlling” personality)
Anal-Expulsive Personality: if parents are too lenient & fail to instill society's rules
about bowel movement control, child will derive pleasure & success from
expulsion; individuals with a fixation on this mode of gratification are excessively
sloppy, disorganized, reckless, careless, & defiant
Anal-Retentive Personality: if child receives excessive pressure & punishment from
parents during toilet training, he/she will experience anxiety over bowl movements
& take pleasure in being able to withhold such functions; individuals who fail to
progress pass this stage are obsessively clean, orderly, & intolerant of those who
aren't; they may also be very careful, stingy, withholding, obstinate, meticulous,
conforming, & passive-aggressive

Phallic Stage (4 – 5 years)

Erogenous zone in focus: genital
Gratifying activities: masturbation & genital fondling
Interaction with environment:
Key event is child's feeling of attraction toward parent of opposite sex, together with
envy & fear of same-sex parent; in boys, this situation is called "Oedipus
Complex," named after the young man in a Greek myth who killed his father and
married his mother, unaware of their true identities; in girls, it is called the
"Electra Complex".
Boys, often experience intense "castration anxiety", which comes from fear of
punishment from fathers for their desire for their mothers
Girls' Electra Complex involves "penis envy“; girl believes that she once had a penis
but that it was removed; in order to compensate for its loss, the girl wants to have a
child by her father
Success or failure in Oedipus conflict is at the core of either normal psychological
development or psychological disorder; if child is able to successfully resolve the
conflict, he/she will have learned to control envy & hostility & begin to identify
with & model after same-sex parent & is ready to move on to next developmental
Phallic Fixation:
Men: anxiety & guilt feelings about sex, fear of castration, & narcissistic personality
They manifests traces of Oedipal complex (“mama’s boy”)
Need to protect macho image
Never progress past this stage fully & will always maintain a sense of envy &
Freud asserted no certainty regarding women's possible fixations resulting from
this stage
Seduces & flirts with men but will not commit (they make men fall in love with
them then leave them)

Latency (5 years - puberty)

Erogenous Zone in Focus: none
Interactions with Environment:
Sexual feelings are suppressed to allow children to focus their energy on other aspects
of life
A time of learning, adjusting to social environment outside of home, absorbing
culture, forming beliefs & values, developing same-sex friendships, engaging in
sports, etc.
Period of sexual latency in which children become capable of reproduction & their
sexuality is reawakened
Sublimation stage: sexual & aggressive urges are translated to socially accepted
Genital Stage
(Puberty onwards)
Erogenous zone in focus: genital
Gratifying activities: masturbation & heterosexual relationships

Interaction with environment: marked by renewed sexual interest & desire & pursuit of
Does not cause any fixation
If people experience difficulties at this stage, the damage was done in earlier oral,
anal, & phallic stages
These people come into this last stage of development with fixations from earlier
stages; e.g., attractions to opposite sex can be a source of anxiety if person has not
successfully resolved Oedipal (or Electra) conflict

All of us have sexual drive
Eros or life instinct: to create life for the survival of the species
Thanatos or death instinct: to destroy life; aggressive drive
We need to attend to our sexual and aggressive drives that are usually fueled by the Id.
However, because of the superego, the Id could not easily operate. This leads to anxiety.
So to protect ego from anxiety, we use defense mechanisms.

Ego Defense Mechanisms

“what you don’t know won’t hurt you”
Mother of all defense mechanisms
Pushing conscious unpleasant thoughts to the unconscious
Unexplained phobias caused by trauma
Vague reports by rape victims to crime investigators
Psychological amnesia and dissosiative disorders

“You’ve gotta be kiddin’ me!”
Refusing to accept painful reality (the truth hurts)
Almost like a reflex
Unconscious, unlike lying which is conscious
“You do have a crush on him!”—“NO! I DON’T!”
“Our friend died yesterday!”—“YOU’RE JOKING!”
“We are just good friends”
“I don’t like ballroom dancing”
Healthy denial (conscious of the cause but not the behavior)
Deaths of a significant other

Reaction Formation
“the more you hate, the more you love”
Doing consciously the opposite of what the unconscious feels
Putting actions to your denial
Being rude to someone you unconsciously like or the other way around
Being homophobic because you deny you are a gay
Being so religious and proper but deep inside your libido overflows
Acting as if you are an independent person but actually your heart shouts “How
can I live without you”

“Look who’s talking”
Transferring unacceptable thoughts to others
“Why are you mad at me?”
You are so green minded!
“Serve the food because they are already hungry!”
“You have a crush on her!”
Be aware of counter projections
What about fishing? Do you think it is a type of defense mechanism?

“Childhood is good “place” to hide from danger”
Going back to childhood behaviors when faced with anxiety
Crying, tantrums, “silent treatment”, impulsive verbal remarks
Playing games when stressed

“Pick someone your own size!”
Redirection of emotion from a higher status person to a lower status person, object or
Shouting at your little brother after being reprimanded by your father


“This is not a sin! This is art!”
Express sexual or aggressive urges in a socially acceptable way
Enroll or pose in a nude art class
Play basketball and release aggression
Some psychoanalysts believe that everything we do with passion is a form of
sublimation even if it is not sexually or aggressive and nature. This is developed
during the latency stage.

“I’m bigger than my body”
Turning deficits to excess to hide insecurity
Giving a verbal resume to show you are good
Narcissistic behaviors

“When it comes to feelings, even the wisest man may give the dumbest reason”
Justifying a regretful behavior or event
Making a negative justification to an event or behavior that is already negative
“She dumped me. But it’s totally fine. She isn’t pretty anyway.”
Justification by creating a false “brighter side”
She dumped me. But it’s totally fine. It’s fun to be single!”
Using logic rather than emotions to make it less painful
(cheating) Everyone does it anyway.
(after a failure) I am only human.
It’s better that we are apart. We can grow professionally.
Promises are made to be broken
Time is gold

Isolation: Separate act from emotion

A man caught committing adultery: “It was only sex! Not making love!”
Father punishing a son: “I spank you because you deserved it, not because I do not love
Man wanting to break up with lover: “I still love you. It’s just that we grew apart!”;
“It’s not you. It’s me.”; “I need to fight my personal battle.”

False humility (modesty): Not accepting compliments by giving other reasons; “You
look handsome tonight” – “It must be the new clothes.”

“Just press Ctrl+Z or click the undo button”
“Canceling out” a bad act by doing good
Buying flowers for your girlfriend after having a coffee with your ex-girlfriend.

Acting like a saint because you came from a family of corrupt politicians

“If you can’t beat them, join them!”
Associating self with those who possess the trait you desire (which you cannot
You want to look smart—join the smart club!