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Psychoanalytic Therapy

Claris Villatoro
Guidance Function in Education SC 540

Psychoanalysis : An overview

Developed by Sigmund Freud and his followers in 1890s .

Psychoanalysis is :

A set of philosophical descriptions of human nature.
A method of psychotherapy development that focus on unconscious
factors that motivate behavior and encourages the use of transference as
a way for therapists to gain information and create connections between
clients and themselves.
A theory of personality which is developed through different stages in

Psychoanalysis asserts that the impact of early childhood sexuality and
experiences, stored in the unconscious, can lead to the development
of adult emotional problems.

Men are strong only so long as
they represent a strong idea.
They become powerless when
they oppose it.

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud ( 1856-1939)
Born in Vienna, Austria to a family of three
Enrolled in medical school in 1873, earning
a degree a medical degree at the age of
While doing his residency in a psychiatric
hospital in Vienna, he became interested in
the study of the behavior and the mind.
Freud furthered his studies at a
neurological clinic in France. Here , Freud
became interested in hysteria.
Together with Breuer he published
Studies on Hysteria (1895). At the age of
thirty-nine Freud first used the term
"psychoanalysis," (a way to treat certain
mental illnesses by exposing and
discussing a patient's unconscious
thoughts and feelings) and his major
lifework was well under way.

Psychoanalysis: The nature of man
Human nature is viewed as deterministic.
Life is about gaining pleasure and avoiding pain.
Behavior is guided by irrational forces ,
unconscious motivations , and biological and
instinctual drives .
These forces evolve through key psycho-sexual
stages in the first 6 years of life.

Psychoanalysis: Consciousness and the
Part of the mind that stores repressed
Freud believed that the majority of what we
experience in our lives, the underlying
emotions, beliefs, feelings, and impulses are
not available to us at a conscious level. He
believed that most of what drives us is buried
in our unconscious.
While buried there, however, they continue to
impact us dramatically According to Freud.
According to Freud, unconscious impulses
leak out in everyday life in forms of
parapraxes: forgetting, slips of the
tongue, accidents. ,wit: a leak occurring in a
controlled manner and dreams: the royal road
to the unconscious containing latent content.

Freud's famous couch, in his London
clinic (after he moved in 1938 to
Maresfield Gardens to flee the Nazis).
Psychoanalysis: Consciousness and the
Unconscious ( cont.)
Freud believed that everything we
are aware of is stored in our
conscious. Our conscious makes up
a very small part of who we are.
This is the aspect of our mental
processing that we can think and
talk about rationally. A part of this
includes our memory, which is not
always part of consciousness but can
be retrieved easily at any time and
brought into our awareness.

Psychoanalysis: Elements of
According to Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality, personality
is composed of three elements. These three elements of personality--
known as the id, the ego and the superego--work together to create
complex human behaviors. All 3 components need to be well-balanced
in order to have good amount of psychological energy available and to
have reasonable mental health.
The dynamics of personality consist of the ways in which psychic
energy is distributed to the id, ego and superego. Because the amount
of energy is limited, one system gains control over the available energy
at the expense of the other two system. Behavior is control by this

Psychological Structures
The Id
Biological component
Primary source of energy and seat
of instincts.
The Ego
The executive that governs,
controls and regulates the
The Superego
The judicial branch of personality.
It includes a persons moral codes ,
right or wrong.
Ego Defense Mechanisms
The ego has a difficult time
satisfying both the id and the
superego. The ego has some
tools it can use in its job as
the mediator. When the ego
has a difficult time making
both the id and the superego
happy, it will employ a
mechanism of defense.
Ego Defense Mechanisms( cont.)
Psychoanalysis: Structure of
Freud believed that personality develops through a series of childhood
stages during which the libido, the psychosexual energy, is the driving
force behind behavior.
Early experiences play a large role in personality development and
continue to influence behavior later in life. At particular points in the
developmental process, he claimed, a single body part is particularly
sensitive to sexual, erotic stimulation. These body parts are the mouth,
the anus, and the genital region. If the stages are completed
successfully, the result is a healthy personality. If certain issues are not
resolved at the appropriate stage, fixation can occur.

Psychoanalysis: Stages of
Personality Development
Period of life

Oral Stage
First year of life
Infants need to get basic nurturing, or later feeling of
greediness and acquisitiveness may develop. The mouth is the
sexual gratifying organ. Fixation on this stage will result in
personality issues such as mistrust of others, love and fear of
or inability to form intimate relationships.
Anal Stage
Ages 1-3
The anal zone becomes of major significance in form of
personality. A child is learning independence , accepting
personal power and learning to express negative feeling such
as rage. Parental attitudes and discipline patterns have a
significance impact on later personality development.
Psychoanalysis: Stages of Personality
Development (cont)
Period of Life
Phallic Stage
Ages 3-6

This stage differs in boys and girls. The male phallic
stage is known as Oedipus complex, mother as love
object. The female phallic stage is known as Electra
complex, girls striving for fathers love and approval.

Latency Stage
Ages 6-12

Sexual interests are replaced by interest in school,
sport, and a range of new activities. This is the time
for socialization as a child begins to form relationships
with others.

Genital Stage
Ages 12-18

Sexual urges are once again awakened. Through the
lessons learned during the previous stages, adolescents
direct their sexual urges onto opposite sex peers, with
the primary focus of pleasure is the genitals.

Psychoanalysis: Primary techniques
The primary goal of psychotherapy is to bring out unconscious
material and make it conscious. This is accomplish by a well structure
setting and an effective client therapist relationship.
The client is encouraged to say whatever comes to mind; This is
referred as free association.
There is a clear commitment from the client to be part of an intensive
and long therapeutic process. The client agreed to talk ; these verbal
expressions might be signs of unconscious behavior.
On the other hand, the counselor assumed an anonymous and blank
stance. Therapist engage in very little self disclosure and maintain a
sense of neutrality to encourage a transference relationship.
Transference is the unaware repetition of events or actions from the
past into the present.

Psychoanalysis: The role of the
The role of the counselor is to help clients acquire the
following skills:
- the freedom to love, work and play
- achieve self -awareness
- gain control over irrational behavior
- deal with anxiety in a realistic way
These are accomplished by a series of well structure
techniques and a strong client-therapist relationship.

Psychoanalysis: Conclusion
The essence of psychoanalytic theory is that we should look into our past
to understand behavior. Events from the past fall into the unconscious
and they shape our behavior as they surface to conscious. Psychoanalysis
also presents three elements of personality that work together to create
complex behavior, the id (desire),ego(logic)and the superego( rightness).
Personality is shaped by these elements as humans go through a series of
stages driven by sexual energy. Our goal is avoiding pain and seeking
Books and Essays by Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud Published over
190 books and essays between
late 1800s and early 1900s.

The Interpretation of

Psychology of everyday life


The Interpretations of Dreams


On Narcissism (1914 )
Beyond the Pleasure Principle

The Future of an Illusion(1927)

Civilization and Its Discontents


Gibson, R. & Mitchell, M. (2008). Introduction to
counseling and guidance. (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River,
N.J.: Prentice Hall.
Corey, Gerald ( 2009). Theory and Practice of Counseling
and Psychotherapy. (8
ed.). Belmont, CA.: Thompson
Higher Education.