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Freud and Jung: Early Psychoanalytic Theories Essay

Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung were two influential theorists in psychology (Nystul, M. , 2005). Freud was considered the father of psychology and believed that human behavior was the result of unconscious conflict deep in the mind of individuals (Nystul, M. , 2005). Jung’s theory developed directly out of Freud’s psychoanalytic approach; however he refuted several of Freud’s key points and placed an even greater emphasis on the unconscious. Freud and Jung were the key figures of the psychoanalytic approach to psychology; however their theories differed on several key points (Nystul, M. , 2005).

Freud’s psychoanalytic theory was the seed for many subsequent theorists’ work. His main assertion was that human behavior and personality derived from the unconscious conflict that arose in individuals’ unconscious (Fayek, 2005). He postulated that the unconscious was a combination of the id, which was the primal drive for all human needs (e. g. , sex, hunger), the superego, which could be likened to the internalization of societal values and standards (e. g. , the conscience), and the moderating ego that was the rational part of thought that controlled the impulses of the id and superego.

Anxiety arose when individuals were confronted with fears of danger within reality (Shill, 2004). Neurotic anxiety occurred when individuals were confronted with dangers that arose in childhood, and can be connected to his five stages of psychosexual development, where personality developed. The five stages of psychosexual development were connected to erogenous zones that children were fixated on until their needs were met and were able to move on developmentally. The five stages include oral, anal, phallic, and genital stages of development.

The id relied on the stimulation of these zones until the child would move into the next developmental stage. If an individual were unable to move into the next stage, then they would fixate into that particular stage, and this could mediate personality development (Garcia, 1995). For instance, adults that had not moved on through the anal stage of psychosexual development are representative of type-A personalities such that they are characterized as uptight, as children are as they are focused upon controlling potty training and bowel movements between ages one and three. Furthermore, Freud’s theory was focused on sexual issues and conflict.

For instance, he developed the Electra complex and Oedipus complex such that girls became jealous of their mothers as they competed for their father’s sexual attention. Similarly, boys became jealous of their fathers through penis envy as they sought the sexual attention of their mothers and secretly wanted to kill their fathers (Garcia, 1995). Freud used assessment methods to probe the unconscious of his patients. He believed that the unconscious used several techniques to keep conflicts in the unconscious and used methods to tap into his patients’ unconscious through psychoanalytic therapy.

For instance, he developed free association where patients said whatever came to their minds, similar to a verbal daydream (Macmillian, 2001). This helped patients to recall events that had been suppressed and so they could achieve catharsis in order to relieve their disturbing symptoms. Freud also used hypnosis in his early therapy sessions. Moreover, Freud conducted dream analysis where he would interpret dreams in order to tap into the unconscious on an individual dream by dream basis (Schept, 2007). The unconscious was also a main point of interest in Jung’s psychoanalytic approach to psychology.

However, Jung disagreed with Freud on three main points (Bergmann, 2008). First, Jung refuted the main importance of sexual anxiety in his theory. Instead, Jung stressed that sexual stress was more of a generalized aspect that impacted a psychic energy of a person but included other aspects. Second, Jung believed that individuals were impacted by past and future events, while Freud postulated that individuals were impacted solely by events in an individual’s life. Finally, Jung placed a greater importance on the unconscious and developed the idea of the collective unconscious that was retrospective and prospective.

Jung developed the idea of the collective unconscious and expanded the idea of the unconscious itself (Leader, 2009). He believed that there was an aspect of the unconscious that included all of the past experiences of humankind. He believed that this information was passed down generation by generation as an accumulation of human and prehuman experiences that helps the species to develop as a whole. He also believed that all individuals have a personal unconscious that contains information that was once known but has been suppressed because it was too painful to remember.

Within the collective unconscious, there were a series of archetypes or sets of universal experiences within the collective unconscious. For example, there was the persona archetype that is a mask that an individual present to others during interactions in order to hide the true self from others. The darkest archetype was the shadow archetype that included the evils that human beings are responsible for. Other archetypes include the anima, animus, and self archetypes. Jung also believed that personality was the response of psychological types that were based on the attitudes and functions of individuals (Dolliver, 1994).

These types included the extraverted (viz. , thinking, feeling, sensing, intuiting) and introverted (viz. , thinking, feeling, sensing, intuiting). Depending upon type, individuals behaved and interacted differently with others and the environment. These eight psychological types may be likened to an early version of trait theory and other later personality theories. Moreover, Jung believed that personality developed throughout the lifetime, and individuals’ personalities did not appear as a result from unresolved conflict in childhood as Freud believed.

Instead, individuals were continuously moving toward self-realization and individuation, which makes Jung’s psychoanalytic approach more uplifting in comparison to Freud’s more pessimistic view of human development (Leader, 2009). Jung’s assessment practices were similar but differed from Freud’s methods. First, Jung used a word-association test such that patients would respond to a word that the therapist said with the first word that came to their mind (Jung, 1907). This helped to tap into complexes of his patients.

He also used symptom analysis to interpret the free associations that patients made. Similar to Freud, Jung used a dream analysis technique but he worked with a series to dreams instead of singular dreams as Freud did to develop a thematic interpretation based upon free response (Schept, 2007). While both Freud and Jung’s theories led to the development of psychology as a scientific field, neither of these theories was based directly upon systematic experimentation. Instead, these psychoanalytic theories were based upon case studies of individual clients (Thompson, 2002).

Patient interviews were not recorded verbatim, and were based upon a small number of patients. While the reliability of theory development was not optimal for generalization to society as a whole, these early ideas and theories helped modern scientists develop research questions that have been tested through empirical research methods, and have led to the development of more modern theories of behavior and personality. Without the early contributions of Freud and Jung, the face of psychology may look very different today. References

Bergmann, M. S. (2008). Freud/Jung: Enlightenment, romanticism, and the irrational. Issues in pyhoanalytic Psychology, 30 (1), 43-58. Dolliver, R. H. (1994). Classifying the personality theories and personalities of Adler, Freud, and Jung with introversion/extraversion. Individual Psychology: Journal of Alderian Theory, Research & Practice, 50 (2), 192-202. Fayek, A. (2005). The centrality of the system Ucs in the theory of psychanalysis: the nonrepressed unconscious. Psychanalytic Psychology, 22 (4), 524-543. Garcia, J. L. (1995).

Freud’s psychosexual stage conception: A developmental metaphor for counselors. Journal of Counseling & Development, 73 (5), 498-502. Jung, C. (1907). On psychophysical relations of the associative experiment. The Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1 (6), 247-255. Leader, C. (2009). The odyssey: A Jungian perspective: Individuation and meeting with aechetypes of the collective unconscious. British Journal of Psychotherapy, 25 (4), 506-519. Macmillian, M. (2001). The reliability and validity of Freud’s methods of free association and interpretation.

Psychological Inquiry, 12 (3), 167-175. Nystul, M. S. (2005) Introduction to Counseling: an Art and Science Perspective (3rd edition) New York: Pearson Schept, S. (2007). Jacob’s dream of a ladder: Freudian and Jungian perspectives. Psychological Perspectives, 50 (1), 113-121. Shill, M. A. (2004). Signal anxiety, defense, and the pleasure porinciple. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 21 (1), 116-133. Thompson, P. (2002). The ecological imagination. European Journal of Psychotherapy, 5 (1), 71-85.


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