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Sigmund Freud: Personality Theory Essay

There are three main factors to Sigmund Freud’s Personality Theory that were and are used to lead counselors and therapists in their psychoanalytic counseling sessions. While much of the information has been proven lacking, there are still aspects that follow the human development. By exploring these steps of the personality theory a better understanding is created on how the use of psychoanalysis began and a bit of the evolution that is attributed to the counseling sessions of today. The first phase in the personality development of the human is the psychosexual stages of development.

This phase starts at birth and continues until full development as an adult. The phase is broken down into five separate stages. From birth to 18 months, the child is dependent on the parent, hence the oral stage based on dependency. From two to three years, Freud called the anal stage and orderliness, cleanliness, control and compliance are observed in this stage. The phallic stage lasts from age four to age six. This is the stage where the child identifies with the parent of the same sex and is the stage in which Freud believed consciousness was established.

From seven years to 11 years of age the sexual and aggressive trait begin to show up in the child. From 12 years old to adulthood is the stage of mature sexuality and adult like relationships (Kowalski & Westen, 2005; Thornton, 2006). As adults, Sigmund Freud described personality as an integration of the Id, Ego and Super-Ego. The Id is described as wild and passionate. It is the untamed part of the human personality. The Super-ego is the conscientiousness of the person built through experience and inherent understanding of right and wrong.

The ego is the personality that is shown to the world, and has the main function of coordinating the Id and Super-ego to ensure one is not more prevalent than the other when dealing in the surrounding world (Kowalski & Westen, 2005; Thornton, 2006). Within these phases are built-in defense mechanisms. Freud identified eight mechanisms that are used to protect the person from an unpleasant experience. Repression, denial, projection, reaction formation, sublimation, rationalization, fixation, and passive aggression are the different mechanisms.

Each person uses these mechanisms as needed with out conscious thought. Freud believed that humans were born with these as a form of protection and used them at will (Kowalski & Westen, 2005; Thornton, 2006). . Freud was instrumental in laying a foundation for psychology and psychoanalysis. His methods were state-of-the-art at the time when he was working. Over the years, parts have been proven incorrect while other researchers still believe they hold some validity.

Until the human mind is completely understood all theories should be considered, but psychoanalysis in some fashion will always be around, mainly because the fact is the therapy sessions work for most people. ? References Kowalski, R. &Westen, D. (2005). Chapter 12: Personality. Psychology. 4th(ed). New York: John Wiley & Sons. Thornton, S. P. (2006). Sigmund Freud: (1856 – 1939). The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved January 6, 2009 from http://www. iep. utm. edu/f/freud. htm#top.


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