What is Psychoanalytic Theory?

Psychoanalytic theory began with the job of Sigmund Freud. Through his medical work with sufferers suffering from mental illness, Freud came to think that childhood encounters and unconscious desires motivated behavior. Based on his findings, he developed a theory that defined development with regards to a series of psychosexual stages. According to Freud, conflicts that occur during each of these periods can have a lifelong influence on personality and behavior.

Psychoanalytic theory was an substantially influential pressure during the initial half of the 20th century. These inspired and influenced simply by Freud continued to expand upon Freud's ideas and develop hypotheses of their own. It is important to be clear regarding the meanings of particular terms that you could come across and throughout the handout you will find footnotes clarifying specific terms. First of all though, a word about the terms psychoanalysis and psychodynamics. Psychoanalysis refers to both Freud's original attempt at providing a complete theory with the mind and to the linked treatment. The definition of encompasses both Freudian theory and remedy. You will also run into the term psychodynamics. This term is used to indicate the approach which commenced with psychoanalysis but which includes now enhanced into a considerably more diverse variety of theories and models developed by other psychologists, all of which nevertheless retain some of the main concepts of Freud's original theory.

1 ) 8. 1          BACKGROUND

Sigmund Freud was developed in 1856 in Moravia, which was in that case part of the Austrian Empire which is now inside the Czech Republic. He put in most of his life in Vienna, via where he fled, in 1937, when the Nazis invaded. Not Freud (being Jewish) or perhaps his ideas were very popular with the Nazis and this individual escaped to London in which he died in 1939.

He had wanted to be a analysis scientist but anti-Semitism pressured him to choose a medical career instead and he worked in Vienna as a doctor, specialising in neurological disorders (disorders of the stressed system). This individual constantly modified and customized his hypotheses right up until his death although much of his psychoanalytic theory was created between early 1900s and 1930.

Freud originally attemptedto explain the workings from the mind in terms of physiology and neurology... (but)... quite early on in his take care of patients with neurological disorders, Freud noticed that symptoms which acquired no organic and natural or actual basis could imitate the real thing and that they were as genuine for the sufferer as if that were there been neurologically caused. Thus he began to search for psychological details of these symptoms and techniques for treating them.

In 1885 this individual spent a year in Paris learning a hypnotic approach from the neurologist Charcot; that's exactly what started applying hypnosis together with his patients in Vienna. However , he found its effects to be only temporary at best and it did not usually be able to the root of the problem; nor was every person capable to be hypnotised. In the mean time Breuer, one more Viennese doctor, was growing another method of therapy which in turn he referred to as the cathartic method, wherever patients might talk away their complications. Freud adopted Breuer's approach and referred to as it cost-free association which in turn became one of the three critical tools of psychoanalysis.

Freud began his self-analysis during the nineties and in early 1900s published The Interpretation of Dreams, by which he discussed his theory of the head, followed by The Psychopathology every day Life (1904), A Case of Hysteria and Three Documents on the Theory of Libido (1905).

Two of Freud's closest colleagues, Carl Jung and Alfred Adler, helped him constitute the psychoanalytic motion and the initially International Psychoanalytic Congress was held in Salzburg in 1908. The Journal of Psychoanalysis was first published in 1909 and, for the reason that year, Freud and Jung made a lecture tour of the USA. (From Low, R (1996) Psychology, The Science of Brain and Actions, page 508)

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