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Freud's Theory of Psychoanalysis

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Psychoanalysis is a theory of personality and a method of psychotherapy developed by Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis is the first dynamic theory of personality that talks about displacing, repressing, denying, venting, and regressing; about the unconscious; and about the significance of dreams. With all of the new psychodynamic approaches out there today, there are many differences between them and the original psychoanalysis, however they generally share five of the same elements.

The first is the emphasis on unconscious intraphysic, within the mind or self, dynamics. This is the movement of mental energy within the mind. The next is a belief in the primacy of the first five years. This is an assumption that the adult personality and other problems are formed primarily by experiences in early childhood. After this would be the belief that psychological development occurs in fixed stages. During this time there can be predictable mental events that occur and also unconscious issues or crises that need to be resolved. Next is a focus on a person’s “psychic reality”, which is his or her fantasies and the symbolic meanings of events, rather than actual experiences as the main influence on behavior. And the last is a reliance on subjective rather than objective methods of getting at the truth of a person’s life. For example, through analysis of dreams, myths, symbols, folklore, and most of all, the revelations uncovered in psychotherapy can all explain the truths about a person’s life.

Here we can see the basic ideas of Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis and how it still pertains to psychological developments today. Even years after the death of Freud he is still influencing new findings in psychology. His theory of psychoanalysis was just one of his many field-changing discoveries.



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