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Psychoanalytic Personality Assessment

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Psychoanalytic Personality Assessment

Human beings are unique and special in one way or another with different personality theories. For decades, psychologists have based their theories on individual personalities. Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Alfred Alder are three well-known psychologists who influenced the modern world of psychology and psychiatry with their psychoanalytic theories. This paper will compare and contrast the psychoanalytic theories of these three men. Description of the stages of Freud's theory and characteristics of personality deserve mention, as well as Freudian defense mechanisms using real-life examples.

Freud, Jung, and Adler

Freud, Jung, and Alder's psychoanalytic theories about the human mind were very similar and different at the same time. To this day, attempts to prove the theories of these men are still taking place. All three of these men agreed that human behavior, as an adult, was a direct result of the individual's childhood experiences that would paint a lasting impression on the world around them. Freud, Jung, and Adler believed parenting and childhood development was the major impact for shaping the personality. Dreaming and daydreaming played a major role in shaping personality as well. The most significant similarity of their beliefs was how the unconscious mind played into psychoanalytic analysis.

Heavily cited in psychology books and references in the humanities, Freud's work put major emphasis on sexuality and dreams. According to Freud, dreams are important in understanding the root of individual's problems, hidden and on the surface that the individual cannot allow the conscious mind to think about because it is too painful. Freud's psychoanalytic theory has two levels of content, manifest and latent. The manifest content is the part of the dream that individuals wish would come true. The latent content is the underlying, hidden, and true meaning of the dream (Gr├╝nbaum, 1994). Freud believed in three characteristics of personality: id, ego, and superego that motivate an individual's sexual urges, discussed later. Freud's theory on the libido was that sexual energy was the root cause of psychological tensions. Freud believed the driving force motivating all men and women in all activities was repressed or expressly sexually. The unconscious is the storage facility for repressed sexual urges and if left unfulfilled the conscious mind would develop pathological disorders was the belief of Freud (Friedman & Schustack, 2012). Freud's beliefs also held that religion was something for people to escape to and did not believe in spreading the word of God to the masses. Freud's faith in the conscious mind's ability to gain access to unconscious thoughts was the way to avoid psychiatric disorders in his patients. Although Freud and Jung were great admirers of each other, they each had their own thoughts on the unconscious mind.

Jung believed the sexual urge of an individual are motivated by the conscious ego, personal unconscious, and collective unconscious. Jung came to realize through his work with patients that universal symbols, archetypes, exist and he became heavily fixated on them. Jung's neo-analytic theory suggested that the libido was psychic energy and not sexual in nature as Freud believed. Jung believed that sex was only one aspect that motivates individuals. Additionally, individuals have a drive to achieve individuality and full knowledge of the inner self. Jung had a different belief than Freud did on religion. Jung suggested that religion was a safe place for individuals to explore the inner self, a place where communication was free among many different types of personalities. Freud and Jung's disagreement on what age the personality formed lead to a separation (Friedman & Schustack, 2012).

As opposed to Freud and Jung, Adler was in a different class of thought. Creating goals and striving to obtain those goals, Adler believed that human beings were social creatures by nature. Having healthy values that affect what goals individuals strive for, is what Adler thought was good mental health. Believing inferiority complexes affected self-esteem, it was the belief of Adler that a negative effect would present in an individual's health and mental state. Crucial to understanding human psychology, Adler argued his thoughts for holism, masculinity, and femininity (Friedman & Schustack, 2012). Ethical and social demands of the day hindered discovery of the inner self. Dynamics of compensation and power go well beyond sexuality, and gender and politics are far more important than the libido. Adler was a socialist and a realist who emphasized the role of empathy in individuals.

There is a major difference between Freud, Jung, and Adler, the founding fathers of psychoanalytic personality. Although at one time, they did share a common belief in psychiatry and the tools for treatment. Two characteristics of these theories agreed with are dreams playing a part in personality and parenting and childhood development. Dreams can help the conscious mind open doors to the inner self. Parenting and



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