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Psychoanalysis

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Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis and
Psycho-analysis
Psychoanalytic and psychodynamic treatment
The Victorian Zeitgeist
Play the Victorian game
 Strict moral standards
 Repressed sexuality


Extreme modesty in dress
Verbal/written communication about
emotion or sexual feeling not allowed
(improper to even say “leg”)
1837-1901
Dr Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
 Oldest of eight children
 Married with 3 girls and 3 boys
 Physician-Biologist – Scientific and
Pathology oriented theory
 Jewish, but anti-religion: All religion an
illusion used to cope with feelings of
infantile helplessness
 Lived in Vienna, Austria 78 years till 1938
 Based theory on personal experiences
 lifelong cigar chain-smoker
 Died in 1939 of cancer of jaw & mouth
Freud’s Methods
 Only worked with
adults, usually
middle and upperclass women
 Tried to be a neutral,
objective listener, a
blank slate
Freud’s view of human nature
 Deterministic (behavior is determined by:)

Unconscious, irrational motivations

The six psychosexual stages

Biological and instinctual drives

Libido - the life/sex instinct, goal of
life gain pleasure and avoid pain
(pleasure principle)

Thanatos - the death instinct, the
aggressive drive to hurt self or others
 Neurotic behaviors are symptoms of the unconscious’s
attempt to control the intolerable urges of sex and
aggression
Levels of awareness
 Freud's Mental Iceberg



Conscious
Preconscious
Unconscious
Freud’s Iceberg
 Unconscious more
important
 Unconscious is root
of neuroses
 “Cure” means
uncovering the
unconscious
Foundations of Freudian theory
 Plato’s tripartite division of self
 Logical/Rational Soul (the wise ruler)
 Spirited Soul (the will – honor, selfpreservation, indignation)
 Appetitive Soul (the emotion/desire)



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Lust
Pleasure
Money
Physical comfort
It should be
impossible for a
person to
simultaneously
desire something
yet also at that very
moment be averse
to the same thing
Structure of the personality
 The id (the pleasure principle)
Strives to satisfy desires and reduce inner tension.

life instinct (Libido)

death instinct (Thanatos)
 The ego (the reality principle)
Solves problems by planning
and weighing of pros and cons.
 The superego (the conscience)
Constrains individual action through
internalized social norms & moral
forces.
The cause of psychological problems
 Fixation in a developmental stage (especially phallic)
produces psychic conflict
 Later theorists discussed attachment problems as
cause of psychic conflict
 Psychic conflict (among the 3 systems) produces
anxiety
 Anxiety leads to defense mechanisms (e.g. repression,
identification), and, if unresolved, to neurotic symptoms
Defense mechanisms
 Defense mechanisms are ways that people
cope or defend against this anxiety

1. Projection

2. Denial

3. Repression

4. Regression

5. Reaction formation

6. Rationalization

7. Sublimation
Personality Assessment
 Projective hypothesis (Lawrence Frank, 1939)
“When people try to understand vague or
ambiguous unstructured stimuli, the
interpretation they produce reflects their needs,
feelings, experience, prior conditioning, thought
processes
Assessment/treatment methods
 History taking (face to face)
 Freudian slips
 Dream interpretation (dreams are wish fulfillment)
 Free association
 Formal testing (developed later)



Rorschach
TAT
Projective drawings
 Symbolic play (for children)
Freudian slips:
"A Freudian slip is like saying one thing, but meaning your mother."
 Around for a long, long time
e.g., Henry Peacham, The Compleat Gentleman:
“Sir, I must goe dye a beggar” (1634)
 Oscar Wilde
“Work is the curse of the drinking classes”
 Reverend William Spooner,
dean New College, Oxford (1844-1930)

“Noble tons of soil” (in a speech intended to compliment farmers)

“You have hissed all my lectures. I saw you fight a liar in the back quad; in fact,
you have tasted the whole worm.”

God bless the queer old dean”
 Fox News: “More likely to give …a curb job than a block party”
 George Bush Sr: “We’ve had some setbacks”
Freudian slips: Was Freud right?
Freud: “Such disturbances of speech may be the result of complicated
psychical influences, of elements outside the same word, sentence or
sequence of spoken words.” ~ The Psychopathology of Everyday Life
In other words: It is the unconscious at work, such that slips are
unintentional expressions of repressed desire.
 There is empirical evidence that “unconscious” slips happen. But why?

Freudian explanation only explains a subset of slips (see here)

Alternative explanations:

Strong habit substitution (MacMahon, 1995)

Anticipation: e.g., “bake my bike” instead of “take my bike”

Perseveration e.g., “he pulled a pantrum” instead of “he pulled a tantrum”

Phonological conditioning e.g., “don’t shell so loudly” instead of “don’t yell/shout so
loudly”
Dream Interpretation
 Manifest Content: what a
person remembers and
consciously considers
 Latent Content:
underlying (symbolic)
hidden meaning (believed
to be a manifestation of
the unconscious)
Dream Interpretation
 “Royal road to the unconscious”
 What is important in dreams is the
infantile wish fulfillment
represented in them
 Freud assumed every dream has
a meaning that can be interpreted
by decoding representations of the
unconscious material
 Dream symbol = represents some
person, thing, or activity involved
in the unconscious process
Dream Interpretations
(common symbols)
Knife, umbrella, snake
Penis
Box, oven, ship
Falling
Staircase, ladder
Uterus
Anxiety
Sexual intercourse
Birth, mother
Water
Baldness, tooth removal
Left (direction)
Children playing
Fire
Robber
Room, table with food
Castration
Crime, sexual deviation
Masturbation
Bedwetting
Father
Women
Rorschach
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
 Developed by Henry Murray (1938)
 30 grayscale pictures (each contain a dramatic event or
critical situation ) + one blank
 Not all pictures are (though all may be) seen by everyone


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
11 for adults (males and females)
7 for males (adults and boys, BM),
7 for females (adults and girls, GF),
1 each for adult males (12M), adult females (12F), children of either sex
(12BG), male child (13B), female child (13G) and blank (16)
Most subjects see 10-12 cards, over two sessions
 Story themes = Interaction between needs and
environmental determinants
 Standardization of administration and scoring is minimal
 Many variations exist
TAT scoring (sample card)
Response 1:
This is the story of a little girl who
is very disappointed. She’s been
struggling to learn to play the
violin but she can’t do it. It’s just
too difficult. She’s upset and she’s
going to tell her mother and father
she doesn’t want to take violin
lessons anymore. She feels
frustrated that she’s tried to play it
and has failed. She’s feeling
discouraged about the whole
thing.
Response 2:
This is the story of a little girl who intends to play the violin. It’s a very
challenging instrument to master but she is determined to learn how to play it
– one note at a time. In her mind, in her imagination she sees herself playing
to appreciative audiences all over the world, culminating in loud applause.
Murray’s psychological needs
 Achievement
 Affiliation
 Aggression
 Autonomy
 Dominance
 Exhibition
 Nurturance
 Order
 Power
House-Tree-Person
Test
More interpretation elements
The inherent problem with projection
"Objectivity in human relationships is impossible.
Therapists affect the behavior and feelings of
patients, and patients affect therapists. When a chart
notes that a patient is 'hostile', it should also note, in
the interests of balance, that the therapist is
'paranoid'. If a therapist calls a patient 'defensive',
chances are that the patient would call the therapist
'aggressive'. Both should be noted in a chart, if either
is, since both are equally probable."
Shelagh Lynne Supeene (As For The Sky, Falling)
Important therapeutic elements
 Methods described above (assessment and therapy are same)
 Analysis proceeds from more superficial (conscious) elements
to deeper, unconscious ones
 Understanding of repression
 No accident
 No responsibility
 Analysis of resistance
 Usually unconscious
 An example of a defense mechanism
 Analysis of transference (re-enactment of past relationships)
 Interpretation of comments in therapy
 Working through (overcoming childhood amnesia)
 Repetition
 Elaboration
 Amplification
Transference and Countertransference
 Transference

The client reacts to the therapist as he did to an
earlier significant other


This allows the client to experience feelings that
would otherwise be inaccessible
ANALYSIS OF TRANSFERENCE — allows the client
to achieve insight into the influence of the past
 Countertransference

The reaction of the therapist toward the client that
may interfere with objectivity
Contemporary approaches
 Ego psychology
 Analysis of internal conflict
Deals with both early and later development
 More emphasis on psychosocial development (e.g., Erikson)
 Defense analysis
 B. Object relations
 “Object” refers to object that gratifies a need
 Separation anxiety and transitional objects
 Oedipus complex
 C. Interpersonal therapy (H.S. Sullivan)
 Replaced the libido with analysis of the self.
 “Good me” vs. “Bad me”



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Good refers to positive movements toward intimacy
Bad refers to destructive movements of hostility and avoidance
Importance of pre-adolescent period of same-sex friendships
Identity Development (Erickson)
Contemporary approaches
 A. Ego psychology
 Analysis of internal conflict
Deals with both early and later development
 More emphasis on psychosocial development (e.g., Erikson)
 Defense analysis
 B. Object relations
 “Object” refers to object that gratifies a need
 Separation anxiety and transitional objects
 Oedipus complex
 C. Interpersonal therapy (H.S. Sullivan)
 Replaced the libido with analysis of the self.
 “Good me” vs. “Bad me”




Good refers to positive movements toward intimacy
Bad refers to destructive movements of hostility and avoidance
Importance of pre-adolescent period of same-sex friendships
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