Under the broad umbrella of psychoanalysis, there are at least 22 theoretical orientations regarding human mentation and development. The term also refers to a method of studying child development.
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Through the analysis of conflicts, including those contributing to resistance and those involving transference onto the analyst of distorted reactions, psychoanalytic treatment can clarify how patients unconsciously are their own worst enemies: how unconscious, symbolic reactions that have been stimulated by experience are causing symptoms. The idea of psychoanalysis was developed in Vienna in the s by Sigmund Freud, a neurologist interested in finding an effective treatment for patients with neurotic or hysterical symptoms.
He wrote a monograph about this subject. Charcot had become interested in patients who had symptoms that mimicked general paresis. This led to his publication with Dr. Breuer in of case reports of the treatment of hysteria. As a result of his work with his patients, Freud learned that the majority complained of sexual problems, especially coitus interruptus as birth control. He suspected their problems stemmed from cultural restrictions on sexual expression and that their sexual wishes and fantasies had been repressed. Between this discovery of the unexpressed sexual desires and the relief of the symptoms by abreaction, Freud began to theorize that the unconscious mind had determining effects on hysterical symptoms.
His first comprehensive attempt at an explanatory theory was the then unpublished Project for a Scientific Psychology in He abandoned the project when he came to realize that there was a complicated psychological process involved over and above neuronal activity. By , Freud had discovered that dreams had symbolic significance, and generally were specific to the dreamer. This theory was published in his opus magnum, The Interpretation of Dreams. Freud also discovered what most of us take for granted today: that dreams were symbolic and specific to the dreamer.
His early formulation included the idea that because of societal restrictions, sexual wishes were repressed into an unconscious state, and that the energy of these unconscious wishes could be turned into anxiety or physical symptoms. Therefore the early treatment techniques, including hypnotism and abreaction, were designed to make the unconscious conscious in order to relieve the pressure and the apparently resulting symptoms.
In On Narcissism [Freud turned his attention to the subject of narcissism. Still utilizing an energic system, Freud conceptualized the question of energy directed at the self versus energy directed at others, called cathexis. By , In "Mourning and Melancholia," he suggested that certain depressions were caused by turning guilt-ridden anger on the self. By , Freud addressed the power of identification with the leader and with other members in groups as a motivation for behavior Group Psychology and Analysis of the Ego.
Note that repression, for Freud, is both a cause of anxiety and a response to anxiety. In , in Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety, Freud laid out how intrapsychic conflict among drive and superego wishes and guilt caused anxiety, and how that anxiety could lead to an inhibition of mental functions, such as intellect and speech.
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The Oedipus complex, Freud explained tirelessly, was the nucleus of the neurosis and the foundational source of all art, myth, religion, philosophy, therapy—indeed of all human culture and civilization. It was the first time that anyone in the inner circle had dared to suggest that the Oedipus complex might not be the only factor contributing to intrapsychic development. Led by Hartmann, Kris, Rappaport and Lowenstein, the group built upon understandings of the synthetic function of the ego as a mediator in psychic functioning.
Hartmann in particular distinguished between autonomous ego functions such as memory and intellect which could be secondarily affected by conflict and synthetic functions which were a result of compromise formation. In addition there was burgeoning interest in child psychoanalysis. Although criticized since its inception, psychoanalysis has been used as a research tool into childhood development, and has is still used to treat certain mental disturbances.
Most contemporary North American psychoanalysts employ theories that, while based on those of Sigmund Freud, include many modifications of theory and practice developed since his death in In the s there are approximately 35 training institutes for psychoanalysis in the United States accredited by the American Psychoanalytic Association  which is a component organization of the International Psychoanalytical Association, and there are over 3, graduated psychoanalysts practicing in the United States. The International Psychoanalytical Association accredits psychoanalytic training centers throughout the rest of the world, including countries such as Serbia, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and many others, as well as about six institutes directly in the U.
Freud published a paper entitled The History of the Psychoanalytic Movement in , German original being first published in the Jahrbuch der Psychoanalyse. There has also been considerable work done on consolidating elements of conflicting theory cf.
Killingmo, and S. As in all fields of healthcare, there are some persistent conflicts regarding specific causes of some syndromes, and disputes regarding the best treatment techniques. In the s, psychoanalytic ideas are embedded in Western culture, especially in fields such as childcare, education, literary criticism, cultural studies, and mental health, particularly psychotherapy. Though there is a mainstream of evolved analytic ideas, there are groups who follow the precepts of one or more of the later theoreticians.
Psychoanalytic ideas also play roles in some types of literary analysis such as Archetypal literary criticism. These systems are not anatomical structures of the brain but, rather, mental processes. Although Freud retained this theory throughout his life he largely replaced it with the Structural theory. The Topographic theory remains as one of the metapsychological points of view for describing how the mind functions in classical psychoanalytic theory.
The super-ego is held to be the part of the ego in which self-observation, self-criticism and other reflective and judgemental faculties develop. The ego and the super-ego are both partly conscious and partly unconscious. The theory was refined by Hartmann, Loewenstein, and Kris in a series of papers and books from through the late s. Leo Bellak was a later contributor.
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This series of constructs, paralleling some of the later developments of cognitive theory, includes the notions of autonomous ego functions: mental functions not dependent, at least in origin, on intrapsychic conflict. Such functions include: sensory perception, motor control, symbolic thought, logical thought, speech, abstraction, integration synthesis , orientation, concentration, judgment about danger, reality testing, adaptive ability, executive decision-making, hygiene, and self-preservation. Freud noted that inhibition is one method that the mind may utilize to interfere with any of these functions in order to avoid painful emotions.
Hartmann s pointed out that there may be delays or deficits in such functions. Frosch described differences in those people who demonstrated damage to their relationship to reality, but who seemed able to test it. Deficits in the capacity to organize thought are sometimes referred to as blocking or loose associations Bleuler , and are characteristic of the schizophrenias. Deficits in abstraction ability and self-preservation also suggest psychosis in adults. Deficits in orientation and sensorium are often indicative of a medical illness affecting the brain and therefore, autonomous ego functions.
Deficits in certain ego functions are routinely found in severely sexually or physically abused children, where powerful effects generated throughout childhood seem to have eroded some functional development. Ego strengths, later described by Kernberg , include the capacities to control oral, sexual, and destructive impulses; to tolerate painful affects without falling apart; and to prevent the eruption into consciousness of bizarre symbolic fantasy.
Synthetic functions, in contrast to autonomous functions, arise from the development of the ego and serve the purpose of managing conflictual processes. Defenses are synthetic functions that protect the conscious mind from awareness of forbidden impulses and thoughts. One purpose of ego psychology has been to emphasize that some mental functions can be considered to be basic, rather than derivatives of wishes, affects, or defenses. However, autonomous ego functions can be secondarily affected because of unconscious conflict.
For example, a patient may have an hysterical amnesia memory being an autonomous function because of intrapsychic conflict wishing not to remember because it is too painful. Taken together, the above theories present a group of metapsychological assumptions.
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Therefore, the inclusive group of the different classical theories provides a cross-sectional view of human mentation. Unconscious processes can therefore be evaluated from each of these six points of view. Topographic 2. Dynamic the theory of conflict 3. Economic the theory of energy flow 4. Structural 5. Genetic propositions concerning origin and development of psychological functions and 6. Adaptational psychological phenomena as it relates to the external world. Modern conflict theory looks at how emotional symptoms and character traits are complex solutions to mental conflict.
Moreover, healthy functioning adaptive is also determined, to a great extent, by resolutions of conflict. It is not suggested that one should trust everyone, for example. Later developers of the theory of self and object constancy as it affects adult psychiatric problems such as psychosis and borderline states have been John Frosch, Otto Kernberg, and Salman Akhtar. It is especially popular in France and Latin America.
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Lacanian psychoanalysis is a departure from the traditional British and American psychoanalysis, which is predominantly Ego psychology. Though a major influence on psychoanalysis in France and parts of Latin America, Lacan and his ideas have had little to no impact on psychoanalysis or psychotherapy in the English-speaking world.
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This is contrasted with the primacy of intrapsychic forces, as in classical psychoanalysis. Culturalist psychoanalysts Main article: Culturalist psychoanalysts Some psychoanalysts have been labeled culturalist, because of the prominence they gave on culture for the genesis of behavior. Psychoanalysts under this broader umbrella debate about what precisely are the differences between the two schools, without any current clear consensus.
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