My Free Association According to the Theories of Freud Essay
Freud is a world-famous psychologist, who made a great contribution to the science of psychology and implemented the theory of psychoanalysis. His personality theory became the basis for many theories and teachings. The focus on the unconscious first introduced by Freud had a great influence on the development of psychology and psychoanalyses. It can be found plenty of different opinions concerning this subject expressed by different psychologists but it’s hard to find anybody, who would be indifferent when talking about unconsciousness.
Freud stressed the important role of childhood memories and their big influence on all further life of the human. After I first read this theory I spent much time making an effort to recollect things from my childhood. What is notable, I soon understood that there are a lot of things I though I forgot forever but these memories were still hidden in the depth of my memory. I did not remember much unpleasant things from my childhood. I realized that mechanisms of regression did not let me to remember these things. Freud defined repression as the most powerful defensive mechanism.
Its main function is the repression of the unconscious id impulses when they become conscious by some reasons. The main reason that turns on this mechanism is anxiety. The impulses can be so frightening that conscious is not able to deal with them so they are suppressed and kept in the subconscious part of our personality. Freud believed that childhood memories contain a lot of information, which the person doesn’t want to remember and that is why they become repressed. Repression can be voluntary and involuntary. Repression takes place in the cases of multiple personality disorder.
These are cases when one part of personality has no access to another part. The possible explanation of these disorder reasons is that bad memories are so hard to accept that they are completely repressed to the consciousness of “another” person. Post-traumatic disorder and shell-shock can also be explained with the help of repression. Projection is another ego defensive mechanism described by Freud. He states that it’s used when the person transfers his worries to another person in order not to notice them in himself.
When I went further in my self-investigation I realized that events from my childhood had a great impact on my all further life. My religious, social and even political likings and preferences became influenced by the events from my past. Freud stated that religious beliefs are formed in the early childhood. He considered that religious beliefs originate from child’s belief about father as about supreme power in his life (Freud, p. 198). As one of the proofs he gave the fact that in many religions God is called and treated as a Heavenly Father.
Freud called religion deceitful trick of our mind and believed that its function was creating an illusion and hopes. Psychoanalytic interpretation of religion appeared on the Freudian influence but it looses its popularity nowadays. Freud stressed an importance of unconscious processes and for the personality development. Freud and Jung, as his successor were sure that unconscious motivates human behavior to great extend. Like mentioned before the discovery of unconscious was made by Freud and became the essence of his developmental theory. He stated that our unconscious process had been directed by different images from conscious laws.
He did not believe that usual laws of logic and rational thinking could be applied to describe the movements of unconscious. According to Freud, unconscious moves had a great if not dominant influence on our personality and created conflict with social norms and authority figures. Discovering this unconscious moves Freud made the center of his treatment system called psychoanalyses. According to him an extent, to which the person is able to understand the drives and motives of his or her subconscious determines the level of personality development.
After much reflection about this thesis, I came to the conclusion that the level of the personality development is seen through the marks of others in addition to our own self-perception and self-esteem. The abilities to interact with other people and to correspond the needs of the society define the characteristics of well-socialized personality. According to Freud’s theory “Personality differences arise from the different ways in which people deal with their fundamental drives”(Freud, p. 96). A well-developed person is characterized by a high ability to adapt to different conditions of life.
Such ability is very important, as it gives a possibility to deal with different stresses and be in a normal physical and emotional state. Freud’s conceptions can be applied in an everyday life and I can easily prove it on my own example. Now it is much easier for me to handle stresses, I understand that I can overcome stresses and that depression is not a normal state. I easily adapt to the changing surrounding with changes in my psychological and emotional states. Now I can work on my personal world’s perception and change it. Another important characteristic of the well-developed person is the right perception of your own personality.
Of course, this ability does not guarantee good relations with your friends or in your family circle but without it is just impossible to improve something in yourself. Nevertheless, the ability to feel other people’s thoughts and so sympathy with them is also necessary for the well-developed person and it is called empathy. A badly-developed person either does not have all these abilities or they are not well developed. Such people can also have personality disorders and so they are not able to adapt to a new surrounding. It is difficult for them to communicate with other people.
They are often moody and reserved. Badly-developed people can not express their emotions because they lack the ability of empathy. Such people do not correspond with the demand of the contemporary society and so their behavior is treated as deviant by most individuals. It can lead to deep depressions, suicides, criminal behavior and other accidents. A lot of psychologists and scientists investigate humane nature and try to indicate the stages of human development. “As we talk about the development of the personality, it’s necessary to find factors, considered to have most important influence on its forming.
Some specialists distinguished hereditary as the main source of personality structure” (Freud, Jung). Freudian view of personality structure is based on his observations obtained during his work with mental patients. He divides the personality into three structures. These structures are: the ego, the id and the superego. Freud states that the id is a part of personality structure, which consists of instincts. This part of personality is completely unconscious and has no direct contact with reality. Children right after birth have an Id as a main driving force and all their actions are directed by mere instincts.
Id is responsible for an unconscious part, which we seldom notice during our everyday life. Contact with reality gives push to appearance of another personality structure called the ego. Underlying emotions, feelings and beliefs are seldom able at the conscious level. In reality these feelings and emotions determine our everyday life. So, it appears that unconscious part, which determines our life, stays out of our realization. “The Oedipus and Electra Complex, they were both pushed down into the unconscious, out of our awareness due to the extreme anxiety they caused.
While buried there, however, they continue to impact us dramatically according to Freud” (Freud,p. 112). The ego becomes the bridge which unites the id and reality. It has an important function of dealing with the reality needs. It possesses and executive function as it helps to make decisions. Reasoning is that mechanism of the ego that helps to make decisions. These two structures possess no morality so they do not differentiate good or bad, right or wrong. These functions belong to the third part of the personality. Sometimes the superego can be refereed to as “consciousness”.
According to Freud, the person is permanently torn up between subconscious instincts and desires produced by the id and moral principles and limitations, which are the part of the superego. It’s necessary to remember that both, the id and the superego, are not conscious processes and usually they are not realized by the person. He believed that all people come to this world with the only driving motive – subconscious seek for pleasure. Initially, each individual possesses one ultimate goal – to get as much pleasure as possible. So, human personality is driven by instincts, which belong to the id personality structure.
But soon he meets the obstacle in the form of society, which doesn’t let the person to lead a careless life driven by blind instincts for pleasure. Notions, beliefs and moral values of the others become that voice of authority an individual can not ignore. All these moral issues make the superego. The ego becomes that balancing element, the mediator that stands between the id and the superego. In addition, the ego is responsible for the interaction with reality, so it possesses one more important function of dealing with the environment.
There are mechanisms used by the ego in order to accomplish its important and difficult functions. The main mechanisms defined by Freud are repression and projection. Everything that we are aware of is saved in our consciousness, while all things, which are not realized by us, are saved in subconscious part of the mind. If to talk about proportions, we can compare a correlation between conscious and subconscious mind in the structure of the personality to the proportions of an iceberg. In iceberg only one seventh part is above the water.
Six seventh of it are hidden under the water. Same happens to the structure of the personality. Only one seventh part of personality structure consists of conscious thoughts, feelings and emotions. All the rest part is unconscious. “This is the part of us that we can access if prompted, but is not in our active conscious. Its right below the surface, but still buried somewhat unless we search for it. Information such as our telephone number, some childhood memories, or the name of your best childhood friend is stored in the preconscious” (Nevid, Rathus, Greene, p. 8). This metaphor became a real eye-opener for me. I finally realized there was a great part of my personality I was not aware of. Despite I was not aware of this fact, subconscious part had an impact on my everyday life, my thoughts, feelings and emotions. It created many problems in my life and I had no idea about the origin of this problem. Freudian conception has given me a possibility to see all my disadvantages better. Of course, it does not mean that now I do not have them, but now I am able to work on them because I know the source of their appearance.
The picture of an iceberg illustrates great subconscious part, which drives us in our life and determines choices we make. The study of this subconscious part can give an opportunity to change the structure of the personality. Freudian psychoanalysis lets to realize hidden fears, thoughts and emotions, hidden in our subconscious and thus get rid of them. I think that such a therapy is necessary not only for a person with personality disorders. All people in our society can adapt Freudian conception on practice and change their personality.
I will definitely do it in my nearest future and so I will better understand my subconscious part. References Freud, S. (1960). The ego and the id. J. Riviere (Trans. ), J. Strachey (Ed. ). New York: W. W. Norton J. Nevid, S. Rathus, B. Greene. (2006) Abnormal Psychology In a Changing World, 6th edition. Freud, S. (1925), Some psychical consequences of the anatomical distinction between the sexes, in Strachey, J. (Eds), The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmond Freud, Vol. 19. London: The Hogarth Press, pp. 241-60.