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Jenyca Delos Santos Dr.

de Ala
Gmg2 Counseling

Psychoanalytic Theory
–emphasis: importance of early childhood development in determining later psychological

*History and Proponent

Sigmund Freud (Sigismund)
-born May 6, 1856 in Freiberg, Moravia
-was brought to Vienna at the age of 4 by his parents
-eldest son of Jacob and Amalie Nathanson Freud but has 2 older stepbrothers
-grew up feeling favored by his mother: lead him to observe that mother/son
relationship was the most perfect of human relationship
-when he was 1 and ½ years old, his mother gave birth to a second son; Sigmund was
filled with hostilityn to wards his brother and harbored an unconscious wish for his death.
When Julius died (6 months), Sigmund felt guilt at having caused his brother’s death (he
carried the feelings until middle age)
-was drawn to medicine by his curiousity of human nature
-in 1885, he received a travelling grant and decided to study in Paris with Jean-Martin
Charcot; there he learned the hypnotic technique of treating hysteria (disorder characterized
mostly by paralysis)
-in med school, he met Josef Breuer, who taught him about catharsis (removing
hysterical symptoms by talking them out)
-in his practice of catharsis, Free-association was developed and this replaced
hypnosis as his principal technqiue
-he and Breuer published Studies on Hysteria that features the account of Anna O; in
this book, the term “psychical analysis “ was introduced and during the following year, he
called his approach “psycho-analysis”
-late 1890’s: Freud experienced personal crises and begun analyzing his own dreams
-he embarked on the investigation of the unconcious fantasy-life which produced the
Interpretation of Dreams (1899), and Jokes and their Relations to the Unconsious (1905)
-from there he developed psychoanalysis as a therapeutic technique and a theory of
the unconscious which underwent many mutations, both in Freud’s work and in that of
followers, from Jung onwards, who successively established independent schools of
psychoanalytic thought and treatment
-Freud died in exile in Hampstead in 1939

*View of the Human Nature

Deterministic – People are determined by irrational forces, onconscious motivations,
biological and stinctual drives, and certain psychosexual events during the first 5 years of

Humans as energy systems – dynamics of personality consist of the ways in which

psychic energy is distributed to the id, ego and super ego and because of the limit in the
available energy, only one of the systems could gain control at a time.
– types of psychic energy: Eros and Thanatos

Eros – energy associated with life and sex

– named by Freud as Libido
– serve the purpose of survival of the individual
– oriented towards growth, development and creativity
Thanatos – energy associated with death and aggression
–“death instinct” (a manifested unconscious wish to die or to hurt others)


Unconscious – contains all the drives, urges, or instincts that are beyond our awareness but
that nevertheless motivate most of our words, feelings and actions.
–unconscious process often enter in our consciousness but only after being disguised or
distorted enough to elude censorship

Clinical evidence for postulating the unconscious:

1. Dreams, wishes and conflicts 3. Posthypnotic suggestions
2. Slips of the tongue and forgetting 4. Material from free-association
5. Material from projective techniques

Preconscious – contains all those elements that are not conscious but can become
conscious either quite readily or with some difficulty
– sources of contents: conscious and unconscious
Conscious – mental elements in awareness at any given point at a time
– the only level of mental life directly available to us

Id Ego Super Ego
• the original system • governs, controls, and • moral or judicial branch of
of personality and regulates the personality
seat of instincts personality • represents the ideal
• lacks organization, is • mediates between the rather than the real, &
blind, demanding, instincts and the strives not for pleasure
and insistent surrounding but for perfection
• avoids pain, driven environment: creates (traditional values &
by the aim of gaining anxiety, thus the need ideals of society as
pleasure [does not for defense handed down from
think. Only wishes or mechanisms parents to children)
acts] • does realistic and • psychological rewards
logical thinking and (pride & self-love) &
formulates plans of punishments (guilt
action for satisfying &inferiority)

Anxiety – state of tension that motivates us to do something

– develops out of a conflict between the id, ego, & superego over control of available
– function: warn of impending evil
– when ego cannot control anxiety by rational & indirect methods, it employs ego
defense mechanisms

Reality – fear of danger from the external world, the anxiety level is proportionate to the
degree of threat
Neurotic – fear that the instincts will get out of hand & cause one to do something for which
one will be punishied
Moral – fear of one’s own conscience


– helps individuals cope with anxiety and defend the wounded ego
– can have an adjustive value if does not become a style of life to avoid reality
– depends on the degree of anxiety and level of development
– 2 characteristics: (a) deny or distort reality, (b) operate on unconscious levels

Defense Characteristics
Repression • basis of other ego defenses and neurotic disorders
• threatening or painful thoughts and feelings are excluded from
awareness involuntarily
Denial • simplest of all defense mechanisms
• generally operates at preconscious levels
• distorting what the individual thinks, feels/perceives in a
traumatic situation
Reaction • developing conscious attitudes and behaviors that are
Formation diametrically opposed to disturbing desires
Projection • attributing to others one’s own unacceptable diseres and
Displacemen • directing energy toward another object or person when the
t original object or person is inaccessible
Rationalizati • manufacturing good reasons to explain away a bruised ego
on • explaining away failures and losses; justifying specific behaviors
and softens the blow connected with disappointments
Sublimation • diverting sexual energy into socially acceptable channels
• [usually in creative forms]
Regression • in face of severe stress or extreme challenge, individuals may
attempt to cope with anxiety by clinging to immature and
inappropriate behaviors
• returning to a time in your life when there was security [the
demands are not so great]
Introjection • taking in and “swallowing” the values and standards of others
• [could also be positive]
Identification • can enhace self-worth and protect one from being a failure
• being part of a socially acceptable/stronger group
Compensatio • masking perceived weaknesses or developing\certain positive
n traits to make up for limitations
Ritual and • using methods to right a wrong or to take away the guilt felt for
Undoing some perceived misdeed
• performing elaborate rituals as a way of undoing acts for which
they feel guilty

*Development of Personality
– provides the counselor with the conceptual tools for understanding trends in development,
key developmental tasks at various stages, normal and abnormal functioning, critical needs,
origins of faulty personality development that leads to adjustment problems and health and
unhealthy ego defense mechanisms

First year of Life: Oral Stage

Characteristics Psychosexual Implications Psychosocial
– the mouth and Sub-phases: – greed may develop
the lips are the Oral incorporative – focal points as a result of not
sensitive points of gratification start with the getting enough food or
erogenous zones mouth then gradually move to other love during the early
– sole presence areas of the body years of life
of an Id, – deprivation of oral gratification – major developmental
demanding for due to scheduled feedings result to task: developing trust
instant problems in adulthood (oral fixation: (children who felt
gratification (by excessive talking, chewing, eating, loved have little
sucking) smoking, drinking) difficulty accepting
– Infants obtain themselves)
life-sustaining Oral aggressive – characterized by – personality problems
nourishment emergence of teeth that could stem from
through the oral – infants respond to others by biting, this age: fear of
cavity closing their mouth, smiling and reaching out to others,
crying rejection of affection,
– adult characteristics such as fear of loving
sarcasm, hostility, aggression, gossip, &trusting, low self-
& making biting comments to others esteem, isolation and
are related to this developmental withdrawal, or inability
period to form or maintain
intense relationship

Ages 1– 3: Anal Stage

Characteristics Psychosexual Implications Psychosocial
– highlight: toilet – children attempt to control their – tasks to be
training parents by either withholding their mastered: learning
– children feces/defecating at inappropriate independence,
continually face times: leads to compulsivity personal power,
parental autonomy, and
demands, Types of Personality: learning how to deal
frustrations in Anal-aggressive – leads to extreme with negative feelings
handling disorderliness, cruelty, inapproproate – if parents do so much
objects, displays of anger for their children,
exploring the children feel incapable
environment, Anal-retentive – leads to extreme of self-functioning
and are orderliness, hoarding, stubborness,
expected to and stinginess
master control – results from fulfillment of the given
over their task; addressing the need to be
bowels productive

Ages 3 – 5: Phallic Stage

Characteristics Psychosexual Implications Psychosocial
– characterized Male phallic stage – boy craves the – period of conscience
by increase in attention of the mother, feels development (learning
motor and antagonistic towards the father, & moral standards)
perceptual develops fear that the father will – if children’s
abilities as well punish him by cutting off the experimentations
as development offending organ (castration anxiety) (initiatives) are
of interpersonal him for having these feelings towards punished for (regarded
skills the mother (Oedipus complex) as evil), it will result to
– focus of – if the conflict is successfully guilt; leads to rigidity,
attention is on resolved, the boy develops strong severe conflicts, guilt,
the genitals identification with the father remorse, low self-
– children esteem, and self
become curious Female phallic stage – characterized condemnation
of their bodies, by emergence of the Electra complex
they desire to and penis envy (the girl’s love for her
explore them mother is transferred to her father
and discover the when she discovers the absence of a
difference penis)
between the – the girls competes with her mother
sexes for the father’s attention & when she
realizes that she cannot win, she
begins the identification process by
adapting some of the the mother’s

Ages 5 – 12: Latency Stage

Characteristics Psychosexual Implications Psychosocial
– new interests – the sexual drive is subliminated to – midlle childhood
replace infantile some extent to activities in school, years: turning outward
impulses hobbies, sports, and friendships with toward relationships
– socialization members of the same sex with others & interest
takes place in external world
– basic task is to
achieve a sense of
industry- to set and
attain personal goals.
Failure to do so results
in a sense of

Ages 12 – Adulthood: Genital Stage

Characteristics Psychosexual Implications Psychosocial
– during – adolescents develop interest in the – during this period,
adolescence, opposite sex, engage in some sexual adolescents learn to
many of the old experimentation, and begin to test limits, break
themes during assume adult responsibilities dependent ties,
the phallic stage – they learn to be free of parental establish new identity,
are revived influence, and develop capacity to be form intimate
interested with others (“freedom to relationships, and have
love and to work” and to derive a basic sense of
satisfaction from loving and working) productivity

*Sources of Difficulty or Maladjustment

• Human development suppression of childish impulses

*Goals of Counseling
• Probing the unconscious
• Working toward radical personality transformations
• Working through unresolved developmental stages
• Ability to cope more effectively with the demands of the society in which they live

*Counseling Techniques and Procedures

Free Association
– central technique in psychoanalytic therapy
– leads to recollection of past experiences and release of feelings that has been blocked off
– the analyst instructs the client to clear their minds of day-to-day thoughts and
preoccupations, and as much as possible, say whatever comes to mind, reagrdless of how
painful, silly, trivial, illogical, or irrelevant it may be.
– clients lie down on a couch with the analyst behind them so as not to distract them during
the free flow of associations
– analyst’s task: identify the repressed material; blockings or disruptions indicate anxiety-
arousing material
– silence of the analyst is a sign of “empathy”; not to disturb the patient
– most of the material brought up are “childhood experiences” but disguised as common
things (random things recalled randomly)
– long term treatment is important to be given ample time to talk and to explore the

– basic procedure in a analyzing free associations, dreams, resistance and transferences
– pointing out, explaining and even teaching the meaning of the client’s behavior that is
manifested by dreams, free association, resistances, and transferences
– Rules in interpreting:
1. interpretation should only be presented when the phenomenon to be interpreted is close
to the client’s conscious awareness (what they are capable of tolerating)
2. interpretation starts from the surface and go only as deep as the clients are able to go
while experiencing the situation emotionally
3. order of interpretation: resistance, then conflict or emotion

Dream Analysis
– important procedure in uncovering unconscious material
– basic assumption: nearly all dreams are wish fulfillments
– 2 levels of content:
latent content – the hidden, symbolic, and unconscious motives
manifest content – how the dream appears to the client
– dreamwork –the dream content is transformed to less threateing manifest content (when
– analyst’s task: uncover disguised meanings by studying the symbols in the manifest
– coupled with free association for interpretation

Analysis and Interpretation of Resistance

– resistance –anything that works against the progress of therapy & prevents the client from
producing unconscious material
–an unconscious dynamic that attempts to defend people against intolerable
anxiety which would arise if they were to be aware of their repressed impulses and feelings
– analyst’s task: point out and interpret the most obvious resistance (for the client to be able
to confront it)
– could also take the form of a spurious sense of intimacy or mutuality from early on the
– does not mean the client wishes to terminate the counseling
– counselor should avoid sounding blamy or accusatory, avoid telling the client that he is
resisting, instead allow him to address what makes him anxious

Analysis and Interpretation of Transference

– transference –pateint’s past “unfinished business” with significant others causes them to
distort the present & to react to the analyst as they did to their mother or father or to
another early significant person in their life
– could be positive or negative (manifestations of hostility)
– enables the clients to gain insight into the nature of their fixations and deprivations
– repetition-compulsion –the repetitive quality of applying old relationship dynamics to new
relationships (ex: man who felt criticism from mother will continually try to reenact the
situation to obtain approval but is doomed to failure because the new women are similar to
his mother so they would never give him their approval)
– countertransference –the counselor’s feelings towards the patient

• Stages of development
• Concept of the unconscious

• Requires client’s commitment (time, money, personal effort)
• Long term treatment
• Limited availability of trained analysts
• Rigorous training program

*Specific Applications
• Understanding resistances that take form of cancellation of appointments, fleeing
from therapy prematurely, and refusing to look at oneself
• Understading the role of early relationships that lead to weak spots and faulty
personality development and recognizing that unfinished business can be worked
through; so that client can put a new ending to some of the events that have crippled
them emotionally
• Understanding the value and role of transference
• Understanding how overuse of ego defenses can keep people from functioning
effectively & recognizing the ways these ego defenses operate both in the counseling
relationship itself & in the client’s lives

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