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  • Freud's theory of psychosexual development claims that as we grow up we

  • pass through five critical phases.

  • Our sex drive, which Freud called the Libido,

  • focuses in a different erogenous zone at each phase.

  • The phases are called Oral, Anal, Phallic, Latency and Genital.

  • If our experience during any of these phases was traumatic

  • we might develop fixations later in life such as neurosis, dependencies addictions,

  • or depression.

  • The Oral Phase, age zero to one.

  • In the first year of our

  • lives we discover the world through our oral

  • senses. Our main pleasure comes from sucking our mother's breast or a bottle.

  • The conflict that occurs now is the weaning from our primary caregiver.

  • Hans is weaned off his mother's breast without trauma.

  • Ernst's mother stops feeding him within four months of birth

  • which is too early.

  • Ida is often left alone

  • crying when she is hungry.

  • Hans becomes a healthy and independent

  • adult. Ernst suffers from trauma and develops

  • an oral fixation. He tries to compensate for it by chewing

  • gum all the time. Ida spends her entire life looking for

  • the oral stimulation she was denied as an

  • infant and therefore develops a manipulative and addictive personality.

  • The a=Anal Phase, age one to three.

  • The primary focus of our Libido at this

  • age is the control of the bladder and bowel movements.

  • We have to learn how to use the potty. Han's parents

  • praise his attempts to use the toilet and encourage him to learn at his own

  • pace. Ernst's parents force potty training on

  • him too early and punish him for mistakes. Ida's

  • parents neglect any efforts at potty training entirely.

  • Hans develops a competent personality and a good and balanced relationship

  • with authority. Ernst develops an anal retentive

  • personality. He becomes an over-controlling and

  • stingy adult with disgust for his own body and a

  • tendency to obey authority. Ida develops an anal expulsive

  • personality. She becomes messy disorganized

  • inconsiderate of other people's feelings and rebellious against authority.

  • The Phallic Phase, age three to six.

  • Our Libido now turns to the genitals as

  • we discover the differences between the female and the male

  • gender. The boy's conflict in this phase occurs as a rivalry with their father,

  • also called the 'Oedipus Complex'. Ernst and Hands desire to possess their mother

  • and fantasize about getting rid of their father

  • But they know that their father is stronger and fear being

  • punished for their desire. Freud called this

  • 'Castration Anxiety'. Ida experiences 'Penis Envy'. She believes that a penis is

  • the key to power and domination and also wants one.

  • Han's father was very present during that phase.

  • Later, Hans resolves this conflict by identifying strongly with him.

  • He learns to take on a male role. As an adult he respects both genders. Ernst,

  • whose father was absent during that phase, fails to develop a strong sense of

  • manhood. He has a mother fixation and is not sure

  • about his sexuality. He also tends to be aggressive towards

  • women and constantly needs to compete with other

  • men. Ida, like all women, maintains her penis envy

  • for the rest of her life which in her case causes an inferiority

  • complex towards men.

  • Latent Phase, age seven to thirteen.

  • In this phase our Libido is suppressed

  • as our sexual energy is being sublimed into developing

  • life skills. Our Superego strengthens and we strongly identify with social

  • values, same-sex heroes, and friends.

  • Hans follows many hobbies. Ernst loves learning at school,

  • and Ida makes lots of new girlfriends.

  • There is no real conflict in this phase. All three of them benefit for the rest

  • of their lives from the skills they developed

  • during latency.

  • The Genital Phase, puberty to death.

  • Once we reach puberty our libido starts to become

  • active again and we develop an interest in sexual partners.

  • Hans, Ida and Ernst face the challenge of balancing the sexual desires of the

  • Id and the needs of the Superego to obey

  • social norms. The development of a strong Ego helps to

  • find a compromise between the two.

  • Hans, who has experienced a childhood without much trauma,

  • succeeds in building a strong Ego. He is disciplined at work,

  • has a loving relationship. and a fulfilled sex

  • life. Ernst's Ego is weaker than his superego

  • he obeys norms and authorities and as a result

  • suppresses his desires which leads to the development of perversions.

  • Ida has a weak Ego and a weak Superego. Her sexual needs are more important than

  • social norms or other people's feelings. She is egoistic and feels no guilt for

  • breaking the law or hurting others.

  • To understand the theory we need to see it in the context of

  • Freud's famous work on the unconscious. By acknowledging that we have a

  • subconscious. He also implied that we store memories

  • of early childhood and other experiences without even

  • realizing it. These past experiences then

  • unconsciously influence our behavior on a daily basis.

  • Freud claimed that our mind operates in three spheres

  • which we can imagine as a submarine. The Unconscious

  • level operates the Id. The Preconscious level operates the

  • Superego. The Conscious and Preconscious levels

  • operate our Ego. Young children are driven by the Id and

  • demand immediate satisfaction. At around age seven we begin to develop a

  • Superego and want to become good moral

  • citizens and please others. The Ego is formed with

  • adolescence to balance the two forces.

  • Sigmund Shlomo Freud was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of

  • Psychoanalysis. Freud theorized that the Unconscious would remember and store

  • all our experiences later they pop up from time to time

  • through dreams and associative thoughts. By revealing traumatic memories and

  • desires through conversation we can free ourselves from our neuroses

  • and live a more healthy and fulfilled life. He recommended we should not strive

  • to eliminate our complexes but to get into accord with them. They

  • are legitimately what directs our conduct in the world.

  • What do you think about this theory and the practice of psychoanalysis?

  • Is there some truth in it? Do we have an unconscious?

  • If so does it really store all our childhood experiences

  • and influence our behavior as adults? Please share your thoughts in the

  • comments below!

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Freud's theory of psychosexual development claims that as we grow up we

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Freud's Theory of Psychosexual Development

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    Summer posted on 2020/07/31
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