The Psychodynamic Theory
Sigmund Freud has been called one of the greatest critical thinkers of his time. He has many
theories that he developed over his lifetime. In this short essay we will discuss some of them. First we will start with the structure of personality and then move on to the defense mechanisms that he theorized are present in all of us.
Id is present at birth and hides in the unconscious parts of the mind, the book on p. 245, describes it as a chaos, a cauldron of seething excitations. The Id follows the pleasure principle according to Mr. Freud.
Ego starts developing at birth as the overwhelming needs for instant gratification and the learning of how to cope with not getting all the instant gratification collide. “Ego stands for reason and good sense, for rational ways of coping with frustration”i Superego starts to develop during the childhood years; the child tries to learn what the parent’s values and morals are. Through identification the child becomes like these people. When it feels like it has done wrong, feelings of guilt and shame rush thru the child when it thinks it has done wrong.
There are five Defense Mechanisms that Freud identified. I will try to explain them and give an example of each in the next few paragraphs.
Repression is simply placing a memory into the back further most corner of your mind, and acting like it never happened because it bring up feelings that one doesn’t want to deal with. An example of this is when I found out a friend of mine wife was molested and she was too embarrassed to come forward to tell the authorities.
Projection is placing inappropriate thoughts from us onto someone else.
These can be any kind of feelings; often they are sexual fantasies or fits of aggression which would cause some embarrassment or shame. An example of this is accusing your spouse of having an affair when it was you who had an affair that has yet to be discovered.
Displacement is directing an impulse to a weaker often inanimate object such as a tire or a log in my yard. My example for this is that I often beat up wood from the wood pile when I get too frustrated with my current job and the idiots appointed above me. I choose a log or round that hasn’t been split yet and go after it with a sledge hammer. The poor innocent piece of wood is not damaged badly and I relieve my aggression in a semi positive manner. Reaction is when one takes the opposite viewpoint from what you truly feel, and example of this is when one you openly defend the death penalty, and your brother in law commits murder, so you suddenly change your stance because it is an uncomfortable position that causes much anxiety at family gatherings.
Regression occurs when someone returns to one of the previous stages of development, which is caused by anxiety. I often bite my nails when I am faced with doing homework for my college classes as schoolwork causes me anxiety, which is why I also procrastinate and do my work on the last days of the week.