Psychoanalysis essay

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Behavioural sciences deal with the disciplines that explore the interactions of all living things in their natural environment. These sciences involve systematic investigation and examination of animal and human behaviour. This is done through naturalistic and controlled test observations and thorough formulations. These should not be treated as social sciences. Behavioural science rather includes psychology and social neuroscience. In our case, we will focus on psychology and precisely psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is a system of thoughts that Sigmund Freud and his followers developed. The system is concerned with human behaviour and psychological functioning. Freud (1940) says this as he explores the root of human behaviour:

When you think of this dividing up of the personality into ego, super-ego and id, you must not imagine sharp dividing lines such as are artificially drawn in the field of political geography. We cannot do justice to the characteristics of the mind by means of linear contours, such as occur in a drawing or in a primitive painting, but we need rather the areas of colour shading off into one another that are to be found in modern pictures. After we have made our separations, we must allow what we have separated to merge again. Do not judge too harshly of a first attempt at picturing a thing so elusive as the human mind (as cited in, ¶ 1).

In that argument, Freud proposes that human behaviour is governed by the psyche, or the human mind. In that very statement, he depicts the structure of personality, which is fundamental to the human behaviour. His point of reference was biological a result of his medical training and the situations that he handled at work. He conceived an individual to be a reservoir of energy which is always ready to be used. Besides, it is also in constant need of replenishment. He called this store of energy libido, genetically inherent and empowers the instinct of life.

The instinct directs behaviour. We would also say that it influences behaviour. The aim of the instinct is to satisfy the needs of an individual. Needs create tension and the behaviour is directed to reduce the tension. The effort to keep the tension as low as possible creates that part of the individual that Freud called the Id. This included genetically innate features which involve seeking gratification and impulse to love. It represents the world within an individual that has no knowledge and does not act rational. It does not critically make decisions but it only goes ahead for what it wants. This is to reduce tension caused by needs.

With the Id alone, people would not be what they are mostly. The Ego takes over from the Id, in the process of reacting to situations. The Ego is sensitive to the outside environment. It considers the need to think through a situation and come up with rational decisions. This is based on the realities of the environment of an individual. Although the Ego too seeks personal gratification (pleasure and avoiding pain), it is under the control of the realities around an individual.

The higher form of Ego is the Super-ego. To consider one to have engaged his/her Super-ego, the “person takes an objective and rational account of reality to fulfil the needs of life” (Mitchell, (n.d)).

This reasoning is the root of psychoanalysis which helped Freud deal with schizophrenic patients.  The main endeavour was to cure human minds through hypnosis. This is very similar to what we learn about Jung Carl. He also proposes that in is justified to handle the subconscious part of the mind with utmost importance. This is for those people who would laugh off the work of psycho analyst as mere appeal to metaphysics. These are people who are practical-science oriented. They want everything to be empirical, with tangible and measurable facts. To such people, Jung (1933) says:

It is futile, indeed, to attempt to treat this unreasoned change of opinion as a question of philosophy. We had better not try to do so, for if we maintain that mental phenomena arise from the activity of glands, we are sure of the thanks and respect of our contemporaries, whereas if we explain the break-up of the atom in the sun as an emanation of the creative Weltgeist, we shall be looked down upon as intellectual freaks. And yet both views are equally logical, equally metaphysical, equally arbitrary and equally symbolic (jung, ¶ 4).

Though they come up with arguments to prove that psychoanalysis has no basis, they admit that it works. This is what an unknown author says in, “There are some good things, however, which have resulted from the method of psychoanalysis developed by Sigmund Freud a century ago in Vienna.” (, ¶ 12).

It all depends on what one think is right. But at the end everyone will fall for what is working. If psychoanalysts have achieved this therapy from those early days and still works today, then one would go for it.

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